“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.
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.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Wisconsin Historical Society marker series.
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 78) and East Baker Street (County Road F), on the left when traveling north on Oak Street. Touch for map. Marker is located at the Graceland Cemetery. Marker is in this post office area: Blanchardville WI 53516, United States of America.
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
Zenas Gurley Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, July 9, 2010
2. Zenas Gurley Marker
The marker is on the left, in front of Graceland Cemetery.
away); Green's Prairie Cemetery (approx. 5˝ 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); Primrose Lutheran Church (approx. 10.8 miles away).
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 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).
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesChurches & ReligionNotable PersonsNotable Places
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 15, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 682 times since then. 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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