Though not well-known, the site of the Michael Arthur farm in Clay County, Mo., is significant in Latter-day Saint history. Arthur was not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but was friendly to Mormons during a period of great opposition and animosity. At that time, such an individual was referred to as a Jack Mormon. According to Max H. Parkin, it was on the Arthur farm that the following events occurred: Arthur assisted a number of the displaced Saints; he hired members of the church, including Lyman Wight and Wilford Woodruff, to build a two-story home for him; the Prophet Joseph Smith spent time and preached there; on July 3, 1834, the members of Zion's Camp were formally discharged there; the second stake of the church was organized there.
A cemetery adjacent to the farm property has been purchased and a monument to the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon has been erected there. The farm site is located about four miles from Liberty Jail.
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company