The Nauvoo Temple Bells

The Nauvoo Temple Bells
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The Nauvoo Temple Bells

Author Shannon M. Tracy Author Glen M. Leonard Author Ronald G. Watt

The bell that hung briefly in the first Nauvoo Temple was removed when the Saints left and carried to Winter Quarters and then to Utah. During the harsh winter of 1849—1850, the bell cracked and could not be repaired; it was most likely destroyed in an attempt to recast it. The bell that was installed on Temple Square in 1939 and labeled as the “Nauvoo Bell” was not the temple bell but was instead a bell purchased by Michael Hummer that had hung in a church in Iowa City. Hummer’s bell has a fascinating history of it’s own. This article traces the history of both bells by looking at foundry records, steamship bells, journals, newspapers, and the Temple Square bell itself.