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Residents Along Silver Creek,
Mills County, Iowa


Several families have been documented as having settled along Silver Creek. They were not necessarily at Silver City.

Joel Ricks

“Joel Ricks, a Patriarch in the Church, was born near Donaldson Creek, Trigg County, Kentucky. On April 27, 1846, he crossed the Mississippi River at Fort Madison and commenced his journey westward. He located on Silver Creek, opposite Winter Quarters, until the spring of 1848, when he began his journey to the Rocky Mountains” (1).

Frederick Walter Cox

“Frederick Walter Cox, a prominent Elder in the Church, was born January 20, 1812, in Plymouth, New York, the son of Jonathan Upham Cox and Lucinda Blood. They then made their home at Silver Creek, Pottawattamie County, Iowa, where Brother Cox worked to get teams, wagons as means to bring his large family on to Utah. They left Kanesville for Utah on June 20, 1852” (2).

Daniel Monroe Thomas

“Daniel Monroe Thomas, son of Henry and Ester Covington Thomas, a second cousin, was born December 27, 1809, in Richmond County, North Carolina. He had ten brothers and sisters, viz: William, Henry, Elijah, Joseph, John, Robert, Rachel, Amanda, Harriet, and Catherine. From the writings of Catherine Thomas (Leishman), the youngest of the twelve children she wrote: ‘Preparations soon began for the journey to the valley of the mountains. Father and family left Nauvoo the same spring, 1846, with two yoke of cattle and one wagon he had helped to make, and a few provisions, all that was left of a fortune. Started for Utah, crossed the river on a raft made of logs pinned together. Camped one night on the opposite shore. Then taking tears in our eyes, a last look at our home, our Prophet’s home, the Temple and belove City of Nauvoo, we started on our way to Winter Quarters…We traveled and camped a few days at a time, making slow progress, being heavily loaded, until late in the fall. Here we camped at a place called Silver Creek. While here a very sorrowful event occurred. My dear and only sister, Harriet, became sick and died. I was also sick at this time and was now left without mother or sister to care for me. We had nothing with which to make a coffin, but father being thoughtful, hammered the bark from a large tree, cut it in half, fitted ends in the same and we laid her away as best we could. My heart many times turned back to that lone grave on the hill. Father and I were now alone and I, being sick with a burning fever, was not allowed to drink much water, a pint being the limit. However, there was a beautiful spring nearby to which I crept, while father was away, and I drank until my thirst was satisfied; then getting back as best I could to the wagon. I lay down to rest and while there I heard the most beautiful music. It seemed to me as though my angel sister had come to heal me. I was made well from that time on and I did not chill after that day, and my fever was gone. Father prepared to stay at this place all winter as we could not travel alone. We gathered wild grapes and nuts of different kinds. I prayed that we may not build here but would go on to Winter Quarters. One day father came home and said, get packed. There is a company waiting. We are going to Zion’s Camp. This was joyful news to me. We were soon on our way with Benjamin Clapp, the man who baptized me, ferrying across the Missouri River. He also gave us a small room to live in for the winter. We enjoyed the winter here with the Saints (3). I met some of my cousins here, but failing for a time to meet my sister Amanda at Winter Quarters” (4).

Joseph Smith Black

“I Joseph Smith Black, son of William Young Black and Jane Johnston was born July 14, 1836, Antrim County, Lisburn, Ireland. Soon after, we were ferried over the river on the Montrose side, where many of the Saints were camped in a destitute and suffering condition. By the timely assistance of some kind hearted persons from Quincy, Illinois, much was done to alleviate their condition. We then moved back about four miles to the Bluffs where we lived in a tent all winter; Father came in the spring and brought us money wherewith we bought a team to take us to the Missouri River. We located twenty miles below Kanesville on Silver Creek where we remained until the spring of 1850. In the winter of 1848-1849 there was very deep snow on the prairie which prevented all travel in the then sparsely settled country. For many weeks we had to live on buckwheat ground in a coffee mill” (5).

Amasa Potter

“My father was born in the State of New York, Rensselaer County, Pittstown, January 9, 1793. My mother was born in Kirtland County, State of Vermont, April 14, 1795. Her father’s name was Justis Osborne. My parents were married in the State of New York, and then moved to Ohio at an early date and settled in Lorain County, town of Avon, near the City of Elvyra.

In the month of July 1846, I came with my parents west 300 miles to Council Bluffs, and my parents stopped on Silver Creek and built a house to winter in. When all was comfortable at home, my father sent my brother, Newell, and myself down to the State of Missouri 40 miles, to work for means to get an outfit to cross the plains in 1847. We worked here in a town called Savanna, but when spring came we had not earned means sufficient to take us all through; so father decided to stay until the year 1848. We worked until the spring of ’48. By this time we had a yoke of oxen, a wagon and two cows. In the spring of 1850 we started for the valley in the mountains, later called Salt Lake City” (6).

James Duane Davis

James and Roxanna Davis had a son born on October 12, 1846, at Silver Creek. His name was James Kimball Davis. The father, James, died on August 1, 1847 and the son, James, died on in September the same year at Silver Creek.

George Given Johnston

George Given Johnston and Sarah Sophia Johnson had two children at Silver Creek. David Lewis Johnston was born on March 21, 1848, and Sarah Sariah Johnston on April 18, 1850.

Joseph Smith Oman

Joseph S. Oman was born on December 9, 1848, in Silver Creek to George Washington Oman and Malvina Graham Dickey. He was baptized and confirmed a member of the of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on June 7, 1885, at Stockton, San Joaquin, California by Thomas Daley (7).

Cutler Almon Sherman

Cutler Almon Sherman was born to Almon Worthy Sherman and Lois Huntington Cutler on December 6, 1848, at Silver Creek. Cutler was baptized a member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1875 by T. W. Smith. He died when his horses “took fright” and caught him between two wagons (8).


  1. Jenson, Andrew. LDS Biographical Encyclopedia. Vol. 2, p. 70.
  2. Jenson, Andrew. LDS Biographical Encyclopedia. Vol. 2, p. 563.
  3. Carter, Kate B. Our Pioneer Heritage. Vol. 2, p. 469.
  4. Carter, Kate B. Our Pioneer Heritage. Vol. 2, p. 471.
  5. Carter, Kate B. Our Pioneer Heritage. Vol. 10, pp. 261-262.
  6. Carter, Kate B. Our Pioneer Heritage. Vol. 18, p. 165.
  7. Early Reorganization Minutes, 1872-1905, Book B.
  8. Saints’ Herald Obituaries, 1885, p. 779.