Monday, September 30, 2013

Joseph Standing's May 5, 1876 letter from Covington, Indiana to the "Deseret News."

Wabash Water Trail, Indiana from Wikipedia
(Continued from here.)

Elders Joseph Standing and John Morgan both wrote letters on May 5, 1876. The one Joseph Standing wrote to the Deseret News follows. I didn't find a copy of it published in the Deseret News. I did learn further about Oliver Shelby's interest in these missionaries.

Covington, Ind., May 5, 1876
Editor Deseret News:

Brother Morgan and I have been in the vicinity of the above-named place for the last three weeks. During this time we had held some eighteen meetings to large, attentive audiences, and, with scarcely any exceptions, a good spirit has prevailed.

Covington is nicely situated upon the east bank of the Wabash River. Steamboats, before railroads were built through this section of country, used to very frequently ply up and down the river, making Covington a prominent landing.

The Wabash and Erie Canal, until the past two of three  years, has been in constant use since 1846. It was originally designed to connect Lake Erie with the Ohio River, but this was never accomplished. This canal passes through Covington, which contains about 5,000 inhabitants. Its two finest buildings are the court house and county jail. The former building cost the sum of $8775,000, the latter, $105,000.

This county [Fountain] boasts of a poor house, which is a very capacious building, two stories high, built of brick, Brother Morgan and I visited this place, but we were not very favorably impressed with the arrangements made for the unfortunate creatures who are brought  there, and who are the observed of all observers.

How differently are they treated who have been unfortunate in our country. Our noble mothers and daughters  of Israel come to the rescue of the poor, and assist them with encouraging words and with the necessaries of life, without that great parade of vaunted charity which is so common among the people of the world. According to the condition that present society is in, I suppose that the poor are cared for as well as they could be.

This is a fine timbered country, the land rich and rolling. He farms are not generally so large as those in Illinois, and as a result the country is more thickly settled, the schools better attended and in a better condition.

Unless a “Mormon” Elder has traveled through this country, preaching, he could scarcely realize the vast different there is between the people of Illinois and those of Indiana. Here the people are more kind and hospitable, giving the stranger a warm welcome to their habitations, and seem more willing to let others worship God after the dictates of their own conscience. We are now staying with Mr. Oliver Shelby, whose mother died a member of the Church. He remembered to have heard several of the Elders preach. He testifies that he saw a young Elder, by the name of Robinson, who was sick at his father’s house, cured instantaneously by the anointing of oil and laying on of hands by the Elders.

We have appointments on ahead which will take us until the latter part of next week to fill. To-night we speak at the Court House, where we have spoken once before. The two weekly papers published here kindly inserted notices of the same.

We feel that we have done much good in allaying prejudice, and there are some in this locality who will shortly come to a knowledge of the truth. We know that God has endowed us with a portion of his Holy Spirit, so that we have been enabled to bear a faithful testimony to those with whom we have come in contact.

My intention is to spend a portion of this Summer in Canada, among my relations whom I have never seen. Brother Morgan will remain in this State, where he has several uncles. We shall both preach whenever there is an opportunity. After my visiting I shall rejoin Brother M. We then shall travel South, through Kentucky, into Tennessee, where we propose to stay over Winter.

Yours in the Gospel,

Jos. Standing.

Typed copy of this letter is found in the John Hamilton Morgan Collection, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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