Joseph Knight, Sr. Farm, Colesville, New York
Joseph Knight, Sr. became acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. in 1826 when Joseph worked for him on the Knight farm. When Joseph and Oliver were translating the Book of Mormon, Joseph Knight, Sr. brought supplies to help sustain the translation.
Colesville was the location of the first branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Knight family were key members of the branch. Hyrum Smith served as the first branch president, followed by Newel Knight, son of Joseph Knight Sr.
The Knight farm was the location of the first miracle that occurred in the Church after its organization. Newel Knight, who had become well-acquainted with the Prophet, after choosing not to pray at one of the meetings was seized upon by an evil spirit. The Prophet was called to cast it out.1 The farm was also the location of the Prophet being arrested for the first time on June 28, 1830 following the organization of the Church. He was charged with “being a disorderly person by preaching the Book of Mormon, and setting the country in an uproar.”2 Joseph was put on trial, but acquitted of the charges against him.3
The Knights moved to Ohio when the Lord commanded the Saints to gather to the Kirtland region along with the other members of the Colesville branch. The members of the branch stayed together throughout the move to Ohio and then later on to Missouri and were known as the Colesville Branch.4 Joseph Knight, Sr. remained a faithful member of the Church and supporter of the Prophet Joseph Smith. He died in 1847 at Mt. Pisgah, Iowa after the Saints’ expulsion from Nauvoo.
1 Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols., introduction and notes by B. H. Roberts (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1932-1951), 1: 82-83.
2 B. H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1930), 1: 205.
3 Ibid, 1:207.
4 Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1-4 vols., ed. Daniel H. Ludlow (New York: Macmillan, 1992), 289.
Map & Directions
The Joseph Knight Sr. farm site is now a privately owned property. One can only gain access to the property by invitation. Otherwise, any visitors entering the boundaries of the property would be considered trespassers. The privacy of the owners should be respected.
Articles & Resources
Joseph Smith, Jr.'s 1838 Account of the First Miracle in the Church
Author(s): Joseph Smith, Jr.
Type: First-person account
Source(s): Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols., introduction and notes by B. H. Roberts (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1932-1951), 1: 82-83.
Amongst those who attended our meetings regularly, was Newel Knight, son of Joseph Knight. He and I had many serious conversations on the important subject of man’s eternal salvation. We had got into the habit of…
Leonard J. Arrington and Davis Bitton, Saints Without Halos: The Human Side of Mormon History, 1981.
William G. Hartley, “The Knight Family: Ever Faithful to the Prophet,” Ensign, January 1989, 43.
William G. Hartley, ‘They Are My Friends’: A History of the Joseph Knight Family 1825-1850, Provo, UT: Grandin Book, 1986.
Dean C. Jessee , “Joseph Knight’s Recollections of Early Mormon History,” BYU Studies, 1976.
Larry C. Porter, “The Joseph Knight Family,” Ensign, October 1978, 39.