Monroe County, Mississippi Early LDS Emmigration

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It is not uncommon for many of us convert members to the LDS Church to assume that they were not represented in the early Mormon pioneer migration to the Great Salt Lake Valley in 1847. Tis not always so! How many of our members ever heard of the “Mississippi Company?”
“In April 1846 Brigham Young called John Brown to lead church members living in Monroe, County, Mississippi, west. They were to take a diagonal southern route from northeast Mississippi to the Platte River and rendezvous there with the Nauvoo saints. There were 14 families and seven single men in the company of 43 adults and an unknown number of children. By mid June, Brown and his company were at the Platte River where they waited for 2 weeks for the Nauvoo Mormons. They continued on toward Fort Laramie until they learned there were no Mormons ahead. They were advised by a trader to go south to Fort Pueblo, Colorado, for the winter because it was a sheltered valley with food and supplies readily available. They spent the winter of 1846-1847 at Ft. Pueblo. On May 24, 1847 the Mississippi Saints left Ft. Pueblo and headed for the Platte River again. They gained on the vanguard company and were only one day behind the main body of Nauvoo Saints when they reached the Platte River ferry. Their animals and equipment needed attention and repair so they delayed their departure for several days.”

“On July 29, 1847, Pres. Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, George Albert Smith, Wilford Woodruff, Ezra T. Benson, and five other authorities rode on horseback to the mouth of Emigration Canyon, where they met the incoming Pueblo colonists.” In that company was Mary Ann Sparks Gibson who is my paternal grandmother’s niece, four times removed. Mary Ann and her husband George Washington Gibson and their children joined the church in Mississippi between 1843 and 1845. They gave up everything they owned for the move to ‘Zion.” Their last child was named Joseph Smith Gibson. They were endowed in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City in 1855. And I thought I was the first member in my family to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Submitted by Edmond G. Lucky  October 2010