The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

March 29, 2014

Richardson's Point dedicated as historic site

MILTON — The Mormon Trail was traveled by thousands of pioneers who were searching for a new religious center in the mid-1800s. Part of the trail went through southern Iowa, and the pioneers established an encampment, Richardson’s Point, close to Milton that still can be seen today thanks to preservation efforts by Brad Klodt, who owns the land, and the Iowa Mormon Trails Association.

On Saturday, Richardson’s Point was dedicated as a historic site by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Guests were treated to music, refreshments, a history lesson of the site and plenty of prayer.

“We are grateful today for all that has been done,” said Michael Gailey, who gave the welcoming at the dedication. “Thanks go to the Klodt family for keeping this beautiful land beautiful.”

At the site there are two graves where the first two pioneers who died on the trail were buried. Edwin Little, the nephew of the Mormon Church leader Brigham Young, and James Tanner, who was 15 months old at the time of his passing, were the first of approximately 6,000 Mormon pioneers to perish while traversing the trail from 1846-69.

“The reason we are here is to remember and memorialize the first two people who died on the Mormon Trail,” historian Susan Easton Black Durrant said.

Starting on Feb. 4, 1846, Mormons led by Young left their headquarter city, Nauvoo, Ill., because of rising conflicts with non-Mormons living nearby. They went west, moving through southern Iowa, and set up encampments along their path.

Richardson’s Point was settled just outside of Milton on March 7, 1846, because Young felt the weather was too bad to continue, and the pioneers needed another stopping point along the trail. According to Durrant, the pioneers only stayed at Richardson’s Point for 10 days, but in that time they established a post office and there were several babies born.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0801 OTT Five Things logo -L T Five things to do in southeast Iowa OTTUMWA — Celebrate summer in a variety of ways and in several communities this weekend. Many towns are holding festivals, shows and events all centered around the summer theme, so head out while it's warm. 1. "Summer Shorts" is the Davis County Play

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0731 OTT Aviation plane -T -M Flying free OTTUMWA — The financial obstacle may have been removed if your career goal starts with learning to fly. "We have it set up for three terms, about nine months," said pilot and chief flight instructor Darren Graham at Indian Hills Community College. "

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supervisors discuss pipeline potential KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Supervisors received preliminary, general information on a new pipeline being proposed to carry oil from North Dakota through Iowa, including Van Buren County, then crossing into Illinois. The proposed Bakken Pipeline wou

    July 30, 2014

  • Fairfield stabbing suspects' trials separated FAIRFIELD — The three people accused of dragging a man into a Fairfield apartment before robbing and stabbing him have had a judge grant their requests to separate their trials. Dawn Dunn, Dustin Roll and Brett Hedblade are each charged with willful

    July 30, 2014

  • Local business donates grain rescue tube KEOSAUQUA — Stockport Elevator, owned by Roquette America, donated a grain rescue tube to Birmingham and Stockport Fire Departments. A training session was conducted Monday, led by Dale Ekdahl, a representative of Outstate Data, LLC, the device’s man

    July 30, 2014

  • Where do my taxes go? OTTUMWA — Wapello County Board certified its tax levy. But what does that mean? Based on budgets submitted by various levying authors, the Wapello County Auditor prepares and certifies the levy rates for the county. Budgets for each levy are based on

    July 30, 2014

  • OCSD releases elementary supplies list

    OTTUMWA — For years, parents of the students in Ottumwa's elementary schools have had to check to make sure the school supplies list they grabbed was the right one for their school. No more.

    July 30, 2014

  • Reducing runoff at the local level AGENCY — Pollution isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you look out at a field of Iowa corn or soybeans, but there’s growing concern about what manages to get out of the fields and into the water. The same nutrients that benefit the crops c

    July 30, 2014

  • Supervisors wrestle with staffing woes KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Supervisor Chairman Bob Waugh says he wants county supervisors to help alleviate staffing problems within the county treasurer’s office. In May, supervisors opted not to replace a vacancy within the treasurer’s office. Va

    July 30, 2014

  • 0730 OTT Better Buildings -T -M Wildwood could be your home OTTUMWA — There was always one child per class who just adored school. If they went to Wildwood, they may soon be able to move in permanently. The Ottumwa board of education met Monday, where staff told them where the district stood as far as "facili

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

Photo reprints