Leon in Decatur County, Iowa — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The Road to Zion
From the late 1840s through the 1860s, an exodus of more than 70,000 Mormons passed by here on their way to their "New Zion" in Utah. Starting from Nauvoo, Illinois in February 1846, the first group of at least 13,000 Mormons crossed into Iowa to escape religious persecution, then spent the next winter in the area of present-day Council Bluffs, Iowa and Omaha, Nebraska.
In 1847, Brigham Young led an advance party of 143 men, 2 women, and 3 children along the Platte River. At Fort Bridger, Wyoming they departed from the Oregon Trail to head southwest to the Great Salt Lake. Thousands of other Mormons soon followed. Today, a marked 1,624-mile auto tour route closely parallels their historic trek.
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During their exodus of 1846-47, Mormon pioneers set up several communities and ferry crossings along the trail to assist later emigrants going to and from their new home in Utah.
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From 1856-60, most Mormon converts coming from Europe traveled by rail to Iowa City, Iowa, then walked more than 1,200 miles to Salt Lake City pushing and pulling handcarts loaded with 500 pounds of supplies. After 1860, the Mormon church sent oxen-drawn wagon trains from Salt Lake City to bring emigrants west to the "New Zion."
Diary pages by Mormon emigrant
Erected by National Park Service.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mormon Pioneer Trail marker series.
Location. 40° 44.379′ N, 93° 44.89′ W. Marker is in Leon, Iowa, in Decatur County. Marker is at the intersection of 1st Street (U.S. 69) and Church Street (U.S. 69), on the right when traveling west on 1st Street. Touch for map. Marker is near the entrance to the Leon Carnegie Library. Marker is at or near this postal address: 200 West 1st Street, Leon IA 50144, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Founders Park (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Replica of the Statue of Liberty (about 500 feet away); Decatur County Freedom Rock Veterans Memorial (about 600 feet away); Leon High School (approx. ¼ mile away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 11.1 miles away); France Building (approx. 12.6 miles away).
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
Also see . . . Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail. (Submitted on March 17, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Churches, Etc. • Roads & Vehicles • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 17, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 401 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on March 17, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.