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THE MORMON TEMPLE AT FAR WEST

Narrator: Mr. and Mrs. Robert Morris Hamilton, Missouri

In 1884 and 1885 Mr. and Mrs. Robert Morris began their married life in a little home just south of the old Mormon Temple excavation at Far West.

Their farm of fifty acres was apparently part of the once populous Mormon capital city Far West, for Mr. Morris found several rock foundations on his farm.

The excavation was deeper fifty years ago than now and the rocks were larger for Mrs. Morris recalls how sight seers would come over to their home to borrow an ax or hammer to knock off a piece of rock as a souvenir. Visitors both Mormons and Gentiles were frequent, some getting off the train at Cameron and driving over to see the excavation and cornerstone of the Mormon Temple which was never finished. The gaps in the rocks then probably were just as they were left when the Gentiles drove the Mormons away 1838 after the battle of Far West.

The temple lot belonged then to John Whitmer one of the original witnesses of the Mormon revelation. (Since then it has passed into the possession of the Latter Day Saints of the Utah Church) Just east of the temple lot was Jacob Whitmer's home and father east was the home of his father John Whitmer. All these were still adherents of the Latter Day Saints faith. Not far off was Mrs. Chris Kerr a daughter who possessed the historic golden plates which Joseph Smith dug up. The Morrises knew the location of the old Mormon cemetery but no stones were left 1885. They knew nothing of the story that those monuments had been taken to form the foundation of some house in that community--the inscriptions being turned in.

Interview taken August 5, 1934.

 

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All photos are copyright KingsCross Farm, 1997 & 1998
All written material other than reference material copyright KingsCross Farm 1998