September 5, 2023

Historical Markers Walking Trail Independence Missouri 7-14

This map below was created to help find other Church Sites and Articles. Each point will have articles in the description about that point

(below the map is the rest of the article)

7. Glibert and Whitney Store.

The Glibert and Whitney Store was the Church's general store. The Store was managed in 1833 by Sidney Gilbert, as he was commanded by the Lord in Doctrine and Covenants 57:8 and 58:37. The building and the lot were purchased on November 19, 1832 for 700$. The building is named after Sidney Gilbert and Newel K. Whitney another prominent name in Church History. The Gilbert and Whitney Store was also known as the Bishops Storehouse.

An angry Missouri Mob closed the store on July 20, 1833 and scattered all the goods in the street.

8. William W. Phelps Printing Office Site.

William W. Phelps Printing office was the Church's first printing house. The Lord commanded the Saints in the revelation given to Joseph Smith in Doctrine and Covenants 57:11-13, 58:37. Two lot were purchased by William Phelps one for 10$ and the other for 50$. This was the first land acquired by a Church leader in Independence.

William W. Phelps printed the first periodical, a monthly newspaper named "The Evening and the Morning Star." The paper ran for 14 months. The last issue contained an article titled "Free People of Color", with many slave holders in the area, this upset many. The Latter-Day Saints published the article to express their detachment from the slave question.

Many revelations to Joseph Smith, as well as Church announcements were published to the Saints in "The Evening and the Morning Star." Subscription to the paper cost 1$ a year.

Oliver Cowdery worked as William W. Phelps assistant, along with five other employees, including John Whitmer.

The Book of Commandments was also printed on this press, it was the first printing of the Prophet Joseph Smiths revelations.

The mob attacked Bishop Partridge and Charles Allen, and then the printing press. Hoping to persuade the Latter-day Saints to move and leave the country. The mob threw the press and papers from the second story window, and then demolished the building. Mary Elizabeth Rawlings and her younger sister watched the mob tearing down the printing office and gathered the sheets of uncut unfinished Book of Commandments and hid in a cornfield. Another, lesser known part of the story is a 25 year old young man named John Taylor, not the future president of the Church, also retrieved some Book of Commandment sheets from a log stable where he found them. These courageous young people made it possible for this sacred work to be preserved.

9. Log Courthouse

This Log Courthouse was originally on Lot 59 on a block east of Independence Square, and later moved to its current location. This is the oldest courhouse west of the Mississippi, and the oldest building once owned by Latter-Day Saints.

Lilburn W. Boggs was ordered to build a temporary pioneer courthouse. The county used the courthouse for three years while the original brick courthouse at Independence Square was being built. After the brick county courthouse was built the county sold the log courthouse to Smallwood Noland and he sold it to the Gilbert and Whitney storekeepers. Sidney Gilbert used it as his residence and as the Church store temporarily.

In 1916 the log courthouse was moved from it's original location to its current location. Harry S. Truman once held a session of his county court in the log courthouse after it was renovated.

10. Log Courthouse original site

The Log Courthouse was at the Southeast corner of Lexington and Lynn Streets. The Lot and the empty log courthouse was purchased Feb. 20, 1832 but the Gilbert and Whitney Company for 371$. Sydney Gilbert built an additional room of brick on one end of the log building to store items for the Church storehouse. Gilbert and Whitney then purchased lot 51 to build a permanent home home for the Church's general store and Bishops storehouse.

It was at this site on Nov. 1, 1833 where a mob attacked the Gilbert home, broke all the windows and tore the brick addition. Mary Elizabeth Rawlings, Sidney Gilberts niece was living in the house wrote this about the attack:

"One night a great number of men got together and began stoning our house, part of which was logs, the other part or front was brick. After breaking all the windows they started tearing off the roof amid fearful oaths and yells that were terrible to hear. We were all but frightened to death and stood against the walls between the doors and windows.

11. Lilburn Bogg's first house and Peter Whitmer Jr's Tailor Shop:

Lilburn Boggs, the Governor who issued the Extermination Order for the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints, rented the upstairs room of his house to Peter Whitmer Jr. Peter Whitmer Jr. ran his Tailor Shop.

The Tailor Shop did well, because it was not a common shop in the frontier. Alexander Doniphan had a suit made by Peter Whitmer Jr. Mary Elizabeth Rawlings worked for Peter Whitmer Jr.. Mary Elizabeth recorded that Peter made a suit for Boggs to wear to his inaugural ceremonies when he was elected lieutenant governor of Missouri in 1832. Mary Elizabeth made other clothes for Boggs and his wife, Panthea, who was the granddaughter of Daniel Boone.

Boggs tried to persuade Mary Elizabeth to leave the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Promising to raise Mary Elizabeth as a daughter, with better education and a better life. Mary Elizabeth turned down the offer saying she could never leave the Church she loved.

12. Noland House, where Joseph Smith was held prisoner.

After being detained for a few days in a log house(Huge Log House Site), Joseph Smith and the other prisoners spent their last two days of confinement at Independence at a hotel called The Noland House. The prisoners were treated well at the Noland House, they were able to come and go as they pleased with no guard.

While being held prisoner in the Noland House, Parley P. Pratt went on a walk and was tempted to escape while walking around town, but remembered the promise the Prophet Joseph Smith gave "our lives should all be given us during captivity, and none of them should be lost. Parley returned to the Prophets side, and was dedicated to staying with him. Because, Parley returned to the Noland house he was then put into prison elsewhere, for the next eight months of his life. He was moved from Noland House to Richmond, Ray County where he was chained in shackles with the Prophet in a temporary prison. Then moved to Richmond jail then taken to a jail in Colombia, Boone County where he escaped on Independence day with assistance from his brother Orson.

Joseph Smith was taken from Noland House to Richmond then placed in Liberty Jail where Joseph, Hyrum and others were incarcerated during the winter of 1838-1839.

The Clinton Drugstore where the Noland House once stood was where President Harry S. Truman had his first job as a young boy. The drugstore has been restored to represent the time of Truman and is opened for business. This two story brick building reportedly contains some portions of the old Noland House.

The hotel burned down in 1845.

13. First Jackson County Jail site.

The first Jackson County Jail Site had a long dungeon that it help Latter-Day Saint Prisoners. It was located on the corner lot where the Truman Information Center is now located, just north of the historic 1859 jail.

On November 1, 1833, violence against the Latter-Day Saints broke out when the mob men demolished the home of Sidney Gilbert and broke into his store on Liberty Square, and scattered all the merchandise into the streets. That night the mob "broke in the doors and windows of all the dwellings in Independence belonging to the Mormons." wrote Orson Hyde.

Four Latter-Day Saint men attempted to arrest Richard McCarthy, one of the mob men who damaged the Gilbert Store, but instead of arresting the him, the four Latter-Day Saint men were arrested.

Other news of violence done by Latter-Day Saints reached the courthouse that night and everyone went crazy against the Latter-Day Saint people. One man pointed a pistol at Sidney Gilbert's chest and pulled the trigger but the fun misfired! They took the Latter-Day Saint men as prisoners, worried the men would be killed if they did not.

The four men were Sidney Gilbert, John Corrill, Isaac Morley, and William McLellin. The men were taken from the courthouse to the log jail where they were "locked, chained and carred" in the jails basement dungeon. William McLellion said it was "the most horrid. . . loathsome place in which my feet ever entered." The men were released after one night.

The original log jail was burned in 1841.

The Latter-Day Saints could not find the help they needed from the law because of a man named Jacob Gregg, who was the third sheriff of Jackson County. Jacob Gregg was unable or unwilling to provide law and order in Independence. His brother, Harmon was a member of the mob. His nephew, Dr. Josiah Greff is the author of the history of the Santa Fe Trail and also hated members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Josiah Gregg felt it was an act of frontier justice to rid the county of the Mormons.

Other notes about the jail: Frank James, a member of Jesse James Gang was held in this same prison in 1882. Frank James is buried at Independence in the Hill Park Cemetery and his brother Jesse James is buried in Kearney, Clay County. The jail today houses a museum.

14. Lilburn Boggs later house.

After Lilburn Boggs was done being the Governor of Missouri he returned to Independence and bought a home from his brother. The home no longer exists but the foundation is still there. The lot is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

There was an attempted assassination on Governor Boggs when he was home with his family. He was shot four times in the back of the head and lived. He assumed it was Porter Rockwell, by the oder of Joseph Smith. This caused both Joseph and Porter to go into hiding. They were both caught and Joseph was released on insufficient evidence. Porter was also let go from the charge of attempted murder, but had to stay in jail for nine months because he escaped and was caught again.

Lilburn Boggs was known by some as a good man, but to the Latter-Day Saints he was known as a "blood thirsty and murderous" man. The Saints had reason to feel this way after their expulsion from Jackson County when he was lieutenant governor in Independence. Then, Governor Boggs signed the extermination order which forced the Latter-Day Saints from the state of Missouri! The extermination order was not rescinded until 1976!!

More Blog Posts on Missouri

David Whitmers Grave, Richmond County Cemetery, Richmond Missouri

Three Witnesses Monument, Richmond Missouri

Pioneer woman, Laura Clark Phelps-Helping her Husband escape from Missouri Jail

Missouri Mob and Amanda Barnes Smith Prayer

Mary Fielding Smith, Hyrum Jailed in Liberty

References: "Sacred Places Missouri, A comprehensive guide to Early LDS Historical Sites" P. 57 , Jackson County.

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