The Miller, the Bishop, and the “Move South”

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When approximately 30,000 Saints deserted their homes during the 1858 “Move South,” most of their wagons contained sacks or boxes of wheat. As the endless stream of wagons rolled south from Great Salt Lake City along the State Road, one wagon after another stopped at a newly erected gristmill on Big Cottonwood Stream. Gladly the uprooted Saints paid miller Archibald Gardner to grind their wheat into flour. Among the millhands whom Archibald Gardner hired to help serve this sudden flood of customers was Warren Foote, a resident of Union. Not too far from the busy Gardner gristmill on State Road, Acting Bishop Joseph Harker prepared his West Jordan Ward members to vacate their properties. This article includes two historical documents: one from the diary of Foote who recorded his reactions to his six or seven weeks of around-the-clock mill work; and another from the bishop’s handwritten diary, which shows us quickly what day-by-day work the four months (March to July) of preparing, relocating, and returning required.

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Print ISSN: 2837-0031
Online ISSN: 2837-004X

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