- Mark McKiernan
Rigdon, Sidney (19 February 1793–14 July 1876), restoration preacher and early Mormon leader, was born in St. Clair Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, the son of William Rigdon and Nancy Briant, farmers. Rigdon learned to read in a rural schoolhouse but taught himself grammar and constantly borrowed books from neighbors, in particular books on history; these, along with the Bible, he liked best. In 1817, after a conversion experience that a local congregation found convincing, Rigdon joined the United Baptists and began to preach as a skillful orator. In 1919, his widowed mother having sold the farm and gone to live with her daughter, Rigdon set out on his own. From 1919 until 1921 he lived in the home of Adamson Bentley, a Baptist minister in Warren, Ohio, and during this period became an ordained minister. Also while living with Bentley, Rigdon met and in 1820 married Bentley’s sister-in-law, Phebe Brooks; the couple had at least ten children....