Born 18 December 1836 in Kirtland, Ohio, to Brigham Young and Mary Ann Angell, Brigham Young, Jr., was a twin; his sister Mary died at age seven. In 1848, at the age of twelve, he drove an ox team from Winter Quarters, Iowa, to the Great Salt Lake as part of the Mormon migration.
On 15 November 1855 he married Catherine Curtis Spencer; and in early 1857 he married Jane Carrington. He responded to a mission call, serving in England from 1862 to 1863. In 1864 he was ordained an apostle but did not become a member of the Council of the Twelve Apostles until 1868. In April 1864 he was called on another mission to Europe to assist President Daniel H. Wells in the presidency of the European Mission, and Young succeeded Wells as president 1865. His wife Catherine accompanied him; they returned to Salt Lake in the fall of 1867.
In 1868, when Brigham Young took a big grading contract from the Union Pacific Railroad Company, Brigham, Jr., and his brother John W. acted as agents for their father in letting out jobs to subcontractors. Until the disorganization of the Nauvoo Legion in 1870, he also held prominent positions as a military man. After the death of Apostle Ezra T. Benson, Young was called to preside over the LDS Church in Cache Valley, which he did until 1877, when the Cache Stake of Zion was organized. In April 1873 he was chosen as one of the five assistant counselors to President Brigham Young, and he acted in that capacity until his father's death in 1877. He was appointed one of the administrators of his father's estate, winning respect and confidence of many for his just and agreeable handling of the assignment.
In July 1879 Young was adjudged guilty of contemp of court for refusing to deliver certain church properties into the hands of Receiver W.S. McCornick, and he was arrested along with several others. He was released from confinement in the Utah Penitentiary in August 1879.
From 1890 to 1893 Young again served as president of the British Mission. Following his return to Utah, he spent most of his time traveling and visiting various congregation throughout Utah. He died on 11 April 1903 at the age of sixty-six.
Doris F. Salmon