He crossed the plains with his parents in 1860, but was not baptized a member of the Church until 1865.
He became a journeyman printer with the Deseret News, later holding at one time or another almost every job associated with that paper from typesetter to editor. He subsequently became a telegraph operator in Utah and Nevada, a member of the bar, city attorney, county attorney, Church attorney and assistant United States Attorney. He held public office as a justice of the peace and state legislator and gained public attention as an orator and author of wit and eloquence. Besides his numerous editorials and articles, he published several books, including The Practical Politician and Utah As It Is.