Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Nauvoo connection

We recently visited Nauvoo, IL, on a business trip, but had a chance to look around some at the Mormon history in town. Debra's g-g-g-grandmother on her father's maternal side (Mary "Polly" Bell Bennett) made the epic trek with the Mormons out to Salt Lake City, UT. She and her first husband, Richard Bennett, moved from Tennessee to Ash Grove, IL, in the central part of the state. Life being hard, he died in the fall of 1835 at age 50. Mary, along with three daughters and a son, converted to the Mormon faith when they came through Shelby County, IL, and moved with them to Nauvoo in early 1841. Both daughters died on the migration from Nauvoo, through Iowa and the Winter Campgrounds in Nebraska. Mary and her son made it to Cedar Fort, UT, just outside Salt Lake City. Her son, Eli, one of the first residents of Cedar Fort, became a Bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon).

While in Nauvoo, we walked through the burial grounds of those Mormons who resided there in the 1840s. We found reference to several deceased people with the surname of Bennett, Bell (Mary's maiden name), and Weeks (her and her daughter's husband). We are anxious to go back and do more research in the Mormon research center just north of the Temple on the banks of the Mississippi River.