Sam visits Seminary classes
near church history sites
(Note: You may click on pictures to enlarge them.)
Council Bluffs, Iowa
Sister Rickabaugh's Glenwood, Iowa Seminary class hosted
Seminary Sam's visits to Kanesville, Iowa; Winter Quarters, Omaha,
and Ashland, Nebraska.
Miller's Hollow was one of the larger settlements on the Iowa
side of the river and was later named Kanesville in 1848.
In 1852, it was renamed Council Bluffs.
Mormon Trail sign is on the campus of the Iowa School for the Deaf in
Council Bluffs, Iowa on the site of the "mustering in" (enlistment) of
the Mormon Battalion. This is where about 489 men, 12 teens (aides to
officers), and about 20 wives (laundresses) volunteered in July 1846 to
serve the United States Army during the war with Mexico.
was also the site of the Grand Encampment
for the Latter-day Saint wagon trains crossing southern Iowa during
1846 exodus from Western Illinois and South East Iowa
nine miles from the
Missouri River along either side of the present Hwy #92
the Iowa School for the Deaf.
This picture shows (left to right): Sister Rickabaugh, Megan, Jessica
(with Seminary Sam),
and Andrea on the front
row. Steven, Kevin, Keegan, Jon and Sister Deitchler on the Mustering Grounds of the Mormon Battalion.
This plaque at the Mormon Battalion Mustering Grounds reads:
Mormon Battalion Mustering Grounds
One of the most remarkable infantry marches in American history
began here in July 1846 with the mustering of the Mormon Battalion.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon)
responded to the request from President James K. Polk to serve the
United States in the war with Mexico. The 500 volunteers were among
thousands of Mormons who had left Nauvoo, Illinois that year and
were moving west in search of a new home. The Battalion demonstrated
the patriotism of the Mormons and also enabled them to earn money
for their westward trek. Accompanied by a number of wives and
children who served as laundresses and aids, the Battalion marched
south to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to be equipped, then on through
Santa Fe, New Mexico and Tucson, Arizona to the Pacific Coast-more
than 2,000 miles in six months. Although not required to engage in
combat, the Mormon Battalion made an important contribution in
opening new roads to California and the Pacific coast. Their
commanding officer, Lt. Col. Phillip St. George Cooke, said of their
achievement, "History may be searched in vain for and equal march of
The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Placed in 1989
The Kanesville Tabernacle was originally built in 1847.
In 1848, Brigham Young was sustained
there as president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Tabernacle was rebuilt in 1997 and took 6½ months to build. It was
dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley in 1997 during the Grand
Encampment and Re-enactment of the Mormon Battalion. Some of the logs
were hewn to resemble the original by LDS missionaries on their
Preparation Days. There were many who volunteered their time.
The logs are from
cottonwood trees that came from Weeping Water, Nebraska. It
is 40 feet wide and 60 feet long. The fireplace was built out of
The original Tabernacle was built during the winter months on top of an
old spring. Henry Miller began work on December 6, 1847 and finished it
in three weeks with the help of 200 men. The logs were green and had
not been properly dried. When warm weather came, the walls shrank 1½
feet when the cottonwood timbers dried. The original tabernacle lasted
only two years.
Kevin, Bishop Jankiewicz, Kyle, Jon, Jessica, Megan, Andrea, Keegan and Steven
(standing by Seminary Sam)
are pictured above.
Glenwood Seminary students
are shown standing by the statue of Henry William Miller
"President Young and others from Utah had returned temporarily to
Winter Quarters by the fall of 1847. On 4 December, while trying
to conduct an overcrowded conference on the Iowa side in the
blockhouse, President Young proposed that a large log house be built in
Miller's Hollow for temporary use.... Henry W. Miller and about 200
workmen immediately went to work, felling cottonwood trees, cutting
them into logs, and fashioning them into a tabernacle-all within three
weeks time. Miller's workmen finished the large building just in time
for the historic conference held 23-27 December, which some 1,000
William G. Hartley, ""Pushing on to Zion: Kanesville, Iowa,
1846-1853," Ensign, August 2002,
Seminary Sam is
shown resting on a statue
called "The Family, an Everlasting Heritage"
by Bill L. Hill. It is located on the grounds of the Kanesville Tabernacle.
A plaque at the statue reads:
The Family, an Everlasting Heritage
by Bill L. Hill
monument is erected to the honor and memory of those great souls, our
pioneer fathers and mothers, who hewed the stone and laid the
foundation of spiritual kingdom and civilization that has since become
a world-wide entity.
sculpture focuses on the Mother as the eternal and pivotal influence of
love and service, not only within the family unit, but also within the
spiritually strong society that grew from these pioneers. A strong
family unit is the strength of any community and nation even today.
This picture of Brigham Young being sustained as the President of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hangs over the sod fireplace in
the Kanesville Tabernacle.
This wagon is a replica of the many wagons that
rolled across Iowa and on to Utah.
It is displayed in the Kanesville Tabernacle. Seminary Sam
has climbed onto the wagon and is ready to cross
(formerly Winter Quarters)
is shown resting on the Florence Mill
The marker reads:
On this lot stands the old mill built during the westward migration of
the Mormons purchased by Jacob Weber in 8160 now owned and operated by
This tablet is erected by Major Isaac Sadler
Daughters of the American Revolution
The Florence Mill
historical marker reads:
The Florence Mill
Florence Mill, one of the earliest in Nebraska, was constructed by the
Mormons at Winter Quarters during the winter of 1846-1847. Supplying
both flour and lumber, the water-powered mill enabled the Mormons to
cope more readily with the adverse conditions encountered during their
stay in Nebraska. In 1847-1848 groups of Mormons began to leave this
area for the Salt Lake Valley and as a result, Winter Quarters and the
mill were abandoned. In 1856, Alexander Hunter began to operate the
mill. Its products helped fill the demands created by the growing town
of Florence, established in 1854 on the old site of Winter Quarters. By
1870, Jacob Weber had acquired the operation. Flour became its most
important product, and by 1880 steam had largely replaced water as the
motive force. The mill was further modified in later years to meet
changing demands, and it continued to operate under the direction of
second and third generation members of the Weber family.
Spanning more than a century, the history of the Florence Mill reflects
the important contribution of the milling industry to the development
Florence Historical Foundation Historical Land Mark Council
One of the early needs of Winter Quarters was a flour mill. On
September 22, 1846, the Municipal High Council decided to build a mill
and appointed Brigham Young as the supervisor. The mill was constructed
at the north end of Winter Quarters. The creek that supplied the water
power for the mill was called Turkey Creek (some refer to it as Mill
Creek) which now runs through an underground culvert. Parts of the
original mill still stand at the northern end of Florence and have been
moved about 2½ blocks southeast of the original site.
trip is complete without
a trip to the Winter Quarters Bookstore.
The mural shown below is on the side of the bookstore.
Glenwood Seminary students pose alongside
the mural on the wall of the Winter Quarters Bookstore
in Florence, Nebraska.
Florence was formerly known as Winter Quarters.
The picture above
shows flowers at the
Winter Quarters Temple.
Sam poses thoughtfully
near pioneer graves in the cemetery that is located on the grounds
of the Winter Quarters Temple.
students are shown in front of the
handcart sculpture in the front of the Mormon Trail Center.
The Mormon Trail Center was dedicated in 1997 by President Gordon B. Hinckley.
This replica of the
Nauvoo Temple is located in the as we enter the
Mormon Trail Center.
students pose with Seminary Sam at the William Clayton display.
Brother Clayton wrote "Come, Come Ye Saints."
Here he tells the story of how "All is well!"
Mormon Pioneer Ceremony is located across the street from the Mormon
Trail Center. The Winter Quarters Temple is built on the sacred ground
of the cemetery (just south of the cemetery).
The monument shown
above pays tribute to those who died at Winter Quarters.
A plaque at the monument reads:
"It has been
referred to as the tragedy of Winter Quarters but there was no tragedy
here, for tragedy spells defeat and disaster. This was the Victory of
Winter Quarters, for here was faith and hope and charity raised to
their loftiest pinnacles while greed and selfishness were brought low.
There are times and places in the life of every nation when great
spiritual heights are reached, when courage becomes a living thing,
when faith in God stands as the granite mountain wall firm and
immovable, while hardships, want, hunger, sickness, sorrow and death
beat down to crush. Winter Quarters was such a time and place for the
Heber J. Grant
At the unveiling of the Winter Quarters Monument
September 20, 1936
(formerly Mormon Ferry)
The original Mormon Ferry was located on the east bank of the Missouri
and crossed to approximately "L" street in present day Omaha on the
was later moved north in 1846 to facilitate movement to Winter Quarters. The North Mormon
Ferry was located just north of the Mormon Bridge on
highway I-680. A small community on the Iowa side of the north ferry was called Ferryville.
The John McBride Belnap Pioneer Memorial is located in Ashland, Nebraska.
The marker above
is dedicated to the memory of John McBride Belnap.
In Honor of John McBride Belnap
Second son and child of Gilbert Belnap and Adaline Knight, Mormon
Pioneers, who was born 11 May 1849 in Fremont county, Iowa. He departed
for Utah with his parents and his older brother Gilbert Rosel Belnap,
age 3, on 15 June 1850 in a wagon built by his father in the Warren
Foote Company, 2nd Fifty, 5th Ten, over which his father was Captain.
In the same ten in another wagon were his maternal grandmother, Martha
McBride Knight Smith Kimball, age 45, and his Uncle James Vinson
Knight, age 16.
Less than one week after crossing the Missouri River near Plattsmouth, Nebraska. John took ill with
cholera during the evening of 21 June 1850 while the 2nd Fifty was
encamped on the east side of the Saline Ford.
About the same time his mother and grandmother also contracted cholera,
although they later recovered John died in the latter part of the night
on 22 June 1850. His body was wrapped in a blanket and placed inside
his father's oak tool chest. He was buried in the morning on the east
side of Salt Creek in an unmarked grave dug by his father at the time
of his death. John was just learning to talk when his mother would hold
to his baby dress to keep him from falling out of the wagon. John would
say "take care." The rest of his family continued west arriving in the
Salt Lake Valley on 17 September 1850. Two weeks later they moved to
Ogden, Utah. Members of Gilbert Belnap's family were instrumental in
settling parts of Northern Utah and Eastern Idaho.
dedicated 27 April 1997
by descendants of Utah Pioneer Gilbert Belnap.
Belnap Family Organization
The Ox Bow Trail Marker-reads:
The Ox-Bow Trail
This marker sits astride the Ox-Box Trail, also known as the Old Fort
Kearny or Nebraska City Road. Beginning in the 1840's, this route
carried thousands of emigrants and millions of pounds of freight
destined for the settlements, mining camps, or military posts of the
west. Many travelers were Mormons bound for the Great Salt Lake Valley.
The trail, looping north to the Platte from such Missouri River towns
as Plattsmouth and Nebraska City, resembled an Ox-Bow, after which it
was named. Just west of here was an important ford across Salt Creek,
where limestone ledges form a natural tow-water bridge. Travel over the
trail declined in the mid-1860's with the development of more direct
routes from the Missouri to the Central Platte Valley.
The water supply for the City of Lincoln comes from wells in the Platte
Valley near here. In 1932 this pumping station was built and a 36 inch
water main laid to Lincoln. A treatment plant and an additional 48 inch
main were added in the 1950's.
Saunders county Historical Society
Ashland Chamber of Commerce
Nebraska State Historical Society
Sam's journeys are continued on page
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© Copyright 2003, by Kenneth L. Alford. All rights