B.F. Johnson
November 21, 1905
Arizona Republican Newspaper
Saturday evening at 6:30 o'clock the life of Patriarch 
Benjamin F. Johnson went out.  "Uncle Benji" as he was 
called had rounded out the ripe age of 87 years, three 
months and fifteen days.  His last birthday July 29, he 
gave an at home to his children and many friends and 
entertained about 300 during the day and at that time 
he seemed to have a premonition that his end was not 
far distant as he then told his guests that that would 
be possibly the last time he would meet many of them 
this side of the grave.  He had been in ill health for 
a number of years, but his mind has been clear and 
bright and the past few years he has written quite 
extensively of his association with the Prophet 
Joseph Smith. 
Thursday last in the afternoon he was taken worse and 
continued to sink until the end came.  He was perfectly 
conscious up to the hour of his death.  He called his 
children to his bedside, gave them a goodbye handshake 
and his last blessing and passed peacefully away, his 
life going out seemingly without pain.
His had been a very strenuous life.  Born in New York on 
the 29th day of July 1818, when thirteen years of age he 
became a follower of Joseph Smith.  He was large for his 
age and possessed a remarkably bright mind.  At the age 
of 13 years he came closely associated with the prophet 
and from that time to his death acted as his business 
agent and private secretary.  He possibly was better 
acquainted with Joseph Smith than any man now living 
and his mind was rich with reminiscences of those 
days.  He was captain of the first company that left 
Nauvoo at the expulsion and in 1849 he came to Salt 
Lake City with an emigrant company.  He settled in 
Salt Lake City first and was colonel in the military 
organization that was formed in Utah to protect the 
settlers against the Indians.  When the provisional 
state of deseret was organized he was chosen as one 
of the delegates to it and such was the services that 
he rendered his state, that he was returned fourteen 
terms to the legislature of the territory after it was 
organized. Later he settled in southern Utah, 
presiding over the settling of that country.  While 
away on a mission to the Sandwich Islands the Walker 
War broke out and his entire property was destroyed 
by the Indians. He has a claim now before the 
government for the $10,000 destroyed at that time.
In 1883 he with his large family moved to Arizona, first 
settling in Tempe and later moved to Mesa, where he had 
resided continuously ever since.  He had possibly the 
largest family, consisting of children, grandchildren 
and great grandchildren of any man now living.  His 
posterity numbered in the neighborhood of 800 souls. 
He was beloved by all who knew him.