Article of the Week | BYU Studies

Article of the Week

February 27, 2017
Article of the Week
Conflict in the Countryside: The Mormon Settlement at Macedonia, Illinois
Susan Sessions Rugh

This daily feature is the introduction to a full article by Susan Sessions Rugh which was published in the combined issue 32:1-2. To read the full text of this article, follow the link below.

Less than a fifteen-minute drive northeast of Carthage, Illinois, a sign announces, "Webster, Population 46." A boarded-up store, a tiny café, and a small white church with a bell tower mark the spot. Situated in a wide bend of Crooked Creek, Webster received its name in 1847, less than a year after the departure of the Latter-day Saint settlers who had founded the town as Ramus in 1840 and who renamed it Macedonia in 1843. In 1845, it was reputed to be the third largest town in Hancock County, and its population peaked at somewhere between five and six hundred before the Macedonian Saints left in the spring of 1846. Macedonia, like other rural Mormon settlements in Hancock County, was a casualty of the Mormon conflict centered in Nauvoo. The renaming of the town for the prominent American statesman Daniel Webster was surely an attempt to forge a new identity and forget the past.