Near Talmage in Union County, Iowa — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Mt. Pisgah Mormon Pioneer Way Station / Chief Pied Riche Tells the Spirit of Mt. Pisgah
The original community was located on the slope and flatlands east of this spot. The cemetery extended down the hill to the west, north and south beyond the railroad tracks. Headstones were long ago removed or destroyed by the elements, but the large monument was erected in 1888.
(back of main marker)
Soon after the Mormons arrived here the renowned Indian Chief Pied Riche came to bid them welcome and to tell them how the Pottawattamie Indians had likewise been driven from their homeland in what is now Michigan. “We must help one another, and the Great Spirit will help us both. Because one suffers and does not deserve it is no reason he shall suffer always. We may live to see it right yet. If we do not, our children will."
(front of memorial monument)
In memory of
of the church of
Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints
who died in
Denying their ex-
odus to seek a home
Interred here is
The first Presiding
Elder of the temporary
Elder Lorenzo &
Isaac Phinehas Richards
Son of Elder
Franklin D and Jane Snyder Richards
Betsey Gurley Shipley. Nephi Shipley. David McKee. Polly Sweat. Louisa Cox. Eliza Cox. Henry Davis. Joel Campbell. Emily Whiting. Elisha Whiting. Sally Whiting. Widow Hewl Whiting. Elizabeth Daniels. Rebecca
(side 3 of monument)
Ezra T.B.Adair. Nancy Workman. Samuel Workman. Samuel Steele. Simeon Thayer. Cloah Thayer. Jessy Hitchcocke Wife. Clark Hallet. Phebe Hallet. Ann Gould Hallet. Louses Hallet 8. 2 other children. Sarah Hulet. Sarah Ann Hulet. Noah Rogers. Amos Philemon Rogers. Mary Briant Ensign. Margaret Josephine Billingsley.
(side 4 of monument)
Hyrum Spencer. Alvah Hancock. Gardner Edmison. Philinda Galvin Jordin. Joseph Smith Billingsley. Elkano Keller. Mrs. Baldwin and Baby. Mr. Hess Mr. Hays) Buried on west side of river. Joseph Merryfield. Mr. Cook. Wife of Mr. Brown. Mr. Thompson. William Selvannies Bishop. Joseph Franklin Bishop. Angelin Carter. Stranger not in the book. Henry Judson. Alexander Guy. Benjamin Guy. Emma Jane Johnson. Martha A Dunn.
(Left side of NPS tablet)
The trek from Nauvoo, Illinois to Kanesville (Council Bluffs), Iowa tested the endurance of humans, animals and equipment. The frozen landscape of an Iowa February soon turned a thawing mixture of mud and
After wintering in the present-day Omaha/Council Bluffs district; the Saints continued across Nebraska and Wyoming to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake. Today, a marked 1,624 mile long auto tour route closely parallels this historic route.
The Mormon Pioneers struggled across the Iowa prairies, traversed the Great Plains of Nebraska, climbed the backbone of the continent at South Pass Wyoming, and descended the Pacific slope of the Rocky Mountains to the Great Salt Lake Valley of Utah.
(map of the Mormon National Historic Trail)
(center portion of NPS Tablet)
Pratt was sent by the Pioneer party to find a location for the second semi-permanent camp in Iowa. Here, three thousand acres of land were cleared, log homes and other buildings appeared, and crops were planted. A natural year-round
Perhaps Pratt was not actually viewing the promised land from this hilltop, as the name Mount Pisgah suggests. However, the beauty and abundance of this site provided a welcome respite for the Pioneers after three and a half months of struggling through the Iowa mud.
The arrow indicates your present location and the dots mark the sites of other panels across the state. For a brochure with more detailed route information, contact the nearest tourist information office.
(map of the Mormon Historical Trail through Iowa)
(right side of NPS Panel)
Parley P. Pratt, Autobiography
"Riding about three or four miles through beautiful prairies, I came suddenly to some round and sloping hills, grassy and crowned with beautiful groves of timber; while alternate open groves and forests seemed blended in all beauty and harmony of an English park. While beneath and beyond, on the West, rolled a main branch of grand River, with its rich bottoms of alternate forest and prairie. As I approached this lovely scenery, several deer and wolves, being startled at the sight of me... bounded away... Being pleased and excited at the varied beauty before me, I cried out, "this is Mount Pisga.""
Eliza R.Snow, June 4, 1846
Orson Pratt May 19, 1846
"We concluded to form another settlement here, for the benefit of the poor, and such as were unable, for the want of teams, to proceed further. Accordingly, the camp commenced building houses, ploughing, planting, and fencing in farms..."
These excerpts, selected from thousands of faded Pioneer journals, tell us how it was on the trail for the Mormon Pioneers, who in spite of daily toil, hardships, and death, left us a thousand windows into the past.
(illustration of a cave dugout and two men building split log fencing)
(metal tag on case)
Exhibits funded in part by the AMCA Humanities Board and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Churches & Religion • Native Americans • Roads & Vehicles • Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Mormon Pioneer Trail series list. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1846.
Location. 41° 3.055′ N, 94° 6.023′ W. Marker is near Talmage, Iowa, in Union County. Marker is on Mt Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Thayer IA 50254, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mt. Pisgah (within shouting distance of this marker); Veterans Memorial (approx. 5.3 miles away).
More about this marker. These markers are in the Mt Pisgah Cemetery State Preserve.
Also see . . .
1. Mormon Pioneer National Historical Trail. This is the link from the National Park Service. (Submitted on July 21, 2009, by Thomas Onions of Olathe, Kansas.)
2. Mount Pisgah Iowa Wikipedia Entry. (Submitted on July 21, 2009, by Thomas Onions of Olathe, Kansas.)
Additional keywords. Mormon Trail
Credits. This page was last revised on July 7, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 21, 2009, by Thomas Onions of Olathe, Kansas. This page has been viewed 4,120 times since then and 165 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on July 22, 2009, by Thomas Onions of Olathe, Kansas. 11. submitted on October 18, 2014, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.