Mormons in McDonough County, Illinois in the 1830s

1839 – June 2. A Conference was held at the house of Brother Benjamin Wilcox in McDonough county, Ill. on the 2nd day of June, 1839 for the purpose of organizing a church. Meeting was opened by Elder Coltrin, after which Elder D. C. Smith rose and after making known the object of the meeting nominated Elder Coltrin, President who was unanimously chosen, and John Vance, was appointed secretary. And after adjusting some small matters of difficulties, proceeded to appoint Arctes Geer, Priest, Henry Hoyt Teacher, and John Sagers, Deacon, when some three or four children were brought forward and blessed in the church, and after dismission one was baptized. This church consists of sixty nine members in good standing. Z. COLTRIN, Pres’t. JOHN VANCE, Clerk.

1839 – June 16. Joseph Smith visited Don Carlos near Macomb.

1839, Oct 11 – Wilford Woodruff & John Taylor held meeting at George Miller’s


Coltrin (Coulters), Zebedee: 1804-1887

Gurley, Zenos H. at Macomb

Lyman, Francis M. Family moved from Quincy to near Good Hope just before his birth Jan 1839, soon after moved to Montrose, Iowa

Matthews, Anson — 12th of last March: “During a visit of Joseph Smith and family in June, 1839, at Mr. Anson Matthews’, near Table Grove, McDonough County, Illinois [Emeline Mathews m. Edward Killick Roberts on September 24, 1850 (daughter of Anson Mathews and Elizabeth Surges, pioneers 1848). She was born February 7, 1833, Macomb, McDonough county, Illinois, died April 17, 1867.]

Miller, George (1794-1856)

I had already entered my sons and two nephews as pupils or students at the McDonough College located in Macomb and concluded to rent my farm, teams and other stock and move into the village, and board my sons instead of hiring their board. I had 300 acres tillable land, between 5,000 & 8,000 bushels of grain that I had no market for, a large quantity of bacon and lard, about 250 head of hogs, about 100 head of cattle, together w/sheep and poultry and fourteen well selected horses, well suited for the saddle or harness, also three yearling colts. My dwelling had 8 rooms besides the cellar, and I had another good house that would accommodate 2 small families.

Joseph Smith preached on the good Samaritan from the gospel of Luke. A meeting was arranged at the McDonough County courthouse on Sat & Sun 3 weeks hence. Elders would preach in this “hot bed of Presbyterian & Methodism”. 3 days before the preaching about 26 June 1839.

My sister Mary lived on the adjoining farm to where Mormons stayed

Hawkins Taylor, sheriff of Lee County, Iowa, and a cousin of Cyrus Walker: “One day, late in the fall of 1840, George Miller, an old friend of mine who had lived at McConnel [Macomb], Illinois, and was then an elder in the Presbyterian Church there, but who joined the Mormons and was made a bishop….” (Ref)

Salisbury, William Jenkins (1809-1853) – moved to Bardolph in Feb 1839; married to Katharine Smith Salisbury Younger (sister of Joseph Smith)

Smith, Don Carlos – On 16 June 1839, Joseph Smith visited his brother Don Carlos Smith near Macomb

Millikin, Lucy Smith – sister of Joseph; d/o Joseph Smith Sr & Lucy Mack; to Colchester by 186, where she died

Smith, Samuel Harrison – brother of Joseph, married Mary Bailey; In March 1839 was hired to farm for George Miller in McDonough County.  Moved from Quincy to Macomb in the summer of 1839, and to Nauvoo Nov 1841.  his dau Susan Bailey Smith Hunt (1835-1905) lived here as well.

Twitchell, Edwin (son of Ephraim Twitchell and Malissa Knight). Born May 23, 1836, in McDonough county, Illinois.  Twitchell, Ephraim, Born in Vermont. Came to Utah 1858, Ezra Chase company.     Married:    Malissa Knight.

Vance, John – married Elizabeth Campbell, sister of Sanders Campbell who married Cyrus Walker’s sister Cynthia (1797 -). Cyrus named his eldest daughter Cynthia Walker.  The first sermon in Scotland township was preached by Rev. William K. Stewart [Presbyterian], of Macomb, in December, 1837, at the residence of Cyrus Walker. The first death was that of the Rev. Ezekiel Campbell, who died on the southwest quarter of section 34, in 1834 (Ezekiel was the father of Elizabeth & Sanders]

Walker, Cyrus (1791-1875) – May 1841, Cyrus, well-known attorney from Macomb & Stephen Douglas visited Nauvoo. Cyrus was a Presbyterian.

Wilcox, Benjamin (1796-1870), in Macomb by June 1839

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