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Kanesville Area

Kanesville Area

Bullock's Grove


Bullock’s Grove is located “in the north half of the northeast quarter of the east section 25, and the south half of the southeast quarter of Section 24, Lewis Township, [and was] found there when the original survey was made in 1852 (1).”  The 1851 Pottawattamie County Survey Maps with Illustrations shows the location of Bullock’s Grove just above Hyde Park.

Bullocks Grove Map


Considering the name of the settlement and its relation to a family of Latter-day Saints who resided there, one concludes that Mormon pioneers were the original inhabitants (2). It was also called Bullock’s Farm (3).  Doubtless, Bullock’s Grove received its name from Benjamin Bullock, Frontier Guardian agent and resident of the settlement (4).

On January 27, 1853, a splinter church, which called itself the Church of Jesus Christ of the New Jerusalem, or “‘The New Church’” for short, advertised its intention of holding “two days meetings . . . monthly at the same place [i.e. Kanesville], and also meetings on the intervening Sabbaths, at Bullocks Grove, or Macedonia, and other places where there are openings for the Elders until further notice.” The article, of which the foregoing is part, is signed by Richard Stephens and Joseph Bardsley, “Presidents of the Church”(5).  By 1852, most, if not all of the faithful Latter-day Saints to have lived at Bullock’s Grove had already moved west (6).

Ezra Bickford and his family left in 1850 with the “William Snow/Joseph Young Company (7).” On 21 August 1850, the Frontier Guardian published the following: “We have received two letters from the two last emigrating companies for the Valley. . . . Ezra Bickford, from Bullock’s Grove in this country, died since the mail came through. . .(8).” No doubt the residents of Bullock’s Grove grieved the loss of their fellow-citizen and brother in the faith.

Asa Bartlett York explains how he helped Mrs. Bickford reach the valley of the Great Salt Lake after her husband’s death:

"Brother Joseph Young was captain of our company that was to cross the plains. He rode a good deal of the way with me as we were very dear friends. I was chosen to drive an ox team across the plains for an aged couple. Brother and Sister Bigfor[d]. This was when I was 18 years old. Brother Bigford was seized with cholera and died, and I helped to bury him near the Platte River. His sorrowing widow [Emily] was then placed in my care and I delivered her safe and sound on the public square in Salt Lake City, Utah, free of charge. This I did willingly and gladly (9).

Isaac Houston, a member of the community at Bullock’s Grove, wrote the following letter to Brigham Young en route to the Salt Lake Valley:

"Houston, Isaac, to Brigham Young, 18 Aug. 1851

Two hundred sixty one and a half miles
From Salt Lake City August 18th, 1851

President Brigham Young

"Dear Sir
I heard yours of the 1st Inst. read on the 10th, with much pleasure and satisfaction, and in answer to your request would say that on the 22nd Day of June last I left Bullocks Grove 8 miles south of Kanesville with my Family with my Son-in-law and Daughter, Brother John Riggs & Family also Br. Edward Duckworth and Lady[.] we came to Platt[e]ville[.]

"Crossed the Mo. River on the 26th[.]

"left the River 27th and on the 29th lef[t] Council Grove, 12 miles this side of s d River. Our little Band consists of the above mentioned together with Isaac Sampson & Family[,] James Lemmon & Family[,] Wm Nelson & Family[,] (& Capt. W m McPhirson & Family[,] also four men with him (viz) Perly Dickinson[,] Thomas McFarlin[,] Wm Reas & Adam--he has two thrashing Machines with him all from Wisconsin)[.] we have all had good hea[l]th as usual and have been blessed of our Heavenly Father and prospered thus far on our way for which we have great re[a]son to be thankful[.] we have not been hindered from traveling but 3 hours by high waters since we crossed the Mo. River[.] we have heard of no sickness on the south Route this Season[.] the Roads have been Dry most of the way[.] Feed not Plenty since we were 100 mils below Fort Laramie. Capt. Mcp[h]erson went throug[h] to the Gold mines last year.

In haste [I] Remain y obet. Servt,

Brother Houston traveled with the William McPherson Company of 1851 (11).


There is no known cemetery at Bullock’s Grove.  However, a documented death did occur.

 On May 29, 1850, The Frontier Guardian newspaper published, “Gardner, Amos, son of Moses J. and Polly Gardner, [died] 23 May 1850, at Bullock’s Grove, of smallpox, 13 years, 2 months, and 19 days.”

Other deaths occurred.

Name Birth Date Death Date
Mary Ruth Riggs Hart 15 Jul 1811 1 Sep 1846
Amos Gardner 23 Mar 1837 23 May 1850
Thomas Giles, Jr. 15 Aug 1789 10 Sep 1851


  1. Allen Wortman, Ghost Towns of Mills County, Iowa(Malvern, Iowa: Wortman, 1975), 74.
  2. Kanesville, Iowa, The Frontier Guardian, 2 October 1850, in Myrtle Stevens Hyde, comp., Kanesville Conditions(Ogden, Utah: Myrtle Stevens Hyde, 1997), 59.
  3. (Joseph) Grassl and Joseph Meyer, Iowa(Hildburghausen: Bibliographischen Instituts, 1852), in David Rumsey Collection v4.0, Myrtle Stevens Hyde, Kanesville Conditions (Ogden, Utah: Myrtle Stevens Hyde, 1997), 83-84, 114.
  4. Kanesville, Iowa, The Frontier Guardian, 2 October 1850, in Hyde, comp., Kanesville Conditions, 59.
  5. Kanesville, Iowa, The Frontier Guardian and Iowa Sentinel, 27 January 1853, in Hyde, comp., Kanesville Conditions, 119.
  6. Kanesville, Iowa, Frontier Guardian, 4 April 1851, 298 reel 21, item 4, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. Lyndon W. Cook, Death and Marriage Notices from the Frontier Guardian, 1849-1852, 9, 31. Kanesville, Iowa, The Frontier Guardian, 2 May 1851, 18 June 1852, in Hyde, comp., Kanesville Conditions, 107, 108, 176.
  8. Kanesville, Iowa, Frontier Guardian, 21 August 1850, p.2, col. 3, in Hyde, comp., Kanesville Conditions, 55.
  9. York, Asa Bartlett, Autobiographical sketch, in Mormon biographical sketches collection [ca. 1900-1975], reel 14, box 20, fd. 4, no. 3, 2. Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah, in Mrs. Bickford’s name was found in the list of individuals traveling in the Snow/Young Company at
  10. Brigham Young, Office Files 1832-1878, reel 31, box 22, fd. 7, Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah, in


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Site of Carterville Cemetery

Site of Carterville Cemetery

Click here to view videos of the Carterville Cemetery.


 “[Carterville’s] site, which is now a farm field, is almost directly east of the Milwaukee railroad tracks at the Greendale crossings. In 1850 and 1852 Cartersville was a flourishing village of about 500 people, and the principal stopping place for the emigrants en route west. The rise of Council Bluffs, then Kanesville, however, soon ended the glory of Cartersville, and rapidly placed it among the list of deserted villages.”(1) Located in Garner Township, (2) Carterville was just two miles from Kanesville. (3)


Carterville was in existence by 1847, and the Mormon pioneers arrived in the region in 1846, so it had to have been established in one of the two years. (4)

 “Cartersville was established by the Mormons emigrating from Illinois to Utah, many of whom stopped to rest in this vicinity.”(5) The early residents included Joseph Young, Robert Calwell, Dominicus Carter, Joseph Kelly, “Mr. Curtis,” Benjamin Waldron, Thomas Waldron, John Walsh, Andrew N. Henderson, Isabella Livingston, Davis Bartholomew, Ruth J. Jones, and possibly T. D. Brown, who performed the marriage of Andrew N. Henderson and Isabella Livingston.(6)

The pioneers built a “new road running between . . . [Kanesville] and Carterville.”(7) In its planning stages, the road was referred to as follows: “It is proposed that a committee of three persons be appointed, one from Carterville, one from Kanesville, and one from Big Pigeon, to examine and determine the most feasable route for a public road leading from the prairie south of Carterville through the latter place, passing through or near Kanesville and extending up the Tabernacle hollow to Little and Big Pigeon. Joseph Kelley, of Carterville, Henry Miller, of Kanesville, and Alvah Benson of Big Pigeon are appointed that committee by a number of citizens from all these places. This is destined to be one of the great thoroughfares threw this county, and calls for energetic measures in relation to it; and this committee are the very men to enter into such measures; and after the work is done, the commissioners will probably sanction it. But it requires to be opened sooner than it can be done by petition. We expect that every public spirited man will be on hand, up and doing while it is called today.”(8)

When the “Traveling Elders” set “a schedule . . . for their visits” around 8 August 1849 they included Carterville in their list of places to minister. (9)

April 3, 1850: Stolen.A valuable set of harness for two horses, (brass mounted,) was stolen from the yard of Mr. Robert Calwell, near Carterville.”(10)

In the issue of the Frontier Guardian for the above date, the following was announced: “The Annual Conference of the Church will commence on Saturday, the 6 th inst., at 10 o’clock, A.M., in the Valley, a little South of Kanesville, on the new road running between the former place and Carterville, if the weather permit.”(11)

“ Davis Bartholomew and Miss Ruth J. Jones [were married] 27 March 1851, at Carterville, by Orson Hyde.”(12)

“Andrew N. Henderson and Isabella Livingston, both natives of Scotland, [were married] 15 May 1851, at Ca[r]terville, by T. D. Brown.” (13)

“Waldron, Thomas A. [died] 30 January 1851 at Carterville, 16 years, 3 months, and 27 days.”(14)

“Walsh, John, a native of Yorkshire, England, 15 October 1851, [died] at the residence of Benjamin Waldron in Carterville, 30 years old.”(15)

“Elder Benson” made an appointment to be at Carterville on Monday, 1 December 1851, starting at 10:00 a.m. His next appointment was the same day at 3:00 p.m. in Springville. The source gives no indication as to the purpose of the appointments. (16)

“ Seymour B. Young’s father [Joseph Young] and family, not having the means necessary to emigrate in 1847, and not obtaining sufficient until three years later, remained in Winter Quarters until the spring of 1848, when, with the rest of the people who were unable to take up their long journey to the mountains, they re-crossed the Missouri river into the State of Iowa. Winter Quarters was then in the Indian Territory and reservation, and hence the Saints were compelled to vacate this temporary abiding place and seek new homes in the State of Iowa.

“During the stay of his father’s family for the three intervening years, Brother Seymour was baptized in 1848, at Carterville, Iowa, by Ezekiel Lee; he also gained his first experience as a cowboy, and like others of his brethren was exposed to the raids of hostile Indians and white cattle thieves. About the middle of June his father’s family bid good-bye to their homes in Pottawattamie county, Iowa, and started for the Valley.”(17)

“The first school ever taught in Pottawattamie county is claimed to have been held in the little Mormon suburb of Kanesville called Carterville. This was in 1847. A Mr. Curtis was the teacher and he contracted to teach for $12 per month, but at close of school was compelled to compromise for a part.”(18)

Possibly three families from Carterville left for the Salt Lake Valley in the Joseph Outhouse Company of 1852. (19)

The first Frontier Guardian agent’s name was Dominicus Carter. (20) On 23 January 1852, B. B. Messenger held the responsibility of Frontier Guardian “agent,” and just six months after, the paper’s title had changed to The Frontier Guardian and Iowa Sentinel, and the paper lists no agent for Carterville. (21)



“Old settlement of Cartersville, a flourishing Mormon village, discovered by workmen while excavating for new railroad. Rev. Henry De Long recalls romantic story of Amelia Meekin, who drowned herself rather than become fifth wife of Joseph Young.

“The human bones which the Great Western graders exhumed east of Greendale a few days ago have proven to be those of Mormon pioneers who were buried in the frontier cemetery at Cartersville, some fifty years ago, says the Council Bluffs, Nonperiel of October 14th. The right of way of the new railroad cuts across a corner of the almost forgotten burying ground, which has for years been used as a cornfield, all visible traces of the old cemetery having disappeared long ago. . .

“During the existence of Cartersville a cemetery was located on the knoll just east of the town, and there it is said that some 200 or 300 people were buried, it then being the only bu[r]ying ground in miles of country. The advent of the Great Western and the cut made by its graders through a corner of the old cemetery has occasioned a refreshing of the memories of the pioneers concerning Cartersville.


“Yesterday afternoon Rev. Henry De Long, who came west with the first Mormon emigration in 1846, visited the place where the graders dug out several skeletons last week, in company with a Nonpariel reporter.

“Mr. De Long has assisted in burying a number of people in the old Cartersville cemetery, and he readily located the ground. The Great Western makes a cut of 12 feet on the east side of the old cemetery, and it was there that the bones were discovered at a depth of four or five feet. Only three or four skeletons were exhumed, however, as just one corner of the cemetery evidently lay within the Great Western right of way. The main portion of the burying ground is in the corn field, just west of the cut, and there, according to Mr. DeLong, some 200 or 300 burials were made. Had the graders cut 20 or 30 feet further into the cemetery there would have been a wholesale disinterment of bones.


“Though 200 or 300 burials seems a rather large number for a small village like Cartersville was, to have in the few years of its existence Rev. Henry DeLong explains his estimate by the fact that it was the only cemetery in this section of the country at that time, and people came from miles around to bury their dead here. Then, too, the death rate among the Mormon pioneers, who had just made the wagon trip across the State from Illinois was great, scores succumbing to the exposure and from scurvy. As far as Mr. DeLong can remember, no plague or contagious disease assisted in filling the cemetery.”(22)

“About 300 Mormons were buried in the Carterville cemetery, about two miles east of Council Bluffs, in the vicinity of Green’s packing house. The grounds were well kept and were in an excellent state of preservation until 1854, when they were abandoned. The cemetery was on the old Mormon trail to Council Bluffs a[n]d was started by Joseph Young when Carterville was a rival for Council Bluffs. When the Great Western railroad entered this city several graves were plowed up. [T]he bones were placed in one box and buried along the right-of-way of the railroad.”(23)

“ Nothing but the bare bones of the skeletons were found in the grave thus opened, however, fifty years of burial having turned practically everything else back to dust again. In a few places along the newly cut embankment traces of the boards of a coffin or burial box may be found, but the onetime boards now crumble to dust at the touch. Around other skeletons no evidence whatever of a coffin could be discovered. Rev. DeLong explains this by the fact that in the pioneer days, when Cartersville existed, coffins were unknown to this part of the country, and that it was only rarely that boards could be obtained with which to make even a burial box. Thus, probably the majority of the interments at the Cartersville cemetery were made with the body wrapped in clothes and blankets.


“All the bones that have been brought to light, and they still remain piled in small heaps along the embankment made by the graders last week, are evidently those of adult white males. They are still in a good state of preservation, though stained a copper color by the action of the clay in which they were buried.

“Concerning the Cartersville cemetery, Mr. DeLong says that he remembers it to have been in good condition as late as 1854, at which time many of the graves had wooden headboards, and a number of them were fenced in with wooden picket fences, as was the custom at that time. Later, however, it rapidly passed into decay, and just when the last traces of its existence as a cemetery were obliterated cannot now be recalled.
The failure to maintain the cemetery is largely explained by the fact that nearly all of the burials were from Mormon families, which soon after moved on to Utah, thus leaving no one in this vicinity directly concerned in the cemetery or its continuance. Then, too, the desertion of Cartersville also practically ended the burials there. When the cemetery was established it was on government land, and, in fact, the first surveys were not made until about 1854. It is probable that nearly all the headboards and fences had disappeared before the land was ever put under cultivation. In any event, the cemetery ground has been used as a grain field for many years.


[1846] The travel was slow. I think there were about ten families of us. We had not as yet an organized camp, but we went on until we neared Council Bluffs and camped one afternoon on what was called Mosquito Creek. Our second son, [Lachonius Moroni] eleven years old, took his fish hook and line as he always did when we camped on a stream and went to the creek. He caught quite a string of fish and came up to the wagon and gave them to his older brother. Then he came to me and said, "Oh, mother, my head aches so it seems all on fire." It was about the middle of July and whether it was a sun stroke or brain fever, we could not tell. Of course, we could not travel on. We did everything we could under the circumstances, but he died on the third of August. This was indeed a trying ordeal to have to bury our dear boy here in the wilderness. There were four families who stayed with us. It was night when the boy died, and we were alone in the wagon except my husband's cousin, Orlin Colvin. I happened to have some fine bleached cloth, and I made his clothes and dressed him. Brother Blodget took the side boards of our wagon and made him a decent coffin. We had funeral services, and he was laid in the silent grave on a little hill from where he caught his last fish. There was one other little grave there where someone had buried a child but the grave was not marked."(24)

Because he was born in the area and was a young boy, it can be assumed that Lachonius passed away near Carterville.


The most publicized burial at the Carterville cemetery was, supposedly, Amelia Meekin.  The following was published in the Salt Lake Tribune October 18, 1902, headlined, “Fate of Amelia Meekin:”  “Of the burials at the Cartersville cemetery, Rev. Henry DeLong could yesterday recall the name of but one person, that of Amelia Meekin, beautiful young Mormon woman who committed suicide by jumping into Mosquito Creek, near where Green’s packing house now stands.  Amelia’s parents had insisted on her marrying Joseph Young, one of Brigham Young’s disciples, who was the leader of the Cartersville colony.  Now Joseph already had four wives, and Amelia objected strenuously to becoming the fifth.  After a few days at the Young home, where she found that she was not the only one in the affection of her husband, she returned to the household of her parents.  The Meekins, however, insisted on Amelia returning to the Young home.  She accordingly left the house, but instead of returning to the arms of Joseph Young, Amelia proceeded forthwith to the banks of Mosquito Creek where she took off her wedding gown and plunged into the water.  Her body was found a day or two afterward and interred in the cemetery which has just been relocated.” The legend has been further propagated on a current website.

As so often is the case, the truth is distorted and the story proliferates.  Hannah Cordelia Mecham (called Amelia Meekin in the above story) was the second child of Joseph Mecham and Hannah Ladd Tyler.  She was born October 15, 1829 in Lawrence, St. Lawrence, New York.  In the middle 1830’s, the Mecham family moved to Pennsylvania.  It was here they were converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Subsequently, they moved to Kirtland, Ohio, Jackson County, Missouri, and Nauvoo, Illinois.  While in Nauvoo, Joseph married Elizabeth Bovee on January 9, 1845.  In 1846, the families had left Nauvoo, crossed Iowa, and settled in the Kanesville area.  Hannah Ladd Tyler Mecham died December 7, 1846.  Because of her mother’s death, Hannah Cordelia may have been responsible for raising her younger siblings, especially the youngest, Caroline. 

Hannah Cordelia became the second wife of William Furlsbury Carter.  The couple was married by Brigham Young January 31, 1847.  Hannah Cordelia’s life ended on April 3, 1847.  One account of this incident by Charlotte York Carter was told to Christa Lillis Wilkins Givens in about 1940.  Charlotte was the youngest child in the family of William F. and Sarah York Carter and she heard the story from her brother, Peter York Carter.  “She [Hannah Cordelia Mecham] was drowned in a creek of water by her own hands as the evidence shows, she had trouble with her father over her baby sister she had been a mother to since her own mother’s death.  The child wanted to go with Hannah as she was the only mother the child had known.  The father would not agree to it so they had quarreled.  She left to return home with Peter York Carter, who was the oldest son of William F. and Sarah York, who had taken her to see her father to get the child when they were crossing the creek, which was not far from her father’s place.  She told Peter she would like to go back and make things right with her father, he wanted to go with her but she insisted he should not go.  She told him she thought she could do more with her father by going back alone, so he let her go.  She did not return that night and the next day some of her clothes were found on the bank of the creek.  Her body was found floating in the creek.  Her father did not want her to marry, he thought it was her duty to stay with him and keep his home.  It was never known just what happened, as her father would never say whether she did return and they had more trouble or if they made things right.  It looked as though she was broken hearted over this trouble and ended her life.”

Carterville Births





Bartholomew, Henry

9 May 1852

Bartholomew, Davis

Jones, Ruth Ives

Caldwell, Mary E.

22 Sep 1851

Caldwell, Robert

Pollock, Mary W.

Carter, Isaac Morley

2 Jun 1851

Carter, Dominicus

Mecham, Sylvia

Carter, Mary Jane

4 Jun 1850

Carter, Dominicus

Durfee, Mary Ette

Carter, Wilford W.

13 Nov 1848

Carter, Dominicus

Durfee, Mary Ette

Casto, Brigham

21 Oct 1850

Casto, Matthew Galland

Galland, Mary

Casto, George Ezra

25 Feb 1849

Casto, Matthew Galland

Galland, Mary

Casto, Isaac Franklin

Nov 1850

Casto, James

Odedkirk, Sara Melissa

Casto, Matthew W

25 Mar 1848

Casto, Matthew Galland

Galland, Mary

Durfee, Celestia Ann

21 Sep 1847

Durfee, Abraham

Curtis, Ursula

Durfee, Mahala  Ruth

17 May 1850

Durfee, Abraham

Curtis, Ursula

Halliday, Lydia Ellen

10 Apr 1851

Halliday, William

Blackhurst, Lydia Ellen

Harley, Hannah Elizabeth

16 May 1848

Harley, Edwin

Harris, Thirza Bowen

Harley, Thirza Maria

7 Feb 1850

Harley, Edwin

Harris, Thirza Bowen

Hennefer, Phoebe

17 Apr 1852

Hennefer, James

Hulks, Sarah Ann

Johnson, Charlotte Elizabeth

13 Jan 1853

Johnson, Luke S.

Clark, America Morgan

Johnson, Mark Anthony

10 Nov 1851

Johnson, Luke S.

Clark, America Morgan

Johnson, Orson Albert

14 Feb 1850

Johnson, Luke S.

Clark, America Morgan

Johnson, Susan Marinda

9 Aug 1848

Johnson, Luke S.

Clark, America Morgan

Kelley, Lydia

20 Nov 1846

Kelley, Joseph

Huckins, Abiah

Kelley, Orson

31 Mar 1849

Kelley, Joseph

Huckins, Abiah

Lee, Daniel Carter

16 Jan 1850

Lee, William H.

Carter, Harriet A.

McCauslin, Sally


McCauslin, Jesse Temple

Bennett, Mary Jane

McCauslin, William Younger


McCauslin, Jesse Temple

Bennett, Mary Jane

Messinger, Barnum Brigham

21 Jan 1849

Messinger, Barnum Blake

Howard, Louisa Brooks

Miller, Chillion Letts

29 Nov 1848

Miller, Reuben

Letts, Rhoda Ann

Tracy, James Thomas

20 Jun 1850

Tracy, Silas Horace

Bebee, Susan Almira

Tracy, Lachonius Moroni

14 Jul 1851

Tracy, Moses

Alexander, Nancy Naomi

Waldron, Levi Savage

7 Jul 1850

Waldron, Benjamin

Savage, Emeline

Wilson, James Perry

21 Jul 1852

Wilson, Lewis Dunbar

Waldo, Sarah Ellen


Carterville Marriages






20 May 1850

Baum, Jacob


Sperry, Mrs. Elizabeth


13 Dec 1849

Brown, Cornelius


Carter, Mrs. Hannah


27 Nov 1849

Carpenter, William H.


Wetherbee, Cynthia T.


25 Jun 1849

Casto, James


Oudercourk (Odekirk), Sarah


21 Mar 1851

Davis, Bartholomew


Jones, Ruth Ives


26 Mar 1849

Ensign, Marius


McKee, Eliza Ann


25 May 1850

Halliday, William


Blackhurst, Lydia Ellen


14 May 1851

Henderson, Andrew Neil


Livingstone, Isabella


11 Mar 1849

Lee, William H.


Carter, Harriet A.


16 Jan 1851

Maycock, James


Leslie, Mrs. Ann


4 Apr 1849

McCausland (McCauslin), Jesse


Bennett, (Mary) Jane


15 Jun 1849

Tracy, (Silas) Horace


Beeby (Bebee), Almelia


3 Feb 1852

VanLeuven, Hiram


Bennett, Nancy Ellen


24 Jul 1849

Williams, John


Jones, Mary



Carterville Burials


Death Date

Baum, Agnes Nancy Harris 11 Sep 1846

Carter, Hannah Cordelia Mecham

3 Apr 1847

Carter, Baby

26 Aug 1847

Carter, Isaac Morley


Carter, Sophronia Babcock

26 Aug 1847

Carter, Wilford W.

23 Apr 1849

Casto, Matthew W

27 Mar 1848

Durfee, Magdalena Pickle

17 May 1850

Durham, LaCrecia (Tempey)

13 Feb 1849

Hennefer, Charlotte


Kelley, Lydia

6 Apr 1848

Kelley, Matilda Hull

20 Dec 1848

Tracy, James Thomas

20 Jun 1850

Wilson, James Perry

24 Sep 1852

Wilson, Nancy Ann Waggoner

18 Jul 1851


Other Residents

Bennett , James
Booth, John
Calkins , Israel Jr.
Calkins , Israel Sr.
Carter, Hannah
Cluff , David
Craw, Orin Esty
Durfee , Jabez
Hennefer, William
Jones, Mary
Kelsey , Eli Brazee
Pincock, Ellen
Starr, Jared
Van Leuven , Cornelius
Voorhees , Elisha
Williams , John




  1. “‘ Old Mormon Cemetery’: Railroad Graders in Iowa Unearth Bones. Once Town, now Cornfield,” The Salt Lake Tribune ( Salt Lake City, Utah), 18 October 1902, in
  2. Homer H. Field, History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa: From the Earliest Historic Times to 1907 (Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1907), 1:192, 194, microfilm #900 no. 148, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
  3. Hosea B. Horn, Horn's overland guide from the U.S. Indian Sub-Agency, Council Bluffs, on the Missouri River to the City of Sacramento, in California : containing a table of distances, and showing all the rivers, creeks, lakes, springs, mountains, hills, camping-places, and other prominent objects; with remarks on the country, roads, timbers, grasses, curiosities, etc.; the entire route having been tracked by a road measurer, and the distances from place to place, and from the Missouri river, accurately ascertained; with a complete and accurate map, ( New York : J.H. Colton, 1853), in Orson Hyde, ed., Frontier Guardian, Kanesville, Iowa, 3 April 1850, in Myrtle Stevens Hyde, Kanesville Conditions (Ogden, Utah: Myrtle Stevens Hyde, 1997), 114.
  4. Gail George Holmes, Old Council Bluff(s): Mormon Developments, 1846-1853, in the Missouri and Platte River Valleys of SW Iowa & E Nebraska ( Omaha, Nebraska: Omaha LDS Institute of Religion, 2000), 1; Field, History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa: From the Earliest Historic Times to 1907, 1:194.
  5. “‘ Old Mormon Cemetery’: Railroad Graders in Iowa Unearth Bones. Once Town, now Cornfield,” The Salt Lake Tribune ( Salt Lake City, Utah), 18 October 1902, in
  6. Orson Hyde, ed., Frontier Guardian, 3 April 1850, in Myrtle Stevens Hyde, Kanesville Conditions, 43; Orson Hyde, ed., Frontier Guardian, 4 April 1851, Microfilm #293, reel 21, item 4, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; Orson Hyde, ed., Frontier Guardian, 27 June 1849, in Myrtle Stevens Hyde, Kanesville Conditions, 20; Field, History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa: From the Earliest Historic Times to 1907, 1:194; Lyndon W. Cook, comp., Death and Marriage Notices from theFrontier Guardian, 1849-1852 (Orem, Utah: Center for Research of Mormon Origins, 1991[?]), 21, 32, 33; and in Myrtle Stevens Hyde, Kanesville Conditions, 71, 75;
  7. Orson Hyde, ed., Frontier Guardian, Kanesville, Iowa, 3 April 1850, in Myrtle Stevens Hyde, Kanesville Conditions, 44.
  8. Frontier Guardian, 27 June 1849, in Kanesville Conditions, 19-20.
  9. Frontier Guardian, 8 August 1849, in Kanesville Conditions, 25.
  10. Frontier Guardian, 3 April 1850, in Kanesville Conditions, 43. In the United States Federal Census, 1850, Mr. Calwell’s name is spelled “Colwell.”
  11. Frontier Guardian, 3 April, 1850, in Kanesville Conditions, 44.
  12. Frontier Guardian, 4 April 1851, in Kanesville Conditions, 71, and in Lyndon W. Cook, comp., Death and Marriage Notices from theFrontier Guardian, 1849-1852, 32.
  13. Frontier Guardian, 16 May 1851, in Kanesville Conditions, 75, and in Death and Marriage Notices from theFrontier Guardian, 1849-1852, 33.
  14. Frontier Guardian, 7 February 1851, and in Death and Marriage Notices from theFrontier Guardian, 1849-1852, 21.
  15. Frontier Guardian, 31 October 1851, in Kanesville Conditions, 88, and in Death and Marriage Notices from the Frontier Guardian, 1849-1852, 8.
  16. Frontier Guardian, 28 November 1851, in Kanesville Conditions, 89.
  18. Field, History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa: From the Earliest Historic Times to 1907, 1:194.
  20. Frontier Guardian, 2 October 1850, in Kanesville Conditions, 58.
  21. Jacob Dawson, ed., Frontier Guardian and Iowa Sentinel, Kanesville, Iowa, 18 June 1852, in Myrtle Stevens Hyde, Kanesville Conditions, 105.
  22. “‘ Old Mormon Cemetery’: Railroad Graders in Iowa Unearth Bones. Once Town, now Cornfield,” The Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City, Utah), 18 October 1902, in
  24. Narrative by Nancy N. Tracy, holograph, Bancroft Library.
  25. “‘ Old Mormon Cemetery’: Railroad Graders in Iowa Unearth Bones. Once Town, now Cornfield,” The Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City, Utah), 18 October 1902, in This last story sounds rather dramatized. Checking, however, I did find a record confirming that Joseph Young had four wives when he was living in Carterville. So, whether this girl wore her wedding dress for days after her wedding or not, the detail of the number of wives Joseph Young had is likely to be correct.


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The names of those who are recorded as having lived in Centerville the following: Isaac Caulkins, Edwin Harley, William J. Jolly and Dr. L. Johnson. Each was living there in 1849. (1)

“Dr. L. Johnson, of Centerville . . . [offered] his professional services [as a ‘botanical physician'] to the afflicted portion of the citizens of Pottawatamie county. From the success that has attended his professional labors heretofore, particularly in surgery and obstetics, he feels a confident assurance in the management of the most difficult cases; and also feels competent to manage most diseases incident to this climate.” (2)

Of the few individuals known to have lived in Centerville, only one has information available on concerning his travel to Utah. He, Edwin Harley, left in an unidentified wagon company in 1852. (3)

Since these individuals are the same as the ones in Carterville, it is possible that Centerville became Carterville and are not two separate places.  This is from the Pottawattamie High Priests List:

If you look closely you might see both names--Centerville and Carterville.


  1. Orson Hyde, ed., Frontier Guardian, 7 February-2 May 1849, quoted in Myrtle Stevens Hyde, comp., Kanesville Advertisements (Ogden, Utah: Myrtle Stevens Hyde, 1993), 2, 20, 26.
  2. Orson Hyde, ed., Frontier Guardian, 7 February-2 May 1849, quoted in Myrtle Stevens Hyde, comp., Kanesville Advertisements (Ogden, Utah: Myrtle Stevens Hyde, 1993), 2.


List of community residents forthcoming


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Council Point

Council Point


“This place [Council Point] is about four miles up the Missouri River from . . . Kanesville.” (1)

The town site was located on a bend in the Missouri River. The Frontier Guardian of 31 October 1849 made clear that the public had legal access to a grove of cottonwoods along the river bottoms north of this bend, and that “None have the claim or right to prevent the citizens of Kanesville and its vicinity from going to the said cottonwoods to get what wood and timber they choose.” (2)

The site is located in the “southwest quarter of section 15, township 74, range 44.” (3) The town was near the Middle Mormon Ferry on the Missouri River. “This was a river port." (4)


“Council Point was the first Latter-day Saint town built in the Middle Missouri Valley. It was built in 1846 near the site of the flood demolished 1842/1843 Fort Croghan.

“Council Point was a support town, perhaps a quarter mile west of present Lake Manawa, for the first or Middle Mormon Ferry over the Missouri River. That ferry was south of today's south Omaha (Highway 92) Bridge. Another middle ferry was built further south, between Point aux poules (Traders Point) and Bellevue, but we don't know if it was established by the LDS or by American Fur Company factor at Bellevue, Peter Sarpy.

“Perhaps most unique of Council Point businesses was a rope walk, where hemp was used for the manufacture of rope and cordage. . . .

“Council Point was the most cosmopolitan of LDS towns in Iowa. More than 8,000 LDS from Europe landed at Council Point by steamboat from New Orleans . . . .

“Among the European Saints were more than 160 from Wales. A Welsh Tabernacle was built, probably a little northwest of Council Point.

“There was a warehouse at Council Point where immigrants could store their belongings while they looked for work and a way to gather wagons, oxen, food, tents, and supplies for the 1000-mile trek to the Salt Lake Valley.” (5)

One book claims that Council Point was simply another name for Council Bluffs, but from primary sources, this claim can be dismissed. (6)

“When the Mormons reached that locality, June, 1846, they found the little village of Council Point already named.” (7)

“Council Point was built by the Latter-day Saints in 1846.” (8)

“Council Point, Emigrant Landing, Welsh Tabernacle Sites:

“First LDS town built in Middle Missouri Valley, support town for Middle Mormon Ferry.” (9)

“May 8, 1847, they [Horace Fish and family] started west again and arrived at the place where they had decided to locate—Council Point—on the 23 rd day of May. This place is about four miles up the Missouri River from Council Bluffs or, as it was then called, Kanesville. Here they remained for three years.” (10)

“It was here in 1846 that acting bishops were named to look after needy Latter-day Saint refugees, particularly the families who were left behind when the Mormon Battalion marched off to New Mexico and California in the Mexican War.

“This was a river port. A steamboat dock was located on a north elbow of the Missouri, then about two blocks south of here, about four blocks west of where Lake Manawa is today. It was called Emigrant's Landing because nearly eight thousand European Latter-day Saints landed here in the late 1850s and early 1850s.

“After the start of the 1849 gold rush, great quantities of merchandise coming by steamboat up river from St. Louis, were landed at Council Point. Large merchandise and supply houses flourished in Kanesville (now downtown Council Bluffs).

“Near the Landing was Reuben Allred's rope walk. . . . The north bank of the river where the boat landing and the rope walk were located is still visible, if you look west from South 20 th Street about three blocks south of Gifford. . . .

“ Fort Croghan was built here by the United States Dragoons in 1842, but it was nearly all washed away by floodwaters the next year. After the Mormons left for the West in the mid 1850s, Council Point and the Welsh Tabernacle were also washed away by floodwaters.” (11)

“Artemus Millet, of Council Point, and Mrs. Nancy Leemaster, of Silver Creek, [were married] 11 March 1849, at Kanesville, by Orson Hyde. (Frontier Guardian, 21 March 1849)” (12)

“James W. Webb and Mrs. Sarah C. Botsford, both of Council Point, [were married] 1 July 1849, at Council Point, by William Snow.” (13)

A rather singular occurrence was noted in the 5 September 1849 number of The Frontier Guardian. About two hundred students from “three schools [met] at the Tabernacle [in Kanesville], one from Council point, taught by Mr. Brown and two at this place [Kanesville], taught by Mr. Grant and Mr. Poulterer.” The students marched to the Tabernacle from “about a quarter of a mile distant . . . after a splendid band of music, with beautiful banners and various and appropriate inscriptions thereon,” and after a picnic lunch (“dinner”), they displayed their feats of scholarship, to the reported great enjoyment of those present. (14)

An inflammatory article in The Frontier Guardian on 21 February 1851 accused Indians of “enter[ing] unprotected houses, and rob[bing] them of every thing most valuable, which we hear they have done to Council Point.” (15)

A citizen of Council Point, “Dr. George Coulson . . . closed by prayer” a meeting of elders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at “the Grove” on Sunday, 20 April 1851. (16)

“One of the severest gales ever known in this section of country, passed over our town [Kanesville] on Wednesday evening, the 16 th inst., between the hours of seven and eight o'clock. In aspect it threatened the demolition of houses and the entire destruction of crops. The wind blew terrific—the thunder and lightning was tremendous, while the rain fell in torrents for about half an hour. . . .

“The people of Ferryville, and Council Point, shared in common with the rest; miles of fences were thrown down through the violence of the wind, leaving the crops exposed to the mercy of the numerous herds of cattle ranging around them at this season of the year. Our farmers are busily engaged in repairing their fences, so as to secure their crops from any further damage.” (17)

A Mr. D. S. lived in Council Point and dispensed advice concerning how to make one's wagon more perfectly through The Frontier Guardian.(18)

The majority of the families of Council Point left with the John Tidwell Company of 1852. (19)

Council Point did have a Frontier Guardian representative. In April 1851, it was James Allred. In June of the same year, it was George Coulson. Something odd occurred between 17 October and 28 November 1851, because on the latter date, the Guardian lists no representative for Council Point. (20) On 23 January of 1852, the Guardianhas Mr. Tidwell listed as being its representative in Council Point. In June 1852, when the paper had changed hands and had become The Frontier Guardian and Iowa Sentinel, it was still Mr. Tidwell who served as the “agent.” (21)

The Frontier Guardian of 7 February 1849 advised that “Emigrants to this place [Kanesville], by the Missouri River, should land at Council Point, some three miles above Trading Point or Bellevue. . . . This is the most eligible point on the river for the accommodation of emigrants to get removed to their friends in the various settlements in this region, and also the nearest point to this place.” (22)

The Frontier Guardian proclaimed to “all our principle business men . . . [that the] Kanesville Landing is at Council Point,” indicating that shipments to Kanesville should be dropped off at Council Point. (23) Hence one reason Council Point was so important. Another indication of the town's importance is the sheer number of times it is mentioned in The Frontier Guardian.(24)

“Tabernacle for saints coming from Wales in British Isles just NW of Council Point. Emigrant Landing probably built in 1838 as landing for Government Farm of 40 (later 80) acres to show Pottawattamie/Ottawa/Chippewa Indians how to live without hunting, which had angered older residential tribes of this district (Oto-Missouri & Omaha in Nebraska; Sac-Fox in N Central Iowa; Dakota Sioux in SE S Dakota). Here, more than 8,000 LDS used hemp to manufacture cord, rope, and hemp cable. The cable was used as guide ropes between the Iowa dugway and Nebraska dugways for the Middle Mormon Ferry, pushed back and forth between shores by force of river flow. The dugways allowed loading and unloading without river flow moving the properly caulked boat, capable of carrying two loaded wagons and teams. Here Abraham Lincoln landed in 1859 a few months before he was elected U.S. President. . . . See marker with text South of Gifford Road and just west of 1 st farm driveway south.” (25)

“Council Point, roughly halfway between present Lake Manawa and Twin City Plaza, south and southwest of Kanesville/Council Bluffs, was built in June 1846 as a support town to Middle Mormon Ferry. It was the third most important LDS community in the Missouri Valley.

“Welsh Tabernacle later was built in or near Council Point. West of the town was Middle Mormon Ferry, built between June 15 and 29. . . . A steady stream of ox-drawn covered wagons passed Council Point on their way, day and night, to the Middle Ferry. They crossed the Missouri River, continued on west four miles and waited at Cold Spring Camp for the signal to continue on to Grand Island, Nebraska territory or on to the Rocky Mountains.”

“Emigrant Landing was about a quarter mile south-southeast of Council Point. . . . Davis Hardin and family, including teen-age boys, opened the [government] farm in 1837 . . .

“The Pottawattamie (who far outnumbered the Ottawa and Chippewa) had agreed in Washington, D.C. treaty negotiations just weeks before the LDS arrived, to give up southwest Iowa and remove to northeast Kansas in 1847. The steamboat landing likely remained and was used by more than 8000 European LDS coming from western Europe and the British Isles. Contract ships took them to New Orleans. Then they were transported up the Mississippi and Missouri to southwest Iowa by steamboats to Emigrant Landing.

“Here they landed to find a warehouse for their goods and to make arrangements to buy wagons, oxen and other supplies for the trek to the Great Salt Lake Valley. Or, they were parceled out to more than 80 communities in southwest Iowa where they might work for one or two years to earn and gather the equipment and supplies they needed to move on west.

“A rope walk near Emigrant Landing, established by Reuben Allred, is where the great ropes were manufactured for the Middle Mormon Ferry. Substantial farming also was done around Council Point, but large supplies of grain were brought to Emigrant Landing by travelers from St. Louis. Some of them didn't know, in the late 1840's and early 1850's, they would find large supplies of grain and flour produced by LDS communities. Further south, where Mosquito Creek ran into the Missouri River, east across the Missouri from Bellevue, was Jonathan Browning's gunsmithing shop. There probably were many other business ventures in and around Emigrant Landing and Council Point of which, over the years, we have lost trace.

“We do know, however, that when Abraham Lincoln visited Council Bluffs in 1859 he was able to hire a buggy to take him four miles north, past tall corn fields and patches of sunflowers, from what the LDS had called Emigrant Landing to Council Bluffs, which in 1853 had replaced the name Kanesville. Today, if you want non-LDS to know what you are talking about, you need to refer to Emigrant Landing as Lincoln 's Landing.” (26)

The following is a direct quote from a facsimile of an advertisement in The Frontier Guardian, the newspaper published at Kanesville during the Saints' stay in the Middle Missouri Valley:


Reuben H. Allred, has erected an extensive Rope-walk at Council Point, directly on the river, near the emigrant landing; and is prepared to supply merchants, citizens, and emigrants with all kinds of rope and cordage, from a fish line to a cable. Rope of various kinds constantly on hand, and manufactured to order. He solicits the patronage of a generous and liberal public.

The rope walk later changed hands twice, to be owned by John F. L. Allred and later by Orrin D. Farlin. (27)

Council Point-A place shown on maps from 1855-1868 near the shore of Lake Manawa some three miles south of the business section of Council Bluffs.” (28)

James Needham opened a “dry goods and groceries” store in Council Point around the end of July 1849. (29)

Charles Bird, a resident of the Council Point area, put up “for sale his improvement, situated at the landing at Council Point, said farm [having] been under cultivation for about fourteen years, containing eighty acres of well improved land, has about thirty-five acres of wheat growing, most of it was sown in August, also four dwelling houses; one good barn, corn cribs, root house, &c., and all out houses that is calculated to make a farmer comfortable. Any person wishing to purchase, so as to double his money cannot do better than call; for the price will be so that I think the grain on the ground will refund the money advanced and have the farm clear. Call and see for yourselves.

“Council Point, Jan. 9, 1850.” (30)

A group of teamsters who contracted to haul freight for a local merchant met at Council Point on Tuesday, 6 May 1851 to organize and start their journey west. (31) They probably met at Council Point because of the ferry there.

William Watts posted a very sad notice in The Frontier Guardian issue of 6 February 1852. He advised “all whom it may concern, not to harbor or trust; on my account, my wife, ELIZABETH WATTS, who has left my bed and board, without any just cause or provocation, as I shall pay no debts of her contracting after this date.” (32)

Council Point served also as a disembarking site for gold rushers traveling up the Missouri river by boat. (33)

Cholera broke out five miles from Council Point in May 1849. “[Four people] died very suddenly. There are two or three cases more reported up to Saturday last.

“Every person should keep free from fear if possible, as this is a powerful auxiliary to help on the disease. Be temperate in your labor, moderate in exercise, calm in your feelings, and guard against exposure. If you are troubled with diarrhea, check it as soon as you can, for this is almost invariable precedes the more powerful attack.” (34)

As many pioneers needed things made of iron, including “irons for yokes . . . chains, and various other repairs . . . Dr. George Coulson, of Council Point” showed wisdom, whether he knew it or not, in opening his blacksmith shop in Council Point, where so many pioneers went in order to cross the river and start on their journey west. (35)

Council Point was the endpoint for an 1850 mail route that began in Eddyville and stopped at “Half-way Prairie, Clark 's Point, Wynaldville, Charlton Point, Pisga, Nichnabotna, Silver Creek and Kanesville” along the way. (36)

“Main part of Council Point would have been just north of the present tiny segment of Gifford Road linking 24th and 20th Streets.” (37)

“South of Council Bluffs at Gifford Rd, just off South 24 th St, west of Lake Manawa. . . . The road connecting Council Point (then about an eighth of a mile north of the Missouri River) to Kanesville ran NNE, lined with houses referred to as String Town. The road is linked to today's W Graham Ave, over bluffs to E Graham Ave and north on now S 1 st Street (then Hyde St ) to Kanesville business district.” (38)

“Middle Mormon Ferry Site:

“Half mile south of E end of South Omaha Bridge (Hwy 92); first of three LDS ferries over the Missouri River. Project started June 15, ferry with properly caulked boat started officially July 1, 1846. Boat tested at night only by general authorities of the Church June 29. It was to haul powder, shot, and guns out of Iowa and into Nebraska territory, then designated by Congress as ‘Indian Country.'” (39)

“‘At Council Point, west of Manawa, a settlement of Mormons started a cemetery in 1848. A large number of them were buried there while the Mormons occupied this section of the county. After the cemetery wa[s] abandoned it was in after years washed into the river, and the exact location of it could hardly be determined at this date.

“‘In 1850 another burying ground was established by George Schofield on a farm owned by him about three miles northeast of Council Bluffs. Several of his family and relatives were first buried there, after which it became a public cemetery. It is still in existence an[d] is occasionally used now. William Garner, a veteran of the Meican war and one of the three men who built the Ogden hotel, in 1870 started a cemetery adjoining the one on the Sch[o]field farm. [G]arner and many of his relatives are buried there. There is a fine monument which marks the Garner grave.

“‘In 1852 D. V. Clark [e]stablished a cemetery on the Lincoln Avenue road about a mile and a half south of the city limits. Several members of his family are buried there and the place is now in good condition. It is occasionally used now.” (40)

The following died and were probably buried at Council Point:

“Allred, John F. I., 17 July 1850 at Council Point, of cholera, 23 years old. (Frontier Guardian, 7 August 1850)

“Clouson, George, Dr., 8 October 1851, at Council Point, of congestive fever, 50 years and 18 days (Frontier Guardian, 17 October 1851)

“Farlin, Orliva, daughter of Orrin D. and Falvilla Farlin, 8 January 1852, at Council Point, 19 Months old (Frontier Guardian, 20 February 1852).

“Matthews, George W., infant son of James and Mary Matthews, 24 July 1851, at Council Point, 3 months and 18 days (Frontier Guardian 8 August 1851.

“Muir, James, 15 July 1850, at Council Point, 21 years and 4 months (Frontier Guardian, 24 July 1850).

“Raymond, Elizabeth, wife of Samuel G. Raymond, 2 November 1850, at Council Point, 40 years, 6 months, and 10 days (Frontier Guardian, 25 December 1850).

“Smith, Jane, late from England, 31 December 1850, at Council Point, of acute bronchitis, 21 years old (Frontier Guardian, 8 January 1851).” (41)



  1. Joseph F. McGregor, “Short History of My Grandfather Fish and Family,” (7 August 1941), 3, MSS Film 920 no. 1, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
  2. “Cottonwoods,” Orson Hyde, ed., (Kanesville, now Council Bluffs, Iowa), in Myrtle Stevens Hyde, comp., Kanesville Conditions (Ogden, Utah: Myrtle Stevens Hyde, 1997), 33-34.
  3. David C. Mott, “Abandoned Towns, Villages and Post Offices of Iowa,” Annals of Iowa (July 1911), 64.
  4. “Council Point: Early Mormon Settlement” (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1995).
  5. “Council Point was Most Cosmopolitan LDS Town."
  6. Conrey Bryson, Winter Quarters (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1986), 59; compare Orson Hyde, ed., Frontier Guardian (Kanesville, now Council Bluffs, Iowa), 7 August 1850 (shows that Kanesville was a different place from Council Bluffs because this number says, “Our Democratic friends at Council Bluffs, came here on election day,” [Emphasis added.]), in Myrtle Hyde, comp., Conditions, 54; “Agents for the Guardian and Sentinel in Pottawatamie County,” Jacob Dawson, ed., Frontier Guardian and Iowa Sentinel (Kanesville, now Council Bluffs, Iowa), 18 June 1852, in Myrtle Hyde, comp., Conditions, 105; “Public Meeting,” Dawson, ed., Guardian and Sentinel, 28 October 1852, in Myrtle Hyde, comp., Conditions, 109-10.
  7. Charles H. Babbitt, Early Days at Council Bluffs ( Washington, D.C. : Byron S. Adams, 1916), 66.
  8. “Council Point: Early Mormon Settlement,” (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1995).
  9. Gail George Holmes, Old Council Bluff(s): Mormon Developments, 1846-1853, in the Missouri and Platte River Valleys of SW Iowa & E Nebraska( Omaha, Nebr. : Omaha LDS Institute of Religion, 2000), 62.
  10. McGregor, “Short History of My Grandfather Fish and Family,” (7 August 1941), 3.
  11. “Council Point: Early Mormon Settlement” (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1995).
  12. “Married,” Orson Hyde, ed., (Kanesville, now Council Bluffs, Iowa ), in Lyndon W. Cook, comp., Death and Marriage Notices from theFrontier Guardian, 1849-1852 ( Orem, Utah : Center for Research of Mormon Origins, c1990), 24, in Myrtle Stevens Hyde, comp., Conditions, 12.
  13. “Married,” Orson Hyde, ed., Guardian, 11 July 1849, in Cook, comp., Death and Marriage Notices, 25, in Myrtle Hyde, comp., Conditions, 22.
  14. “Saturday Last,” Orson Hyde, ed., in Myrtle Hyde, comp., Conditions, 28.
  15. “Rushes and Indian Depredations,” Orson Hyde, ed., in Myrtle Hyde, comp., Conditions, 68.
  16. “Adjourned Conference,” Orson Hyde, ed., Guardian, 2 May 1851, in Myrtle Hyde, comp., Conditions, 72-73.
  17. “A Gale,” Orson Hyde, ed., Guardian, 25 July 1851, in Myrtle Hyde, comp., Conditions, 81.
  18. Orson Hyde, ed., 22 August 1851, in Myrtle Hyde, comp., Conditions, 84.
  20. “Agents for the Guardian in this County,” Orson Hyde, ed., in Myrtle Hyde, comp., Conditions, 89.
  21. “Agents for the Guardian in this County,” Orson Hyde, ed., The Frontier Guardian, 4 April 1851, microfilm # 298 reel 21, item 4, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; “Agents for the Guardian in this County,” Orson Hyde, ed., The Frontier Guardian, 13 June 1851, in Myrtle Stevens Hyde, comp., Conditions, 76; “Agents for the Guardian and Sentinel in Pottawattamie County,” Dawson, ed., Guardian and Sentinel, 18 June 1852, in Myrtle Hyde, Conditions, 105.
  22. “To Emigrants,” Orson Hyde, ed., in Myrtle Hyde, comp., Conditions, 1.
  23. “Let there be No Mistake,” Orson Hyde, ed., in Myrtle Hyde, comp., Conditions, 51-52.
  24. Myrtle Stevens Hyde, comp., Kanesville Advertisements(Ogden, Utah: Myrtle Stevens Hyde, 1993), 283; Myrtle Hyde, comp., Conditions, 125.
  25. Holmes, Old Council Bluff(s), 62.
  26. Holmes, Old Council Bluff(s), 43.
  27. “Rope Making,” Orson Hyde, ed., 21 March-11 July 1849, “Rope Walk,” 15 May-10 July 1850, “Ropes! Ropes!! Ropes!!!,” 4 April-16 May 1851, all in Myrtle Hyde, comp., Advertisements, 9, 53, 101.
  28. David C. Mott, “Abandoned Towns, Villages and Post Offices of Iowa,” Annals of Iowa (July 1912), 64.
  29. “New Store at Council Point,” Orson Hyde, ed., Guardian, 25 July-5 September 1849, in Myrtle Hyde, comp., Advertisements, 16.
  30. “Great Bargain,” Orson Hyde, ed., Guardian, 25 July-5 September 1849, in Myrtle Hyde, comp., Advertisements, 32.
  31. “Teamsters, Attention.,”Orson Hyde, ed., Guardian, 2 May 1851, in Myrtle Hyde, comp., Advertisements, 106.
  32. “Caution,” Orson Hyde, ed., in Myrtle Hyde, comp., Advertisements, 141.
  33. “First Boat this Season,” Orson Hyde, ed., Guardian, 18 April 1849, in Myrtle Hyde, comp., Conditions, 14.
  34. “Cholera,” Orson Hyde, ed., Guardian, 16 May 1849, in Myrtle Hyde, comp., Conditions, 17.
  35. “Prepare for the Valley,” Orson Hyde, ed., Guardian, 9 January 1850, in Myrtle Hyde, comp., Conditions, 39.
  36. “ Iowa,” Orson Hyde, ed., Guardian, 13 November 1850, in Myrtle Hyde, comp., Conditions, 61.
  37. Holmes, Old Council Bluff(s), 62.
  38. Holmes, Old Council Bluff(s), 62.
  39. Holmes, Old Council Bluff(s), 63.
  40. “Washed into the River.” Winter Quarters Project archives, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
  41. Orson Hyde, ed., The Frontier Guardian, 24 July 1850, 7 August 1850, 25 December 1850, 8 January 1851, 8 August 1851, 17 October 1851, 20 February 1852, quoted in Lyndon W. Cook, comp., Death and Marriage Notices, 1, 8, 13, 16, 18, 20. The reference to Dr. George Clouson's death is found on a printed loose-leaf sheet containing a list of deaths in Council Point, which list is taken from the book by Cook cited in this note. However, the reference to Coulson's death does not actually appear in the book. Myrtle Hyde's compilation, Kanesville Conditions (87), confirms that The Frontier Guardian of 17 October 1851, the issue in which Coulson's death was supposedly listed according to the sheet previously mentioned, announces a death at Council Point, though Hyde's compilation does not give the name of the deceased. The order and wording of each death record listed in the body of this article are taken from the list mentioned above. Each death record on the compiled list was checked against a photocopy of the actual book by Cook. See, “The following death information is taken from Death and Marriage Notices from the Frontier Guardian 1849-1852 compiled by Lyndon W. Cook and published by the Center for Research of Mormon Origins, P. O. Box 2125, Orem, Utah 84059”.


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Downsville/Downs’ Mill, Pottawattamie County


Downsville was located northeast of Council Bluffs along Mosquito Creek. The site today is in Norwalk Township of Pottawattamie County. The town nearest to Downsville is Underwood, Iowa. Underwood was built in 1869 to accommodate railroads which had bypassed Downsville. Its location is indicated by the red arrow (1).

Downsville Map


Between 1845 and 1850, various settlers began building on what today is the southwest corner of Norwalk Township. In 1847, Ezekiel Downs and Absalom Smith built a flouring mill and sawmill along Mosquito Creek about ten miles northeast of Council Bluffs. This is the first record of any permanent residence or land improvements in the area. The mill was a boon to growth, attracting incoming Mormon settlers as a means of refining wheat so that it might be sold as grain in Kanesville. Soon there were many Mormon and non-Mormon settlers concentrated around a village at first called Down’s Mill and then Downsville (2).

The flour mill built by Ezekiel Downs and Absalom Smith was destroyed by high water and flooding in 1852. Though the sawmill survived, Ezekiel and his son Asa, who had bought Absalom Smith’s rights to the mills, sold to William Garner. Garner operated the sawmill for years afterwards, but never rebuilt the flouring mill. Downsville was without its central economic advantage until much later when a new flouring mill was built by Joseph Subuary and James Golden (3). Moreover, as the Mormon settlers moved away from Downsville and continued their trek to the Salt Lake Valley, fewer and fewer permanent settlers took their place. Downsville experienced a sharp drop in population after the Mormon exodus. The loss of the mills only worsened the future prospects of the small settlement. 

Nevertheless, in 1863 a schoolhouse was built on Section 32 near the sawmill. Taught by Miss Jane Davis, the school helped retain some of Downsville’s citizens for another two decades (4). Downsville’s proximity to Council Bluffs also prompted the construction of a post office. These improvements, however, could not outweigh the business plans of railroad companies seeking a route to Council Bluffs. In 1882, the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad Company entered a contract to build a station in Section 16 of Norwalk Township, 2.5 miles northeast of Downsville. The contract was engineered by a Mr. Fischer and a Mr. Graybill who owned the land on Section 16. They persuaded the railroad company to bypass Downsville in favor of using the station to help found a new settlement called Underwood (5). Mr. Fischer and Mr. Graybill of course made a nice profit dividing their land plots for sale to farmers eager to be close to railroad access. Unfortunately, their decision consigned Downsville to anonymity despite its mills, school and post office. These improvements remained, of course, but as the population center of Norwalk Township shifted to Underwood, the attraction of Downsville declined. Today only the Downsville Cemetery marks the site of Norwalk Township’s earliest settlement.

In the case of Downsville, the difficulties faced by the Downs family divided them. This division in the community’s leading family sapped the energy of young settlement and eventually contributed to the disintegration of Downsville. The troubled early family history of Downsville played an important role among other factors leading to its eventual fate. Moreover, the example of Downsville provides an important look at the centrality new Mormon settlements placed on strong founding families. 

Ezekiel Downs and his family are usually credited with the majority of settlement at Downsville. The Downs were the first Mormon family to build a permanent residence in the area. Ezekiel and his wife Charlotte originally met Church members in 1838, when the Mormons were exiled from Missouri. Many destitute families moved to nearby Quincy, Illinois seeking aid and support. Ezekiel Downs and his family took pity on five families that came to their farm. Between 1840 and 1844, the Downs were baptized into the Church and had moved to Knowlton’s Settlement twelve miles south of Nauvoo, Illinois. After the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. at Carthage Jail, Ezekiel exclaimed to his family, “Well this is the last, my best friend is gone, surely there is nothing to this after all. I am through” (6). He later dreamed of seeing Joseph Smith, Jr. at the top of a hill beckoning to him. Ezekiel followed until he was exhausted. The dream ended as soon as he stopped following the Prophet. His son, James Downs, also had a dream containing a vision of the Saints crossing the Mississippi, mob violence in Nauvoo, and their stopping at a great body of water to raise crops and give thanks (8). The contrast between Ezekiel’s dream and that of his son foreshadowed what would befall the family in Iowa.

The Downs family moved across Iowa to the Missouri River in 1846, travelling with the main body of Saints led by Brigham Young. They reached Kanesville in June of the same year. James was apparently persuaded to join the Mormon Battalion. His mother, however, had become ill and was afraid of never seeing her son again if he left with the army. James remained to care for his mother and family. But instead of following Brigham Young to the Salt Lake, they moved away from Kanesville. It was at this point that Ezekiel Downs and A. Smith built the mills on Mosquito Creek. 

During the trek to the Missouri River, Ezekiel Downs grew displeased with the leadership of Brigham Young. Moving his family away from Winter Quarters and Kanesville was essentially his vote of no confidence in Young’s leadership. He later defied outright the leadership of the Church by marrying Frances F. Graham. A Frontier Guardian notice dates the marriage to June 15, 1851. The newspaper’s notice also adds that Ezekiel Downs was excommunicated from the Church “for banishing his wife from him, and for bearing false testimony to obtain a marriage license between himself and another woman” (8). The specifics of the turmoil in the Downs family are unknown, but it eventually caused a separation. Ezekiel remained in Iowa with his youngest son, Sidney, and Charlotte left with the rest of the family for the Salt Lake Valley. Another son, Asa Downs, eventually returned to Iowa and settled near his father. Ezekiel passed away on January 20, 1860.

The fracturing of the Downs family had an important impact on the survival of Downsville. The family’s difficulties ruptured strong ties outside of the small community and perhaps socially isolated the small community. Ezekiel Downs’s disassociation with the Church and its members may have separated them from possible business contacts and land improvement enterprises. As a result, land improvements, including new mills, were built elsewhere, attracting incoming settlers to other places. Downsville slowly lost favor as a place to grind wheat as newer mills closer to Kanesville were built. This explains why William Garner repaired the sawmill on Mosquito Creek after 1852 but never re-built the Downs flour mill. Nearby settlers could bring their crops to closer flour mills; thus, Downs’ Mill became unnecessary.


The Downsville Cemetery, the only surviving evidence of the community, can be found northeast of Council Bluffs just off of I-80 on Juniper Road. The picture below shows the entrance to the Downsville Cemetery and the gravestone of Ezekiel Downs.

Downsville Cemetery

Possible Deaths

Name Birth Date Death Date
Royal Edwin Hatch 24 Sep 1846 24 Mar 1848
James Absalom Tidwell 12 Jul 1848 17 Sep 1848
Albert Barney 1851 1851
Ezekiel Downs 1789 26 Jan 1860
Frances Margaret Graham Downs 22 Feb 1836 28 Jan 1902


  1. Plewe, Brandon, Mormon Places: (accessed June 6, 2023).
  2. History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa (Chicago: O.L. Baskin & Co., Historical Publishers, 1883), 295.
  3. Ibid., 296.
  4. Ibid., 299.
  5. Ibid., 300.
  6. The Life Story of Charlotta Rawlins Downs, from “Glimpses,” compiled by Lyle Rawlins
  7. Autobiography of James Downs.
  8. Green, Evan M., “High Council,” Frontier Guardian, July 25, 1851, vol. 3, no. 13.

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Elm Grove


“Prior to 1853, the county was simply divided into election precincts and had no distinctive township organization and administration.” So, during most of the time the Saints lived in Elm Grove, the village was not located in a township. However, on 12 February 1853, Rocky Ford Township was created, along with Kane and Macedonia Townships.(1) It was presumably in the second of these three that Elm Grove lay. The Frontier Guardian described the location of the settlement as being “the Elm Grove West of Kanesville, on the banks of the Missouri river.”(2)


The Kanesville High Council “resolved that one company of emigrants for the Valley of the Salt Lake, be organized at the Elm Grove.”(3)

Elm Grove did not have a Frontier Guardian representative.(4)

By reading the quote from The Frontier Guardian of 29 May 1850, one might not be sure that Elm Grove was anything more than a well-known landmark. However, in the issue from 10 July 1850 of The Frontier Guardian, Daniel Grenig offered a reward for the location of a stray cow lost “from the road leading from Elm Grove to Kanesville.”(5) This statement gives the impression that Elm Grove was more than just a stand of trees.




  1. John H. Keatley, History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa. Containing a History from the earliest settlement to the present time, embracing its topographical, geological, physical and climatic features; its agricultural, railroad interests, etc.; giving an account of its aboriginal inhabitants, early settlement by the whites, pioneer incidents, its growth, its improvements, organization of the County, the judicial history, the business and industries, churches, schools, etc.; Biographical Sketches; Portraits of some of the Early Settlers, Prominent Men, etc. (Chicago: O. L. Baskin & Co., Historical Publishers, 1883), 276.
  2. Orson Hyde, ed., The Frontier Guardian ( Kanesville, Iowa) 29 May 1850, in Myrtle Stevens Hyde, Kanesville Conditions (Ogden, Utah: Myrtle Stevens Hyde, 1997), 49.
  3. Orson Hyde, ed., The Frontier Guardian, 29 May 1850, in Myrtle Hyde, Conditions, 49.
  4. Orson Hyde, ed., The Frontier Guardian, 4 April 1851.
  5. Orson Hyde, ed., The Frontier Guardian, 10 July 1850, in Myrtle Stevens Hyde, Kanesville Advertisements (Ogden, Utah: Myrtle Stevens Hyde, 1993), 59.


List of community residents forthcoming

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Grand Encampment

Grand Encampment


Physical description of the site

Grand Encampment was a long string of wagons, strung out along roughly a nine mile stretch from west to east in western Pottawattamie County, starting about three miles east of the Missouri River. This was, as evidenced by the name, an encampment—the most temporary of all the temporary settlements created by the Latter-day Saints in the region. It lasted a mere two months, “from June until late July or early August 1846” (1). The saints drew up their wagons and pitched their tents in orderly squares, some of which were “enclosed with split-rail fences” (2). As the saints continued to arrive, they set up their tents and wagons further and further east, beside the saints who had arrived before them (3). Grand Encampment was really a network of smaller encampments located on the bluffs, according to Colonel Thomas L. Kane, who visited the Latter-day Saints in the end of June. He wrote that,

“each one of the Council Bluff hills . . . was crowned with its own great camp, gay with bright white canvas, and alive with the busy stir of swarming occupants. . . . Countless roads and by-paths checkered all manner of geometric figures on the hillsides. Herd boys were dozing on the slopes; sheep and horses, cows and oxen, were feeding around them, and other herds in the luxuriant meadow of the then swollen river” (4).

Although the Saints enjoyed some good weather, massive storms also flooded local creeks and blew over tents at times during the saints’ sojourn at Grand Encampment (5).

The saints left Grand Encampment gradually, moving across the Missouri to Cold Springs Camp, Indian Territory by ferry. The saints started going to Indian Territory about the first of July and continued at least through the first of August. Probably, the emigration perpetuated into mid-August (6).


The saints became somewhat acquainted with their neighbors and formulated plans for their movement to the Rocky Mountains. Their neighbors included local indigenous tribes and a few white people. The whites included fur traders (some of French descent) and a federal Indian agent.

The Church leaders’ plans had to be altered when the United States Government sent Captain James Allen to recruit what became the Mormon Battalion. The saints complied with the government’s request, and gave up over five hundred men to serve in the Mexican War. With “this loss of manpower,” President Brigham Young and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles had to check plans to send a pioneer company to the Rockies that year (7).

When did most of the Mormons leave?

Most saints appear to have left in the end of July and beginning of August. (8) “Grand Encampment was beginning to fall apart. The advancing season brought more heat and less moisture. The three pioneer staples of wood, water and grass were getting harder and harder to find in the vicinity of Grand Encampment.” Various groups of saints scattered throughout southwestern Iowa in search of those three necessities of pioneer life while they waited to be able to cross the Missouri River on the ferry. (9)

The Encampment had a post office which operated out of a wagon, or perhaps at times out of a tent instead. A tall flagpole flying the American flag indicated the location of President Brigham Young’s tent. (10)



  1. Gail Geo. Holmes, Old Council Bluff(s): Mormon Developments, 1846-1853, in the Missouri and Platte River Valleys of SW Iowa & E Nebraska ( Omaha, Nebraska: Omaha LDS Institute of Religion, 2000), 38.
  2. Holmes, Old Council Bluff(s): Mormon Developments, 1846-1853, in the Missouri and Platte River Valleys of SW Iowa & Nebraska, 38.
  3. Holmes, Old Council Bluff(s): Mormon Developments, 1846-1853, in the Missouri and Platte River Valleys of SW Iowa & Nebraska, 38.
  4. Holmes, Old Council Bluff(s): Mormon Developments, 1846-1853, in the Missouri and Platte River Valleys of SW Iowa & Nebraska, 38-39.
  5. Holmes, Old Council Bluff(s): Mormon Developments, 1846-1853, in the Missouri and Platte River Valleys of SW Iowa & Nebraska, 39; Hosea Stout, On the Mormon Frontier: The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1844-1861, Juanita Brooks, ed. (Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, 1964), 176, 177, 181.
  6. Holmes, Old Council Bluff(s): Mormon Developments, 1846-1853, in the Missouri and Platte River Valleys of SW Iowa & Nebraska, 41; Stout, On the Mormon Frontier: The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1844-1861, 181-82.
  7. Holmes, Old Council Bluff(s): Mormon Developments, 1846-1853, in the Missouri and Platte River Valleys of SW Iowa & Nebraska, 39-41.
  8. Holmes, Old Council Bluff(s): Mormon Developments, 1846-1853, in the Missouri and Platte River Valleys of SW Iowa & Nebraska, 38; Stout, On the Mormon Frontier: The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1844-1861, 181-82.
  9. Holmes, Old Council Bluff(s): Mormon Developments, 1846-1853, in the Missouri and Platte River Valleys of SW Iowa & Nebraska, 41.
  10. Holmes, Old Council Bluff(s): Mormon Developments, 1846-1853, in the Missouri and Platte River Valleys of SW Iowa & Nebraska, 38.


Grand Encampment


List of community residents forthcoming

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Highland Grove


Highland Grove was located in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, 2 miles from the Keg Creek settlement (1) and eight to ten miles south of Kanesville (2). 

The 1851 Pottawattamie County Survey Maps with Illustrations shows the location of Highland Grove.

Highland Grove Map


The settlement of Highland Grove was established as early as 1846 and it remained a settlement until about 1852.  One source reported that William Crazier was the Presiding Elder of the Highland Grove Branch around 1846, and “about 10-12 families lived there and they had regular Sabbath and evening meetings” (4).  As of December 31, 1848, Martin Bushman was the Branch President (5).  In 1851, James Fisher became Bishop of Highland Grove and remained so until 1852 when he headed west (6).

The Frontier Guardian and Iowa Sentinel representative for the area was Hiram Hoyt (7).

Thomas Mantle and his family resided in Highland Grove for five years, farming and living in a log hut (8).  Another resident of the area, Charles Sperry, mentioned that his family “had hired a man to build us a house” and stated that dances were held “in the houses nearby.”   Life was difficult for many of the settlers.  Charles Sperry also spoke of sickness in his family, and although they may not have contracted their illnesses in the settlement, they still were recovering while living there, some even passing away (9). 

There was a school established in the settlement “where children were given the rudiments of an education” (10).  Additionally, there is a report about a particular family and their difficult life in Highland Grove.  Still a young woman, Sarah Ann Bushman (Rhodes) taught school in Highland Grove from 1850-1851 and worked in Missouri the summer of 1850 in order to alleviate some of the financial burdens of her family (11).  Her brother described the family’s life at the time as one of hardship, that they “suffered for want of proper food and clothing”, and some family members had to go “into the neighboring state to get work so they could git [sic] food and clothing for the family.”  Her father was one of these family members, and he traveled further than 100 miles into Missouri, to earn wages by splitting rails (12).

Sarah’s father was Martin Bushman, and the following is an excerpt from a life sketch of Martin and his wife Elizabeth written by their son, Martin Benjamin Bushman.  He described life at Highland Grove:

“Here again the Husband tried to make wife and children comfortable, he built them a house of logs and covered it as best he could with sticks and dirt,   He then went into the state of Missouri and labored to procure them something to eat, after working for some time he recieved [sic] for his pay some corn meal and pork and a few other little things, he then returned to his Family with a Joyful heart that he had procured something to eat for them.  He then took up some land and raised some crops, he stayed there four years and was prospered so he had sufficient to bring him to Utah, in May 1851 he started on that journey” (13).

Another temporary resident of the settlement was William Whitehead Taylor.  Originally from England, Taylor eventually settled in Highland Grove with the Stott family.  He recounts his experience:

“We worked hard, but the man for whom we did most of the work was very unfortunate.  We lived a long distance from Kanesville, and at one time got out of stuffs.  I went and tried to borrow a little flour or cornmeal; I did not get it, but found a man sitting astride a bench, grating corn on a home-made grater; he let me have the grater and some ears of corn, saying I could take them and do as he was doing.  I never ate better mush than was made from that corn.  I had no bed to lie on and did not have my clothing off for twelve weeks” (14).

Scheduled visitors to the town included the Traveling Elders who on August 6, 1849, set a date to visit to Highland Grove and other settlements (15).  In addition, Elder Benson scheduled a visit to the community at six o'clock in the evening on Monday, December 8, 1851. The announcement in The Frontier Guardian divulged this information but did not tell the purpose of the visit (16). 


While there is no record of a settlement cemetery, deaths near or within the settlement included:

Name Birth Date Death Date
Elizabeth Bushman 9 Nov 1837 12 Oct 1846
Aaron George Sperry 28 Mar 1827 15 Dec 1846
Joy Sperry 9 Feb 1785 1 Jan 1847
Evaline Miller 2 Nov 1817 16 Mar 1849
Boy Johnston 11 Dec 1849 11 Dec 1849
Lucretia Jane Johnston 1849 1849
James Johnston 1820 Nov 1849
David Burrows (17) 6 Dec 1802 7 Sep 1850
James Pailing 1849 About 1853


1.  Emigrants Guide and Directory as found in Kanesville Conditions, Myrtle Stevens Hyde compiler (Ogden, UT: 1997), 113.

2. Edwin Stott, “A Sketch of my Life”, Utah Historical Quarterly, July/October 1941, vol. 9, no. 3-4, 184-185.

3. Derryfield N. Smith ed. John Bushman: Utah-Arizona Pioneer 1843-1926. (Provo, UT: John Bushman Family Association, 1975), 7.

4. Richard E. Bennett. Mormons at the Missouri, 1846-1852: “And Should we Die…” (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987), 218.

5. Orson F. Whitney, History of Utah, vol. 4, (Salt Lake City: George Q. Cannon and Sons, Co, 1904), 438.

6. Frontier Guardian, 2 October 1850, 27 June 1851, 9 January 1852, 18 June 1852 as found in Kanesville Conditions, 58.

7. “From Wales to Preston, England; Nauvoo, Illinois; Highland Grove, Iowa to Salt Lake City and Taylorsville, Utah, as Mormon Pioneers: The story of the Mantle and Watkins family.”

8. Kate B. Carter, ed. Our Pioneer Heritage, “Charles Sperry, Salt Lake City: International Society, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1958-1977.

9. Derryfield N. Smith, ed. John Bushman:  Utah-Arizona Pioneer 1843-1926.  (Provo, UT:  John Bushman Family Association, 1975), 8.

10. Newbern I. Butt, “Bushman Family History”, compiled for the Bushman Family History Committee, The Bushman Family, Originally of Pennsylvania and the Rocky Mountain States, Provo, UT 1956, p.54.

11. Martin Benjamin Bushman, “A Short Biographical Sketch of Sarah Ann Bushman (Mrs. Alonzo D. Rhodes) (1833-1917)”, originally located in the Temple Record Book of his father, Jacob Bushman, 1916, pp. 6-10, electronic transcript by Ann Laemmlen Lewis, May 2007.

12. Esshom, Frank (Frank Ellwood), “Sketch of the Life of Martin and Elizabeth Bushman,” Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah (Salt Lake City: Western Epics Inc.), 1966.

13. Orson F. Whitney, History of Utah, vol. 4 (Salt Lake City: George Q. Cannon and Sons, 1904), 424.

14. Orson Hyde, ed., Frontier Guardian, 8 August 1849.

15. Orson Hyde, ed., Frontier Guardian, 28 November 1851.

16. Orson Hyde, ed., Frontier Guardian, 2 October 1850.


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Hyde Park

Hyde Park Marker


A marker has been placed on Hwy 66 (Mormon Trail).  Hyde Park is located about a half mile south of the marker.

Richard Bentley and William Appleby wrote that Hyde Park was 6 miles east from Council Point.  “The Missouri River has changed course, obliterating Council Point, but old maps have its location” and these are used to better identify the location as “southwest of present Dumfries Post Office (1).”  When describing Hyde Park, James Allen Browning wrote “The little burg…was situated in a large hollow, hard by springs of excellent water (2).”  The settlement had plenty of trees and was an ideal glen “up a long valley and over a few humpy hills (3).”

The 1851 Pottawattamie County Survey Maps with Illustrations shows the location of Hyde Park in the present Lewis Township just below Bullock’s Grove.

hyde Park Map


Orson Hyde established Hyde Park in 1846 when seeking land away from the masses while waiting for a ferry to be built to cross the Missouri river.  The Pottawatomie Indians lived in this area at the time but kindly allowed the saints to live there and to use the natural resources as they needed (4). The settlement only lasted until 1852 when the remaining saints left to travel west (5). It appears that with time Hyde Park (the hollow) and Bullock’s Grove (the ridge) were joined and called Bullock’s Grove, then Plumer Settlement, and then part of Plumer’s farm (6).

This is a post from the Frontier Guardian written by William Price, a resident of Hyde Park. It was dated August 22, 1851 (7).

“$50 REWARD.

STRAYED OR STOLEN from the subscriber, living at Hyde Park, ten miles South of Kanesville, on the St. Joseph road, on Saturday night, June 18th., one BAY MARE. Face and hind legs white, switch tail, and had on a small brass bell. One large BROWN MARE, eight years old with a long bushy tail. One yearling HORSE COLT, brown white face and legs and has a large white spot under the left side. One dark BAY HORSE, seven or eight years old, white collar mark on the left side of the neck and paces under the saddle. The above reward will be given for the horses and thief, if stolen, or twenty dollars for the horses alone.

P.S. communications can be sent to Hyde Park, or to W. B. Ferguson, Kanesvil[l]e.”

In July, 1850, Robert Campbell also wrote an article in the Frontier Guardian mentioning an experience at Hyde Park.

“We were just in time to deliver to President Hyde his dispatches and letters, at Hyde Park, on the evening of the 4th of July, and to accompany him to Mr. Brownings, on the morning of the 5th, where his company were waiting his arrival, and to bid him good-bye and wish him good luck on his mountain trip (8).”

For a period of time the family of Orson Hyde moved to Kanesville but before his departure for a mission in England, the family returned to Hyde Park.  Upon his return from England, it is recorded “after forty-one days the Empire docked in New York harbor the evening of April 6.  Five weeks later, May 12, Orson embraced his wives and children in Hyde Park, Iowa.  He found them “all in good health and in good condition; and for this blessing I feel very thankful to my Father in heaven (9).”

The Orson Hyde family was described as living “comfortably as other sojourners….. Richard Bentley and William Price had constructed a double log cabin of hewed logs.  Prices and Bentley’s lived in one end of the cabin and Hydes in the other, each family’s room some ten or twelve feet square.  A few other families had built cabins nearby (10).”

One of the most notable events that took place in Hyde Park was the calling of Brigham Young as President of the church with Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards as his counselors (11). 

The twelve had a conference the weekend of December 3-5, 1847.  “With the Sunday conference session canceled, and the members of the Twelve already on the east side of the river (Missouri), they decided to hold a Sabbath council meeting at Orson Hyde’s home.  Orson rode from Miller’s Hollow the several miles to Hyde Park and helped prepare.  The Hyde ceiling leaked, so the meeting would convene in the Bentley side of the cabin.”

During this meeting Brigham Young shared his desire to establish a presidency for the church.  The twelve then shared their opinions on the subject.  After kneeling in prayer, “a sublime outpouring of the Holy Spirit assuring the nine companions of Heaven’s acceptance of their efforts” came into the room.  “Absorbed with the enveloping peace in the room, Orson looked upward in sudden astonishment when he heard a rich encompassing voice.  The sound originated somewhere beyond and above the circle of brethren.  Quickened to the center of his soul, Orson knew the source: ‘The voice of God came from on high, and spake to the Council.’  The words were brief, the message direct: ‘Let my servant Brigham step forth and receive the full power of the presiding Priesthood in my church and kingdom.’

’Every latent feeling was aroused, and every heart melted…,’ Orson recounts.  ‘This was the voice of the Almighty unto us… We knew and realized that we had the testimony of God… [We] did hear and feel the voice from heaven, and we were filled with the power of God.’

Orson was still comprehending that the Twelve had just been directed to appoint Brigham Young President of the Church, when a knock at the door startled him.  He arose, opened the door, and stared out into the darkness at an unusual sight. ‘men, women, and children’ he tells,’came running together where we were, and asked us what was the matter.’ Puzzled at the excited neighbors’ words, other men joined Orson at the door and listened to explanations:

’Our houses shook, and the ground trembled, and we do not know but that there was an earthquake.’  The Council members, Orson adds, had ‘felt no shaking of the earth or of the house, but were filled with exceeding power and goodness of God.’

’There is nothing the matter,’ Orson and others told the anxious group at the door.  ‘Do not be alarmed.’  One of the Twelve smiled and added, ‘The Lord was only whispering to us a little.  The voice of God has reached the earth.  He is probably not very far off.’ Mouths opened in astonishment.  The peaceful demeanor of the apostles subdued the questioners, and all began to leave, wonder on their faces.  Orson closed the door (12).”

Regarding this experience Orson said, “I must say that I feel not a little proud of the circumstance, and also very thankful, on account of its happening in my own little retired and sequestered hamlet, bearing my own name [Hyde Park, Iowa] (13).”

Also it was decided in the Hyde home “Dec. 5, 1847 to build the first tabernacle of the church at Kanesville.  The 40’ x 60’ log building was to be completed by Dec 24 for a church conference.  The tabernacle was ready and the Hyde Park selection (of counselors) was sustained Dec 27, the last day of conference, by about 1000 church members who squeezed into the new tabernacle (14).”

There is no known record of Orson Hyde selling his 60-acre farm at Hyde Park before going to Utah (15).

Orson Hyde Cabin Radar
In August 2021, ground-penetrating radar was performed to find the location of the Orson Hyde cabin.  Imaged anomalies suggested a rectangular structure approximately 20 feet x 42 feet (16).



There is no known cemetery at Hyde Park.  There were deaths that occurred there.  The deceased persons may have been buried at Bullock’s Grove, if there was a cemetery on that ridge or they were taken to Kanesville for the burial. 

The following persons died will at Hyde Park:

Name Birth Date Death Date
Urania Hyde 15 Aug 1846 27 Aug 1846
Mary Ann Price Price 14 Mar 1792 Oct 1847
Adella Marie Hyde 15 Apr 1850 Jul 1850
Maria Golding Bradbury 6 Jan 1795 6 Oct 1850



  1. Myrtle Stevens Hyde, Orson Hyde: The Olive Branch of Israel (Salt Lake City, Utah: Agreka Books 2000), 492-493.
  2. Ibid, 492.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid, 208.
  5. Ibid, 206-207.
  6. Ibid, 496.
  7. Susan Easton Black. Frontier Guardian. Volume 3, Issue 15, “Hyde Park.” BYU Studies, 2009.
  8. Susan Easton Black.  Frontier Guardian. Volume 2, Issue 13, “Interesting News from the Plains”, Robert Campbell [Kanesville, July 7, 1850].” BYU Studies, 2009.
  9. Hyde. Orson Hyde: The Olive Branch of Israel, 216.
  10. Ibid, 217.
  11. Ibid, 222.
  12. Ibid. 221-222.
  13. Ibid.
  14. Gail Geo. Holmes, Old Council Bluff(s): Mormon Developments, 1846-1853, in the Missouri and Platte River Valleys of SW Iowa and E Nebraska, “Hyde Park” (Omaha, Nebraska: Pioneer Research Library Press, Aug 7, 2000), 42.
  15. Howard H. Barron, Orson Hyde,(Bountiful, Utah: Horizon publishers, 197 7), 181-182.
  16. Rick Norland, “Report to Historical Pioneer Research Group Re: Big Pigeon, Indian Mound and Cabin sites.” Echo GPR Services, September 28, 2021.


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Indian Creek


Indian Creek was located one mile above Kanesville, and 9 miles from Winter Quarters along the Indian Creek water source from which it presumably received its name. (1, 2)  Another Indian Creek exists in Iowa, about 40 miles east of Council Bluffs, and had a settlement named Indiantown nearby.(3)


Alvin Nichols presided over the branch located in Indian Creek.(4)  Nichols initially planned to leave with the saints in the earlier part of 1847, but John Taylor, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, took his place and Nichols remained president of the Indian Creek Branch.(5)  He eventually left the area in 1852.(6)
In March of 1846, Elders Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, and [John?] Taylor, along with a John Smith encamped on the prairie, possibly at Indian Creek.  It has been written that the situation was uncomfortable at Indian Creek, but that “there was no murmuring” and “all appeared happy.”(7)
Another source lists Lewis Zebuskie [Zebriskie] as Branch President as of 31 December 1848.(8)  An 1848 record names John M. Burke, Lewis Zebrisky [Zebriskie], Henry Zabrisky [Zebriskie], Erick G. M. Hogan, Ezekiel Hopkins, John Reed, and John McAllister as high priests in the Indian Creek Branch.  Other sources place Hogan and Zebriskie in Plum Hollow.  It is quite possible that these high priests, or at least some of them, did not reside in Indian Creek, but possibly traveled to the Indian Creek Branch.


Lucy Almeda Nichols was born to Alvin and Lucy Anna Olney Nichols on 12 December 1851.(9)


Seddon, John, 12 August 1850, of inflammation, 32 years old.  He left a wife and two children.(10)




  1. Susan Easton Black, Frontier Guardian, BYU Studies
  2. Richard E. Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri: Winter Quarters, 1846-1852, Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987, 218.
  3. Correspondence with Gail Holmes, 21 Jan 2008.
  4. Black, Frontier Guardian and Mark H. Nichols, Alvin Nichols, Utah Pioneer, 1819-1899, L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, 12.
  5. Nichols, Alvin Nichols, 12.
  6. Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel,
  7. Elden J. Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young 1846-1847, Salt Lake City: Elden J. Watson (1971), 66.
  8. Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 218.
  9. Ancestral File
  10. Frontier Guardian, 28 November 1851 as found in Cook, Lyndon W. Death and Marriage Notices from the FrontierGuardian 1849-1852, Orem, UT: Center for Research of Mormon Origins, 1990, 19.

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Kanesville, Iowa

(Council Bluffs, Miller's Hollow)


Kanesville Tabernacle


Click here to view a video of the Kanesville Tabernacle


Council BluffsThe settlement of Kanesville, Iowa was given its name on April 8, 1848 by Orson Hyde, in honor of Colonel Thomas L. Kane, a loyal and influential friend of the Mormon people. Today this city is known as Council Bluffs, Iowa.

The area that became Kanesville was once known as Miller's Hollow, near Indian and Mosquito creeks. Kanesville was originally established to be a temporary resting place for those heading west. It was actually never intended to be a permanent settlement. The rapidly growing city, however, soon became the hub of all other surrounding Mormon settlements in the area. Kanesville was the site of the tabernacle where Brigham Young was sustained as the second president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Click here to view a video of the Kanesville Town Square

List of community residents forthcoming


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Keg Creek


Keg Creek



The Keg Creek settlement was located in Keg Creek Township. View the Keg Creek Surveyor's Record.


"The general history of this township is that of Silver Creek up to [October 14,] 1873, when it was cut out of that township." It was given its name when some early settlers found several kegs of whiskey hidden in the willows along the banks of the creek running through the area." (1)

"KEG CREEK. Thought to have been at a site at headwaters of Keg Creek when post office established, about 7 miles northwest of Treynor, 5 miles south of McClelland (SE/SE Sec. 29, Hardin Twp. 75N, R42W), but later on the creek itself at a site 7 miles southwest of Treynor (SW Sec. 21, Keg Creek Twp. 74N, R42W). Established August 3, 1874, Henry F. Mudge; closed August 16, 1875; reopened January 4, 1880; closed November 28, 1881; reopened December 14, 1881, Mrs. Lucy A. Carson (Mrs. James D. Carson); closed February 28, 1883; reopened February 11, 1892, Rasmus Campbell; discontinued February 9, 1899." (2)


Click on this link to find information about the Morrill family who lived at Keg Creek.

Follow this link for information about the Richardson family who lived at Keg Creek:


Campbell or Keg Creek Cemetery

"This cemetery is located in Section 21, Township 74N, Range 42 W, and consists of one acre of land in the W ½ of SW ¼ of Keg Creek Township. It is located south of Highway 92, four miles west of Treynor, then south almost three miles. The cemetery is on the east side of the road. If traveling from G66, it is two miles east of L 45 and north ¼ mile, or three miles west of L 55 and ¼ mile north. The cemetery is fenced, in good repair and still active." (3)

Treynor St. Paul Lutheran Cemetery

Located about one mile west of Treynor on the south side of highway 92. The entrance is marked with brick pillars. The church is on the south side of Treynor. (4)

Zion Cemetery

Zion Cemetery, Keg Creek Twp

This is a tiny cemetery on the edge of Pott Co., "out in a cornfield, on an old gravel road".
The cemetery has been abandoned and is no longer in use.

View or Post Gravestone Photos for this Cemetery! Gravestone Photo Project

Known names of those buried in the cemetery

  1. 1. ?, Friedericke S. 13 Jan 1860 22 to May 1932
  2. Johanna 1847 to 1915
  3. FISHER, Alice A. 1895 to 1915
  4. FISHER, Edward F. 1 Dec 1885 to 20 Apr 1943
  5. FISHER, Heinrich F. 15 Jul 1858 to 18 Feb 1903
  6. FISHER, John F. 14 Dec 1880 to 16 Nov 1881
  7. FISHER, Laura M. 1900 to 1915
  8. FISHER, Martha J. 9 Oct 1890 to 2 Jun 1892
  9. FISHER, Sarah L. 1903 to 1903
  10. FROHARDT, Albert Philip 1885 to 1924
  11. FROHARDT, Arthur Homer 1889 to 1923
  12. FROHARDT, Carl Edward 24 Feb 1891 to 8 Jul 1897
  13. FROHARDT, Dorethea Margareta 2 Jun 1875 to 28 Jul 1912
  14. FROHARDT, Ferdenant Christof 17 Sep 1870 to 1 Sep 1947
  15. FROHARDT, Friedrich Wilhelm 26 Sep 1846 to 16 Nov 1917
  16. FROHARDT, Johann Dietrich 8 Oct 1810 to 10 Jul 1900
  17. HEESCH, Anna 1874 to 1897
  18. KRUNNING, Christina W. 30 Oct 1827 to 6 Jan 1912
  19. MEYER, Matilda J. 1872 to 15 Apr 1953
  20. MEYER, William 1841 to 1926
  21. POOLE, Alfred M. 1854 to 1938
  22. SEWING, ? 12 Feb 1899 to 13 Apr 1900
  23. SEWING, Herman J. 2 Mar 1822 to 8 Feb 1884
  24. SEWING, Katherine Wilhelmina 25 May 1846 to 9 Dec 1926


Photo Copyright (c) 2003 by Sharie. Transcript Copyright (c) 2003 Allen Alsman. All rights reserved except permission granted to reproduce or distribute to not-for-profit individuals or organizations.


  1. History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, 202-203.
  2. Ghost Towns of Iowa, 375.
  3. "Keg Creek Township Cemeteries," Historical Society of Pottawattamie County, Iowa,


List of community residents forthcoming


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Little Mosquito


 Little Mosquito is located in Pottawattamie County, Iowa. It is reported to be located on the east side of Little Mosquito Creek and NE of Springville settlement at coordinates 41°16'29"N 95°46'20"W (1). Today it is located about 4 miles NE of Council Bluffs (2). The majority of residents that traveled west left by 1852 (3).


 Little Mosquito is often regarded as Springville because Springville was close by and much larger than Little Mosquito. Because the lack of information found on Little Mosquito it could be a small settlement or just a cluster of farms (4). However, LDS church records mention Little Mosquito as a “distant branch” with John Morgan called as the High Priest in 1848 (5).


Henry Samuel Alexander was married to Jane Maria Collins on February 2nd, 1849 by Samuel Williams (6).


Jonathan Heywood, 45; Mary Heywood, 33; Ganine Heywood, 15; Henry Heywood, 13; William Heywood, 11; Ellen Heywood, 10; Eliza Heywood, 9; Mary Heywood, 7 (7). The Heywoods did not make the trek west, in1860 they resided in Kane Township, Pottawattamie County, Iowa (8). Early RLDS records state that Jonathan Heywood was baptized on 28 August 1860 by E. C. Briggs (9).

Harmon Cutler, 51; Lucy Ann Pettigrew Cutler, 34; Royal Culter, 22; Samuel Cutler, 16; Benjamin Cutler, 14; Orson Cutler, 11; Susannah Cutler, 6; Hermon Cutler, 2; Zachariah Cutler, 1 (10). Harmon Culter was the head of the Harmon Cutler Company which departed with 293 individuals the 27th of June, 1852 (11).

John M Morgan, 49; Hannah Morgan, 47; Ada Morgan, 13; Morgan 11; Silla, 10; Melia 8 (12). The Morgan family left Little Mosquito and traveled with the William Morgan Company in late June, 1852 (13).

Henry Samuel Alexander and Jane Maria Collins left with the Samuel Gully/Orson Spencer Company in May, 1849 (14).




  3. Gathered from study of information gained from Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847-1868.
  4. Plewe, Brandon, Middle Missouri Valley Settlements, 1846-1853 (8/29/2008)
  5. 1848 Pottawattamie High Priests Census, pg. 7
  6. Pottawattamie Marriage Record, 2 February 1849
  7. United States Federal Census Year: 1850; Census Place: District 21, Pottawattamie, Iowa; Roll: M432_188; Page: 132B; Image: 270.
  8. Year: 1860; Census Place: Kane, Pottawattamie, Iowa; Roll: M653_338; Page: 59; Image: 358; Family History Library Film: 803338.
  9. Early Reorganization Minutes, 1852-1871, Book A, p. 80/ Early Reorganization Minutes, 1872-1905, Book C
  10. Iowa, Pottawattamie County, Annotated Record of US Census, 1850 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc.,
  11. “Mormon Overland Trails: 1847-1868: Harmon Cutler Company (1852)”
  12. Iowa, State Census Collection, 1836-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007.
  13. “Mormon Overland Trails: 1847-1868: William Morgan Company (1852)”
  14. “Mormon Overland Trails: 1847-1868: Samuel Gully/Orson Spencer Company”


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McClellin's Camp


The settlement was also known as McClellin’s Camp. The location of McLelland’s Camp is unknown. However, it was an LDS branch for a short while (1). Additionally, the High Priest over McClellin’s Camp, David Norton, was said to have lived in Council Bluffs (2).


David Norton was listed as a high priest in the 1848 High Priest Census (3). He was ordained by Heber C. Kimball in December of 1847 (4).

“No McClellin appears in the 1850 and 1852 censuses, so it may have only existed during the early period” (5).


John and Grace Muir were married on January 27, 1849 by Orson Hyde (6). They lived in McClelland’s Camp for about a year. Their son was born and blessed by James McClelland, president of the branch, in December of 1849. In the following spring of 1850, they moved from McClelland’s Camp to Lake Branch (7).


David Norton, 10/23/1796; Elizabeth Benefield Norton, 8/9/1801; John Wesley Norton, 11/6/1820; Henry Elliot Norton, 10/23/1826, Rebecca Ann Hammer Norton, 8/20/1827; Hiram Fletcher Norton, 7/8/1829; Isabella Norton, 8/22/1836; Elizabeth Ann Norton, 5/8/1847. It is unknown which company the Norton family was a part of as they traveled to Salt Lake City, but we do know that they left in 1848 (8).

Henry Samuel Alexander, 25; Jane Maria Alexander, 21; Charles Alexander, 2. They traveled in the Samuel Gully/Orson Spencer Company that departed on May 28, 1849 and arrived on September 22-25, 1849 (9). “…Henry Samuel Alexander married his cousin, Jane Mariah Houston, daughter of Isaac Houston and Theodocia Keyes. It was a marriage of convenience so she could cross the plains and care for his children. When they arrived in Utah he told her she was free but she chose to remain in polygamy. She died at the birth of a son 11 February 1849… The Alexanders settled in the Heber Valley in Utah” (10).

James McClellan, 45; Cynthia Stewart McClellan, 40; William Carrol McClellan, 22; Almeda Day McClellan, 18; Samuel Wilburn McClellan, 16; Hugh Jefferson McClellan,, 12; John Jasper McClellan, 11; Louisa Ann McClellan, 10; Sarah Amanda McClellan, 5; James Travers McClellan, 1; Cynthia Selena McClellan, infant. James McClellan and his family traveled in the William Snow/Joseph Young Company. They departed on June 21, 1850 and arrived on October 1-4, 1850 (11). James McClelland was president of the branch in McClelland’s Camp (12).


  1. Middle Missouri Valley Settlements, 1846-1853, by Dr. Brandon Plewe, pg. 8.
  2. Ancestral File.
  3. 1848 Pottawattamie High Priests Census.
  4. Ancestral File.
  5. Plewe. Middle Missouri Valley Settlements, 1846-1853, 8.
  6. Pottawattamie County Marriage Record, January 27, 1849.
  7. Johnson, Robert Charles. "John Muir Biography." pg. 19.
  8. “Mormon Overland Trails: Unknown Company (1848).”
  9. “Mormon Overland Trails: Samuel Gully/Orson Spencer Company (1849)”.
  11. “Mormon Overland Trails: William Snow/Joseph Young Company (1850)".
  12. Johnson, Robert Charles. "John Muir Biography." pg. 19.


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McOlney's Camp


The exact location of McOlney’s Camp is unknown.  The journals of three men of the McOlney Branch highlight the difficulties involved in placing this settlement.  The account of Chester Southworth, Sr., places it “one and a half to three miles north to Kanesville.” (1)  However, about three miles to the North and slightly East is likely the true location of McOlney’s Camp. (2)  However, the journal of Henry Emery, another McOlney’s Branch member, differs substantially:

“. . . on Thursday the 10th of June we left and started for Great Salt Lake City. We moved about 1 or 2 miles and camped til the 12 when we moved to the big spring about 10 miles from Kanesville[,] crossed the Missouri river on the 26 the remainder of our company crossed the 27 after we were all across and camped.” (3)

Emery’s “big spring” may very well be a reference to the “Big Spring” settlement, though no evidence supports such conjecture.  In any case, it is hard to imagine that the same “McOlney’s Camp” extended from three miles to the northeast of Kanesville to another point somewhere eleven or twelve miles from Kanesville.  

Another McOlney’s Branch settler, Daniel Mark Burbank, Jr., records, “We wintered here (Old Agency, 1847), then on to the Bluffs, or a place called Hannerville.” (4)  Whether Hannerville refers to McOlney’s camp or another settlement, however, remains uncertain.

Thus, McOlney’s Branch and McOlney’s Camp are related, but perhaps not synonymous.  Another possible explanation is that the discrepancies in the accounts were created when settlers' written references to “Council Bluffs” were created before or after inclusion in McOlney’s Branch.


McOlney’s camp was named for Davis McOlney. (5)  Davis’ name was actually Davis Mack Olney, as two separate names, but he and his wife went by both McOlney and Olney. (6)

A large number of the members of the McOlney Branch were also members of the John B. Walker Company, which departed from the Council Bluffs area July 5th, 1852. (7)  Davis McOlney was a captain of ten in this company. (8)  Chester Southworth, Sr. guessed, “About 200 left Kanesville, 5 July 1852, mostly members of the McOlney Branch in Pottawattomie[sic], Iowa.” (9)  In actuality, there were probably closer to 260 individuals in the party when they departed from Kanesville, and only about 90 of the members of McOlney’s camp joined the Walker Company, but from Southworth’s estimate it is safe to assume that the McOlney’s Camp saints formed the largest group within that company. 

Verified residents of McOlney’s Camp include, of course, Davis McOlney, and Chester Southworth, Sr., who was the Frontier Guardian’s representative at McOlney’s Camp. (10) Furthermore, an 1848 petition for a post office in Pottawattamie County designates James Carroll as being "branch Clerk" at McOlney's Camp. (11)


Frederick Welburn, 25, and Ann Moore, 35, both of McOlney's Branch, were married in Kanesville on September 2nd, 1850. (12)


Though no formal cemeteries are affiliated with McOlney’s camp, Davis McOlney’s own wife, Lucy Sally Downey McOlney, is said to have been buried at “Miller’s Hollow,” (13) which later became Kanesville and then Council Bluffs. (14)  One might assume that her grave would be close to the place Davis McOlney had set up camp.




  1. Chester Southworth, [Autobiography], in B. Glen Marble, comp.,Mormon Marbles: Roots and Branches [1979], 87-88.  Accessed at  (March 19, 2013).
  2. Brandon Plewe.  Brandon Plewe Research Server. (accessed)
  3. Emery, Henry, Journal [ca. 1845-1879], 18-21.  Accessed at (March 19, 2013).
  4. Daniel Mark Burbank, Journal in possession of Owen A. Rompell.  This information can also be found at (March 27, 2013).
  5. Brandon Plewe. LDS Ecclesiastical History of Southwestern Iowa. (accessed on March 19, 2013).
  6. Maurine C. Ward, “‘This Institution Is a Good One’: The Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, 17 March 1842 to 16 March 1844,” Mormon Historical Studies, Vol. 3, no. 2 (Fall 2002): 156.  Accessed at (March 19, 2013).
  7. Southworth, Mormon Marbles: Roots and Branches.
  8. Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel: 1847–1868. (accessed March 19, 2013)
  9. Southworth, Mormon Marbles: Roots and Branches.
  10. Orson Hyde, ed., Frontier Guardian (Kanesville, Iowa), April 4th, 1851.
  11. Maurine Carr Ward and Fred E. Woods, “The ‘Tabernacle Post Office' Petition for the Saints of Kanesville, Iowa,” Mormon Historical Studies, vol. 5, no. 1 (Spring 2004), 149-193
  12. Genealogical Society of Salt Lake City, Utah, Marriage, Pottawattamie County Iowa, FHL #1476888, 9 September, 1986, BYU Family History Library, Provo, UT.
  13. Ward, “The Female Relief Society of Nauvoo,” 156.
  14.   Mormon Settlements in Pottawattamie County. (accessed March 19, 2013).


List of community residents forthcoming



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Mosquito Creek

Mosquito Creek

Mosquito Creek Ball

Mosquito Creek Balley


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Trader's Point


Trader’s Point is located four miles south of Council Point on the river. It’s “…near the bank of the Missouri and opposite Bellevue, Nebraska.”  It was also known as Point aux Poules and St. Francis. In describing an emigrant’s journey to the west, the following was written, “Ferrin’s Ferry at the old Indian village, here the northern road intersects the Mormon trail; to Mount Scott, 17 miles to west fork, 5 miles; to Silver Creek 10 miles; to Keg Creek, 6 miles; here till road forks, the right hand leads to Kanesville, the principal Mormon town, the left to St. Francis opposite Council Bluffs Agency in Nebraska Territory (1 ).”

The location of the settlement was migratory.  Because of its special role in the fur trade business, it was usually perched on the east bank of the Missouri River, as the river shifted so did the settlement.   It was forced to move twice because of the shift in river.

Trader's Point Map


Point aux Poules (French for Prairie Chicken Crossing) was “…a trading post of the American Fur Company and a village of the Pottawatamies…”. Americans called the French and Indian Village of Point aux Poules “Traders Point.”  Those who lived there were mostly Indian women and children of French, Spanish, and American traders and trappers (2).

Peter Sarpy founded the settlement of Point aux Poules. It was a convenient trading post for both whites and Indians, as well as an important gateway of the Missouri (3).  In 1846, Sarpy provided “the first contingent of tenting Mormons going west under Brigham Young with supplies, assisted in sheltering them during the winter and afforded them transportation over his ferry at Trader’s Point” (4). Henry Delong came with the first contingent of Mormons in 1846 (5). 

In 1849, “A new Post office has been established at St. Francis in this county, called ‘Nebraska’. Joseph T. Pendleton appointed Postmaster” (6).

On March 21, 1851, the Frontier Guardian newspaper published the following:

“Ferries. Messrs. WHEELING, CLARK, & Co., of Trading Point, have obtained a permit from the Government to establish a Ferry over the Loup Fork of the Platte, which, together with their ferries over the Missouri and Elk Horn Rivers, will enable the passing emigrant to proceed on his journey westward across the plains without obstruction or hindrance. We understand that their boats on all these streams will be in prime order to convey the earliest emigrants over. The North side of the Platte is decidedly the route every time for emigrants to take: and these streams having good ferry boats, every obstacle is removed. The South Fork of the Platte is so wide, and current so rapid, that none will talk about Ferries over it, except those who have never seen it. For health, for grass, for water, for fuel, for a more even and level road, and for general comforts, the north route is the route to take (7).”

Peter Sarpy, noticed that a flatboat propelled only poles or oars would sometimes drift a mile or more from the proper landing place before it could be brought to land.  In 1852, Sarpy got a license to establish a steam ferry at Trader’s Point (8).

The residents who were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, could have attended one of a number of Branches i.e., Big Bend, River or Ferry River, or Council Point.  Their attendance depended on the existence of those Branches at the time they lived in the settlement.


The residents that died at Trader’s Point may have been buried at a cemetery that was known as the Graybill-Stoker-Gatrost Family Cemetery.  It is located in the northwest corner of Garner Township.  It is about three miles east of Council Bluffs off old Highway 6 on private land.  The farmland surrounding the cemetery changed hands in 1883.  George W. Graybill purchased the 6/10th of an acre cemetery to preserve it.  He secured title and then deeded it to the public.  The last burial appears to have been that of Margaret Judd Stoker in 1893.

stoker graybill cemetery

Because of the number of visitors arriving at Trader’s Point, cholera was easily transmitted and many of the residents succumbed to the disease.  Others died and were buried after 1855. 

Some deaths were reported in various sources:

Edward Murphy was murdered in Point aux Poules in 1850 by a “Mr. London” (9).

Mr. Gingry went missing at Trader’s Point and was later presumed dead (10).

Possible Burials

Name Birth Date Death Date
America Stoker 16 May 1846 7 May 1847
John Randolph Stoker 21 Feb 1828 28 Dec 1847
Catherine Martha Eller Stoker 6 Mar 1773 1 Jul 1850
Julia Stoker 18 Dec 1851 21 Dec 1851
Peter D. Stoker 18 Dec 1851 20 Dec 1851
David Nathan Stoker 2 Feb 1832 23 May 1852
David Stoker 23 Mar 1795 27 May 1852
Gabriel McNeil Stoker 23 Oct 1829 10 Jun 1852
Sydney Graybill 1855 1855
Eller Stoker 28 Jul 1816 18 Jul 1855

Trader's Point tombstone


1. “Iowa History Project,” Annals of Iowa, Vol. XIII, Iowa City, July 1921, No. 1.
2.  Hyde, Orson, Ed. “The Mormons, A Discourse delivered before the Historical Society of Pennsylvania: March 26, 1850, by Thomas L. Kane [continued]”. Frontier Guardian [Kanesville, Iowa] September 4, 1850. Vol. 2. No. 16.
4. Ibid.
5. Ibid.
6. Hyde, Orson, Ed,, July 11, 1849.
7. Hyde, Orson, Ed., Frontier Guardian [Kanesville, Iowa], March 21, 1851.
8. Allen Wortman, Ghost Towns of Mills County Iowa, p. 17.
9. Hyde, Orson, Ed., Frontier Guardian [Kanesville, Iowa], October 16, 1850.
10. Hyde, Orson, Ed., Frontier Guardian [Kanesville, Iowa], May 2, 1851.

View list of Community Residents


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Poney (Pony) Creek


Pony Creek

This 1875 map of Oak Township in Mills County, Iowa, shows the location of Poney Creek (spelling as was published in The Frontier Guardian). It was a settlement south of Council Bluffs.  It was 3 ½ miles from Coolidge’s Mill making it a very beneficially placed settlement due to the fact that this mill was one of two mills in the whole area, the other being an old government mill on Mosquito Creek (1).

The settlement’s name was most likely given to this area because the Poney Creek Lake is located close by.  Poney Creek was more of a scattered settlement of farmers that had a unified name under which they lived but they never established a main town for interaction or commerce making it more of a region rather than a town (2).


Edson Whipple was one of the earlier settlers of Poney Creek and shared the following in his journal:  "On our arrival on the Missouri river we were counseled to locate for the winter on Poney Creek, down the river about 30 miles, but on our arrival there we found the place very unhealthy and thus unfit for habitation.” Whipple mentioned that of the whole camp consisting of 14 families all but two were sick (3).  From this description, the early settlers had a very bleak situation to attend to in Poney Creek.  Disease and death were very commonplace and afflicted nearly all of the early settlers’ families.

Economics in Poney Creek was primarily based on farming. When the Wabash Railroad was established, a station at Poney Creek was built.  This helped settlers ship loads of their grains to market with general ease (4).

Education for the youth also became a desire of the settlement and an ad was placed in The Frontier Guardian stating, “A good schoolteacher is wanted on-Poney Creek, 3 ½ miles this side of Coolidge’s Mill. Inquire of the trustees, David Holman, Timothy H. King, Jas. Davenport” (5).

Earlier in 1847. James Davenport settled the area.  He set up a “blacksmith shop on Pony Creek” (6).

Poney Creek was also a place where some enterprising men sought to engage in behavior that did not exactly adhere to the beliefs of honesty and uprightness.  The traders frequenting Trader’s Point, which was close to Poney Creek, began to discover that the “silver specie” used in some of the bartered deals was counterfeit.  The equipment used to make the fake specie was found and hammered into pieces by a mob of upset persons in Traders Point.  Around the same time this discovery was made “some material out of which to make the counterfeit specie was found in the timber on Pony Creek” (7).

Other more honest entrepreneurial endeavors were taken up by men seeking to drive sheep for persons trekking to Utah.  In 1852, William Martindale and several others placed an ad that proposed to “drive any number of sheep from this place to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake in the coming Spring on condition of one-half of the Sheep” (8).  Taking sheep from Council Bluffs to Utah was quite a difficult endeavor and the men of Poney Creek seemed up to the challenge.  They must have been quite adept in driving sheep and strong to endure the long and frustrating ordeal of coaxing sheep to move along the Mormon Trail which was about 1,032 miles long.

Poney Creek was a brief Mormon establishment thriving from 1846-1853 (9).  Many of the settlers moved on to the Great Salt Lake Valley and left Poney Creek to itself and any other enterprising individuals.


Although no cemetery has been identified for Poney Creek, Edson Whipple was only there a few months until his mother and wife died.  He left with his little daughter, Maria Blanche, and moved about 4 miles from the camp.  She died on December 8, 1846, at their new location.  Edson placed her remains in. a coffin made of split plank (bugswood tree) and took it to the place where her mother was buried.  He described the location as “on a ridge that runs up from the creek on the east side some fifty or seventy rods from the creek.”  He also stated that while he was in Poney Creek, out of the families that stopped there, we buried fourteen persons--sometimes whole families (10).

Possible Burials

Name Birth Date Death Date
Basmoth Elinore Hutchins Whipple 7 Sep 1769 9 Sep 1846
Lavina Goss Whipple 7 Jun 1811 13 Sep 1846
Maria Blanche Whipple 15 Feb 1845 8 Dec 1846
John William Britain 12 Jan 1849 10 Aug 1849
Amos Gardner 4 Mar 1837 23 Apr 1850
Flora Ann Woodworth 14 Jun 1826 12 Jul 1851
Lydia Gates 11 Mar 1845 31 Jul 1852


  1. “Wanted,” Orson Hyde, ed., The Frontier Guardian, October 16, 1850.
  2. “Northern Road,” Orson Hyde, ed., The Frontier Guardian and Iowa Sentinel, December 16, 1852; page 2 and column 2.
  3. Whipple, Edson, 1805-1894. Edson Whipple record book, a980834f4da5/0/8 (accessed: October 8, 2022)
  4. Keatley, John H. History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa. Chicago: O.L. Baksin & Co., Historical Publishers, 1883, page 337.
  5. “Wanted,” Orson Hyde, ed., The Frontier Guardian, October 16, 1850.
  6. Wortman, Allen. Ghost Towns of Mills County, Iowa, 1975, pages 17-221.
  7. Ibid.
  8. “OH YES! OH YES!!, Orson Hyde, ed., The Frontier Guardian. February 6-March 4, 1852.
  9. Black, Susan. Settlements from the Frontier Guardian.
  10. Whipple, Edson, 1805-1894. Edson Whipple record book, a980834f4da5/0/8 (accessed: October 8, 2022)


View list of Community Residents


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Springville, Pottawattamie County


Springville is located near Little Mosquito Creek in Pottawattamie County and is about one mile from the junction of Mosquito Creek and Little Mosquito Creek. Many settlers used the name of Little Mosquito and Springville interchangeably because of its proximity to Little Mosquito Creek. It is about four miles east of Kanesville. It may have been a neighbor to Carterville, since its branch was merged with the Carterville Branch when most of the remaining members of the community headed west in 1852 (1). 

Downsville Map


There is not much known about the early history of Springville. The History of Pottawattamie County, stated that about 80 families lived there in 1847, although not all of them are known (2). 

The initial settlement of Springville is briefly described in an account from Alonzo Raymond. He states that he established a “camp with the Pettegrews and the Cutlers and his brother Wallace on the Little Mosquito at a settlement called Springville. Previous to Mr. Raymond’s arrival, Mr. J. D. Heywood put a mill on Little Mosquito Creek near an old Indian mill which Springville is “not too far from (3).” These initial settlers proved to be the most influential in the small town and after most of them departed, the town quickly dwindled in size. The Heywood family was the only remaining family after all of the Mormons left for the Salt Lake Valley. They subsisted on their small farm and any wild game they could find (4).

During its history, Springville experienced a period of small apostasy when an illusionist convinced them that he was some sort of religious leader. Some 13 or so people were drawn into strange delusions in some unaccountable way that was a mystery and a misery. As soon as the fraud was found out in his devilment, he escaped to Missouri. The deceived had to be rebaptized for falling away (5). 

The High Priests of the Springville Branch were Joseph Mecham (Meacham), Samuel Williams, Thomas Burgess, Daniel Stanton, John Stevens, William Woodland, Joseph L. Lish, Benjamin Ellsworth, Isaac Houston, Joseph Grover, Elijah Wilson, William A. Weston, and Thomas A Curtiss (6). 

The Springville Branch Presidents were: Joseph Mecham, then Samuel Williams, with Nelson Whipple and Joseph Lish as his counselors. When Williams left in 1850, he was replaced by George Tiffany. After George Tiffany served, Harmon Cutler was the Branch President until 1852, when he was appointed to lead a pioneer company west to the Salt Lake with most of the remaining residents. It was the 12th company and was called the Independent (Springville) Company. It consisted of 262 saints, 231 oxen, 222 pounds of ammunition, 171 cows, 154 sheep, 63 wagons, 47 arms, 28 spades and shovels, 20 dogs, and 17 horses. Near Fort Laramie, Wyoming the wagon train was attacked by Indians who took all their horses. They continued with the oxen. They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley near the last of September of 1852 (7).


The settlement of Springville was a close neighbor to Carterville. Burials may have been in the Carterville Cemetery.

Possible Deaths

Name Birth Date Death Date
William Bennett, Jr. 4 Nov 1792 1 Oct 1846
Samuel Chase 1845 1848
Robert Forrester 17 Jan 1840 1848
Gerua Whipple 12 Aug 1815 18 Sep 1848
Hiram William Asahel Bennett 22 Nov 1848 9 Jan 1849
Charles Stewart 1846 1850
Mehitable Lewis  May 1850 1850
Josiah Galloway 25 Dec 1849 1850
John Pickles, Jr. 1850 1850
Elias Pulsipher 12 Nov 1805 30 Aug 1851
Vicena Sheffield 3 Nov 1835 26 Oct 1851
Maria Atchison Forrester Jan 1825 10 Jun 1853

According to the Frontier Guardian newspaper, Vicena Sheffield, the daughter of Anson and Moriah (Maria) Sheffield died on October 26, 1851, of typhoid fever. She was 16 years old (8).


  1. Raymond Migrations: Alonzo Pearis Raymond.
  2. History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa. Chicago: O. L. Baskin & Co., Historical Publishers, Lakeside Building, 1883, 111.
  3. Ibid.
  4. History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa. Chicago: O. L. Baskin & Co., Historical Publishers, Lakeside Building, 1883, 111.
  5. Raymond Migrations: Alonzo Pearis Raymond.
  6. Pottawattamie High Priests Quorum. Pottawattamie High Priests Quorum minutes , (accessed: September 11, 2023)
  7. Raymond Migrations: Alonzo Pearis Raymond.
  8. Hyde, Orson, Editor. “Springville Branch” Frontier Guardian [Kanesville, Iowa], October 31, 1851.


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Though information regarding the settlement at Stringtown is scarce, it appears from various excerpts of the Frontier Guardian that the town suffered its share of disasters.

The Frontier Guardianof October 30, 1850 reported, "On the 16th, the Omaha Indians set fire to the Prairie, a little west of this town, and there being a high wind at the time spread the flames with great rapidity; burning stacks of hay and wheat, fields of corn, and fences, in its fury. At one time it threatened to burn the town, but the wind shearing round, it galloped towards Stringtown, doing immense damage, burning hay, wheat, &c., in its progress. The amount of damage sustained by individuals will amount in the aggregate from five to eight thousand dollars. The loss falls upon those the least able to bear it. It may be very pretty fun for the Indians to destroy the farmers all; but we would like to know where the owners of property are to seek redress for damages." (1)

The June 27, 1851 issue of the Gurdianreported, "Kanesville and the surrounding country received its share of the flood, though no particular loss has been sustained, except that of Bridges, and the roads being considerably broken up. No houses have been carried away that we have heard of; niether loss of life, with the exception of a young man named Webster, who resided in Stringtown, situated in this vicinity, who unfortunately was struck with lightning, which caused instant death. . . . The thunder and lightning during that night exceeded anything we ever witnessed before, the wide expanse at times appeared to resemble a caldron of molten brass, incessantly pouring its burnished contents in streams, promiscuously toward the earth; threatening in aspect demolition and utter destruction of life and property; but through the kind providence of a beneficient Creator and wise Ruler, the storm subsided between the hours of ten and eleven o'clock, without any further material damage." (2)



  1. Frontier Guardian,30 October 1850, as cited in as cited in Myrtle Stevens Hyde, Kanesville Conditions(Ogden, Utah: Published by the Author, 1997),60.
  2. Frontier Guardian, 27 June 1851, as cited in Hyde, Kanesville Conditions, 78-79.


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Union Map

Map source 1895 Iowa Atlas


"Union township was originally a part of Lura which was named for the wife of Dr. G. S. Morrison, a prominent settler in Grant township. At that time Massena, Lura and Union constituted Lura township. When Lura was reorganized, Union became Breckenridge township being so named for John C. Breckenridge, vice-president at that time. As the sentiment of that locality was strongly in favor of the Union forces when the Civil war broke out and Breckenridge became a major general in the rebel army, the name was changed to Union in 1862." (1)

The town is located one mile east of Cartersville, as appears on maps of 1868 and later. (2)


Buoyo and Union Branch members: Ann Batson, Barbara Batson, William Batson, William Joseph Batson, Aryaline Carter, Sarilda Carter, Susanna Carter, Elizabeth Davis, Enoch Davis, John M. Davis, Martha Jane Davis, Merica Jane Davis, William L. Davis, James Hendrickson, Nickoles Hendrickson, Catherine Mendenhall, Sarah Nickerson, Sarah C. Nickerson, Uriah Nickerson, Moses Vince. (3)



  1. Southwestern Iowa Guide: Geology—Points of Interest—History, WPA, 1936, 39.
  2. “Cities and Towns of Pottawattamie County," Dec 2005.
  3. Ron Watts, LDS Iowa Branch Records Index, 1839-1859.


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