Newel K. Whitney Home, Kirtland, Ohio, USA
Newel Kimball Whitney and his wife, Elizabeth Ann Whitney, were converted to the gospel in November 1830 in Kirtland, and baptized by Sidney Rigdon.
When Joseph and Emma Smith initially moved to Kirtland, they stayed with the Whitney’s for several weeks before moving to the Isaac Morley farm. History of the Church relates the arrival of the Prophet into Kirtland as follows:
About the first of February, 1831, a sleigh containing four persons drove through the streets of Kirtland and drew up in front of the store of Gilbert and Whitney. One of the men, a young and stalwart personage alighted, and springing up the steps walked into the store and to where the junior partner was standing. ‘Newel K. Whitney! Thou art the man!’ he exclaimed, extending his hand cordially, as if to an old and familiar acquaintance….’I am Joseph the Prophet,’ said the stranger smiling. ‘You’ve prayed me here, now what do you want of me?’ The Prophet, it is said, while in the East had seen the Whitneys, in vision, praying for his coming to Kirtland.1
Before missionaries arrived in Kirtland, the Whitney’s had prayed unto the Lord to know how they might receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. They were told to “prepare to receive the word of the Lord, for it is coming!”2
It was at the Whitney home where the Prophet Joseph Smith healed a sister by the name of Elsa Johnson from having rheumatism in her arm which resulted in the conversion of Elsa and her husband. Also while living in this home, Joseph Smith extended a call to Edward Partridge to be the first bishop of this dispensation.
In 2003, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints restored the Newel K. Whitney Home.
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), Ch. 13, footnote.
Map & Directions
The Newel K. and Elizabeth Whitney home is owned and maintained by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is situated in the restored historic village at Kirtland, Ohio. Visitors are welcome to view the home from dawn until dusk. Tours of the interior begin at the visitors’ center there at the village. There is no charge for the tour.
Virtual tours may be scheduled at: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/learn/historic-sites/ohio/historic-kirtland-virtual-tours?lang=eng
Articles & Resources
Elizabeth Ann Whitney's Experience Previous to Hearing the Gospel
We still continued the work of translation, when in the ensuing month (May, 1829), we on a certain day went into the woods to pray and inquire of the Lord respecting baptism for the remission of sins, that we found mentioned in the translation of the plates. While we were thus employed…
History of the Church's Account of the Healing of Elsa Johnson
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), Ch. 17, footnote.
Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, and some other citizens of this place [Hiram], visited Smith at his home in Kirtland, in 1831. Mrs. Johnson had been afflicted for some time with a lame arm, and was not at…