Sunday, April 26, 2015

More Spring, Richardson's Point, and a Mill Stone

Couldn't help taking a few more spring pictures today when we went for a walk.

 Nauvoo Temple in the spring!
 The pictures below were actually taken in Quincy this week. What a lovely town!

Quincy with our friends, the Udahls.

See details: Charley's Run

Richardson's Point
All of the Nauvoo missionaries met at Richardson's Point this week. I had no idea what part it played in Mormon history so let me catch you up.

About 1,200 acres of this area was homesteaded between 1840-1845 by various members of the Richardson and Stewart families from Kentucky and Ohio, respectively. Benjamin Franklin Stewart was married to Polly Richardson, cementing ties between the families. Polly's brother, George, probably owned the actual land on which Richardson's Point is located. When Benjamin and Polly joined the Mormons in 1842, several family members also joined the Church and most eventually traveled West with the pioneers. They were all living on the land when Brigham Young halted the Mormon exodus at this location in March 1846 due to heavy rain. The travelers had been in route for about a month after leaving Nauvoo that winter.

 The Mormons in Nauvoo, Il, had planned to abandon their city in mid-1846 under mounting persecution, but violent mobs forced them to start leaving in February, when the Mississippi River was frozen- over. Thousands crossed into Iowa and camped for a time near the river before slowly moving west. On March 7th, they could go no further because their heavy wagons were sinking in the mud. They remained bogged down at Richardson's Point for nearly two weeks, but the absence of mobs gave the travelers a welcome measure of peace. While in camp, the Saints (as Church members are called) welcomed three babies into the world, set up a traveling post office, organized wagon companies, and worked on neighboring farms for food and supplies. William Pitts' brass band played for dances and also earned $55 by performing in Keosauqua, IA. The deaths of Edwin Little and James Tanner cast a pall over the camp, but the pioneers were determined to move forward. As rains lifted by the 18th of March, the main camp of several thousand people moved on, still others leaving Nauvoo would stop briefly at Richarson's Point for the next several months.

James Monroe Tanner 1845-46 was the son of Sidney and Louisa Tanner and descendant of Mayflower pilgrims, James died at 15 months from "inflammation of the brain." His mother died a few months later near Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Edwin Sobieski Little, 1816-1846 was Nephew to Mormon leader, Brigham Young. Edwin fell in an icy river helping his uncle with a wagon.. He became ill, likely with pneumonia, and died on 18th of March 1845. He left behind a wife, Harriet, and infant son, George. Both made it safely to the West.
 There was a beautiful and peaceful spirit about the place. An excerpt from the dedicatory prayer said, "Let this be a place of peace and tranquility, a place of meditation, a place for silent prayers to be offered and answered, a place where understanding of spiritual things may increase."
 Today, the Klodt Family has owned this land for generations, beginning with the first purchase in 1895. Brad Klodt now manages Klodt Family Farms, but his family and neighbors have long felt the importance of preserving local history by honoring this as a burial site. This area was cleared and prepared with the help of many friends for the benefit of all who visit.
 The Klodt Family joined with friends, neighbors, and special guests to dedicate Richardson's Point as a private historical site in memory of the pioneers who blazed a trail to the West. 

While Richardson's Point honors the dead, and while many pioneers died during their long journey, it would be a mistake to think the Mormon Trail was full of sorrow. In fact, the mortality rate for Mormon Pioneers averaged about 3.5% for the period 1845-68. compared to 2.9% in 1850 for the United States as a whole and closer to 6 % for travelers on the Oregon and California trails. When the cause of death was listed, cholera was the greatest culprit, followed by other illnesses or accidents. However, most pioneers wrote about their experiences with joy, hope, and faith in their future and faith in God. More than 60,000 people migrated West on the Mormon Trail.

Mill Stone
Remember what Christ said in reference to the state of a person who offends little children? 

"But whoso shall offend one of these little ones, which believe in me, it were better for him that a mill stone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depths of the sea." (Matthew 18:6)
 This is a mill stone found in the Mississippi River during the Nauvoo restoration era. It is on display behind the Skovil Bakery here in Nauvoo. It's kinda big don't you think? Shows how much the Savior loves little children and how sad he must be when they are harmed.

May I invite you to look in the mirror? 
How are you treating others especially children?
What can you do better? 
Will you make those changes starting now?

Humanitarian projects are complete and we have turned our attention to preparing for summer guests. Here is our final count with Sister Susan Clement proudly holding the numbers.
 We have touched lives all over the mid-west! small and simple things are great things brought to pass.
See Alma 37:6

1 comment:

  1. Edwin little is an ancestor of mine! Cool to see his story :) we're excited to see you soonz