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Too young (age 6) to be baptized with his family when they joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Pennsylvania in 1843, Uncle John accompanied them to Nauvoo, to Winter Quarters, and (in 1847) to the Salt Lake Valley.

As a 20-year-old bachelor when Johnston’s Army came to Utah in 1857-58, he helped defend against the invader. He served a one-year mission to England in 1872 and was ordained a patriarch in 1912.

He married Ann Eliza Benedict in 1863, and they had nine children. Unlike his older brothers, but like his father, he never undertook the rigors of plural marriage.

Uncle John and Aunt Ann enjoyed horticulture and were known for the beauty of their home and yard.
In the East Mill Creek neighborhood, Uncle John is primarily remembered as Bishop Neff, the first to fill that office and its longest-serving incumbent: 35 years.1 In the meetinghouse, his portrait hangs in the Bishop’s office with the faces of his successors proceeding down the wall to the viewer’s right. Just to his left appears his brother-in-law Uncle Julian Moses, who presided over that congregation in the pioneer days, before it was organized as a ward.
1Florence C Youngberg, Conquerors of the West: Stalwart Mormon Pioneers. National Society of the Sons of Utah Pioneers (Salt Lake:1999), pp. 1773-75.

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