About five miles east of Council Bluffs, Iowa, is a site of the home and farm of Orson Hyde, who was an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That site was referred to as Hyde Park, where 50 acres were enclosed with a split rail fence.
When Brigham Young led the Saints west to the Salt Lake Valley, Elder Hyde remained in Iowa to preside over those who were preparing for the trek west or passing through the Council Bluffs area. After reaching the Salt Lake Valley in July 1847, President Young soon returned to the Winter Quarters/Council Bluffs area for the winter.
This is the extant Nauvoo, Illinois, home of Elder Orson Hyde, 300 miles east of Hyde Park, Iowa. | Kenneth Mayst
Up to that point, President Young had led the church as president of what was then known as Council of the Twelve, roughly 3.5 years since the death of Joseph Smith. On Dec. 5, 1847, the council met at Hyde Park and voted to sustain him as president of the LDS Church. The formal sustaining was in the Kanesville Tabernacle in present-day Council Bluffs, Iowa. President Young selected Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards as his counselors (see History of the Church 7:621-623).
Another important event at Hyde Park was the return of Oliver Cowdery, one of the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon. Cowdery had been excommunicated on April 12, 1838, at Far West, Missouri. After a decade out of the church, he traveled to Hyde Park and spoke at a special conference on Oct. 21, 1848 (see William G. Hartley and A. Gary Anderson, in LaMar C. Berrett, "Sacred Places, Vol. 5," ) He was baptized by Orson Hyde on Nov. 12, 1848, in nearby Mosquito Creek. Hyde presided in the area until 1851.