3. Means and Materials Used In Construction

Don F. Colvin, “Means and Materials Used In Construction,” in Nauvoo Temple: A Story of Faith (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, 2002), 43–76.

Means and Materials Used In Construction

Building the Nauvoo Temple was a supreme act of faith by the Latter-day Saints. This act was remarkable especially when one considers the circumstances existing when the call to build was given. The decision of Church leaders to build the temple presented a dramatic challenge for Church members and their resources. It would be no easy task to assemble a work force of sufficient numbers, let alone one possessing the skills required to accomplish such a project. In August 1840 when the temple was first announced, it was estimated that only two thousand eight hundred Saints lived in and about Nauvoo, with another two thousand on the other side of the river in Iowa. [1] Some three thousand others were scattered mainly throughout Ohio, Illinois, and Iowa.

Not only were the Saints lacking in numbers and skills, they also lacked the wealth to fund such a building. Most were impoverished, having lost all they owned when just months before they had been driven by mobs from the state of Missouri. They had left behind homes, shops, farms, and possessions. How could they possibly finance such a large structure as the temple, a building which would ultimately (in labor and materials) cost a million dollars or more? [2] In Nauvoo, they struggled to find adequate shelter for themselves. Many families were suffering from disease, sickness, and death, each of which would take a heavy toll during the years of temple construction. Many families battled daily with hunger: “Even the best providers were often short of flour, milk, butter, eggs, and other staples. Almost every letter from this period deals with the great struggle for food." [3] On balance it should be reported that food supplies were much better by the fall of 1845. Fruit trees planted earlier were now in production, and grain and vegetable products were plentiful. Distribution of these commodities now became the problem as farmers in outlying areas were driven from their farms by mobs, and crops were destroyed.

Even if the workforce and the financial means could somehow be assembled, there would yet remain formidable challenges. How and where could they obtain the nails, glass, metals, stone, lumber, tools, equipment, and other building materials? The construction of this temple in the 1840s under these conditions was nothing short of miraculous. It was a demonstration of great faith, devotion, consecration, and sacrifice.

Methods of Finance

The funds required to finance the construction of the Nauvoo Temple came largely from the tithes and offerings of Church members. The law of tithing, instituted in the Church through revelation in July 1838 (D&C 119), was employed in connection with the temple from the very beginning. This was in fact the first full-scale implementation of this principle in the Church. In the revelation of 19 January 1841, Church members were also called upon to contribute gold, silver, and other precious things of the earth for the temple’s construction (D&C 124:26–27).

At first, contributions of money and property were turned over to the temple committee, which issued receipts to the contributors. [4] The role of bishops and ward clerks in collecting tithes from Church members was not in place at this early date in Church history. On 13 December 1841 the Prophet appointed Willard Richards to serve as recorder for the temple. He opened his office in the accounting room of Joseph Smith's new brick store, located on Water Street. From this date, a regular record was kept of tithing contributions in what was called the Book of the Law of the Lord. John Sanders, a convert from Scotland, was the first recorded contributor for a sum of five dollars. [5] The temple committee was then instructed to receive no further tithing and to leave the entire work to Brother Richards.

As Church leaders, particularly members of the Twelve Apostles, visited various conference gatherings of the Church, they made a plea for members to contribute tithes. At these conferences a vote was usually taken, and Church members pledged themselves to contribute of their time and means. An epistle sent to all Church members by the Twelve urged participation and furnished an explanation of the tithing expected. Members living even thousands of miles away were told: “You will find your names, tithings and consecrations written in the Book of the Law of the Lord, to be kept in the Temple. . . . The temple is to be built by tithing and consecration, and every one is at liberty to consecrate all they find in their hearts so to do; but the tithings required, is one-tenth of all anyone possessed at the commencement of the building, and one-tenth part of all his increase from that time until the completion of the same, whether it be money, or whatever he may be blessed with." [6]

Two types of tithing were expected: Members contributed their regular tithing on increase or earnings and another tithe on time, when each person was expected to work every tenth day on the temple without pay. This donation of labor was encouraged so the workforce would expand, especially in the case of skilled craftsmen.

As the flow of contributions increased, Brother Richards’s time became crowded. To avoid neglect of his other duties, he found it necessary to devote all day Saturday of each week to receive and record the tithing as it came in. As donations continued to increase, he could not keep pace with the work, so William Clayton was called to assist, which he did beginning 14 February 1842. [7]

The spring of 1842 was a time of great exertion and sacrifice as contributions to the temple increased. Even some members of other faiths gave liberally. An editorial in the Times and Seasons declared, Never since the foundation of this church was laid, have we seen manifested a greater willingness to comply with the requisitions of Jehovah. [8] Gratitude was expressed for the help given as the people responded to the call of their leaders. It was a time of optimism, a time to push ahead and forget the past. A bright new future, full of promise, loomed on the horizon. On 11 June 1842 the record-keeping staff was again increased as James Whitehead was appointed as an assistant recorder. Money continued to come in at a steadily increasing flow. [9] Members of the Church were urged to send in their contributions from abroad and near by that the work might progress. [10]

The press of business in the recorder’s office justified the need for better accommodations, and a small brick office was built near the temple to facilitate the handling of donations. In November the recorder moved in with his books and records, [11] and work was conducted at this location for the next two years.

Since Latter-day Saints in outlying areas and missions could not come to Nauvoo to contribute, they donated to local authorities, visiting Church leaders, and others who pledged to take their donations to Nauvoo. Some agents had been sent on special missions to raise funds. These were sent with letters of introduction, and their names were published by mission authorities. A number of regular missionaries were authorized to act in this capacity. [12]

It became apparent that not all money was being properly receipted, and in some cases the money was not reaching its destination, being diverted to other causes. The decision was made to require that each individual authorized to collect funds be placed under a two-thousand-dollar bond. The Twelve Apostles were the first to comply with the new ruling. [13] “The wisdom of this order was soon manifest; for, although it was well understood and universally believed that the Twelve would invariably make correct returns, there were others who might not be so careful or scrupulous. And, inasmuch as members of this first quorum were required to give bonds, no other man could justly complain if he were brought under the same rule." [14] There were occasional slack periods in the flow of contributions and provisions. One came at the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, when work on the temple lapsed for about six weeks, as did also the flow of contributions. For many it was a time of uncertainty. As the Twelve Apostles assumed their role of leadership, elders were again sent out to collect funds. An epistle by the Twelve was published in Church periodicals urging a renewed effort and announcing that work on the temple would be pushed to completion. [15] The regular payment of tithes continued, and though slack at times, eventually enough money was donated to allow completion of the building.

Many members had little or no cash and therefore donated as conditions permitted. Daniel Tyler reports that in the early days of Nauvoo the Saints were generally poor. Corn sold for twenty-five cents a bushel and wheat for thirty to fifty cents a bushel. Those who had these provisions not only faced low prices but lacked a ready market. There was also a shortage of jobs. [16] Such conditions explain in large part the types of contributions received. Many Saints donated extra days in labor since they had nothing else to give. Louisa Decker records that her mother sold her best china dishes and a fine bed quilt to contribute her part. [17] Many contributed horses, wagons, cows, grain, beef, pork, and other provisions for use by the temple workmen and their families. Workmens wages were in large part paid from those resources.

Women unable to donate money or work on the building gave blankets, clothes, and other items, or spent their time knitting socks and mittens and making other clothing for the workmen. Some farmers contributed the use of teams and wagons. Others sold part of their land and donated the money to the temple. On a number of occasions a call was sent forth for bench and moulding planes to be contributed as tithing. [18] These and other tools were donated. So many watches and old guns were received that a request was made that no more be turned in, but rather other items that could be used more easily. [19]

As items came in that had to be exchanged for money or usable materials, the work of temple recorders became more interesting and challenging. On occasion it became necessary to advertise for cows that had strayed from the temple yards and were lost. Anyone who could furnish information regarding their whereabouts was asked to report to the temple committee or the temple recorder. Recorders also had the problem of dealing with the collection of debts. Many had responded to a request of the Twelve Apostles that all old notes, deeds, and obligations members held against each other could be turned over as a donation toward building the temple. [20] This resulted in some members reporting to work as payment for debts they had contracted, because notes against them had been turned over to the temple committee as tithing. [21]

In the April conference of 1844, the women's Relief Society was called upon to participate in a special fund for purchasing nails and glass. The women were given the privilege of donating one cent per week or fifty cents per year. The call was to raise at least one thousand dollars by this method. [22] By December nearly six hundred dollars had been collected, and by March 1845, just one year from when the challenge was issued, the full amount of one thousand dollars had been received. Women were then invited to continue their fund-raising efforts until the temple was finished. [23]

Many Church members went beyond their expected tithe, giving of their means far above that required. One outstanding illustration of such unselfish sacrifice was the donation of Joseph Toronto. A native of Sicily and a recent convert to the Church, he had come to Nauvoo during the late spring of 1845. Upon arrival he heard strong appeals from Brigham Young and others for additional funds to build the temple. He responded by giving his life's savings, which amounted to twenty-five hundred dollars in gold. [24]

Brigham Young later commented on the occasion of the Toronto contribution:

A few months after the martyrdom of Joseph the Prophet, in the autumn and winter of 1844 we did much hard labor on the Nauvoo temple, during which time it was difficult to get bread and other provisions for the workmen to eat. I counseled the committee who had charge of the temple funds to deal out all the flour they had, and God would give them more; they did so; and it was but a short time before Brother Toronto came and brought me twenty five hundred dollars in gold. The bishop and the committee met, and I met with them; and they said, that the law was to lay the gold at the apostles’ feet. Yes, I said and I will lay it at the bishop’s feet; so I opened the mouth of the bag and took hold of the bottom end, and gave it a jerk towards the bishop, and strewed the gold across the room and said, now go and buy flour for the workmen on the temple and do not distrust the Lord any more; for we will have what we need. [25]

True, there were times when funds necessary to carry on were hard to come by, and workmen went without pay. But in general, requests were met. Thus funds were furnished by tithes, offerings, and sacrifice, and the Latter-day Saints at Nauvoo built a house to God.

The Labor Force

Construction of the temple was almost entirely accomplished by a working force from Church membership. Recruiting, organizing, and supervising work crews for such a massive structure was no small task. Not only was there a need for workmen on the building itself, but additional work crews were required to obtain some of the principal building materials and prepare them for use.

A significant factor in providing the needed workers was the principle of _gathering._ As work on the temple commenced, members from far and near were urged to gather to Nauvoo. They came in increasing numbers from the Eastern United States, Canada, and England. Among those members were artisans skilled in carpentry, mechanics, metalwork, stonework, plastering, painting, and so forth, along with a large pool of unskilled laborers. Had this policy of gathering not been implemented, it is very doubtful that the temple could have been built.

At first the workforce consisted almost entirely of workmen donating one day_s labor in ten as their payment of a tithe. As the work’s tempo picked up, however, the need for an effective organization of this labor became apparent. A workable plan was devised by the temple committee and announced 22 February 1841. [26] At the suggestion of Joseph Smith, the city council divided the city into four geographical divisions or municipal wards. [27] Though this division of political or geographic wards was not totally related to the temple, it nevertheless became a great asset in organizing the workforce. [28] In November 1842 the number was increased to ten wards by action of the high council. Bishops were then appointed to preside over each ward. This designation of ward bishops later became standard Church procedure. Each ward was assigned a specific day on which its workmen were to report for work with their tools, wagons, and teams. If a worker could not make it on the appointed day, he was expected to be there the next or as soon thereafter as possible. Workers were urged to keep their appointments and labor on the date set apart for their ward. The Prophet Joseph issued the following notice respecting the work as it then functioned: “The captains of the respective wards are particularly requested to be at the place of labor on their respective days, and keep an accurate account of each man's work, and be ready to exhibit a list of the same when called for." [29] This effective organization pushed the work along rapidly.

Since donations were now arriving in the form of money and provisions, the committee was able to expand the labor force. It employed several stonecutters on a regular basis. About eighteen were so employed to dress the rock at the time the cornerstones were laid. [30] Prior to this, nearly all work had been done by donated labor. Alpheus Cutler and Reynolds Cahoon, members of the temple committee, hired the workmen as the work progressed. [31] As sufficient means came in, the number of skilled workmen regularly employed increased. Donated labor was also kept at a high level by the influx of new converts arriving from England.

On the occasions when lumber arrived from the pinery in Wisconsin and when special efforts were required, the regular schedule of work was stepped up, and calls were made to assist in the activity needing attention. A comment printed in the Times and Seasons is typical of such an effort: “Last Sabbath the committee for the building of the Temple, stated before the congregation that a large raft of pine lumber had lately arrived and was now laying in the river at this place. They requested all the brethren who had teams to turn out with their teams to assist in hauling lumber to the Temple. The first, second, third, fourth and fifth wards of the city were requested to be on the ground on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; and the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday." [32] A further request was made for carpenters to prepare timbers for the first floor, so all who were able could come on Friday and Saturday to lay a temporary floor and prepare seats so the Saints could meet within the walls of the temple. It is reported that all of these requests were filled as desired. [33]

The size of the workforce fluctuated considerably according to need at the various periods of construction and the availability of workmen. Some glimpses into the size of crews are available, indicating that at one time approximately one thousand men were donating every tenth day in work on the temple. [34] At least 150 men were at one time working in the pineries of Wisconsin harvesting lumber for the temple. [35] It was reported that as many as one hundred men were removing stone from the quarries, while multitudes were engaged in hauling the stone to the temple and performing other kinds of labor. [36] In June 1844 seventy-five to one hundred stonecutters worked at the temple, preparing stones for the walls. [37] Carpenters were hired, and at least twenty-five were regularly working in the joiner shops. [38] In August 1845 it was reported that 350 hired men were zealously at work on the building. [39]

A time book kept for the temple hands from 13 June 1842 to 6 June 1846 furnishes interesting information on the employed section of the workforce. It records a total of 1,221 employed and registered in the book over its four-year period. Of this number 885 persons are reported as having completed at least one full month’s labor during this time of construction, and some individuals worked through the entire period of the time book. The book records forty-six registered workers in 1842, with some working as many as seven months, with an average of 2.2 months each. In 1843 forty are registered, each averaging 2.2 months, with some working all twelve months. The number increased to 123 registered in 1844, some working as many as ten months, with an average of 2.2. In 1845 there were 602 registered people working an average of 3.3 months each. In 1846 there were 410 registered workers averaging 1.2 months of work. [40] This record is only for the hired labor and probably does not include the entire workforce.

The temple made a significant contribution to the industry and economy of Nauvoo, both as a public works project and in the support industries that it stimulated. It was a major project, providing needed employment for those who were poor or unemployed. Those people were given a small wage or allowance and were mostly paid in food, clothing, housing, and other provisions. They would usually work until their dependent status was relieved or they found other employment. As a result of the building project, new industries and businesses arose, providing employment such as millwork, brickmaking, and other support projects that served temple needs directly or the needs of those working on the project.

The length of the working day is uncertain prior to 9 October 1845. It is recorded that from that date on, time would be calculated at nine hours per day. [41] This was later extended on 13 January 1846 to nine and one-half hours. Wages were paid from the tithing collected, and since a great deal of this was received as in-kind contributions in the form of provisions, most wages were paid in the form of food, clothing, and other supplies. Some workers received lumber as wages, which enabled them to build their own homes; others were given room and board. Anything of value that had been contributed was exchanged where possible for labor. In 1844 the stonecutters met and agreed that one-sixth of their wages should be in cash, one-third in store goods, and the balance in other property or provisions they might need. [42]

There were occasions when sufficient funds were not available to pay the wages of the skilled workers. Men struggling to maintain a living for their families were naturally forced to seek employment elsewhere. Some workers continued with no pay for certain periods, existing as best they could. In the early part of 1844, work was nearly at a standstill due to the lack of funds. Most of the skilled hands had to leave for other employment. [43]

Working conditions were typical of most frontier construction projects of that period. Generally speaking, some phase of the work was in production during each of the winters, though it occasionally ceased entirely because of bitter cold and snow. Most of the work, however, had to be done in the favorable weather of the spring, summer, or fall. Conditions were aggravated by the lack of available tools as well as by a heterogeneous workforce that was in a constant state of flux. Despite these difficulties, the various building forces were well organized and coordinated by the temple committee and other leaders. This effort brought unity, dedication, and purpose.

Days off from the regular routine of work took place every Sunday and on holidays or special events. Workers who belonged to the Nauvoo Legion, which included nearly all men between the ages of eighteen and forty-five, were required to parade on those occasions. [44] The work on other days proceeded generally without interruption. Some special breaks were allowed, however, as evidenced by a report that on the day the capstone was laid the entire working force was given the rest of the day off. [45] Also on 23 July 1845 the entire crew was released to enjoy a watermelon feast for workmen then on the job. [46]

Nancy Naomi Alexander Tracy, an observer watching the stone walls being built, furnished insights regarding the labor and the attitudes of the workmen: “Out of my bedroom window I could see the masons at work and could hear the click of their hammers and hear their sailor songs as they pulled the rock in place with pulleys. It was grand to see." [47] Apparently some workers had been seamen or had learned songs from sailors while traveling across the ocean.

Labor disputes also became part of the scene. From the records available, workers employed on the building organized when it was deemed necessary and protested what they considered unfair practices. Concerns were amicably settled, and no disputes hindered the temple’s construction. Workers in the main were dedicated and sacrificed considerably in wages and energy.

Stonecutters met in August 1844 to consider a request for an increase in pay. Even Church authorities encouraged such an increase. The workers, however, decided on a different course of action, resolving instead to reduce wages, and in the future have their pay estimated and priced according to the reduced scale. [48] Such was the spirit and dedication of those engaged in building the temple.

The building was constructed with relatively few accidents. One man was killed in the stone quarry [49] and another in the pineries of Wisconsin. [50] Two young boys also lost their lives at the temple site while playing in the pile of sand used for making mortar. They had tunneled into the sand pile, and it collapsed, causing them to suffocate. [51] One death was miraculously averted when Stephen Goddard was hurt. While working on the temple wall he was struck on the head by a pole from a scaffold he was helping to dismantle. This knocked him off the wall, but his fall was broken by two floor joists that prevented him falling to the basement sixty-two feet below. Cut and bruised, he was back on the job two days later. [52] Another close call was reported by William Clayton: “As the brethren were just beginning to raise one of the capitals, having neglected to fasten the guys, the crane fell over with a tremendous crash, breaking it considerably. As soon as it was perceived that the crane was falling the hands fled to get out of the way. Brother Thomas Jaap unfortunately was directly in the course in which the crane fell. He barely escaped being killed. The crane struck the ground and was within a foot of striking his head. This circumstance hindered the workmen some, but in a few days the crane was mended, reared; and the brethren again went to work on it." [53] Lorenzo Brown cites another serious accident: “January 8, 1846 This day A. M. whilst working on the scaffold in the lower room of the Temple the Scaffold gave way and myself and five others were precipitated from a height of from 12 to 15 feet on to the floor beneath among tools timber plank etc. I was the only one that escaped injury. Jesse Haven fell by my side with a very heavy plank lying across him. I sprang to his relief thinking him dead. He revived shortly after . . . but was badly hurt. Br Josiah Perry struck on his feet and has never recovered their use." [54] Few other accidents are noted.

In the latter stages of construction, when persecution was on the rise, a new type of employee could be found at the temple. Due to threats of defacing the temple and burning it, or the lumber stocked nearby, it became necessary to establish a regular force of watchmen to guard the temple at night. [55] The entire working force had participated in such action for a time just prior to and following the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. [56] In 1845 the practice became common as persecution continued and increased.

Other workmen worthy of special mention were those called to serve on work missions for the Church. Many elders were asked to stay at home and serve their missions by working on the temple instead of going abroad to preach the gospel. Some were called to labor six months, some one year, and others two years. They were to be furnished board and room by Church members in Nauvoo, many of whom had offered to board laborers on the temple. [57]

Stories of great sacrifice on the part of individual workers could fill many pages. Brigham Young commented that there were those who worked on the temple without shoes for their feet or a shirt to cover their arms “even at the risk of their lives and the sacrifice of their labor and earthly goods." [58] A few accounts showing the dedication and observations of those workers have been preserved in private journals, of which the following are typical.

Charles Lambert, a master workman and contractor in England, arrived in Nauvoo in the early part of 1844 as a convert to Mormonism. Showing his credentials, he applied for work at the temple. He recounted that Reynolds Cahoon of the building committee said, “‘If you can work we can do with your work but we have nothing to give you’. I replied sharply I have not come here to work for pay I have come to help build that house, pointing to the temple." [59] Though many skilled workmen left for other employment because of lack of tithes to pay wages, Charles Lambert did not. Having no working clothes, since he had not worked as a tradesman for some time, he appeared for work in what he had worn while a contractor in England. He reported to the workshop in a good suit and a high silk hat, put on an apron, and commenced work. [60] Generous with his labor, he later cut a capstone, “bought it, and when finished he gave the stone and labor free of all charges." [61]

William W. Player was the principal setter of stones on the temple, laboring on its walls from June 1842 until they were completed. As a new convert to the Church and apparently recruited by Church leaders, he had come from England with the full intention of working on the temple. During the fall and early winter of 1842, he continued at his post in spite of sickness and cold weather. Before work on the walls stopped for the winter season, he nearly lost the use of his hands and feet, and he fell several times on his way home because of fatigue and weakness. [62] Highly skilled at his trade, he was also put in charge of the stoneworkers who built the stone baptismal font.

When William Player started to build the walls of the temple in 1842, he was assisted by Elisha Everett, who served as the “principal backer up” to do the inside stone surfaces of the main inner walls of the temple. Elisha Everett, assisted by a crew of stonemasons that included his brothers Elijah and John Everett, was credited with building most of the inside walls of the temple. He took an active part in placing the last capstone and also assisted in setting the moon stones, the capitals (sun stones), and the star stones in the walls of the temple. [63]

William Weeks and Joseph Smith commissioned Elijah Fordham to do the ornamental carving on the wooden baptistery. Fordham is the same man who was near death and was miraculously healed through the administration of the Prophet Joseph (for full story, see note 64). [64] He spent eight months on this carving project, receiving praise from Joseph Smith and many others for his skillful work. As a result of his skill and workmanship, he was later employed as the principal wood-carver for the temple. He was also appointed to serve on a committee to look after lumber for the temple. [65]

John Carling, a wood sculptor, is reported to have carved the first pattern of the oxen. [66] The pattern of oxen supporting the baptismal font as used in the Nauvoo Temple became the prototype for all fonts in subsequent temples built by the Church. Carling also was employed in carving other ornaments for the temple. [67]

Wandle Mace, a blacksmith, wheelwright, mechanic, and successful inventor, was called home from a mission to work on the temple. Placed in charge of the sawmill at the temple, he was also assigned as foreman over the timber framing and superintended that work until its completion. [68]

Norton Jacob, who also served as a foreman of timber framing, was foreman of framing the roof, tower structure, and dome of the tower. In November 1845 he was also assigned by William Weeks “to go ahead and put in truss timbers for the lower floor of the temple.” These long timber beams 1 foot in diameter and 82 to 83 feet long replaced the earlier timbers, which had rotted out due to exposure. [69]

Philip B. Lewis was the professional tinner employed to cover the steeple dome. [70] He along with other tinners fashioned the angelic weather vane and balls that were placed at the top of the steeple.

Miles Romney, an early convert from England, was a skilled carpenter, wood-carver, and master builder. He labored on the temple from its commencement to its completion. In 1844 he was placed in charge of the ornamental work of the cornices. He also did the ornamental work in the steeple and the spiral staircases in the temple vestibule. [71]

W. P. Vance worked on the temple as a young man in payment of his father’s tithing. While boarding at the Smith home, he had the opportunity to become well acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith. “My work on the Temple applied as tithing for my father, and my board answered the same purpose for Brother Joseph." [72] His observations, acquired while living in the Smith home, provide interesting insights into qualities possessed by Joseph Smith. “I watched the Prophet closely; I was anxious to know whether he was a Prophet of God, so, of course I watched him, and from all I could discover, he was not only a Prophet of God, but a mighty and great, as well as a good man. . . . He certainly had a very peculiar expression in his face, always pleasant, cheerful and lively. . . . He was sympathetic and kindly perhaps, even to a fault. . . . He was with us enough to enable us to witness much of his peculiar faculties, powers and disposition which was always exercised in nobleness and kindness." [73]

Luman Andrus Shurtliff, who worked faithfully in building the temple, summarizes conditions endured by many workers:

My cloths was worn out and my family was so destitute I thought best to stay at home and labor to get something before hand that I could leave my family comfortable in the fall. I had helped lay the foundation of our temple and now wished to do something more towards the building of it. Accordingly I went to the temple committee and hired to them to work on the boat to boat rock, timber, wood and etc. I here got provision to keep my family alive and that was all I expected. The committee did the best they could but they had nothing better in their hands to give us. We labored 10 hours in a day, day after day, on and in the water and at night go to the temple office to get something to take our families for supper and breakfast. Many times we got nothing at other times ½ pound of butter or three pounds of fresh beef and nothing to cook it with. Sometimes a peck of corn meal or a few pounds of flour and before any more provisions came into the office the hands that worked steady would sometimes be entirely out of provisions and have to live on herbs boiled without any seasoning except salt or on parch corn anything we could get to sustain us.

I had some milk from my cows and by putting it half water and then we could get corn or corn meal we could live well for them times that is we could hull or boil corn and put that with milk and water and ate it sweetly and work ten hours on the temple or if we had meal make a cake wet up with water or a mush in a cup for dinner go onto the boat at six and at noon eat my dinner of the above mentioned food and thank God that I and my family was thus blessed. . . . The reader may think the above mentioned scarcity of provision was confined to my family. Not so my family was as well off as the majority of my neighbors. I had seen those that cut stone by the year eat nothing but parched or browned corn for breakfast and take some in their pocket for dinner and go to work singing the songs of Zion. I mention this not to find fault or complain but to let my children know how the temple in Nauvoo was built and how their parents as well as hundreds of others suffered to lay a foundation on which they could build. [74]

Truman O. Angell, an early convert to the Church, was a skilled carpenter and builder. He did the significant supervision of carpentry work on the Kirtland Temple. [75] Angell was selected as one of the steady carpenters working on the temple in Nauvoo and was appointed as foreman over the joiners. The fine interior joinery work of the temple was considered a monument to his name. [76] He observed: “My privations, the persecutions, sickness of my family and missions have tended to keep me low in purse, but my health is improving. I had steady employment upon the Temple, having been appointed superintendent of joiner work under Architect William Weeks, and God gave me wisdom to carry out to the architect’s designs which gained me the goodwill and esteem of the brethren." [77] When William Weeks left Nauvoo to go west in February 1846, Truman O. Angell was left in charge of the temple project “to bring out the design and finishing of the lower hall which was fully in my charge from then on to its completion, and was dedicated by a few of us." [78] Later in the West, Angell was appointed architect for the Church. In that capacity he was the chief architect in drawing plans and supervising the building of the St. George and Salt Lake Temples.

The labor force was unique in many aspects but succeeded in building a monument that, had it not been destroyed later by fire and wind, may yet have stood to testify to their zeal and sacrifice. They labored faithfully with quality and detail, knowing full well it would all be left behind as they departed into the wilderness of the West. Their labors became an offering given with reverence and devotion.

Lumber for the Temple: The Pinery Expedition

The acquisition of lumber in sufficient quantity and quality for the extensive building programs of the Church at Nauvoo prompted the investigation of reasonable and reliable sources of wood. Lumber in Illinois was both scarce and expensive. The temple committee along with the Nauvoo House building committee jointly concluded to purchase lumber mills in the pineries of Wisconsin on the Black River, a tributary of the Mississippi. This wise decision resulted in the provision of good quality lumber in the quantity needed and at a fraction of what lumber would have cost on the open market in Illinois. The Church eventually established four sawmills and six logging camps on the Black River. The initial purchase was reported in the Times and Seasons: “We are informed that the committees of those two buildings have purchased extensive mills, and water privileges in the pineries of Wisconsin, and a company of several men, in their employ, will leave here in a few days for that country." [79] On 25 September 1841 the assigned company departed Nauvoo to work in the Wisconsin pine country. Their initial task was to establish a settlement and prepare for the work of the ensuing summer. Alpheus Cutler of the temple committee and Peter Haws of the Nauvoo house committee led the group. [80]

They traveled up the Mississippi River some five or six hundred miles north of Nauvoo, making most of the journey by water. [81] Their camp was located on the Black River about fifteen miles below the Black River Falls at the present site of the village of Melrose. [82] Here they spent the winter cutting timber and remodeling the mill. The group suffered from the cold winter climate and inadequate provisions but in general fared well. [83] During the following spring a second company journeyed north from Nauvoo. This group was sent to relieve the first group and continue operation of the mills. [84] Additional reinforcements were reported to have left Nauvoo in July 1842. “Two keel boats, sloop-rigged, and laden with provisions and apparatus necessary for the occasion, and manned with fifty of the brethren, started this morning on an expedition to the upper Mississippi, among the pineries, where they can join those already there, and erect mills, saw boards and plank, make shingles, hew timber, and return the next spring with rafts, for the Temple of God." [85] The first tangible results of the pineries expedition reached Nauvoo on 4 August 1842. “Our big raft for the Temple and Nauvoo House, is just in; it covers but little less than an acre of surface, and contains 100,000 feet sawed lumber, and 16,000 cubic, or 192,000 square feet hewn timber." [86] In October another raft arrived from Wisconsin with about ninety thousand feet of boards and twenty-four thousand cubic feet of timber. [87] As these and future rafts arrived at the waterfront in Nauvoo, they were met by teams and wagons. The rafts were dismantled and the lumber hauled to the temple for use in the building.

Haws, Cutler, and twelve men returned to Nauvoo with the raft on 13 October after having remodeled the mill, making it almost new. The committees decided that Bishop George Miller should be sent to the pineries to extricate the establishment from debt and produce greater quantities of lumber. [88] Sometime during October 1842 Miller headed north, taking with him his ailing wife, his children, and a hired girl. At Prairie Du Chein he met Jacob Spaulding, owner of some mills located at Black River Falls, fifteen miles upriver from those then owned by the Church. [89] Spaulding, a millwright by profession, had come from Illinois to Wisconsin in 1838. He had made the first permanent settlement at Black River Falls, which was the outpost on the Black River at this time. [90] Miller reported that he had claims against Spaulding on a suit pending between him and the Church. Arrangements were made to get possession of Spaulding's mills in lieu of turning over the Church mills to him, which, according to Miller, were of little or no value anyway. [91] The new mill site was described by Joseph Holbrook, who traveled to the mills with Miller, as having the best of water privileges, the country being broken and somewhat mountainous. Some land that was suitable for cultivation could be found in the fertile valleys, and the streams were abundant with fish. [92]

The winter of 1842 was one of hardship and near starvation for both the company and their animals. A major part of the provisions had been left down river. Time was spent in preparing the mills for operation and transporting upriver, mainly by backpack, the essential supplies to sustain life. [93]

In the spring of 1843, the mills daily turned out over twelve thousand feet of lumber. [94] Timber was cut that spring and summer on what came to be known in later years as the Mormon Clearings. These clearings are found in what is now Clark County, Wisconsin. An area was also worked some ten miles north of the Black River Falls. At this point two miles of rapids, confined in high canyon walls and known today as the Mormon Riffles, emerge from the southern boundary of the Wisconsin forest tract. Here and above, the timber was cut. After being cut, logs were floated down river to the mills for processing, then later rafted to Nauvoo. [95]

The first raft of the season arrived in Nauvoo at sunrise on Friday, 12 May 1843. Guided down river by Bishop Miller and others, it contained fifty thousand feet of pine lumber. [96] A second raft arriving in early July 1843 brought the total to over two hundred thousand feet of sawed lumber suitable for use on the temple along with a large amount of shingles and barn boards. [97] Two additional large rafts containing over four hundred thousand feet of prime lumber arrived in August. [98] The journey from the Black River Falls to Nauvoo usually took two weeks. [99] The huge rafts were difficult to maneuver in the currents of the river. They were steered by oars or rudders fastened to each end of the raft. Because of rapids, dams, snags, and other hazards, travel on the river was dangerous and generally done in the daytime. As evening approached, the rafters would tie and snub the raft to trees along the shore. The next morning they would continue their journey down river. Larger rafts were often huge in size, a hundred or more feet in width, usually several hundred feet in length, covering one or more acres. Temporary shanties were built on the rafts for sheltering crews from the weather and to provide facilities for cooking food while on the journey to Nauvoo. [100] Lyman Wight’s son described this practice: “On one of these rafts was fixed a shelter with lumber, or you might say a cabin. In front of it some rock was placed on which to build a fire. This was our home as we floated down the river." [101]

Miller reported that two saws were employed in the production of lumber at the pineries, each producing over five thousand feet per day and capable of doing so year-round. These saws were long up-and-down saw blades that cut on the downstroke and were powered by waterwheels. Miller further reported that he had bought out all claims on the mills for twelve thousand dollars payable in lumber at the mills in three years and that one-third of this amount was already paid. [102]

Several groups went north in the summer of 1843 to relieve, supply, and increase the numbers working at the mills; the largest of these left 21 July on the Maid of Iowa. Consisting of several families, the group was headed by Apostle Lyman Wight, assisted by Bishop George Miller. Cattle and milk cows were driven to the mills, fifty acres of ground was cleared and planted with wheat, and permanent houses were built for the convenience of the families. [103]

The work was now up to schedule. All requests for lumber and shingles were filled in full over the summer. When Miller arrived on the last two rafts in the fall, he became greatly distressed over events in Nauvoo. A great deal of the lumber he and others had labored so hard to provide for the temple and Nauvoo House had been used for other purposes. A large part of it had been used to build houses for the men working on the temple. [104] The temple committee decided that, since the mills had proven to be so productive, some lumber could be used in this manner to pay the wages of the workmen. The Prophet quieted Miller, saying that he would see to it that all would be made right.

During the winter of 1843 one hundred and fifty men, plus a number of women and children, were established in the pineries. A branch of the Church was organized among them, with Lyman Wight presiding. [105] The expedition was now firmly established and well housed. On 15 February 1844 it was reported that by the end of July they should be able to send one million feet of lumber down the river, which would be a great deal more than needed to build the temple and Nauvoo House. [106]

As winter turned to spring, rafts of lumber again floated south to Nauvoo. Bishop Miller and Lyman Wight arrived in Nauvoo on 1 May 1844. Soon after their arrival, Wight was sent to Maryland and Miller to Kentucky. They were called on special missions in connection with Joseph Smith_s candidacy for president of the United States. [107]

Two large rafts arrived in July 1844. Sufficient lumber was supplied that year to complete not only the needs of the temple but additional uses as well. [108] These appear to be the last big rafts to arrive at Nauvoo from the pineries. However, in November 1845 the Church purchased a raft of lumber containing one hundred thousand feet of pine boards for six hundred dollars. [109] These boards were used in the final completion of the temple. The supply source for this lumber is uncertain. It may have come from the pineries, but this is in question since the pinery property was no longer in Church hands.

Following the death of Joseph Smith in June 1844, the work in the pineries met with new problems. There was an evident void of leadership created by the extended absence of Wight and Miller. This was further confused by the martyrdom of Church leaders and the subsequent uncertainty that arose among some Church members. Upon return from his mission, Miller found that the expedition had been abandoned and the mills sold. He reported: “The man left in charge of the mills in the pinery, sold out possession of the whole concern [the mills being on Indian land, possession was the best title], for a few hundred thousand feet of Pine lumber. Those mills and appurtenances, worth at least $20,000, those passed out of our hands for a mere trifle, by the act of an indiscreet man. He brought part of the lumber to Nauvoo and all the company that had been engaged in the pineries." [110] Some Latter-day Saints apparently did not return to Nauvoo with the main body. Mormon settlers were found at Black River Falls and north along the river as late as the early 1850s. [111]

So ends an interesting chapter in the dramatic struggle to furnish lumber for the construction of the Nauvoo Temple. Only one major accident was ever recorded, that being the death of a Brother Cunningham, who drowned in a whirlpool when he fell into the river while rafting logs in the summer of 1843. [112] Yet, the Pinery Mission was a great success. Lumber, timbers, and shingles were provided not only for the temple but for many other buildings as well.

Stone for Building the Temple

The main building material used in the construction of the temple was a native grayish-white fine-grained limestone, which underlaid the entire area around Nauvoo. Resembling marble in appearance and hardness, the stone was of excellent quality, easily tooled and dressed. [113] Following the decision to build a temple, the brethren opened quarries from which to obtain stone for the building. Work began on 12 October 1840 with Elisha Everett striking the first blow on the project. [114]

William Huntington, a stonecutter and member of the Nauvoo high council, reported that stone was cut and then hauled to the temple site, where on 8 March 1841 workers commenced laying the foundation. By 5 April 1841 enough stone had been cut and hauled that the temple walls in the basement were 5 feet high, bringing them up to ground level and ready for laying the cornerstones. [115]

Workers labored in the quarries without letup during the greater part of the construction period. Work even continued at times in the winter when weather permitted, as stones were prepared for use during the other seasons of the year. [116] The Times and Seasons reported that frequently, during the winter [1841–42], as many as one hundred hands [were engaged in] quarrying rock, while at the same time multitudes of others have been engaged in hauling, and in other kinds of labor. [117] The stoneworkers were so successful that at the general conference held in April 1844 Hyrum Smith informed the Saints, The quarry is blockaded, it is filled with rock; the stone cutters are wanting work; come on with your teams as soon as conference is over. [118]

Regularly employed men became part of the scene in the quarries as early as the spring of 1841. Albert P. Rockwood became the overseer, or captain, of the work, assisted by Charles Drury. These men supervised the project from the beginning and continued until all the stone was cut for the temple. [119] Stones taken from the quarries varied in size, depending on their use. Some are reported to have weighed as much as two tons. [120]

As a young boy, the Prophets son Joseph, who in later years became president of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, witnessed the hauling of stones from the quarries to the temple. He described them as being hauled on great carts drawn by oxen, with the stones swinging under the axle of the great high, broad-tired wheels, usually two yoke of cattle drawing them. [121] Only the rough work was done in the quarry. The stones were cut to size, dressed, and polished for their particular use at the stone shop near the temple. [122] Gilbert Belnap, first bishop of the Hooper Utah Ward, described his visit to the stone shop upon exiting the temple: “I then went to the stone cutters shop, where the sound of many workmen’s mallet and the sharpening of the smith’s anvil all bore the unmistakable evidence of a determined purpose to complete the mighty structure." [123] Specially constructed two-wheel carts with giant wheels and strong axles were used in moving the large building stones around the temple grounds. The finished stones were hauled by those carts from the stone shop to the large cranes at the temple walls.

Work at the quarry had only one serious accident, when Moses Horn was killed by a stone that fell on his head while rocks were being blasted. [124] Albert P. Rockwood reported the accident as follows: “For three and one half years that I have been in charge of the Temple quarry, with from twenty to one hundred and fifty hands, Brother Moses Horn has been the first man that met accident in blasting. During this time, according to my best judgment, about one hundred casks of powder have been used. Mr. Horn died from a skull fracture." [125] Stone was taken from the quarries for use on the temple until as late as the spring of 1845, when on 24 May the final stone was placed on the structure. [126] Whether stone was quarried for the new font after this date is unknown.

The location of the quarry has been the subject of uncertainty among writers and observers. Two separate locations are discussed in the various sources. Gregg, in referring to the temple, stated: "Its walls were built of beautiful dressed limestone from extensive quarries on the Mississippi Bluff, two miles below the city." [127] This location is upheld by Reta Latimer Halford in her thesis on Nauvoo. [128] At variance with this view is S. A. Burgess, once a historian of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He referred to the quarry being located on the north side of the city in a river bed. [129] His view is supported by Charles Lanman, who visited Nauvoo in 1846 and described the quarry as being located “within the limits of the city, in the bed of a dry stream." [130] John C. Bennett, who served as mayor of Nauvoo, also declared that stone for the temple was secured from a quarry within the bounds of the city. [131] If one were to visit Nauvoo today and ask where the temple quarry was located, directions would be given to a spot on the north side of the old city, northwest from the intersection of Main and Young streets. Standing on an overlook one would be able to see the remains of an old quarry, extensive in size. The Prophet's son Joseph cleared up the matter by stating that "the stones came from a quarry in the north side of the city along the river bank, and some of them from down the river." [132] It is evident that quarries were located at both sites mentioned, with the main quarry in all probability being that located on the north side of the city.

Limestone taken from the quarries was mainly used in building the walls of the temple proper. Stone left over was used in building a wall around the temple block. Another use for the stone was that of a permanent baptismal font to replace the original wooden font.

The Temple Bell From the beginning, plans for the temple included a belfry. By November 1845 the exterior of the temple was near completion, and work was rapidly moving forward on the interior. A visitor to the city at that time noted that the Saints “are finishing the Temple, putting in carpets, &c., and intend to hang a bell." [133] Beyond that point, information on the subject is somewhat confusing and limited. From what can be determined, a bell was acquired and installed in the belfry of the temple. Detailed information on the Nauvoo Temple bell and its fate are thoroughly examined in chapter 11.

Additional Building Materials

Other materials used in the temple construction were purchased as follows. The sixty-five hundred pounds of lead for the eaves came from Galena, Illinois. Paint, nails, tin, and hardware were purchased in Chicago or St. Louis. [134] Bricks were manufactured in large quantities within the city. The glass for windows was purchased in large quantities at Detroit, Michigan, by George Dykes, who served as president of the Norway Illinois Stake. He bought the glass in behalf of the Church and then had it shipped to Chicago. From there he succeeded in transporting it by land to Nauvoo, where he arrived on the second day of September 1845. [135] The glass used in most of the windows “was typical thin, pale blue-green window glass, similar to that found in other . . . buildings in Nauvoo. The glass was fairly uniform in thickness, ranging from 1.0 to 1.3 mm., which is actually thinner than present-day ‘single strength’ window glass." [136]

The clock for the steeple was to be purchased by the Saints in England, but if indeed it was ever purchased, this may have taken place in the United States. There is no known record of any purchase, shipment, or installation. A clock may have been shipped with the bell and installed at the same time. Careful examination of the Chaffin daguerreotype (believed to have been taken in the early summer of 1846) shows no clock hands or numbers visible on the area where the clockface would have been. It could still have been installed after this photograph was taken or it may be that a clock was installed on the face of the front or west end of the steeple. A correspondent of the Palmyra Courier-Journal reported seeing the octagonal temple steeple in 1847, “having on four sides a clock” below the dome. [137] There is also other evidence of the existence and installation of the clock. Visitors to the ruins of the temple reported seeing parts of a clock among the stone ruins. [138]

Assembling the means, the workforce, and the materials for construction of the Nauvoo Temple was a magnificent accomplishment. The building was a tribute to the faith and dedication of those who sacrificed so much in its construction. Had it not been destroyed, the building would likely be standing and usable today.


[1] Niles’ Register 59 (26 September 1840): 57, quoting an article from the Cincinnati Chronicle, 26 August 1840.

[2] Andrew Jenson, Historical Record 8 (June 1889): 872; also, Deseret News Church Almanac (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1975), F4. These figures would include both cost of materials and paid labor.

[3] Kenneth W. Godfrey, “Some Thoughts Regarding an Unwritten History of Nauvoo,” BYU Studies 15, no. 4 (summer 1975): 420.

[4] Jenson, Historical Record 8 (June 1889): 860.

[5] Ibid., 861.

[6] Joseph Smith, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ed. B. H. Roberts, 2d ed., rev. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1957), 4:473.

[7] Journal History, 14 February 1842, LDS Church Archives.

[8] Times and Seasons 3 (2 May 1842): 775.

[9] Jenson, Historical Record 8 (June 1889): 864.

[10] Times and Seasons 3 (1 September 1842): 909.

[11] Journal History, 23 October 1842.

[12] Ibid., 9 April 1841.

[13] Jenson, Historical Record 8 (June 1889): 865.

[14] Ibid.

[15] B. H. Roberts, ed. History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Period 2: Apostolic Interregnum (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1957), 7:250–51.

[16] Daniel Tyler, “Temples,” Juvenile Instructor 15 (1 June 1880): 122.

[17] Louisa Decker, “Reminiscences of Nauvoo,” Woman’s Exponent 37 (March 1909): 41.

[18] The Wasp, 9 July 1842.

[19] Times and Seasons 5 (1 August 1844): 596.

[20] Ibid. 3 (2 May 1842): 768.

[21] The Wasp, 25 June 1842.

[22] Times and Seasons 5 (1 August 1844): 596. Invitation issued by Hyrum Smith in April conference of 1844.

[23] Times and Seasons 6 (15 March 1845): 847.

[24] E. Cecil McGavin, Nauvoo the Beautiful (Salt Lake City: Stevens and Wallis, 1949), 26–27; and Roberts, History of the Church, 7:433.

[25] B. H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1930), 2:472 n. 17.

[26] Jenson, Historical Record 8 (June 1889): 858.

[27] Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 4:305.

[28] Times and Seasons 4 (15 November 1842): 10.

[29] Journal History, 21 February 1842.

[30] Jenson, Historical Record 8 (June 1889): 860.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Times and Seasons 4 (15 November 1842): 10.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Deseret News, 13 March 1937.

[35] George Miller, “Correspondence of Bishop George Miller,” 10.

[36] Times and Seasons 3 (2 May 1842): 775.

[37] Journal History, 12 December 1844, quoting an article from the St. Louis Gazette, n.d.

[38] Journal History, 16 December 1844; also, Roberts, History of the Church, 7:326.

[39] Journal History, 6 August 1845.

[40] “Time Book C. for the Temple, Account Book 16,” 1–56, LDS Church Archives, Work by Carpenters and Joiners recorded by William F. Cahoon and Curtis E. Bolton.

[41] Ibid., 44.

[42] Ibid., 50.

[43] Charles C. Lambert, “Reminiscences and Diaries, 1844–1881,” 12, LDS Church Archives.

[44] Smith, History of the Church, 4:300.

[45] Jenson, Historical Record 8 (June 1889): 870.

[46] “Time Book C.,” 33.

[47] Nancy Naomi Alexander Tracy, as quoted by Carol Cornwall Madsen, In Their Own Words (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1994), 252.

[48] Journal History, 15 August 1844.

[49] Reta Latimer Halford, “Nauvoo—the City Beautiful” (M.A. thesis, University of Utah, 1945), 189.

[50] Joseph Holbrook, “The Life of Joseph Holbrook, 1806–1871,” 59, typescript, 1942, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.

[51] Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs, “‘All Things Move in Order in the City’: The Nauvoo Diary of Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs,” ed. Maureen Ursenbach Beecher, BYU Studies 19, no. 3 (spring 1979): 312. “Two boys ware smuhered [smothered] in the sand. It caved of yesterday, found to day. They ware at scool, went there at noon, went there to play.”

[52] Jenson, Historical Record 8 (June 1889): 869.

[53] Journal of William Clayton, “History of the Nauvoo Temple,” 59–60, LDS Church Archives.

[54] Journal of Lorenzo Brown, 1823–1900, 1:15, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.

[55] Journal History, 26 September 1844.

[56] Jenson, Historical Record 8 (June 1889): 866.

[57] Smith, History of the Church, 4:474.

[58] Deseret News, 14 October 1863; also, Manuscript History of the Church, 30 April 1846, 159, LDS Church Archives.

[59] Lambert, “Reminiscences and Diaries,” 9.

[60] Ibid.

[61] Journal History, 31 December 1844.

[62] Ibid., 11 October 1842.

[63] Ibid., 31 December 1844 and 24 May 1845.

[64] During July 1839 many Church members were very ill. Weakened by exposure from malnutrition and from the ordeal of being driven by mobs from their homes in Missouri, they had fallen prey to malaria and other diseases. Joseph Smith arose from his own sickbed and with great faith administered to and healed many individuals in Nauvoo and across the river in Montrose, Iowa. Among the places visited was the home of Elijah Fordham, who was near death. “When the company entered the room, the Prophet of God walked up to the dying man and took hold of his right hand and spoke to him; but Brother Fordham was unable to speak, his eyes were set in his head like glass, and he seemed entirely unconscious of all around him. Joseph held his hand and looked into his eyes in silence for a length of time. A change in the countenance of Brother Fordham was soon perceptible to all present. His sight returned, and upon Joseph asking him if he knew him, he, in a low whisper, answered, ‘Yes.’ Joseph asked him if he had faith to be healed. He answered, ‘I fear it is too late; if you had come sooner I think I would have been healed.’ The Prophet said, ‘Do you believe in Jesus Christ?’ He answered in a feeble voice, ‘I do.’ Joseph then stood erect, still holding his hand in silence several moments, then he spoke in a loud voice, saying, ‘Brother Fordham, I command you, in the name of Jesus Christ to arise from this bed and be made whole.’ Brother Fordham arose from his bed, and was immediately made whole . . . ; then putting on his clothes, he ate a bowl of bread and milk and followed the Prophet into the street” (Smith, History of the Church, 4:4). He then assisted in administering to others.

This same Elijah Fordham was commissioned to do the ornamental wood-carving on the wooden baptismal font. He was later employed as the principal carver in wood for the entire temple.

[65] Ibid., 446; also, Journal History, 31 December 1844; and Roberts, History of the Church, 7:183.

[66] Kate B. Carter, comp., Heart Throbs of the West (Salt Lake City: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1939–51), 4:259–60.

[67] Mary C. Neeves, as quoted by J. Earl Arrington, “Story of the Nauvoo Temple,” 513, LDS Church Archives.

[68] Journal History, 31 December 1844; Deseret Evening News, 13 December 1890.

[69] Norton Jacob, “The Life of Norton Jacob,” 16, 18, typescript, 1937, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.

[70] Nauvoo Neighbor, 9 July 1845.

[71] Journal History, 31 December 1844; also, Gaskell Romney, as quoted by Arrington, “Story of the Nauvoo Temple,” 513.

[72] Deseret News Weekly, 16 March 1895.

[73] Ibid.

[74] Autobiography and Personal History of Luman Andros Shurtliff, 1807–64, 250–52, Church History Library.

[75] Autobiography of Truman O. Angell, 1884, 3–4, LDS Church Archives.

[76] Marvin E. Smith, “The Builder,” Improvement Era, October 1942, 631.

[77] Autobiography of Truman O. Angell, 6–7.

[78] Ibid.

[79] Times and Seasons 2 (15 September 1841): 543.

[80] Journal History, 14 February 1842.

[81] Ibid., 22 September 1841.

[82] F. W. Draper, “Timber for the Nauvoo Temple,” Improvement Era, February 1943, 76.

[83] Deseret News, 14 December 1935.

[84] Times and Seasons 3 (2 May 1842): 775.

[85] Smith, History of the Church, 5:57–58.

[86] The Wasp, 30 July 1842.

[87] Journal History, 13 October 1842.

[88] Miller, “Correspondence of Bishop George Miller,” 11.

[89] Ibid., 10.

[90] Draper, “Timber for the Nauvoo Temple,” 76–77.

[91] Miller, “Correspondence of Bishop George Miller,” 10.

[92] Holbrook, “The Life of Joseph Holbrook,” 58–59.

[93] Miller, “Correspondence of Bishop George Miller,” 10.

[94] Ibid.

[95] Draper, “Timber for the Nauvoo Temple,” 77, 125.

[96] Journal History, 12 May 1843.

[97] Nauvoo Neighbor, 12 July 1843.

[98] Miller, “Correspondence of Bishop George Miller,” 14.

[99] Draper, “Timber for the Nauvoo Temple,” 127.

[100] Dennis Rowley, “The Mormon Experience in the Wisconsin Pineries, 1841–1845,” BYU Studies 32, nos. 1–2 (winter and spring 1992): 137.

[101] Journal of History 9 (July 1916): 261–62; also, History of Northern Wisconsin (Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1881), 460–61.

[102] Miller, “Correspondence of Bishop George Miller,” 14.

[103] Ibid., 15.

[104] Rowley, “Wisconsin Pineries,” 136.

[105] Deseret News, 8 April 1978.

[106] Draper, “Timber for the Nauvoo Temple,” 127.

[107] Ibid.

[108] Times and Seasons 5 (1 January 1844): 392.

[109] Helen Mar Whitney, “Scenes from Nauvoo, and Incidents from H. C. Kimball’s Journal,” Woman’s Exponent 11 (15 May 1883): 186.

[110] Miller, “Correspondence of Bishop George Miller,” 23.

[111] Draper, “Timber for the Nauvoo Temple,” 76.

[112] Holbrook, “The Life of Joseph Holbrook,” 59.

[113] Valley Tan, 15 February 1860; Journal History, 7 March 1876; The Prophet, 30 November 1844.

[114] Jenson, Historical Record 8 (June 1889): 858.

[115] Diary of William Huntington, 12, typescript, 1952–53, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.

[116] Jenson, Historical Record 8 (June 1889): 864.

[117] Times and Seasons 3 (2 May 1842): 775.

[118] Ibid. 5 (1 August 1844): 597.

[119] Journal History, 31 December 1844.

[120] Jenson, Historical Record 8 (June 1889): 866–67.

[121] Journal of History 3 (April 1910): 142–43, as quoted in the Saints’ Herald, 26 September 1949.

[122] The Wasp, 23 April 1842.

[123] Autobiography of Gilbert Belnap, 30, typescript, Harold B. Lee Library Special Collections, Brigham Young University.

[124] Journal History, 14 March 1845.

[125] Albert P. Rockwood, as quoted by Halford, “Nauvoo—the City Beautiful,” 189.

[126] Roberts, Comprehensive History, 2:472–73.

[127] Thomas Gregg and Charles J. Scofield, Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Hancock County (Chicago: Munsell Publishing Company, 1921), 2:838.

[128] Halford, “Nauvoo—the City Beautiful,” 189.

[129] S. A. Burgess, The Early History of Nauvoo (Independence, Mo.: Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1939), 8.

[130] Charles Lanman, A Summer in the Wilderness (New York: D. Appleton, 1847), 31.

[131] John C. Bennett, History of the Saints (Boston: Leland and Whiting, 1842), 190.

[132] Journal of History, 3 (April 1910): 142–43, as quoted in Saints’ Herald, 26 September 1949.

[133] Burlington Hawkeye, 20 November 1845.

[134] Rowley, “Wisconsin Pineries,” 119.

[135] Arrington, “Story of the Nauvoo Temple,” 1017.

[136] Virginia S. Harrington and J. C. Harrington, Rediscovery of the Nauvoo Temple (Salt Lake City: Nauvoo Restoration, 1971), 16.

[137] Palmyra Courier-Journal, 22 September 1847, as quoted by McGavin, Nauvoo the Beautiful, 37.

[138] Irving B. Richman, John Brown among the Quakers, 3d ed. (Des Moines: Historical Department of Iowa, 1904), 142.