Thomas James Dunn (a,f) was a Mexican War Veteran who settled in Utah in 1850, after crossing the plains with his family. In either 1852 or 1853, Dunn was ordained as the LDS Mormon Bishop for the Ogden 4th Ward in North Ogden. But when exactly did it happen?

There are a few clues. Brigham Young was both President of the LDS Church and Governor of the Utah Territory at the time, and a certificate is found in his papers:

G.S.L. City December

This is to certify that Thomas Dunn has been ordained a Bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints for the fourth ward of Ogden City, Weber County.
done in my office
Brigham Young

Bishop Thomas Dunn's Ordination Certificate

Bishop Thomas Dunn’s Ordination Certificate

The 21 Feb 1853 date is crossed out, and December is written in its place. Why?

Thomas James Dunn’s own journal can, perhaps, help solve the mystery:

TJD journal ex 01TJD journal ex 02…which became an organized branch in the Dec 22 1852 at which time I was ordained to the High Priesthood by Lorin Farr…
in 185? this Branch was organized in a ward and I was ordained to the Bishopric by Pres. Brigham Young.

It appears that Dunn was given one ordinance on Dec. 22, 1852, but then ordained a Bishop when the area was reorganized in 1853. The final digit in the year in Dunn’s journal is scribbled over, so it’s not possible to be 100% certain based on just this evidence.



Sources: “Brigham Young certificate”, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Church History Library (https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE6464835), Call Number:MS 14293 Identifier: MS 14293/f0001. https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE6464835.

“Thomas J. Dunn journal, 1846-1857”, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Church History Library (https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE2043172), Thomas J. Dunn journal, 1846-1857  Dunn, Thomas James 1821-1910  Call Number: MS 26532    Location:  Request at Reference Desk Manuscript

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