Kansas Marks Way Station Used by Pioneers
August 1986

“Kansas Marks Way Station Used by Pioneers,” Ensign, Aug. 1986, 79

Kansas Marks Way Station Used by Pioneers

A Kansas State Historical Society marker commemorating Mormon Grove, a wayside station used by Latter-day Saint emigrants in 1855–56, was dedicated May 17 about four and one-half miles west of Atchison, Kansas.

President Carver D. Long of the Topeka Kansas Stake offered the dedicatory prayer.

About fifty people turned out, in unseasonably cold and wet weather, for the dedicatory program, which was held in conjunction with the stake’s program commemorating the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood.

Jerome Jacobs, formerly of Wichita, Kansas, and now of San Diego, California, coordinated efforts of Church, state government, and historical society officials to make the monument possible.

Mormon Grove was an important rallying point for Latter-day Saints traveling to Utah. During 1855, approximately 2,000 emigrants, mostly from Scandinavia and Great Britain, traveled to Atchison by boat from New Orleans and St. Louis. While waiting to form wagon trains for the trip west, they camped at Mormon Grove in tents, wagon boxes, and makeshift buildings. A number of these Saints, victims of cholera, were buried in unmarked graves. With the coming of the railroad and the plan to use handcarts, Iowa City, Iowa, became the major jumping-off point for LDS travel west, and Mormon Grove was abandoned. All that remains today is a cemetery.

Jason Cory, Topeka First Ward, Topeka Kansas Stake, examines Mormon Grove marker.