Alexander Doniphan, 19th century Mo. lawmaker, honored

Friday, July 11, 2008 | 6:50 p.m. CDT; updated 11:05 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

JEFFERSON CITY — A former state lawmaker who helped broker the purchase of the northwest corner of the state and refused to execute Mormon leader Joseph Smith has been honored.

House Speaker Rod Jetton recently inducted Alexander Doniphan into the Hall of Famous Missourians at a ceremony in Liberty. Bronze busts of the several dozen famous Missourians are displayed in the Capitol.

Doniphan was born in 1808 in Kentucky and opened a law office in western Missouri in 1836. That year, he organized two northwest Missouri counties as a home for Mormons in the state. In 1838, he refused an order to kill Smith, the founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In 1837, Doniphan helped buy much of Missouri’s northwest corner, which had originally been set aside for American Indians.

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