September 5, 2023

Historical Walking Tour Independence Missouri Sites 1-6

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)

The Historical Walk around Independence Missouri is done by the town of Missouri, but it is of importance to member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

There are 14 small bronze sidewalk markers, set in concrete, to create this Historical walking Tour around downtown Independence.

  1. Temple Lot. Walnut Street, north of Community of Christ auditorium. The sacred Temple lot was dedicated by Joseph Smith.

Why is the Temple Lot Significant Today?

To answer this question, we return to words of revelation. “This is the land of promise,” the Lord declared, “and the place for the city of Zion. . . . The place which is now called Independence is the center place; and a spot for the temple is lying westward” (D&C 57:2–3).

We do not know exactly how, when, or where these words will be fulfilled, but we do know that that rectangle of land in Independence is sacred. It has been dedicated to the Lord. The Lord’s revelations about that land—and the principles of gospel living that are woven into those revelations—are part of His people’s past, present, and future.

2. Flournoy House.

Flournoy was the original owner of the 160 acres tract of land that included the Temple Lot. Jones H. Flournoy was a landowner, merchant, Indian trader, and eventual anti-Mormon.

It was in the Flournoy House, and in its original site(it has since been moved) that Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Lyman Wight and others were treated as guests. They were all prisoners of Gen. Moses G. Wilson. The General then lived in the home. and invited Joseph Smith and the other prisoners to dine with him. The wife of General Moses, Margaret Ann Wilson, was upset that the prisoners were in chains. Margaret was impressed with the character of Joseph Smith and his friends.

General Wilson later said this of Joseph: "He was a very remarkable man. I carried him into my house, a prisoner in chains, and in less than two hours my wife loved him better than she did me."

The house was built in 1826 on the west side of Pleasant Street, before the city of Independence had been laid out. The house was moved to its present site as part of CC Restoration Heritage Plaza.

3. Bishop Edward Partridge house site and Church School Site.

Bishop Edward Partridge's house and Church School building were on the northeast corner of the Temple Lot. When Bishop Partridge and his family first moved to Independence, they rented a "log room" from Lilburn W. Boggs. Then, the family built a two-story log house with a cellar on the Temple Lot.

Next to the Partridge house the Church constructed a small school building that was used for religious purposes when the weather did not allow them to be outside on the Temple Lot.

The mob attacked Bishop Partridge on July 20, 1833. The mob gathered at the courthouse. The mob sent 50 men to Bishop Partridges house and bring him back to the courthouse where they tarred and feathered him.

Edward and his family fled their home on November 7, 1833 when a mob drove the Latter-Day Saints from the county. Edwards daughter Eliza Partridge wrote this of their departure "Our lands and orchards and improvements of ever kind [were] left to benefit to those who had driven us away." The family escaped into Clay County.

4. Flournoy House Lot.

The Lot where the Flournoy House was located when the story in site 2 occurred, with Gen. feeding Joseph Smith and friends dinner.

5. Ruthbun Blacksmith Shop Site

Latter-day Saints Robert Ruthbun was a Latter-Day Saint Elder who settled in Jackson County in 1831. The day the Church press was destroyed in Independence by a mob, they also broke into the Roberts Blacksmith shop. All his tools were thrown into the street. He and his family were driven from Independence that year. The Ruthbun family fled to Calwell County where he survived the Hauns Mill Massacre, but his teenage son, Hiram was crippled for life. The Ruthbun family later converted to RLDS Church.

6. Independence Square

Latter-day Saints suffered acts of violence in the Square and the streets nearby. The Courthouse is also a site of the country's original brick courthouse. Near the courthouse slave auctions took place before the Civil War. Also, it is of historical importance because of its relation to Harry S. Truman.

There is a statue of Gen. Andrew Jackson. Jackson County was named after Andrew Jackson who later became the 7th President of The United States. Monuments to the Santa Fe Trail and Oregon Trail are located on either side of the Andre Jackson monument, because both trails began in Independence.

Doctrine and Covenants 57:3 mentions the Courthouse in its 1831 revelation. The Courthouse was used as a reference point for location to the Temple site. "a spot for the temple" going onto say "not far from the courthouse."

On July 20, 1833, it was in the square that Bishop Edward Partridge was tarred a feathered. 400 Missouri Mob Men attacked Bishop Partridge and Charles Allen. They tore off Charles Allen clothes, but Bishop Partridge would not allow the mob men to do the same to him. They struck Bishop with "great many violent blows" before they tarred and feathered him. The mob also tore down the Church Press, and attacked the Church Store.

Five years later November 3, 1838 Joseph Smith was arrested and brought to Independence from Far West, Calwell County. Governor Lilburn W. Boggs had made the Extermination Order Law and it was taking a toll on the Saints. When Joseph Smith and the other prisoners were brought through town they were paraded in the square for public viewing. They were placed under arrest in and empty log house and then moved a few doors east to a corner hotel, both places were on Maple Street, facing the Square.

More Blog Posts on Missouri Site

Overview of the Missouri Years

David Whitmers Grave, Richmond County Cemetery, Richmond Missouri

Three Witnesses Monument, Richmond Missouri

The Three Witnesses of The Book of Mormon

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