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Picturing history: Haun's Mill

Published: Wednesday, May 9 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

One of several historical sites newly acquired by the LDS Church is that of Haun's Mill, a settlement in eastern Caldwell County, Mo., on the banks of Shoal Creek. The center of the little community was a water gristmill operated by Jacob Haun.

Kenneth Mays

Related article: LDS Church buys farmland, Haun's Mill, Far West, Kirtland property from Community of Christ

Related list: 10 lesser-known LDS Church sites

One of several historical sites newly acquired by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that of Haun's Mill, a settlement in eastern Caldwell County, Mo., on the banks of Shoal Creek. The center of the little community was a water gristmill operated by Jacob Haun.

As difficulties between the Mormons and local Missourians escalated, the Prophet Joseph Smith counseled Haun to bring the Haun's Mill settlers to the relative safety of Far West, but Haun failed to do so.

It is now thought that Haun did not inform the others of Joseph's counsel. On Oct. 30, 1838, a group of 240 locals attacked Haun's Mill, killing at least 17 men and boys.

In recent years, Brigham Young Universithy professor Alex Baugh has learned some interesting facts: Haun actually spelled his name Hawn; he was not a member of the LDS Church; and the attackers had not yet learned of Governor Boggs' so-called extermination order.

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