Josiah Stowell Home
Interior of first floor of home
Roadside marker in town of Afton where the home of Squire Zacharia Tarble once stood. Here Joseph Smith and Emma Hale married. Emma's name is misspelled on the marker as "Emily"
Sign on home
Side shot of home with statue to Joseph Smith to mark his 3-week employment under Stowell and his living in the home for a brief time with Emma
Upstairs bedroom in home
Undated black and white photo of the Squire Zacharia Tarble home in Afton. Has since then been demolished.
Josiah Stowell Home
Marker in front of home
Backstory and Context
"Born in New Hampshire in 1770, Josiah Stowell (also Stoal) eventually moved to and settled in South Bainbridge, Chenango County, New York. Since 1857 the village has been known as Afton. Mr. Stowell hired the Prophet Joseph Smith to assist him in his efforts to look for Spanish treasure. Rumor said that the treasure was buried in the area of Harmony, PA (now Oakland) nearly thirty miles away. Joseph was not long in his employ, at least as one digging for treasure; that job lasted a matter of a few weeks. However, it was during that period when Joseph boarded with the Hale family and met Emma Hale, whom he would later marry.
Joseph Smith’s publishes history notes that Joseph was in Mr. Stowell’s employ when he and Emma were married in January 1827. Tradition holds that Joseph and Emma might have stayed in the Stowell home right after they were married, before moving back to Manchester. Stowell may have been the one to give them a ride there so the newlyweds could stay with Joseph’s parents.
Some Historical accounts note that Stowell accompanied Joseph Knight when he stayed with the family of Joseph Smith Sr. in Manchester, NY on September 21-22, 1827. That was the night that Joseph Smith Jr. received the plates containing the record of the Nephites from Moroni.
Josiah Stowell was baptized into the Church of Christ in 1830. He did not go with most members of the Church when they moved to Ohio in 1831. He eventually moved to Smithboro, Tioga County, NY where he passed away May 12, 1844."