On This Day…
8 December 1831 – George Teasdale (1831-1907) was born in Saint Pancras, London. He obtained a good education which led him to being employed as an architect. That career came to an end when he tried to distance himself from his employer’s dishonesty. His next career move was to become an upholsterer.
He was just a nine year old boy when Heber C. Kimball, Wilford Woodruff and George A. Smith arrived in 1840 to introduce Mormonism to the nation’s capital. Those events bypassed his young life for his first introduction took place eleven years later when he read an anti-Mormon tract called “Mormonism” which intrigued him. Then he discovered that one of his upholstery co-workers was a member and began to ask questions in earnest. He was baptized in 1852. The following year he married Emily Emma Brown (1831-1874) who shared his faith and dedication throughout her life.
In 1857 he was called to devote his whole time to building up the kingdom in Britain which necessitated him giving up his employment, selling many of his possessions and leaving his wife as comfortable as he could. He was sent to oversee the Cambridge Conference then Wiltshire, Landsend and South Conferences. Finally he was assigned to oversee all of Scotland.
That level of commitment was tough for such a young family which certainly experienced its own set of sorrows. Their two year old daughter Evangeline (1854-1856) and one year old son Henry (1856-1857) had both died and were buried in England. Their two surviving children – George (1857-1935) and Francis (1860-1898) – emigrated with them to Utah in 1861. His family losses did not stop there. In 1864 Emila was born and died that same year. The same happened next year when their new son Frederick also died (1865) and another daughter, Emile (1867-1870) only survived for three years. Child mortality was a common and painful part of life for many Victorian families.
In Utah he had various occupations including taking charge of Brigham Young’s store, a school teacher, looking after the tithing store and supervision of ZCMI. He also sang in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
In 1868 he was called to return to England where he was called to serve as assistant editor of the British LDS publication – The Millennial Star.
In 1875 he was called on another mission to the southern states of Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia.
In October 1882 there were two vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve and President John Taylor called Heber J. Grant and George Teasdale to fill them. George had already dedicated his life to building the kingdom and now he was to give the rest of his life in His service. This required him to spend time on three more missions – to Indian Territory, Mexico and back to Europe.
During the three years he presided over the European Mission he ministered in Ireland, France, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway. Here he witnessed the ripples of antagonism towards the church. At one meeting in England the opposition became rowdier and rowdier – “When the disturbance became so great he had to quit and stopped preaching.”
George died in 1907 and is buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.
Flake, Lawrence. Twelve Sons of Britain. CFI, Springville, UT. 2008.
Garr, Arnold et al. Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History. Deseret, SLC, UT. 2000.
Juvenile Instructor, Vol.32, No.12, June 15, 1900.
Bloxham, Ben, et al. Truth Will Prevail. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, England 1987.