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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Gurley, Zenas Hovey 1801 - 1871

Definition: Mormon minister, b. Bridgewater, N.Y. He taught school for several years near Leeds, Canada, and in 1838, became a member of the Latter-day Saints in Ontario. He was ordained an elder the same year, and shortly thereafter moved to Far West, Mo. In 1841 he was ordained a "seventy" at Nauvoo, Ill. After the death of Joseph Smith in 1844, Gurley associated himself with the factional Strangite movement near Burlington, Wis., and in 1850 organized a large "branch" at Blanchardville. The next year he and his group denounced all factional leaders and in Apr., 1853, joined the Beloit group under Jason W. Briggs (q.v.) to form the Reorganized Church. He was ordained an apostle in 1853 and continued to preach and organize branches of his church in Wisconsin and Illinois until his death. J. and H. C. Smith, Hist. of the Church . . . of Latter Day Saints (4 vols., Lamoni, Iowa, 1900-1903); I. S. Davis, Story of the Church (Independence, Mo., 1948); A. B. Phillips, Restoration Movement . . . (Independence, Mo., 1928).

[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]
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