From History of Utah, Vol.4
By Orson F. Whitney
Myron Tanner Sr. (1826-1903)

A native of the Empire State, and member of the , a settler in Utah in 1847, Bishop, civic official and promoter of various enterprise’s, the name of Myron Tanner stands out prominently in the list of Utah county’s leading citizens and business men. He was born June 7, 1826, at Bolton NY, on the banks of Lake George, where he remained until he was eight years of age, when he removed with his parents—John and Elizabeth Besswick Tanner—to Kirtland, Ohio, starting for that place on Christmas morning, 1834. The family was well off for those days. The father gave two thousand dollars to redeem a mortgage on the land where stood the Kirtland Temple. Myron was at the dedication of that sacred house.

In 1838 the family removed to Missouri, arriving there about the last of summer. The following winter they were driven out with the rest of the Latter-day Saints, and spent the nest eight years in Illinois and Iowa. Myron worked on the farm and attended school until the summer of 1846 when he enlisted in the Mormon Battalion and marched with his comrades westward to Santa Fe.

At that point, when the disabled portion of the command was placed under Captain James Brown and ordered to Pueblo, Mr. Tanner was included, he being sick seven months out of the fifteen consumed on the journey. How this detachment started for California by way of Fort Laramie and were discharged in Salt Lake valley, has been many times related. Mr. Tanner entered the valley July 29, 1847. He first settled on Little Cottonwood.

About the year 1849 he went to California, where he worked for two and a half years in the gold mines, and then went to San Bernardino, where he remained until 1855, in the spring of which year he came back to Salt Lake City. In the autumn he returned to San Bernardino, but in May, 1856, was again in Salt Lake, where he married on the 26th of that month, Mary Jane Mount, after which he removed to Payson, residing there until the fall of 1800. Thence he removed to Provo, which was his residence at the time of his death.

Mr. Tanner did not figure as a missionary in the outside world, but was a generous helper in the cause of immigration, sending teams to the Missouri river and contributing means to bring the poor to Utah as long as the Perpetual Emigrating Fund had an existence. At the time of the move, in 1858, while he was at Payson, he furnished and ran a six-mule team for two months, helping the people south. At Nauvoo he held the office of a Seventy. In November, 1801, he became Bishop of the Third ward of Provo, and continued in that office until 1891.

He was elected to the Provo city council in 1861, and re-elected in 1868, 1870, 1872, 1876, 1878, 1880, 1882 and 1896. He was chosen county selectman in 1869, and held that office for five terms, or fifteen years in all. He affiliated with the People’s party until the division on national lines, when he became connected with the Republican party. He was a member of the Board of the from its inception until 1898; and previously a member for three years of the Board of the Provo Branch of the . For a long period he was on the Board of Church schools for Utah stake.

In a business way, he was interested in various enterprises. As early as 1858 he and his two brothers owned a large herd of stock at Beaver, and lost six thousand dollars worth, stolen by Indians. He owned one-twentieth of the stock of the “Provo East Co-op,” the first co-operative institution organized in Utah, and was Vice-president of the same from its organization until the year 1890. Of the he was one of the incorporators. He was superintendent of them one year, and owned at his death several thousand dollars of the stock. He was also interested in the Utah county herd and was president of the same for several years.

Bishop Tanner, by his first wife, Mary Jane Mount, was the father of six boys and three girls; and by his second wife, Ann Crosby, the father of five boys and three girls.

The most distinguished member of his family is Dr. Joseph M. Tanner, a prominent educator, at this writing General Superintendent of the Latter-day Saints Schools. Bishop Tanner died while on a visit to his son, the Doctor, at Salt Lake City, January 11, 1903.

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