Joseph Smith III

Joseph Smith III is one of the sons of Joseph Smith, Jr. He was born November 6, 1832 and died December 10, 1914. He is often referred to as “Joseph III” and sometimes as “Young Joseph”.

As the oldest surviving son of Joseph Smith Jr., on April 6, 1860, he was ordained the President of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (now known as “Community of Christ”) and was the President until his death in 1914.


Emmeline Griswold Smith

Joseph’s first wife was Emmeline Griswold. They were married October 22, 1856. She had serious health issues toward the end of her life and died March 25, 1869.

Bertha Madison Smith

Joseph’s second wife was Bertha Madison. She was Joseph’s housekeeper at the time of Emmeline’s death and Bertha had helped care for Emmeline at the end of her life. Joseph and Bertha married November 12, 1869. Bertha died October 19, 1896 as a result of injuries when she was thrown from a buggy she was driving.

Ada Rachel Clark Smith

Joseph met Ada Rachel Clark at a church conference in Kirtland, Ohio, and again when doing ministry in Toronto, Canada. He took an interest in her which led to their engagement and subsequent marriage January 12, 1898. Their marriage ended with Joseph’s death on December 10, 1914.

You can learn more about all three wives in a new series of podcasts at Project Zion. Emmeline GriswoldBertha Madison  and Ada Clark are all online.

Joseph’s Homes

As an adult Joseph III lived in Nauvoo Illinois, Plano Illinois, Lamoni Iowa, and Independence Missouri.

Joseph and Emmeline lived on a farm east of Nauvoo and later moved to the old Smith Homestead in Nauvoo where his parents, Joseph Jr. and Emma, first lived in Nauvoo.

Joseph Smith III’s home in Plano Illinois.

In January 1866 Joseph and Emmeline moved to Plano. After Emmeline’s death in 1869, Joseph married Bertha and they lived in Plano.

Liberty Hall, Lamoni Iowa

In October 1881, Joseph and Bertha moved to “Liberty Hall” on Main Street west of Lamoni. 15 months after Bertha’s death in 1896, he married Ada and they lived in Liberty Hall. Liberty Hall is one of the historic sites managed by the Community of Christ Historic Sites Foundation.

In August 1906 Joseph and Ada moved to 1214 W. Short Street in Independence Missouri.