Commerce, Illinois 

 

Summary

Located near middle of western boundary of state, bordering Mississippi River.1 European Americans settled area, 1820s.2 From bank of river, several feet above high-water mark, ground described as nearly level for six or seven blocks before gradually sloping upward sixty to seventy feet to level ground that later became temple block.3 Beyond this, ground remained level and continued into prairie.4 Laid out, 1834.5 Originally called Venus.6 Adjacent town, Commerce City, laid out, 1837.7 Both towns originally square with shore, as opposed to later east-west orientation of Nauvoo plat.8 Described in 1837 as having two stores, one grocery, and twelve or fifteen families.9 Panic of 1837 created buyers’ market for land in Commerce and Commerce City.10 Latter-day Saints who resided at Quincy, Illinois (following expulsion from Missouri ), planned settlement in area and purchased large tracts of land including Commerce City and part of Commerce, 1839.11 JS moved with family to Commerce, 10 May 1839, into log house on bank of river.12 Commerce Stake organized, 5 Oct. 1839, with William Marks as president.13 When post office name changed from Commerce to Nauvoo, Apr. 1840, entire area became known as Nauvoo.14

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