“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Blanchardville in Lafayette County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Zenas Gurley

Zenas Gurley Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William J. Toman, July 9, 2010
1. Zenas Gurley Marker
Inscription.  In 1850, Zenas Gurley, settled with his family in this area. His charisma and leadership drew other devout families to this area after he broke with Brigham Young because of his polygamy practices. This settlement was called “Zarahemla” or “City of God,” because the beautiful surroundings made them feel as if they had found the “Zion” or ideal society.

Gurley played a major role in the development of the Reorganized Church of the Latter Day Saints which is now headquartered in Independence, Missouri.
Erected 2000 by Wisconsin Historical Society. (Marker Number 450.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesChurches & ReligionSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Wisconsin Historical Society series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1850.
Location. 42° 48.838′ N, 89° 51.476′ W. Marker is in Blanchardville, Wisconsin, in Lafayette County. Marker is at the intersection of Oak Street (State Highway
Zenas Gurley Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William J. Toman, July 9, 2010
2. Zenas Gurley Marker
The marker is on the left, in front of Graceland Cemetery.
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78) and East Baker Street (County Road F), on the left when traveling north on Oak Street. Marker is located at the Graceland Cemetery. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Blanchardville WI 53516, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Zarahemla (approx. 0.3 miles away); Earliest Settlers (approx. 0.9 miles away); Green's Prairie Cemetery (approx. 5½ miles away); Argyle (approx. 7.8 miles away); Partridge Hall Star Theatre (approx. 7.9 miles away); Hauge Log Church - 1852 (approx. 8.3 miles away); Battle of Pecatonica (approx. 10.6 miles away); The Battle of the Pecatonica (approx. 10.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Blanchardville.
Regarding Zenas Gurley. Entry in the Wisconsin Historical Society Dictionary of Wisconsin History for Zenas Hovey Gurley (1801-1871): "Mormon minister, b. Bridgewater, N.Y. He taught school for several years near Leeds, Canada, and in 1838, became a member of the Latter-day Saints in Ontario. He was ordained an elder the same year, and shortly thereafter moved to Far West, Mo. In 1841 he was ordained a 'seventy' at Nauvoo, Ill. After the death of Joseph Smith in 1844, Gurley associated himself with the factional Strangite movement near Burlington, Wis., and in 1850 organized a large 'branch' at Blanchardville. The next year he and his group denounced all factional leaders and in Apr., 1853, joined the
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Beloit group under Jason W. Briggs (q.v.) to form the Reorganized Church. He was ordained an apostle in 1853 and continued to preach and organize branches of his church in Wisconsin and Illinois until his death." Citing J. and H. C. Smith, Hist. of the Church . . . of Latter Day Saints (4 vols., Lamoni, Iowa, 1900-1903); I. S. Davis, Story of the Church (Independence, Mo., 1948); A. B. Phillips, Restoration Movement . . . (Independence, Mo., 1928).
Credits. This page was last revised on December 30, 2019. It was originally submitted on July 15, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 915 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 15, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 25, 2023