“Blooming Where Planted,” Ensign, July 1993, 68
After living in Winchester, Indiana, for ten years, Eunice Addington discovered quite by accident that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had lived there as early as 1831. Curious as to how residents of this small town in Indiana could have known about the Church so soon after its restoration, she began researching the deeds in the county courthouse. Soon she discovered that the missionaries and even the Prophet Joseph Smith had visited Winchester during these early years and that Winchester had been the site of the largest branch of the Church in Indiana in 1831. Through her persistent and tireless efforts, she has identified nearly half of the one hundred members of the Winchester Branch. (See Ensign, Oct. 1992, pp. 56–59.)
“These people are so real to me,” says Eunice, who has found the property deeds of early Latter-day Saints, visited their lands and the cemeteries, and tried to locate their descendants. “I’ve read everything I could get my hands on about the early history of Winchester and its place in Church history. I love these people.”
A popular local speaker to groups of all ages, Eunice loves to tell the stories of these early pioneers. She often dresses up in pioneer dress and brings along artifacts.
“Most of these early members left Winchester in the fall of 1831 and the spring of 1832 and joined the Saints in Missouri,” says Eunice. “Many people don’t even know their ancestors lived here. Some are mentioned in Church history—George Burkett, Samuel Lee, Oliver Walker, Jeremiah Lindsay, William Lindsay, John Jones, James Stapleton Lewis, and Henry Jackson. Most, however, have faded into obscurity. That’s why I hope to find some new sources such as journals.”
Born and raised in nearby Muncie, Indiana, Eunice joined the Church as a young woman. She didn’t know it at the time, but her grandmother was one of the first members of the Church in Muncie but had fallen into inactivity. Because of this, when the missionaries found Eunice and her mother, neither one knew much about the gospel. They gained a testimony of the gospel quickly. Eunice’s mother died suddenly before she could be baptized, but Eunice was baptized and has remained faithful her entire life. She is currently a member of the Greenville Branch in the Dayton Ohio Stake.
When Eunice is not doing research, she is busy making beautiful dolls in elaborate dresses. A registered doll maker, Eunice has created more than four hundred dolls based on the turn-of-the-century prototypes for people all over the United States. She and her husband, Murrie, also keep busy with their grandchildren.
Though Eunice lives in the rural countryside outside the small town of Winchester, Indiana, she has magnified her talents in historical research and doll making to the benefit of people throughout the United States.