Far West, Missouri 

 

Summary

Originally called Shoal Creek.1 Located fifty-five miles northeast of Independence.2 Surveyed 1823; first settled by whites, 1831.3 Site purchased, 8 Aug. 1836, before Caldwell Co. was organized for Latter-day Saints in Missouri.4 William W. Phelps and John Whitmer held one square mile of land in trust for LDS church.5 Site described as “high rolling prairie” between Shoal and Goose creeks, and the homes as “very scattering, and small, being chiefly built of hewed logs.”6 During Mormon period, population estimated at 3,000 to 5,000.7 JS moved to Far West, Mar. 1838.8 By 1838, town featured 150 houses, four dry-goods stores, three family groceries, six blacksmith shops, two hotels, a printing office (where Elders’ Journal was printed), and at least two schoolhouses.9 Saints laid cornerstones for planned temple, 4 July 1838.10 Four days later, JS dictated revelation directing ordination of apostles and preaching by Quorum of the Twelve “over the great waters.”11 Became church headquarters and center of Mormon activity in Missouri.12 JS dictated seven revelations in area.13 JS arrested with other church leaders just outside of Far West, late Oct.–early Nov. 1838, following Missouri governor Lilburn W. Boggs’ executive order to exterminate Saints or drive them from state.14 Saints expelled from state into Iowa Territory and western Illinois.15

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