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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Corydon in Wayne County, Iowa — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

The Mormon Pioneer Trail / The Trail's Better Half

 
 
The Mormon Pioneer Trail / The Trail's Better Half Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 11, 2015
1. The Mormon Pioneer Trail / The Trail's Better Half Marker
Inscription.

Beginning in February of 1846, the vanguard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) struggled across southern Iowa on the way to their "New Zion" in the Rocky Mountains.

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 into a thawing mixture of nearly impassable mud and muck. Their unshakable faith and determination sustained them, however, and thousands of men, women, and children arrived at the Missouri River, having completed this first portion of the journey west under extremely difficult conditions.

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.
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The Mormon migration was the movement of an entire people to establish new homes in the

The Mormon Pioneer Trail / The Trail's Better Half Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 11, 2015
2. The Mormon Pioneer Trail / The Trail's Better Half Marker
At left foreground
West. Therefore, women played a more important role in everyday life along the Mormon Pioneer Trail than in later emigrant companies of young men, heading west to seek their fortunes in the California gold fields.

Women's responsibilities included most of the care of infants and children, as well as fuel gathering, cooking, churning, sewing, laundering, and nursing. Childbirth was a common occurrence on the trail. Many women were pregnant when they left, and others became pregnant en route.

Pioneer women did everything they could to preserve a semblance of home and civilization, even in the middle of the wilderness. Sometimes at night, their scanty belongings were arranged around campfires to approximate their parlors back home. The interiors of their wagons were often decorated with mirrors, carpets, and lamps to appear as homelike as possible.

Eliza Maria Partridge Lyman, March 6, 1846
"Arose in the morning and made a small fire of bark, and made some coffee to drink with our bread.... Rollins killed 8 prairie hens, and D. P. Clark a bird, which will make us a very comfortable meal."

Helen Mar Kimball Whitney, Recollections
"The youthful portion... could form a cotillion of French four by the big log fire, and often we did so at evening and danced to amuse ourselves as well as to keep our blood in proper circulation."

Eliza R. Snow, May 17, 1846
"Yesterday I enjoy'd the novel scenery of a quilting out-of-doors, after which with much conviviality & agreeable sociability the party took tea.... Our treat was serv'd in the tent, around a table of bark, spread on bars, supported by four crotches drove into the ground; and consisted of light biscuits & butter, dutch cheese, peach sauce, custard pie & tea."

Louisa Barnes Pratt, May 31, 1846
"I found great pleasure in riding horseback. By that means I could render some assistance in driving the stock.

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.
 
Erected by Iowa Mormon Trails Association and National Park Service.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mormon Pioneer Trail marker series.
 
Location. 40° 45.44′ N, 93° 18.697′ W. Marker is in Corydon, Iowa, in Wayne County. Marker is on Jefferson Street (State Highway 2) east of East Street, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is near the entrance to the Prairie Trails Museum of Wayne County. Marker is at or near this postal address: 515 East Jefferson Street, Corydon IA 50060, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. W.P. [William Patterson] Allred (here, next to this marker); Corydon Freedom Rock Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); War Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away).
 
Also see . . .
1. Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail. (Submitted on November 8, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Prairie Trails Museum of Wayne County, Iowa. (Submitted on November 8, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Iowa Mormon Trails Association. (Submitted on November 8, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Roads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers

 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 8, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 143 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 8, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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