Arza Alonzo Hinckley
Merchant, Educator, Farmer, Legislator, Civic Official, Apostle

Arza Alonzo Hinckley, 1892

Brigham Young Academy High School
Class of 1892

Arza Alonzo Hinckley, who graduated in the Brigham Young Academy High School Class of 1892, was born on April 23, 1870, at Cove Fort, Utah Territory.

He was a son of Ira Nathaniel Hinckley and Angeline Wilcox Noble Hinckley, New Englanders who helped pioneer Utah. His ancestry traced back to the early settlers of the American continent, who came to the Atlantic seaboard in 1635.

His father, Ira N. Hinckley, was a prominent pioneer and community leader, and his mother was one of the first school teachers in Salt Lake City, having taught in the old First Ward. Among her pupils was the mother of Maud Adams, who became a world famed actress.

His father and mother came to Salt Lake in 1850, but they had not met each other at this time. Subsequently, however, President Brigham Young called Ira N. Hinckley to go to Cove Creek to supervise the building of a fort there. This was in 1867.

Three years later, Arza Alonzo was born, in April of 1870. His early life was spent in Cove Fort and Fillmore, Millard County. His father had been called as Millard Stake President in 1877, so they moved to Fillmore in the same year.

In his boyhood Arza Alonzo worked on his father's farm, together with his brothers, one of whom was Edwin S. Hinckley, who later graduated as a member of the Brigham Young Academy High School Normal Class of 1891.

As a boy, at one time, Arza Alonzo was herding horses, to keep them off the haylands. After working for some hours, he stopped to rest. He could not find a place to tie up his horse, so he looped a line from the horse to his own foot, and lay down to rest. Somehow the horse became frightened, and ran away, pulling the boy through brush and rocks, an experience which nearly cost him his life.

A. A. Hinkley boyhood, horse dragging.
A Life-Threatening Day

When but a boy of 14 years, Arza Alonzo went to work for his brother-in-law, Lafayette Holbrook, in Frisco, a small mining town in Beaver County, Utah. There he gained a basic training in merchandising which led to the establishment of the Hinckley Co-Op, in Hinckley, Utah. It was as founder of this institution that the name Arza Alonzo Hinckley first became prominent.

The town of Hinckley, noted as a center of alfalfa seed raising, was named in honor of his father, Ira N. Hinckley.

Arza Alonzo graduated from the Fillmore grammar school. He enrolled at Brigham Young Academy in Provo, and graduated in the Class of 1892 from the Brigham Young Academy high school.
Grad of BYA Class of 1892 - Alonzo Hinckley
BYA Class of 1892~Click for Larger Version

Arza Alonzo taught school for a number of years in the town of Deseret, in Millard County. He also became a dairyman.

As a dairyman, Arza Alonzo aided his father and carried on his father's stock-raising interests after his death. Later in his life he also owned a dairy farm in Salt Lake County.

In Millard County he became known as a successful alfalfa seed grower. He operated and owned three large farms in that county, one in Hinckley, one in Delta, and one in Lyndyll.

After graduating from Brigham Young Academy high school in 1892 he married Rose May Robison, [BYA high school Class of 1892~Honorary] in the Manti Utah Temple. They lived in Deseret for one year before moving to Hinckley, where they made their home.

Five years after their marriage Arza Alonzo was called to fill a mission to the Netherlands, returning in 1900.

Prominent in Church and civic circles in Millard County, he was chosen in 1902 to succeed his father as Millard Stake President. He conducted the affairs of that office until the Stake grew to such an extent that it became advisable to divide it into two stakes.

On Sunday, August 11, 1912, during a conference in Millard County, Utah, Arza Alonzo Hinckley was called to serve as president of Deseret Stake, the newly formed stake located in the western half of Millard County and formed from a portion of the Millard Stake.
He served as Deseret Stake President until 1929, at which time he was honorably released after more than 27 years continuous service as a stake president.

Arza Alonzo Hinckley and his family then moved to Salt Lake City, where they made their home on Wall Street. However, shortly after settling in Salt Lake he was called by Church leaders to succeed President Joseph W. McMurrin as head of the California Mission, with headquarters in Los Angeles.

Among his many other activities, Arza Alonzo Hinckley served two terms in the Utah Legislature representing Millard County. When Governor Charles R. Mabey was elected he appointed him as State Commissioner of Agriculture. He was retained in this position for some months after the election of Governor George H. Dern.

As parents of 14 children, their family was an unusual one.

Their eldest son, Harold Hinckley, was a practicing physician in Corcoran, California, having graduated from the University of Utah and University of Chicago medical schools, and having fulfilled a mission to New Zealand.

Rulon T. Hinckley, the second eldest son, was a graduate of Brigham Young University, and he fulfilled a mission to Germany and returned to teach seminary at Hinckley High School.

Arza, the youngest son, served in the Northwestern States mission.

Of the daughters, Afton Hinckley Badger of held a master's degree in domestic arts from Brigham Young University.

The other daughters, Mabel, Suzanne, Angelina, Ethel, Mary, Nelly, Beulah and Zina, all received high school diplomas. Two children died when young.

Arza Alonzo Hinckley bore a striking resemblance in physical appearance to the late President Anthony W. Ivins, but his career also paralleled that of that distinguished leader in several ways.

Both were more or less self-made; both were ardent spreaders of the gospel as missionaries and mission presidents; both were stake presidents, one as the first citizen of St. George Stake, the other as the first citizen of Millard Stake; both led well-balanced lives with a hand in an amazing number of business, economic and industrial ventures; both were outdoor men.

A. Alonzo Hinckley was ordained an apostle on October 11, 1934, by President Heber J. Grant, at age 64, following the death of Elder Anthony W. Ivins.

President Heber J. Grant
President Heber J. Grant

Elder Hinckley served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1934 until his death.

A. Alonzo Hinckley was a merchant, educator, farmer, stock-raiser, LDS stake president for 27 years, legislator, civic official, missionary and mission president. He was an able addition to the Council of the Twelve Apostles.

His Church activities, his pioneering endeavors and livestock raising brought him recognition throughout the west. He was a man of humble and kindly disposition, of sharp intellect, and rare sense of humor.

Elder Arza Alonzo Hinckley died on December 22, 1936 in Salt Lake City. He was buried at Salt Lake City Cemetery. Hinckley was succeeded in the Quorum of the Twelve by Elder Albert E. Bowen. Rose May Robison Hinckley was born on August 21, 1871 in Fillmore, Utah. She died on December 13, 1949 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her interment, also Salt Lake City Cemetery.

Note: He was named Arza Alonzo Hinckley but signed his name, and is known in current Church writings, as Alonzo A. Hinckley. Alonzo was a brother of Edwin S. Hinckley, and also of Bryant S. Hinckley, who in turn was the father of Gordon B. Hinckley, Apostle and President of the Church. Thus Alonzo and Edwin were uncles to President Gordon B. Hinckley.
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Rose & Alonzo Hinckley, Circa 1934

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