Pioneer School House
at This is The Place Pioneer Village, Salt Lake City, Utah
1876 Springtime Illinois weather was unpredictable. Missionaries John Morgan and Joseph Standing had rain, snow--and more--rain and snow. They continually sought people to teach. On March 19 at Kirkpatrick, Illinois—John recorded, ”very cold and unpleasant. Freezing and thawing alternately. Walked 23 miles and feel very stiff and sore.“
Elder Morgan named over twenty-two schools and homes where they held meetings during the month; Wilcox School House, Old log school, Prairie College School House, Four Corners School House, Buck Creek School House, Two or three school houses, Hayner School House, Hemi School House, Union School, and a Methodist Church. And he named the countless people he met and talked to. Mr. Doughtery, Mr. Robert McClure, S. S. Barnes who invited us to stay for dinner, Mrs. Smith who refused us lodging, Mr. Shirley where we now are, Mr. Kirkpatrick and J. E. McDaniels, an Indiana man, are just a few.
Elder Morgan wrote on March 20th, “Came on the RR to within four miles of the above place [Hoopston, Illinois]”... The walking on the RR was very wearysome and tired us out very much. Has been storming and snowing terribly and the roads are impassable."
“We are now getting a thickly settled portion of the country that is among the oldest part of the State. We have every reason to feel thankful to God for his care over us and kindness and goodness to us. We trust to be able to open up a good mission in this locality…”
At Rossville on the 23rd, “…Tried to obtain a hall to hold meeting in but failed to do so… Secured the school house to speak in. Snowing some and muddy.”
March 24, 1876 “Joseph came to me this morning from where [he] stayed and informed me that the Director, Mr. Snyder, had refused the house when he found out that we were Saints. I called to see him and found the Spirit of the Devil rampant. Joseph went North to see the other Director, I went South to secure school houses and got three to speak in. Was well treated. Stayed all night with George Miller.”
March 24 , 1867, Rossville, Illinois. “Came over to Mr. Gates in the morning. Joseph went to town to get our mail. Rained hard all day. Could not hold over meeting on account of the storm. Was sheltered all day at the house of Mr. Jno. Bivens, a Methodist, who treated me kindly and asked me many questions.
March 28, 1876 – Rossville, Illinois. “Woke up this morning and found a terrible storm raging which continued without intermission for the entire day. Walked from Mr. Rop’s to Mr. George Miller’s facing one of the worst storms I ever faced, over the worst roads imaginable. Could not hold meeting owing to the storm. Stayed all night at Mr. Miller’s conversed with the folks until tolerable late in regard to Utah. Cannot think but that God helps us by day and by night…
To be continued.
John Hamilton Morgan Journal, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.