Get to know Jonathan Browning

I have seen a couple of sites which introduce people that might be lesser known to the community at large.  This first individual will have a familiar last name to most but you might be surprised to find out more.

This is Jonathan Browning.  Born in Tennessee he is famous to most of the outside world for his work as a gunsmith. The company that bears his son’s name developed the Browning Automatic Rifle which was in use in World War II.

However what most may not know, is that Browning was a Mormon.  Converted during some conversations with the Prophet Joseph Smith in Nauvoo.  The former Justice of the Peace in Quincy Illinois was also familiar with another famous player in those days Abraham Lincoln.

Because of his conversion he was ostracized and left Quincy to join the Saints in Nauvoo.  Browning moved to Winter Quarters with the main community of Saints and was a captain of a group which crossed the plains in 1852.  He eventually settled in Ogden.  During his life he continually worked to perfect his craft and however he left the creation of weapons mostly up to his son.

Jonathan Moses Browning one of his polygamist children began the real work in creating weapons.  He helped develop automatic weapons and semi-automatic weapons, and is considered one of the founders of the modern assault rifle, and machine gun.

Today you can still visit his gun shop in Nauvoo.


Garr, Arnold, Cannon, Donald Q. and Cowan, Richard O. ed.  Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History. Salt Lake City: Deseret Books. 2000. 145


One Response to Get to know Jonathan Browning

  1. Eric Nielson says:

    Thanks for passing this along. Jonathan Browning is a great, great uncle of mine – or something like that.

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