Monday, March 18, 2013

No stone left unturned

I've written before about that big old rock at the southwest corner of the courthouse lawn that commemorates the Mormon Trail's place in Lucas County history. Its counterpart south of town, too. Some general history is located here; an account of the great debate about whether the route through Lucas County should be called "trail" or "trace" and a map are here; and a photo of the monument's 1923 dedication is here.

Thanks to this article from The Chariton Leader of July 19, 1917, we now know a little more about the rock itself --- although I haven't a clue about where the "Mallony Farm" was. Chariton Marble and Granite Works was located, when this article was written, where the fire department wing of City Hall now sits. And Henry Gittinger, Leader editor who wrote this, refers to Utah as the "state of Desert," which should have been "Deseret," a name derived from the Book of Mormon word for honeybee and a provisional name for the state that never was recognized by the U.S. government. Here's the article:

It is Here to Mark the Old Mormon Trace

There is a big boulder sitting before the Chariton Marble and Granite Works, upon some of Don Lewis' house moving trucks, waiting until Harding and Veirs can cut an incision into it in which to insert an inscription plate. It is the long talked of marking for this historic old travel way which passed through Lucas county and the present site of Chariton, when the refugees began their hegira from Nauvoo to the State of Desert (Deseret), long before the middle of the last century (1846, actually). It was one of the most notable events in American history, and Curator Harlin, of the Historical Department of Iowa, in conjunction with the Daughters of America (Daughters of the American Revolution), decided that this old trace should have proper markings and the local chapter conceived that no more consistent monument could be erected than an inscribed boulder from the native hills. This boulder weighs ten tons and was secured out on "Mallony farm." It was a big task to move ten tons of solid stone mass that distance, but Mr. Lewis has performed the task, and can at least comprehend some of the difficulties in the way of the Ancient Egyptians in the building of the pyramids. After the inscription has been arranged the boulder will be placed at the southwest corner of the courthouse square and may (illegible) the younger generations to search the history of those stirring times. For all ages, the boulder will remain a solemn and silent sentinel of the troubled past.

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