Milestones in the Life of President Spencer W. Kimball

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“Milestones in the Life of President Spencer W. Kimball,” Ensign, Mar. 1974, 5

Milestones in the Life of President Spencer W. Kimball


April 16

Heber C. Kimball, grandfather of Spencer W. Kimball, baptized in Mendon, New York, two days after his close friend, Brigham Young.


February 14

Heber C. Kimball called as the fourth apostle of this dispensation.


December 27

Heber C. Kimball called to the First Presidency as first counselor to President Brigham Young.


September 6

Birth of Andrew Kimball, son of Heber C. Kimball.


June 22

President Heber C. Kimball died in Salt Lake City.


February 2

Marriage of his son, Andrew, to Olive Woolley, daughter of Brigham Young’s business manager, Bishop Edwin Woolley.


Andrew Kimball served as president of the Indian Territory Mission, in present-day Oklahoma. He returned to his Salt Lake home each year to earn enough money to support his family and his missionary efforts for another partial year.


March 28

Birth of Spencer W. Kimball in Salt Lake City, in the family home, still standing at Fifth North and Third West.



The Kimball family moved to Thatcher, Arizona, where Andrew Kimball presided over the St. Joseph Stake for 26 years. Spencer was three years old.


Spencer nearly drowns while at a family picnic.


June 6

Received patriarchal blessing from Samuel Claridge.

October 18

Death of Olive Kimball, mother of 11-year-old Spencer W. Kimball and his ten brothers and sisters, and her unborn child.


October 5

Baptism of Spencer W. Kimball.


Bedfast for several weeks with typhoid fever.


Graduated with highest honors from Gila Academy, then a Church-owned high school—now Eastern Arizona Junior College. While at school he was student body president and a star forward on the school basketball team. He enjoyed playing piano and singing, and worked his way through school at the South Globe Dairy milking cows morning and night.

June 6

Ordained a priest by his father, Andrew Kimball.

September 15

Ordained an elder.

October 16

Ordained a seventy by his uncle, President J. Golden Kimball of the First Council of the Seventy.
Called to the Swiss-Austrian Mission, but, due to World War I, was sent to the Central States Mission.


January 1

Released from his mission. He was serving as president of the Missouri Conference.

Attended the University of Arizona.

November 16

Married Camilla Eyring.

A teacher at the Gila Academy, she is the daughter of Edward C. Eyring and Caroline Romney. The Kimballs are the parents of four children, Spencer L., Mrs. Grant (Olive Beth) Mack, Andrew, and Edward.


January 1

Named stake clerk of the St. Joseph Stake. Enters banking business as a clerk and teller.


September 8

Called as second counselor in the stake presidency when the death of his father causes reorganization. Ordained a high priest by President Heber J. Grant.


Became president-manager of the Kimball-Greenhalgh Realty and Insurance Company.


Released as counselor and sustained again as stake clerk in the St. Joseph Stake.


Helped organize the Gila Broadcasting Company and Gila Valley Irrigation Company.


February 20

Called as president of the Mount Graham Stake, then composed of 13 wards spread from eastern Arizona to El Paso, Texas.


Under Church welfare program, supervised aid given to victims of the flooding Gila River.


July 8

President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., telephoned to inform him of his call to the apostleship.

October 7

Sustained by the Church and ordained an apostle by President Heber J. Grant.


September 13

Named by President George Albert Smith as chairman of the Church Indian Committee.


Suffered and recovered from a severe heart ailment.


Lost voice through serious throat ailment. His voice was restored following administration by President Clark and Elders Harold B. Lee and Henry D. Moyle.


Dedicated Central America to missionary work and toured the Mexican Mission.


Toured Canadian missions.


Toured European missions and visited Swiss Temple dedication.


Divided the Mexican Mission.


Was operated on for cancer of the throat; one and one-half vocal cords removed.


Toured Spanish-American West Mission. Received, with Sister Kimball, honorary Master–M Man and Golden Gleaner Awards.


Visited Brazil and Uruguay on Church assignment.


Created new stakes in Australia and visited New Zealand and 16 other countries in four months. Also toured Northern States and New England Missions.


Toured South Pacific and Europe, and was named Council of the Twelve supervisor for the Southwest Indian Mission.


Visited the Holy Land and Europe.


Delivered the commencement address at Eastern Arizona Junior College, his alma mater.


Toured South America.


Named Council of the Twelve supervisor for South American missions.


Toured South America; organized stakes in Argentina.


Named Council of the Twelve supervisor for British missions.


Awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree by Brigham Young University.


Named acting president of the Council of the Twelve; honored by Indian Students at BYU.


Named president of the Council of the Twelve. Underwent open heart surgery.


December 30

Ordained President of the Church.

1. Heber C. Kimball, grandfather of President Spencer W. Kimball.

2. With Spencer on his father’s lap, the family poses for a local photographer.

3. Andrew Kimball, father of President Kimball.

4. Olive Woolley Kimball, mother of President Kimball.

5. In front of the Kimball family home in Thatcher.

6. At one year of age with his sister, Ruth Woolley Kimball.

7. A proud graduate of Thatcher Public School, 1910.

8. Height is no barrier for a Gila Academy star forward like Spencer Kimball, far right.

9. Three Kimball brothers, Andrew Gordon, Spencer Woolley, and Delbert Gheen Kimball, about 1906.

10. Spencer Kimball at work at the South Globe Dairy, site of summer employment while he went to school.

11. Elder Spencer W. Kimball, Central States Mission, 1914–16.

12. Camilla Eyring, teacher at the Gila Academy, during her courtship with Spencer W. Kimball.

13. Newly-married Spencer and Camilla Kimball.

14. The Kimball family at the time of his call to be a General Authority. In front, Sister Kimball, Elder Kimball, and daughter Olive Beth. Back, Edward, Spencer L., and Andrew.

15. Spencer Kimball as a member of the stake presidency and an enterprising young Arizona businessman.

16. The president of the Missouri Conference, 1916.

17. Returned missionary, now a soldier-student, relaxes in Sabino Canyon near Tucson.

18. Elder Kimball, 1958.

19. The Lamanite Leadership Award, presented to Spencer W. Kimball by Indian students at BYU.

20. A quartet of apostles: Elders Mark E. Petersen, Matthew Cowley, Spencer W. Kimball, and Ezra Taft Benson. The accompanist is Elder Harold B. Lee.

21. With part of his collection of Indian crafts.

22. President and Sister Kimball at the pyramids in Egypt, 1961.

23. Counsel from a prophet.

24. President and Sister Kimball in Munich, Germany, August 1973.

25. With President Lee at April Conference, 1973.