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Picturing history: De Witt, Carroll County, Mo.

By Kenneth Mays

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, March 19 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

De Witt, Mo., is the site of several significant stories from Latter-day Saint history.

Kenneth Mays

The little town of De Witt, Carroll County, Mo., was originally nestled near the confluence of the Grand and Missouri rivers. Time, as well as man-made and natural forces, has altered the course of these rivers to the extent that they now are not as close as they once were.

De Witt is a site where several significant stories from the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unfolded. In 1834, Joseph Smith and members of Zion’s Camp passed by on their way to Jackson County.

Several years later, John Taylor, new convert and future president of the LDS Church, fell off his wagon, which then rolled over him. He was hurt but not seriously injured.

Shortly after that, local Missourians surrounded the Mormons at De Witt, placed them under siege and demanded they all leave. Once the Saints realized they would receive no help from the government, they reluctantly left.

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