Compiled by Lisle Brown
© All Rights Reserved, 1999 - Lisle G Brown
Revised, August 1999
Revised, February 2000


1830's Daniel H. Wells and Catherine Wells purchased 84 acres of land along the Mississippi River from Samuel Gooch, who had received the land through a patent, for $450. The Nauvoo Temple would later stand on part of this property. (Miller, Nauvoo, City of Joseph, p. 241.)


Winter 1839/40 Even as the Saints began to settle Commerce, the Brethren "began to talk upon the subject of building a temple, wherein to administer the ordinances of God's house. Several councils were held and a place selected where upon the temple was contemplated to be built." (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 3.)

4 Apr 1840 -- Daniel H. Wells, a non-Mormon who joined the Church in 1846, annexed his 84-acre farm on the bluffs over looking the river bottom below to the city of Nauvoo. The survey, completed between 17-21 Mar 1840, divided the farm into 18 four-acre blocks and 6 two-acre blocks. The future temple would be located in the Wells Addition. (Miller and Miller. Nauvoo: City of Joseph, pp. 36, 38; G. Hill, Map of the City Nauvoo, 1842 [facsimile, Nauvoo Restoration, 1972.)

1 Aug 1840 -- In Nauvoo the First Presidency issued a general epistle, stating, " is necessary to erect a house of prayer, a house of worship of our God, where the ordinances can be attended to agreeably to His divine will, in this region of country."(Smith, History of the Church, 4:186.)

3 Oct 1840 -- In the General Conference of the Church the congregation resolved, "That the Saints build a house for the worship of God, and that Reynolds Cahoon, Elias Higbee, and Alpheus Cutler be appointed a committee to build the same." Men agreed to"tithe" their labor, working one day in ten on the temple. (Smith, History of the Church, 4:205.) The Temple Committee was charged to superintend the work and oversee the entire operation. They also received donations. Those who donated received receipts, usually written by Elias Higbee. (Clayton,"Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 3.)

12 Oct 1840 -- A limestone quarry in an old stream bed northwest of Nauvoo, but within the city limits, opened. It was located west of Main Street, between Hyrum Street and Joseph Street. Elisha Everett struck the first blow for stone for the temple. William Niswanger operated the quarry, which came to be called the Temple Stone Quarry. Albert P. Rockwood and his assistant Charles Drury supervised the crews cutting the limestone. (Smith, History of the Church, 4:229; William Clayton Journal, Journal History, 31 Dec 1844.) Later, stone from another quarry was also used. Joseph Smith III stated, that the stone for the Temple came"from a quarry in the north side of the city along the river bank [the Temple Stone Quarry] and some of them from down the river [probably the Loomis Quarry]." (Saints Herald, 26 Sept 1949.)

Fall 1840 -- Joseph Smith "advertised for plans for a temple. He [William Weeks] said several architects presented their plans, but none seemed to suit Smith. So when he went in and showed his plans, Joseph Smith grabbed him, hugged him and said, 'You are the man I want.'"(F. M. Weeks to J. Earl Arrington, in Arrington,"William Weeks," BYU Studies, 19 [Spring 1979]: 340.)

During the course of the temple's construction William Weeks prepared a number of pen and ink, and pencil drawings and plans. Those that survived are housed in the LDS Church Archives. They include drawings of the temple's facade, stairways, star stones, circular windows, archways, pulpits, framework for the tower and ceilings, wall plans, interior decorations and furnishings. (Arrington, "William Weeks," BYU Studies, 19 [Spring 1979]: 342-343.)

19 Oct 1840 -- Prior to this date the Temple Committee had contacted Daniel H. Wells about land for the temple. (Clayton,"Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 4.) Joseph Smith wrote that the Church had "secured one of the most lovely situation [for the Temple] in this region of the Country." He also stated that the Nauvoo Temple was "expected to be considerable larger than the one in Kirtland and on a more magnificent scale." (Smith. History of the Church, 4:229; Times and Seasons, 2 [1 Jan 1842]: 259-260.)

15 Dec 1840 -- Work in the quarry continued, but progress was slow. The workers "tithe" their time, working one day in ten. (Manuscript History of the Church, 15 Dec 1840, CA.)


15 Jan 1841 -- The First Presidency reported, "The Temple of the Lord is in the progress of erection." (Times and Seasons, 2 [15 Jan 1841]: 274.)

19 Jan 1841 -- A revelation given to Joseph Smith, in which the Lord approved the place where the Saints intended to erect the temple, for he had chosen it. (DC 124:43.) Although there is no record, prior to this date Daniel H. Wells had apparently agreed to have the temple erected on Block 20 of his sub-division. The exact date when the decision was made to locate the temple in the Wells Addition is not known. Work on the building continued nearly two years before the actual transfer of the deed from Wells to the Trustee-in-Trust was done. The reason for the delay is not known. (See entry for 4 Feb 1843.)

The Lord also revealed that he would grant the Saints sufficient time for its construction and that in the finished temple he would "reveal unto the Church things hid from before the foundation of the world." (D&C 124:41)

18 Feb 1841 -- Temple Committee having laid out the temple foundation, workmen begin to dig the foundation and basement, starting with the four corners. Joseph Smith desired to have everything ready to lay the cornerstones on 6 April 1841. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 4.)

22 Feb 1841 -- To better organize the work the Temple Committee divided the city into four "wards," and assigned the wards to supply workmen on appointed days; they renewed the call for the brethren to labor on the Temple every tenth day. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 4.)

1 Mar 1841 -- Workmen finished digging the foundation and basement, and then begin placing the foundation stones. (Autobiography of William Huntington, BYU, p. 22.) The foundation walls had no footing, but were laid directly on the clay floor of the excavated basement, about five feet below ground level. The foundation stones were large irregularly shaped limestone blocks, approximately 4.5 to 5.0 feet thick. (Harrington and Harrington, Rediscovery of the Nauvoo Temple, p. 16.)

Perhaps following the Temple Committee's lead, the City Council also divided the city into four wards at Joseph Smith's suggestion. (Smith. History of the Church, 4:305. Prior to this date the city had been divided into three wards at the October 1839 General Conference, see Smith, History of the Church, 4:12.)

5 Apr 1841 -- By this date workmen had laid up enough stone for the basement walls to reach ground level, five-feet high, which was sufficiently complete for laying the cornerstones. (Autobiography of William Huntington, p. 12, Lee Library, BYU.)

6 Apr 1841 -- The four cornerstones were laid in impressive ceremonies. It commenced with Joseph Smith reviewing two cohorts of the Nauvoo Legion at nine A.M. on the parade ground. He then led the Legion, accompanied by "ladies" and "gentlemen" walking eight abreast, to the temple block, arriving at noon. Approximately 10,000 persons attended the services. After a hymn, Sidney Rigdon gave a lengthy oration. After another hymn President Rigdon "invoked the blessings of Almighty God upon the assembly, and upon those who should labor on the building" The First Presidency laid the first cornerstone on the southeast corner of the building. There was then an adjournment for one hour. The congregation reconvened and the High Priests Quorum Presidency laid the southwest cornerstone. The Nauvoo High Council, representing the Quorum of the Twelve who were on missions in England, laid the northwest cornerstone. The Bishoprics laid the northeast cornerstone. Following the ceremony the procession returned to the Legion parade ground where Joseph Smith and John C. Bennet addressed the people. "The assembly then separated with cheerful hearts." (Times and Seasons, 2 [15 Apr. 1840]: 375-377, 380-383.)

8 Apr 1841 -- At the General Conference Joseph Smith said that working on the temple was as acceptable as preaching the gospel to the world. He called for a renewal of contributions to the Temple and proposed calling agents to gather funds for the Temple. Eight brethren were called to travel for the purpose of collecting the donations: John Murdock, Lyman Wight, William Smith, Henry Miller, Amasa Lyman, Leonard Soby, Gehiel Savage and Zenos Gurley. (Smith, History of the Church, 4:342.)

1 Jul 1841 -- The Times and Seasons reported on the progress towards erecting the baptismal font: "The font is intended to be supported by twelve oxen, several of which are in the state of forwardness, and are certainly good representations of the animal, and do great credit to the mechanics carving the same. It is intended to overlay them with gold, and when finished will have a very grand appearance indeed." (Times and Seasons, 2 [1 July 1841]: 455.)

Prior to this day William Weeks had drawn up plans for the font, which Joseph Smith approved. Weeks reported that the font, which would be constructed of wood, would be in the east end of the basement. Weeks began to work on the oxen. (Journal History, 8 Nov 1841, pp. 24-25, CA.) Joseph Smith "approved and accepted a draft for the font, made by Brother Wm Weeks." (Arrington, "William Weeks," BYU Studies, 19 [Spring 1979]: 343.)

Apparently during the initial work on the basement area, workmen dug a ten-foot deep well in the western end of the basement, but apparently it proved inadequate and was not used; it was replaced by a deeper well in the eastern end of the basement. The St. Louis Morning Missouri Republican reported in its 24 Sep 1846 issue the discovery of the western well in a room "under the portico of the Temple..., and situated in a room to which there was no entrance except by an opening made in the floor [above]." (Harrington and Harrington, Rediscovery of the Nauvoo Temple, p. 30.)

8 Aug 1841 -- William Weeks began work on the font proper. (Journal History, 8 Nov 1841, CA.)

11 Aug 1841 -- William Weeks turned over the carving of the oxen to Elijah Fordham, who spent the next eight weeks carving the twelve animals. (Journal History, 8 Nov 1841, CA.) Others may have also helped with carving. John Carling is also mentioned as a carver of the font's wooden oxen. (Carter, Heart Throbs of the West, 4:259.)

22 Sep 1841 -- Since there were insufficient sources of lumber in the vicinity of Nauvoo, The Temple Committee and the Nauvoo House Committee joined togther in a $1,500-purchase of a lumber mill from the firm of Crane and Kirtz on Black Water River in Wisconsin, in order to procure lumber for the Temple and Nauvoo House. (Miller. Correspondence, pp. 8-9.) On this date Temple Committee member Alpheus Cutler left with a party of men for the Wisconsin pineries to procure lumber for the Temple and Nauvoo House. (Journal History, 14 Feb 1842.)

25 Sep 1841 -- About two hundred individuals gathered as Joseph Smith supervised the placement of items in a cavity in the southeast cornerstone before it was sealed.. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 3.) A sister wrote that the cavity "was cut out a square about a foot around and about as deep lined with zinc." The Prophet placed in it "a Bible, a Book of Mormon, hymn book, and other Church works along with silver money that had been coined in that year." (Nancy Naomi Alexander Tracy, Autobiography, Lee Library, BYU.) Another brother stated that when the bible was presented " it was thought necessary that it should be complete-- containing the Apocrypha." When a suitable Bible could not be located nearby, Reynolds Cahoon raced home, cut out the Apocrypha from his large family Bible and brought the sheets back, making the book complete. This brother also mentioned that the Prophet approved the placement of certain books, periodicals, and coins. When someone offered a paper with a poem on, he had it read allowed, "See saw, Margery Daw, Sold her bed and laid in the straw." The Prophet rejected the it, "so the poor poem was left out in the cold." ("Recollections of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Juvenile Instructor, 27 [1892]: 174.)

3 Oct 1841 -- Joseph Smith was called upon to speak about baptism for the dead in General Conference. At the conclusion of his remarks he announced, "There shall be no more baptism for the dead until the ordinance can be attended to in the font in the Lord's House; and the church shall not hold another conference, until they can meet in said house. For thus saith the Lord." (Times and Season, 2 [1 Oct 1841]: 578.)

31 Oct 1841 -- Hyrum Smith wrote a letter to the Saints living in Kirtland counseling them to come to Nauvoo. His letter also contained the following revelation: "There shall not be a general assembly for a general conference assembled together until the House of the Lord and baptismal font shall be finished, and if we are not diligent the church shall be rejected and their dead also, 'saith the Lord.'" (Times and Seasons, 3 [ 15 Nov 1841]: 589.)

8 Nov 1841 -- At 5 P.M. Brigham Young, acting under Joseph Smith's direction, dedicated the font, which was centered in the basement. The font was enclosed by a temporary frame structure of oak clapboard, its roof being low enough for the timbers of the first floor to be laid above it, so that ordinances could be administered in it, even as work on the Temple progressed, "It [the font] is constructed of pine timber, and put togther of staves tongued and grooved, oval shaped, sixteen feet long east and west, and twelve feet wide, seven feet high from the foundation, the basin four feet deep, the molding of the cap and base are formed of beautiful carved work. A flight of stairs in the north and south side leads up and down into the basin, guarded by a side railing. The font stands upon twelve oxen, for on each side and two at each end, their heads, shoulders, and fore legs projecting out from under the font; they are carved out of pine plank, glued togther, and copied after the most beautiful five-year-old steer that could be found in the country; the horns were formed after the most perfect horn that could be procured." (Smith, History of the Church, 4:446.) The font proved to be temporary, as a more durable stone one would later replace it.

Water for the font came from a well dug in the east end of the basement. (Smith, History of the Church, 4:446.) Hiram Oaks and Jess McCarrol dug this well through ten feet of solid work before striking water. Oaks reported that "when they struck water they lost the drill and water spirted up with great force." He placed his hat over the hole until McCarrol stopped the flow with a wooden plug. (Phoebe Swain and Lizzie Anderson, "History of Hiram Oaks," cited in Harrington and Harrington, Rediscovery of the Nauvoo Temple, p. 29.)

15 Nov 1841 -- The Twelve wrote in an epistle to the Church that the Temple's foundation was laid and the walls of the basement were nearly completed. (Times and Seasons, 3 [15 Nov 1841]: 601.)

21 Nov 1841 -- First baptisms for the dead were performed in the new font by Brigahm Young, Heber C. Kimball and John Taylor.(Smith. History of the Church, 4:454; "Temple Ordinance Chronology," 1975 Church Almanac, pp. F5-F6.)

13 Dec 1841 In a meeting Willard Richards was appointed Temple Recorder and he opened his office in the small counting room in Joseph Smith's store, where donations were entered into a book called "The Book of the Law of the Lord." The first recorded donation was by John Sanders, who contributed $5.00. The Temple Committee was no longer to receive contributions. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," pp. 8-9.) The Twelve issued a letter, including a plea for participation in building the Temple. (Smith. History of the Church, 4:472-473.) 200-300 Elders previously called on missions were reassigned to work on the temple. (Journal History, 13 Dec 1841, CA.)

Winter 1841 By the end of construction on the Temple block in the winter of 1841 the basement wall on the south side had been laid up to the water table and the wall on the north side was about two feet high. The Temple construction remained in that state until the Spring of 1842. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 8.)


Ca. 1842 -- On a map of Nauvoo the first drawing of the Nauvoo Temple was published. (Hill, Gustav. Map of the City Nauvoo, 1842 [facsimile, Nauvoo Restoration, 1972].)

2 May 1842 -- The Times and Seasons reported that during the winter months workmen, as many as 100 men at time, had labored in the temple quarry preparing stone for the summer season of labor on the temple site. Others were employed in hauling the stone to the construction site. The Saints hoped to have the building enclosed by next fall. (Times and Seasons, 3 [2 May 1842]: 775-776.)

14 Feb 1842 -- William Clayton was appointed to assist Willard Richards as Temple Recorder, because of the work load was taxing Brother Richards's time. (Journal History, 14 Feb 1842.)

21 Feb 1842 -- In a letter to the Saints Joseph Smith called for a more equal distribution of workers, there were often too many on some days and not enough on others, which was retarding the work. He asked that each ward to be more particular in supplying men on their appointed day and that they should bring all necessary tools. (Smith, Church of the History, 4:517.)

23 Apr 1842 -- The stones in the quarry were only rough cut; final cutting and polishing were done at the Temple site. (Warsaw Wasp, 23 Apr 1842.) Joseph Smith III described that as boy he saw the rough cut stones hauled "on great carts drawn by oxen, with the stones swinging under the axle of the great high, broad-tired wheels, usually two yokes of oxen drawing them." (Saints Herald, 26 Sep 1949.) Although many men donated their teams for work on the temple, for the most part one cart was used to draw the stone to the temple site. Ephrium J. Pearson worked at this task most of the time, and then was replaced by Alma N. Shennnan. Later a second team was used, William H. Dame attending to it. (William Clayton Journal, Journal History, 31 Dec 1844, CA.)

2 May 1842 -- In a report on the progress of the Temple, the Times and Seasons optimistically predicted that the Temple would be enclosed by the Fall, or that the top stones would be laid. (Times and Seasons, 3 [2 May 1842]: 775.)

On this date a second party of men left for the Wisconsin pineries to relieve the first party of men. (Times and Seasons, 3 [2 May 1842] 775.)

8 Jun 1842 -- Work commenced in late-Spring 1842 and progress was slow until the arrival during the month of William W. Player, a master stone mason from England, who came specifically to Nauvoo to work on the Temple. On this date he began supervision of the masonry work and under his leadership the work accelerated. (Journal History, 11 Oct 1842, CA; Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 11.) His assistant was Edward Miller. These men worked from the first of three cranes erected during the temple's construction. The men who attended the first crane were Tarlton Lewis, Archibald Hill, John Hill, Hans C. Hanson and Charles W. Patten. Thomas Travis mixed the mortar, often with the assistance of the "tithing hands" (men who donated their time every tenth day). (William Clayton Journal, Journal History, 31 Dec 1844, CA.)

11 Jun 1842 -- James Whitehead added as a clerk to the Temple Recorders staff. Later John P. McEwan was appointed assistant clerk. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 19; William Clayton Journal, Journal History, 31 Dec 1844, CA.) On this date William Player also set the first plinth, or moonstone, on the southeast corner. (Journal History, 11 Oct 1842, CA.) The moonstones were deeply carved relief of a crescent moon, facing downward, with a man's face in profile. Each stone was cut from solid stone. (New York Messenger, 20 Sept 1845.) The first plinth was cut by William Jones. (William's Clayton's Journal, Journal History, 31 Dec 1844, CA.)

29 Jun 1842 -- Willard Richards turned over his records, including the Book of the Law of the Lord, to William Clayton, because he was going east to bring his family to Nauvoo. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 18.)

6 Jul 1842 -- A third party of men left for the Wisconsin pineries. (Smith, History of the Church, 5:57.)

Summer 1842 -- Reynold Cahoon's two sons, Daniel and Andrew, were slow in cutting the plinths, which stopped work for two weeks. The use of only one crane to lift the stone also delayed the work. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 12.)

4 Aug 1842 The first raft of lumber, containing some 100,000 feet of lumber, arrived from the Wisconsin pineries. (The Wasp, 4 Aug 1842.)

20 Aug 1842 -- The Nauvoo High Council resolved that Nauvoo be divided into ten wards, according to the division made by the Temple Committee. (Nauvoo High Council Minutes, 20 Aug. 1842, Church Archives, typescript, p. 44;Smith, History of the Church, 5:120.)

3 Sep 1842 -- Bishop Whitney came to William Clayton and appointed him the Temple Recorder, because Willard Richards' work as scribe to Joseph Smith did not allow him time to continue as Temple Recorder. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 18.)

1 Oct 1842 -- Joseph Smith met with Bishop Whitney, the Temple Recorder and the Temple Committee concerning complaints by workers that Temple Committee members had not been making fair disposition of property consecrated to the Temple. After a thorough investigation of the issue, including balancing the Trustee-in-Trust books with the Temple Committee's records, the Prophet expressed his satisfaction with the Committee's work. He told the Committee that they were accountable to no one but him. He also set the men's wages at $2.00 a day. He directed Clayton to publish an account of the meeting in the next Times and Season. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 19.)

The men also decided to erect a small brick building near the temple for the use of the Temple Recorder and his staff, because of the increased work load. This building, the Temple Office, also came to be commonly called the Temple Store, because it was here that the workers received goods and wages for their labor on the Temple. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 11.)

11 Oct 1842 -- At the end of the 1842 working season the walls were some four feet high, up to the window sills, and all the sills were in place, as well as the large sill on the eastern Venetian window. There were also two courses of stone on the plinths. (Journal History, 11 Oct 1842; Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 19.)

13 Oct 1842 -- Alpheus Cutler returned with the second raft of lumber, with 90,000 feet of sawed boards from the Wisconsin pineries. (Journal History, 13 Oct 1842.)

15 Oct 1842 -- The Times and Seasons published William Clayton's notice, which was dated 11 Oct 1842, concerning the 1 Oct 1842 meeting. (Times and Season, 3 [15 Oct 1842]: 957.)

23 Oct 1842 -- The Temple Committee at Joseph Smith's suggestion recommended laying a temporary floor in the temple, so that the Saints could meet in the temple instead of the grove to the west. (Jessee, Papers of Joseph Smith, 2:488.)

24 Oct 1842 -- Carpenters began laying the temporary floor over the font in the basement. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 18.)

28 Oct 1842 -- Workmen finished laying joists and the temporary floor over the basement and its enclosed font, and then they set up benches for the Saints to sit on. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 18; Jessee, Papers of Joseph Smith, 2:488-489.)

30 Oct 1842 -- The Saints met for the first time in the unfinished temple "and notwithstanding its largeness it was well fill'd." (Jessee, Papers of Joseph Smith, 2:490.) John Taylor was the first to preach in the Temple. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 18.)

2 Nov 1842 -- The Temple Recorder moved into the small brick Temple Office, and for the next two years contributions were received there. (Journal History, 2 Nov 1842.)

28 Nov 1842 -- The stonecutters again brought complaints to Joseph Smith against the Temple Committee, who were accused of making unequal distribution of provisions to the workers, as well as allowing Reynolds Cahoon's sons to receive more tools than the others. After a ten hour meeting the Prophet resolved the issues to everyone's satisfaction. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 20.)

Winter 1842 -- Construction had been generally steady during 1842 and when work on the building stopped during winter months, the walls rose to about four feet above ground level. Workmen continued through the winter quarrying stone for the next year's labor. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 20.)


4 Feb 1843 -- On this date Daniel H. Wells deeded Block 20. (four one-acre lots, numbers 1 through 4) of the Wells Addition to the Trustee-in-Trust for $1,100, upon which the temple was under construction. (Hancock County Deeds, Book M, pp. 397-398, recorded in Nauvoo on 8 Feb 1844, and in the Hancock County Courthouse on 8 Jul 1844.) There is no indication why the transaction occurred so long after the temple's construction had begun. Block 20 was located between Wells Street on the west, Woodruff (now Bluff) Street on the East, Knight Street on the north and Mulholland Street on the south. The block was near the edge of the bluffs overlooking lower Nauvoo. It was the highest and most visually commanding site in the city. (Flanders. Nauvoo, pp. 125-126.) Reportedly, when the Temple was finished its tower could be seen twenty miles away! (Hancock Eagle, 22 Apr 1846.)

6 April 1843 -- During General Conference Hyrum Smith reported on certain men, who were were teaching that it was lawful to steal from any one who did not belong to the Church, provided they consecrate one-third of it to the building of the Temple. He repudiated such doctrine, and Joseph Smith followed him, stating the First Presidency would not tolerate a thief. (Smith, History of the Church, 5:332-334.)

7 Apr 1843 -- During the General Conference, held in the unfinished temple--the walls being some four to twelve feet high--controversy arose concerning the solicitation of funds for the Temple and the Nauvoo House. Some persons were collecting funds and not turning them over to the Temple Recorder. William Clayton also charged the Temple Committee with using Temple funds for personal use. Joseph Smith urged that the "trial of the [Temple] committee be deferred to another day when Clayton could present the books with his evidence. Hyrum Smith defended the Committee and the men were sustained in their labors. Joseph Smith further said, "Let this conference stop all agents in collection funds except the Twelve." (Faulring, American's Prophet Record, pp. 342-352; see also, Smith, History of the Church, 5:330-331.))

10 Apr 1843 -- The brethren commenced work for the 1843 season on the Temple at 10 A.M. (Faulring, American Prophet's Record, p. 359.)

12 Apr 1843 -- A further misunderstanding between the Temple Committee and William Weeks retarded progress on the temple. Joseph Smith issued a certificate to William Weeks, stating that "the Temple Committee was to carry out the Prophet's designs and the architect of the Temple in Nauvoo, and that no persons or persons were to interfere with him or his plans in the building of the Temple." (Smith. History of the Church, 5:353.)

21 Apr 1843 -- Constructed had been delayed because of the illness of William Player, who had been sick all Winter. The necessity of fixing the runways for the crane also hindered the commencement of construction. William Player began to work on this date and continued throughout the rest of the summer. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 20.)

21 May 1843 -- Joseph Smith preached in the unfinished Temple and the Sacrament was administered for the first time in the Temple. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 20.)

8 Jun 1843 -- Temple Committee member Elias Higbee died unexpectedly, after an illness of only five days. (Smith History of the Church, 5:420; Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," pp. 20-21.)

15 Jun 1843 -- The Times and Seasons reprinted an article from the Salem (Mass) Advertizer and Argus, giving an account of a lecture by J. B. Newell in which he described the Temple, including a drawing made by him from the architect's sketches. Newell stated that the finished building would be one of "the most beautiful, chaste, and noble specimens of architecture to be found in the world." (Times and Seasons, 4 [15 Jun 1843]: 234.)

16 Jun 1843 -- The Relief Society held its first meeting for 1843 and decided to "offer services and supplies to assist in the Temple building." Many of those Sisters present described how they intended to help. (Minutes of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, typescript, pp. 62-63, CA.)

7 Oct 1843 -- At a special conference (6-9 October 1843), the first held in the Temple, William Clayton again brought charges against the Temple Committee for partiality in the distribution of provisions to the workers. Hyrum Smith rose in defense of the Committee, and the congregation sustained the members in their positions. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 21.)

9 Oct 1843 -- At the special conference the Temple Committee reported that the lack of teams and provisions was delaying the temple's construction. Alpheus Cutler called for greater exertions, saying that the walls could be completed next year. The Saints voted to "use all the means, exertions and influence in [their] power, to sustain the Temple Committee in advancing the work of the temple "(Times and Seasons, 4 [15 Sept. 1843]: 331.)

10 Oct 1843 -- Several men had expressed a desire to serve on the Temple Committee, especially Jared Carter, in the place of the deceased Elias Higbee, but on this date Joseph Smith called Hyrum Smith as a member of the Temple Committee.(Smith. History of the Church, 6:53; Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 21.)

23 Oct 1843 -- Hyrum Smith began his service on the Temple Committee amid the good feelings of the workers. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 21.)

8 Nov 1843 -- Joseph Smith was making plans for the pulpits and examined materials for them. (Journal History, 8 Nov 1843, CA.)

Winter 1843 -- An early winter brought an end to work on the Temple. During the 1843 construction season the walls had risen to the arches of the first tier of windows all around the building. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 20.)


5 Feb 1844 -- oseph Smith and William Weeks met to discuss the Temple's construction during the coming summer. The Prophet desired "round windows in the broad side of the building." Weeks said that such circular windows "were a violation of all known rules of architecture." The Prophet responded, that he would have circular windows even if the building had to be ten feet higher, and then he said, "I wish you to carry out my designs. I have seen in vision the splendid appearance of that building illuminated, and will have it built according to the pattern shown me." (Smith. History of the Church, 6:197.)

Mar 1844 -- A second crane was erected and rigged during the month. (Jenson, Church Chronology, p. 24.) Elisha Averett was the principal mason who worked from this crane. He was called the "principal backer up," because he laid the inside courses of stone. His assistants were his brothers, Elijah and John, as well as Truman Leonard. Those who hoisted stone on the crane were John Harvey, Thomas M. Pearson, George M. Potter and William L. Cutler. (William Clayton Journal, Journal History, 31 Dec 1844, CA.)

4 Mar 1844 -- The First Presidency, the Twelve and the Temple Committee met to discuss the Temple's construction. The brethren decide to "let the Nauvoo House stand till the Temple [was] done and [they would] put all [their] forces on the Temple" They also decided to call a special conference for April 6, 1844, where they would "call in the people to fill up the [contribution] box." (Faulring. American Prophet's Record, p. 450-451.)

7 Mar 1844 -- At a general meeting concerning the Temple's construction Hyrum Smith reported that, with the assistance of the sisters, the Temple Committee expected to secure nails and glass, and that the brethren would do the rest. He also reported that work on the Nauvoo House would cease, and they would "take all the hands and finish the Temple [that] summer, or the walls of it, and get the roof on by December, and do the inside next winter; and about a year from this spring [they would] dedicate it." (Smith, History of the Church, 6:236-237.)

7 Apr 1844 -- During General Conference Hyrum Smith indicated that the Church needed 200,000 shingles for the Temple. He continued,"I thought some time ago I would get up a small subscription, so the sisters might do something." He then proposed that it would be a privilege for anyone to give a penny a week to buy nails and glass. He felt that this small subscription would bring in more than a large one and that even the poor could participate in building the Temple. He said he need $1,000. The money could be sent to him and he desired to raised the funds by the Fall. He concluded, "I want to get the windows in, in the winter, so that we may be able to dedicate the House of the Lord by this time next year, if nothing more than one room. I will call upon the brethren to do something." (Smith. History of the Church, 6:298; Times and Seasons, 5 [1 Aug 1844]: 596 ) It was at this time that the Sisters adopted Hyrum Smith's suggestion for penny subscription fund. After Hyrum Smith's death, his wife, Mary, and his sister-in-law, Mercy F. Thompson, received the donations. The Sisters were very successful in their efforts, raising over $600, but ultimately most of the money was not used for the Temple but to pay Church debts.(See entry of 5 Dec 1844.)

9 Apr 1844 -- At a special meeting of Elders Brigham Young "referred to the building of the Temple and [charged] the branches [of the Church] to send teams and provisions and work continually drawing stone." (Faulring, American Prophet's Record, 469.)

11 Apr 1844 -- The year's labor on the Temple commenced with William Player beginning to work on this date. (Jenson. Church Chronology, p. 24.)

May 1844 Josiah Quincy, Mayor of Boston, visited Nauvoo and overheard Joseph Smith tell a stone carver that the face on the sunstone was "very near" the face he saw in vision. (Quincy, Figures from the Past, p. 386.)

12 Jun 1844 -- Joseph Smith told a reporter that the temple's interior structure and arrangement had not been decided.

20 Jun 1844 -- Because of the excitement surrounding the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor press, workmen ceased labor on the Temple. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 27.)

27 Jun 1844 -- Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith killed by a mob at Carthage Jail. (D&C 137) Hyrum Smith was not replaced in the Temple Committee.

28 Jun 1844 -- Workmen suspended work on the temple to guard the temple walls. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 27.)

5 Jul 1844 -- A raft with 87,732 feet of lumber arrived from the Wisconsin pineries; William Clayton took possession for the Trustees. (Smith. History of the Church, 7:168.) A few days later another raft with 67,952 feet of lumber arrived. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 28.)

7 Jul 1844 -- In a Sabbath meeting Willard Richards counseled the grieving Saints "to go out and harvest, and the others who stay [in Nauvoo] to go on with the temple, and make work here in the city" The Saints voted to resume working on the temple. (Smith. History of the Church, 7:169; Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 27.)

8 Jul 1844 Workmen resume working on the temple. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 27.)

9 Jul 1844 -- In a letter to the Saints in Great Britain, describing the death of Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith, Willard Richards and John Taylor wrote that "The murder of Joseph will not stop the work; it will not stop the Temple." (Smith. History of the Church, 7:174.)

15 Jul 1844 -- Willard Richards, Parley P. Pratt, John Taylor and William W. Phelps issued a letter calling on the Saints, "Yea, let us haste to build the temple of our God and to gather thereunto our silver and our gold with us, unto the name of the Lord, and then we may expect that he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths." (Smith. History of the Church, 7:190.)

18 Jul 1844 -- Following a Thursday fast meeting Zina Huntington Jacobs paid her temple tithing. (Beecher, "Nauvoo Diary of Zina D. H. Jacobs," BYU Studies, 19 [Spring 1979]: 293.)

29 Jul 1844 -- The sisters in LaHarpe and Macedonia collected funds, the wife of Raymond Clark coordinating the effort, to erect a third crane to help speed the work along. By this date they had raised $194, which was more than enough for the crane. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 28.)

3 Aug 1844 -- The new crane was put into operation. This crane was used to raise the stone for the greater portion of the upper north wall. Joshua Armstrong, with his assistant Charles R. Dana, was the principal mason who worked from this crane. The men who attended the crane were William W. Dryer, William Austin and Archibald Hill. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 28.) Later Thomas Japp and William L. Cutler were added to the crane handlers. (William Clayton Journal, Journal History, 31 Dec 1844, CA.)

14 Aug 1844 -- The Twelve and the Temple Committee met with the stone cutters and the "affect was good." (Kimball, On the Potter's Wheel, p. 80.)

15 Aug 1844 The Twelve informed the Church that the temple would be continued to be built according to the pattern which had been started and with all rapidity. (Smith. History of the Church, 7:250.)

23 Sep 1844 -- The first sunstone capital stone was placed on the temple walls. Each stone weighed about two tons and cost some $300.(Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 29.) Each capital was composed of five stones: the base stone; the sunstone with the sun raising above the clouds; the trumpet stone with two hands holding trumpets; and two cap stones on the top. (Smith, History of the Church, 7:274; 323.) Benjamin T. Mitchell cut the first sunstone to be placed. (William Clayton Journal, Journal History, 31 Dec 1844, CA.)

25 Sep 1844 -- The third crane toppled when raising a sunstone, just missing Thomas Japp, who might have been killed in the accident. The crane was repaired and work continued. (Smith, History of the Church, 7: 323; Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 29.)

26 Sep 1844 -- During the month Ira T. Miles, who had sided with Lyman Wight against the Twelve's leadership, arrived in Nauvoo. Rumors spread that he had come to burn the lumber needed for the Temple. Because of this threat to the building, the Twelve and the Temple Committee appointed four night watchmen on the temple walls. The guards were used until the Saints abandoned the building in 1846. (Smith. History of the Church, 7:275; Journal History, 26 Sep 1844.)

29 Sep 1844 -- Brigham Young in a Sunday service sermon endorsed the Sisters' penny subscription fund for procuring glass and nails for the Temple. (Smith. History of the Church, 7:279.)

1 Oct 1844 -- In an epistle to the Church the Twelve reported that the temple walls were ready to receive the arches of the upper story windows and that seven of the capitals had been placed. Work on the interior had commenced with timbers being reared on the inside of the building. (Smith. History of the Church, 7:280.)

4 Oct 1844 -- William W. Phelps wrote to William Smith that the Temple walls were "up as high as the caps [capitals] of the pilasters, and it looks majestically." He also said that "inside work" on the building was going forward as fast as possible. (Times and Seasons, 5 [1 Jan 1845]: 759.)

28 Oct 1844 -- Brigham Young met with William Weeks and the Temple Committee at the Temple Office to settle differences between the two parties. The nature of the dispute is not known. (Smith. History of the Church, 7:314.)

2 Dec 1844 -- The Temple Committee reported that all of the capitals were in place, except one which would be placed within the week. (Smith, History of the Church, 7320.)

5 Dec 1844 -- The Twelve and the Temple Committee decided to draw the $600 from the Sisters' penny fund, which was raised to purchase nails and glass for the temple, to help pay off debts, so that property owned by the Church would not fall in the hands of the Church's enemies. The Brethren felt that there would be money available when the workmen needed nails and glass. (Smith. History of the Church, 7:322.)

6 Dec 1844 -- The last of the capital sunstones were placed on the temple walls. There were problems in raising the stone, causing a delay of an hour and a half, when it was finally placed at 10:30 a.m., which closed the construction season for 1844. The last stone had been cut by Harvey Stanley. Twelve of the capitals were still lacking their trumpet stones, which would not be placed until the following spring. (Smith. History of the Church, 7:323-324.) The Saints viewed the late arrival of winter as divine assistance in their labors; the season's first snow storm commenced just two hours after the last sunstone was placed. By morning there was four inches of snow on the ground. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 30.)

16 Dec 1844 -- A few days previous to this date the Twelve and the Trustees decided to employ fifteen carpenters to prepare timbers during the winter months, so that they could begin to work inside the building, as soon as the temple walls were completed. A carpentry shop was erected on the south side of the lower story of the temple walls on 14 Jan 1844, and on this day the men started to work. (Smith. History of the Church, 7:326; Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 31-32.)

31 Dec 1844 -- Bishops Newel K. Whitney and George Miller published the names of 46 men, who were appointed to gather tithes and donations for the temple, and that all those who donated money would be credited in The Book of the Law of the Lord. They asked that "all should double their exertions in order to finish the building of the temple the next season." (Smith. History of the Church, 7:369.)


1 Jan 1845 -- oseph Hovey described the work of the masons in preparing for the next summer work on the Temple: "I, Joseph, and family enjoy the blessings of God, yea even health, I cut stone with all my might on the temple of the Lord this winter. I, Joseph, cut one star and its base and also one window and caps and closures on the temple building." (Joseph Hovey, Autobiography, Typescript, 1 Jan 1845, Lee Library, Church Archives.)

14 Jan 1845 -- The Twelve reported on the temple progress. They indicated that the masonry work on the walls would be finished early in the year. Carpenters were busy preparing sashes, flooring, seats, etc., with an anticipating of using the building for ordinances next fall. They also reported that the wooden font would be replaced by a limestone font. (Times and Seasons, 6 [15 Jan 1845]: 779.) The decision to replace the font had actually been made during the winter of 1843. (William Clayton Journal, Journal History, 31 Dec 1844, CA.)

15 Jan 1845 -- Brigham Young visited the Temple Quarry, finding 62 men working with 6 teams of oxen, which was a likely representative of the work going on during the winter months in preparing stone. (Smith. History of the Church, 7:360.)

21 Jan 1845 -- Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball met with the Temple Committee and William Weeks. (Kimball, On the Potter's Wheel, p. 922.)

24 Jan 1845 -- The High Priest agreed to postpone the construction of their hall, which was to be a similar building as the Seventy's Hall, so as to complete the upper story of the temple, where they would receive their endowments. (Smith. History of the Church, 7:364.)

25 Jan 1845 -- Heber C. Kimball prayed privately, asking if the Saints would finish the Temple. The answer was, "Verily yes." (Kimball, On the Potter's Wheel, p. 93.)

28 Jan 1845 -- The Church issued circulars with the names of agents who were to collect funds of the Temple. (Kimball, On the Potter's Wheel, p. 93.)

8 Feb 1845 -- William Weeks stated that he felt all the stone for the temple would be cut within six weeks. (The Prophet, 8 Feb 1845.)

11 Feb 1845 -- Brigham Young wrote Wilford Woodruff reporting that the stone baptismal font was about to be erected in the Nauvoo Temple, and that the building's "woodwork is progressing rapidly under a temporary roof in the basement story, and we hope to commence the endowments next fall or early in the winter. We will not send many elders to England until after the endowment....The Saints are more engaged than ever to finish the temple, and it is desirable that tithings be forwarded from all branches at the earliest safe convenience." (Church News, 11 Feb 1995.)

12 Mar 1845 -- William Player began the working season on the temple. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 32.)

14 Mar 1845 -- The only fatal accident occurred during the Temple's construction when Moses Horn was struck on the head by a stone and killed, while blasting rock in the Temple Stone Quarry. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," pp. 32-33.)

15 Mar 1845 -- The Twelve and the Temple Committee decided to build a new drain for the new font, keep the three cranes in operation, as well as to erect a wall on the south side of the temple block. (Smith, History of the Church, 7:383; Journal History, 15 Mar 1845.)

Sisters Mary Smith and Mercy Rachel Thompson published a notice, requesting that all sisters who were holding funds in the penny subscription to forward the money to them, saying that the drive had collected over $1000. (Times and Seasons, 6 [15 Mar 1845]: 847.)

16 Mar 1845 -- In a Sunday sermon Brigham Young called for a renewed effort by the Saints to finish the temple. (Smith, History of the Church, 7:386; Journal History, 16 Mar 1845.)

17 Mar 1845 -- In obedience to Brigham Young's call, 105 extra laborers and 30 teams commenced working on the temple. (Smith. History of the Church, 7:387.)

27 Mar 1845 -- William Player placed the final "trumpet stone" of the sunstone capital, all thirty capitals were in place. He also laid the first stringer for the large upper venetian window on the east wall. (History of the Church, 7:388-389; Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 33.)

1 Apr 1845 -- The Times and Season reported the beginning of the construction of the wall around the temple block. The wall would have a stone base with a wrought iron fence for security. (Times and Seasons, 6 [1 Apr 1845]: 856 .)

3 April 1845 -- Temple guards found a trespasser on the temple block. The intuder was beaten almost to death, a deed which "created considerable warmth of feelings" among the citizenry. Chief of Police Hosea Stout defended his men, declaring they had only done their duty and was supported by Brigham Young. (Juanita Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier: The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1844-1861, 2 vols. (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1964), 1:32.)

18 Apr 1845 -- As the workmen were raising a large stone, some 1,500 pounds, the chain broke and it fell fifty feet, but no one was injured. (Smith. History of the Church, 7:401.)

21 Apr 1845 -- At 3 p.m. William Player placed the first star stone in the frieze of the entablature at the southeast corner, "the 'stars' will add much to the beauty of the Temple." (Smith, History of the Church, 7:401; Kimball, On the Potter's Wheel, p. 106.) The southeast corner was called "Joseph's corner."( Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 33.)

29 Apr 1845 -- William Player placed the first circular window in the frieze. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 33.)

8 May 1845 -- Brigham Young requested the British Saints to "furnish a bell for the Temple," which should be large enough (he suggested about 2,000 lbs.), to be "heard night and day." (Millennial Star, 15 Jul 1845; Church News, May 20, 1995.) There is no further information on the bell; when it was delivered to Nauvoo or when it was hung in the tower, but each session of the Endowment was announced with the ringing of the bell when the temple was used for ordinance work during the winter of 1845-1846. (See: Heber C. Kimball's 1845-1846 Journal, Dec. 10, 1845 to Jan. 7, 1846, CA.)

16 May 1845 -- William Player set the last star stone on the west side of the southwest corner. During this same time carpenters were raising the timbers for the first floor with a large amount of the walls and body of the building already up. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 33.)

Brigham Young, representing the Twelve, wrote William Weeks directing him to prepare a stone in the west end of the temple with the inscription, "Holiness to the Lord," because it was the one thing lacking in the building. (Smith. History of the Church, 7:411; Kimball, On the Potter's Wheel, p. 112.)

19 May 1845 -- Stephen Goddard fell headfirst from the temple walls while helping to remove the scaffolding, but his fall was broken by the floor joists which prevented him from tumbling 62 feet into the basement, undoubtedly saving his life. He bled profusely from a head wound. William Clayton and two other brethren laid hands on him, blessed him and he went home. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 33-34.)

21 May 1845 -- Stephen Goddard returned to work. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 34.)

23 May 1845 -- By this date all the stone had been laid up, except the capstone. (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 34.)

24 May 1845 -- A large congregation of Saints gathered at the temple before six A.M. to view the capstone ceremonies. Members of the Twelve were present, as were the Temple Committee, Temple Recorder, and other Church officials. After the band played, Brigham Young, assisted by William Player and other workmen, set the capstone on the southeast corner, completing the outside walls. The services were conducted with great solemnity. President Young stated, "The last stone is laid upon the Temple, and I pray the Almighty in the name of Jesus to defend us in this place, and sustain us until the temple is finished and [we] have all got our endowments." The services concluded with the Hosanna Shout. The workmen were given the rest of the day off. (Smith. History of the Church, 7:417-418; Times and Seasons, 5 [1 June 1845]: 925;Jessee, "John Taylor Journal," BYU Studies, 23 [Summer 1983]: p. 49; Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 35; Beecher, "Nauvoo Diary of Zina D. H. Jacobs," BYU Studies, 19 [Spring 1979]: 311; Alexander Neibaur, Autobiography, 24 May 1845, Typescript, LDS Church Archives; Joseph Hovey, Autobiography, 24 May 1840, Typescript, Lee Library, BYU.) The capstone was set on Joseph's corner (or the southeast corner.) Charles Lambert cut the stone at no charge. (William Clayton Journal, Journal History, 31 Dec 1844, CA.)

28 May 1845 -- Workmen began to lay the timbers for the attic story and tower. (Smith, History of the Church, 7:420; Journal History, 28 May 1845; Kimball, On the Potter's Wheel, p. 117.)

2 Jun 1845 -- Irene Hascall wrote in a letter, "The roof is partly on. It never went so fast before. Half has been built since Joseph was killed." (Andrew, Early Temples, p. 82.)

6 Jun 1845 -- The Twelve overruled William Weeks' plan for semi-circular windows in the pediment, substituting rectangular widows. (Journal History, 6 Jun 1845.)

17 Jun 1845 -- In a letter to the Saints the Twelve reported that the temple walls were completed, and that the roof was nearly completed. The Twelve also indicated it wanted to follow Joseph Smith's proposal and erected a canvas tabernacle on the west side of the temple. Orson Hyde was to travel east and raise money to purchase the canvas. (Smith. History of the Church 7:427.) The tabernacle was to be erected "in front of , and joining the Temple on the west." It was to be about 250 feet long and 125 feet wide. It was designed to seat a congregation of eight to ten thousand persons for "preaching," while the temple was to be "used for the meeting of councils and quorums, and the administrations of ordinances and blessings, and preaching to smaller congregations." (New York Messenger, 30 Aug 1845.)

Near his date Orson Hyde left for the East "to obtain cloth for the tabernacle" and Howard Eagan had earlier left for St Louis to purchase hemp for making robes to hold the canvas up. (Smith. History of the Church, 7:431.)

19 Jun 1845 -- The rafters for the roof are all up and "all things move rapidly and in order about [the temple]." (Beecher, "Nauvoo Diary of Zina D. H. Jacobs," BYU Studies, 19 [Spring 1979]: 313.)

26 Jun 1845 -- Workmen laid the first stone for the new font. (Smith. History of the Church, 7:430.) Men who cut stone for the font were William W. Player, Benjamin T. Mitchell, Charles Lambert, William Cottier, Andrew Cahoon, Daniel S. Cahoon, Jerome Kimpton, Augustus Stafford, Bun Anderson, Alvin Winegar, William Jones and Stephen Halles, Jr. (William Clayton Journal, Journal History, 31 Dec 1844, CA.) (Clayton, "Nauvoo Temple History Journal," p. 29.; Journal History, 26 June 1845.) The roof was completed and ready for shingles. (Beecher, "Nauvoo Diary of Zina D. H. Jacobs," BYU Studies, 19 [Spring 1979]: 314.)

27 Jun 1845 -- In a letter to Wilford Woodruff Brigham Young reported that the frame work for the attic was finished and the roof was ready to be shingled the next week. He wrote that the massive framework for the support for the tower had been raised, and the first timbers of the tower had been put up on that date. All of the window frames and sashes were ready for the glass, which was expected in a few days. All of the stone for the font had also been prepared. He also noted that the wall, some eight feet high and five feet thick at the base, around the temple block was being raised, with the north side already completed. This seems to suggest that the initial plans for a wrought iron fence had been replaced with a stone wall. (Smith, History of the Church, 7:430-431.)

1 Jul 1845 -- Apparently some Saints were questioning the right of the Twelve to replace the wooden font which had been built under Joseph Smith's directions. In the Times and Seasons Brigham Young explained the reason for erecting the stone font and he wrote that the Saints should not wonder at the decision. Just because Joseph Smith had built, a wooden font did not mean that it should be permanent. He stated that he wanted a font that would not "stink" and take so much time in keeping it clean. (Times and Seasons, 6 [1 Jul 1845]: 956.)

6 Jul 1845 -- A report of the temple taken from the New York Sun, indicated 300 men were laboring on the building. (Smith, History of the Church, 7:434-435.)

26 Jul 1845 -- Irene Hascall wrote in a letter, "The temple progresses finely; the roof is nearly shingled; the frame work of [the] steeple is nearly as high from the roof as the body of the temple." (Andrew, Early Temples, p. 82.)

1 Aug 1845 -- The Times and Seasons reported that the roof, composed to white pine singles, was nearly completed. A second roof was also planned, which would be made of zinc, lead, copper or porcelain; a sheet of lead had already been placed over a small section of the wooden shingles. (Times and Seasons, 5 [1 Aug 1845]: 983.]

12 Aug 1845 -- The roof of the Temple was "nearly on." (Kimball, Journal 1845-1846, 12 Aug 1845; not in Kimball, On the Potter's Wheel.)

14 Aug 1845 -- The last shingle was laid on the temple's roof. (Beecher, "Nauvoo Diary of Zina D. H. Jacobs," BYU Studies, 19 [Spring 1979]: 317.) The Nauvoo Neighbor issued on this date; its publication was delayed a few hours so that it could report that the last shingles had been placed on the temple roof and that the window frames and sashes were ready to be placed. (Nauvoo Neighbor, 13 Aug 1845.)

16 Aug 1845 -- Orson Hyde posted a notice in New York Messenger ask for donations for the canvas for the tabernacle. If he received more money than needed, he stated the excess would be applied towards the temple. (New York Messenger, 16 Aug 1845.)

Hosea Stout wrote, "It was decided that there would be a guard kept night and day around the temple, and that no stranger be allowed to come within the square of the temple lot, and also that there be four large lanterns made for the purpose and placed about 25 feet from each corner of the [Nauvoo] temple, to keep a light by night for the convenience of the guard." (Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, 2:)

17 Aug 1845 -- Housea Stout ordered that at the "tolling of the temple bell every man know it as an alarm and repair forthwith armed and equipped to the parade ground. (Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, 2:)

21 Aug 1845 -- Brigham Young wrote Wilford Woodruff that "the Temple is up, the shingles all on, the tower raised and ready to put the dome up. The joiners are now at work finishing the inside. (Jenson, Historical Record, 8:871.)

23 Aug 1845 -- The cupola or dome raised to the top of the temple tower with Bro. Goddard riding it up. (Taylor, "John Taylor Journal" BYU Studies, 23 [Summer 1983]: 85-86; Samuel Holister Rogers, Journal, 1819-1846, Lee Library, Special Collections, Typescript, BYU) August 23. About sixty or seventy of the workmen celebrated by eating watermelons on the attic. The men hoisted a flag and it stayed until Sunday night (Joseph Hovey, Autobiography, Lee Library, BYU.)

27 Aug 1845 -- Brigham Young wrote in a letter that the dedication of the temple was "expected to take place the 6th of next April [1846]." (Brigham Young to Mr. C. Brown, 27 August 1845, Brigham Young Papers, CA.)

4 Sep 1845 -- By this date Orson Hyde had raised about $1,000 for the canvas to be used for the tabernacle. He hoped to raise more and intended on purchasing the canvas in four or five days before shipping it to Nauvoo. (Watson. Orson Pratt Journals, p. 548.)

15 Sep 1845 -- Brigham Young wrote Samuel Brannon that the attic story is about complete. (New York Messenger, 15 Oct 1845.)

16 Sep 1845 -- The Twelve called agents to confer with the Catholic Church about purchasing the Temple and other Church properties. (Journal History, 16 Sep 1845.) They apparently approached Judge Ralston of Quincy, an influential Catholic, about such a transaction.

17 Sep 1845 -- Orson Hyde shipped 4,000 yards of canvas to Nauvoo, and he left for Nauvoo the next day. (New York Messenger, 20 Oct 1845; Smith. History of the Church, 7;482.)

18 Sep 1845 -- A man was shot at the Temple during night through the carelessness of one of the Temple Guards. (Thomas Bullock, "Journal of Thomas Bullock (1816-1885): 31 August 1845 to 5 July 1846," BYU Studies, 31 [Winter 1991]: 20.)

2 Oct 1845 -- Workmen were laying down the first floor for services. (Kimball, On the Potter's Wheel, p. 138.)

5 Oct 1845 -- Sunday services convened in the enclosed temple, with all its windows in, temporary floors laid, benches and pulpits in place. Approximately 5,000 were in attendance. During the services Brigham, in offering the opening prayer, presented "the temple, thus far completed [to the Lord], as a monument of the Saints's liberality, fidelity and faith." He concluded, "Lord, we dedicate this house to thee and ourselves to thee." (Smith. History of the Church, 7:456-457.) One participant left the following description of the finished temple's dimensions: The height of the temple from the ground to the top of the eaves 60 feet, from the eaves to the top of the attic story 16 1/2, tower 12 1/2, belfry 20 feet, clock section 10, observatory 16, dome 13 1/2, ball and rod 10, total 158 1/2 feet. (Henry W. Bigler, Autobiography, Lee library, BYU.)

7-8 Oct 1845 -- The only General Conference convened in the enclosed temple. (Smith, History of the Church, 7:457-477.) Following the conference, Sunday services were held in the temple, with some interruption for construction, until the Saints left Nauvoo.

8 Oct 1845 -- In a letter the Twelve reported that the font and others parts of the temple were nearly ready to commence ordinance work. (Smith. History of the Church, 7:479.)

17 Oct 1845 -- Orson Hyde arrived in Nauvoo with 4,000 feet of topsail Russian duck canvas for the tabernacle. (Smith. History of the Church, 7:483.) The tabernacle was never erected. The canvas was probably used instead for the temporary partitions in the temple attic, erected in December 1845 (Brown, "Sacred Departments," BYU Studies, 19 [Spring 1979]: 370), and ultimately for wagon covers as the Mormons left Nauvoo, beginning in February 1846. (Watson, "Nauvoo Tabernacle," BYU Studies, 19 [Spring 1979]: 241.)

26 Oct 1845 -- Bishop George Miller gave Judges Purple and Ralston of Quincy a tour of the temple. The men later met with Brigham Young. Judge Ralston suggested selling the Church's property to the Catholic Church and that he would use his influence. (Smith. History of the Church, 7:489-490.)

31 Oct 1845 -- The Church wrote a letter to Bishop Purcell of Cincinnati offering the temple and other Church properties for sale to the Catholic Church. Almon Babbitt, who was to hand deliver the letter, was empowered to represent the Church. (Smith. History of the Church, 7:508.)

3 Nov 1845 -- William Weeks requested Norton Jacob to put in the truss timbers for the lower floor of the temple. Jacobs continued to work at the temple through the week. (Norton Jacon Autobiography, 3 Nov. 1845, Lee Library, Special Collections, BYU.)

5 Nov 1845 -- Temple Committee and Bishops met with William Weeks concerning details of construction on the first floor. They discussed the design of posts and the number of aisles. They decided to have two aisles. (Kimball, On the Potter's Wheel, p. 139.)

7 Nov 1845 -- A raft arrived with 100,000 board feet of lumber from the pineries, which would be enough to finish the temple. (Kimball, On the Potter's Wheel, p. 140.)

9 Nov 1845 -- No Sunday service, because the first floor of the temple, which had been laid in October 1842 to protect the font in the basement during construction, had to be taken up to replace rotting timbers. (Smith. History of the History, 7:519; Bullock, "Bullock Journal," BYU Studies 31 [Winter 1991]: 31.)

14 Nov 1845 -- The Twelve met concerning the pulpits in the first floor. (Kimball, On the Potter's Wheel, p. 142.)

17 Nov 1845 -- William Weeks asked Norton Jacob, who had been assigned to work on the Nauvoo House, to take charge of the framing of the temple tower; Jacobs started the next day. (Norton Jacob, Autobiography, 17 Nov 1845, Lee Library, BYU.)

19 Nov 1845 -- Workmen had nearly completed construction of the attic rooms. (Kimball, On the Potter's Wheel, p. 145.)

20 Nov 1845 -- The Burlington Hawkeye reported that the Church intended to rent the temple to any responsible society. It also reported the Saints continued to work on completing the building; they were going to furnish the Temple with carpet and intended to have a bell. (Burlington Hawkeye, 20 Nov 1845.)

The Cincinnati Commercial reported that Babbitt was in the city, meeting with Bishop Purcell concerning the lease or sale of the temple to the Catholic Church. (Cincinnati Commercial, 20 Nov 1845.)

22 Nov 1845 -- Workers finished plastering the attic story and painters began their work. (Smith, History of the Church, 7:531.)

24 Nov 1845 -- Painters continued working in the attic, while two stoves were put up in the large room. Others began to clean up the rooms. Work on the font continued with several of the oxen and their tin horns, in place. (Kimball, On the Potter's Wheel, p. 150.)

26 Nov 1845 -- Painters finished the attic, having put on three coats of white paint. The Twelve thought it was enough for the present. (Smith, History of the Church, 7:532; Kimball, On the Potter's Wheel, p. 151.)

29 Nov 1845 -- Carpet, lent by members, laid in the main hall of the attic, as well as some of the side rooms. (Smith, History of the Church, 7:533; Kimball, On the Potter's Wheel, p. 153.)

30 Nov 1845 -- Brigham Young and the Twelve with others dedicated the attic rooms for ordinance work. (Smith, History of the Church, 7:534-535; Kimball, 1845-1846 Journal, 30 Nov 1845, CA.)

1 Dec 1845 -- The Twelve, the Temple Committee and the Trustees met. Agent Almon Babbitt, who had traveled to St. Louis, Cincinnati and Chicago in seeking buyers for the Temple, reported on his trip, bringing letters from the Catholic Church. Brigham Young read letters from interested Catholic bishops. Babbitt reported that the bishop of Chicago was sending agents to meet with the Twelve. (Smith. History of the Church, 7:537; Kimball, On the Potter's Wheel, p. 155.)

The Times and Seasons reported, "...the suite of rooms in the attic story for the accommodation of the Priesthood, in the ordinances of washings, anointings and prayer, are nearly ready for use; so that the faithful saints begin to rejoice in the Holy one of Israel." (Times and Seasons, 6 (1 December 1845): 1050.)

2 Dec 1845 -- Brigham Young received a letter from Duncan and Co, indicating that a firm in Philadelphia was interested in purchasing the Temple. A return letter was drafted saying that if the firm sent an agent the Church would gladly show him the property for sell in Nauvoo. (History of the Church, 7:537-538.)

On this date Heber C. Kimball and his son, William, went to Hiram Kimball's home with a wagon to pick up 25-30 potted plants to decorate the attic rooms. (Kimball, On the Potter's Wheel, p. 156.)

3 Dec 1845 -- The Twelve, assisted by others, began to put up canvas partitions in the attic in preparation for ordinance work. (Kimball, On the Potter's Wheel, p. 157.)

The Warsaw Signal reported on Almon Babbit's trip to Cincinnati to met with the Catholic Church about the sale of properties in Nauvoo, including the Temple, and that he was now in Warsaw, meeting with Bishop Purcell for the same purpose. (Warsaw Signal, 3 Dec. 1846.)

4 Dec 1845 -- The potted plants were brought up to the attic. Bishop Newel K. Whitney brought in the veil, one used by Joseph Smith and a new one, to the attic. (Kimball, On the Potter's Wheel, p. 158.)

5 Dec 1845 -- All the canvas partitions were now up, and work on three altars was going forward. Heber C. Kimball described the main hall of the attic divided by the canvas partitions: "The Big Hall is converted into Sepret rooms for the convienience of the Holy Prieasthood, two large ones and fore small [ones] and a Hall[way] passing through betwen the Small ones, pasing from west done through the Center, & dores into each room." (Kimball, On the Potter's Wheel, p. 161.)

6 Dec 1845 -- Work on the attic rooms continued. (Kimball, On the Potter's Wheel, p. 162.)

7 Dec 1845 -- Work on the attic rooms was nearly completed. The rooms were nicely furnished with paintings and maps. (Kimball, On the Potter's Wheel, p. 162.)

8 Dec 1845 -- Catholic Fathers Tucker and Hamilton passed through Warsaw on their way to Nauvoo. (Warsaw Signal, 10 Dec 1846.)

9 Dec 1845 -- Fathers Tucker from Quincy and Hamilton of Springfield arrived in Nauvoo, under direction of the Bishop of Chicago to investigate the sale of Church property in Nauvoo. (Smith. History of the Church, 7:539-540.) They met with the Twelve in the evening. (Bullock, "Bullock Journal," BYU Studies 31 [Winter 1991]: 36.)

10 Dec 1845 -- Fathers Tucker and Hamilton were admitted to the Temple. They met with the Twelve and others concerning the sell or lease of the Temple and other properties in Nauvoo. The Twelve made a proposition for them to purchase the Church's property in Nauvoo and lease the Temple from 5 to 35 years; the rent could be paid in part by finishing the Temple's unfinished areas, completing the wall around the Temple block, and maintaining the Temple in good order. The two priests appeared to be very interested in the offer. (Smith. History of the Church, 7:539-541; Kimball, Journal 1845-1846, 10 Dec 1845.)

After the Priests left, the administration of Endowments begun in the attic story. (Smith, History of the Church, 7:541-543; "Temple Ordinance Chronology," 1975 Church Almanac, pp. F5-F6.)

14 Dec 1845 -- In a Sabbath service in the Temple attic, Brigham Young told those assembled the "perfect order" in laying cornerstones, which had not been strictly followed in the Nauvoo Temple. The order was "for the presidency of the Stake to lay the first or South East corner. The High Council the 2nd or South West corner. The Bishops the North West corner and the Priests the North East [corner]." After the services the Twelves went down to the first floor and counseled on the arrangements of the pulpits.( Kimball, Journal 1845-1846, 14 Dec 1845.)

17 Dec 1845 -- The Millennial Star reported Brigham Young had written in a letter that the Saints had "commenced endowments in the attic story of the Lord's House, and [were] employed therein night and day; they had, at the date of the letter [17 December 1845] given the endowment to some four hundred persons." (Millennial Star, 7 (1 Feb. 1846]: 48.)

24 Dec 1845 -- The Warsaw Signal reported that endowments were being given in the temple (Warsaw Signal, 24 Dec. 1845.)

31 Dec 1845 -- The Warsaw Signal reported further on endowments being given in the Temple. (Warsaw Signal, 31 Dec. 1845.)


Ca. 1846 -- It was likely that during the year Thomas M. Easterly made a daguerreotype of the Temple. A copy is presently housed in the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis, Missouri.

1 Jan 1846 -- Workmen began to plaster the arched ceiling in the first floor hall, the floor having been completely laid. The frame work for the pulpits and choirs seats had also been erected. (Journal History, 1 Jan 1846, CA.)

The Sangamo Journal reprinted the article from the Warsaw Signal, 24 Dec. 1845, on the Temple endowments. (Sangamo Journal, 1 Jan. 1846.)

2 Jan 1846 -- In a meeting in the Temple Brigham Young stated, "We can't stay in this house but a little while. We got to build another house. It will be a larger house than this, and a more glorious one, and we shall build a great many houses...and build houses all over the continent of N[orth] America." (Kimball, Journal 1845-1846, 2 Jan 1845.)

4 Jan 1846 -- Brigham Young canceled the weekly Sabbath meetings of those endowed, because the attic floor could not hold the weight of such a large congregation. (Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p.4.)

7 Jan 1846 -- The Twelve received a letter from Father Tucker, saying the Catholic Church could not raise enough money to purchase the Church's property and proposed to lease only one public building, presumably the Temple, but they would not insure it against fire or mobs. The Twelve felt the offer was insulting and decided not to respond to the letter. (Kimball, Journal 1845-1846, 10 Dec 1845; Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p.7.)

The altar for administering sealing ordinances was dedicated by Brigham Young. (Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p. 8.) The first sealings of husbands and wives administered. ("Temple Ordinance Chronology," 1975 Church Almanac, pp. F5-F6.)Sealings were performed for living, as well as for the dead, but only where one spouse was living and the other was deceased. (Cowan, Temple Building: Ancient and Modern, p.29.)

8 Jan 1846 -- The Burlington Hawkeye reported on the use of the Temple for endowments, editorializing why the "old and virtuous settlers of Hancock county" were not indignant over the "living corruption among them." (Burlington Hawkeye, 8 Jan 1846.)

11 Jan 1846 -- First sealings of children to parents administered, but only for the living. ( "Temple Ordinance Chronology," 1975 Church Almanac, pp. F5-F6; Cowan, Temple Building: Ancient and Modern, p. 29.)

18 Jan 1846 -- The Twelve appointed Almon Babbitt, Joseph L. Heywood, John S. Fullmer, Henry W. Miller and John M. Bernhisel Trustees-in-Trust to dispose of Church property, including the Nauvoo Temple. They were also instructed to the complete the first floor of the temple. (Smith, History of the Church, 7:569; Journal History, 18 Jan 1846; Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p.14.)

20 Jan 1846 -- The Times and Seasons reported that "the font, standing upon twelve stone oxen, is about ready" and that the second story floor was being laid.(Times and Seasons, 6 [20 Jan 1846]:1095.)

24 Jan 1846 -- Brigham Young at a general meeting of the "official [endowed] members of the Church" in the second floor of the temple nominated Almon A. Babbitt, Joseph L. Heywood and John S. Fullmer as trustees for the Nauvoo Temple, charging them to finish the building for dedication. The proposal was unanimously approved by those present. (History of the Church, 7:576; Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, pp.22-23.)

30 Jan 1846 -- Weather vane placed on the steeple of the temple. (Smith, History of the Church, 7:577; Journal History, 30 Jan 1846; Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p.24; CA; Samuel Holister Rogers Journal, 30 Jan 1846, Lee library, BYU.) The weather vane was a "representation of an angel in his priestly robes with a book of Mormon in one hand and a trumpet in the other which [was] over laid with gold." (Perrigrine Sessions Journal, 30 Jan 1846,CA.)

Feb 1846 -- James J. Strang, who claimed to be the successor to Joseph Smith, complained in his newspaper that the temple was being offered to the Catholics as a cathedral or nunnery. (Voree Herald, 1 [Apr 1846]: 8.)

3 Feb 1846 -- Last sealings of children to parents were administered. ( "Temple Ordinance Chronology," 1975 Church Almanac, pp. F5-F6.) There were 71 children sealed to their parents, and 130 persons were adopted. (Cowan, Temple Building: Ancient and Modern, p. 29.)

Individuals who had lent furniture, carpet, pictures and other furnishing to decorate the attic floor of the temple began to remove their belongings. (Journal History, 3 Feb 1846.)

7 Feb 1846 -- Last day of endowments given in the attic, as well as the last day that baptisms for the dead were administered. ("Temple Ordinance Chronology," 1975 Church Almanac, pp. F5-F6.) 5,083 persons received their endowments.(Cowan, Temple Building: Ancient and Modern, p. 29.) By this date there had been 15,626 proxy baptisms performed in the temple. (Cowan, Temple Building: Ancient and Modern, p. 29.)

7 Feb 1846 -- Last day for sealings of deceased spouses to living spouses in marriage. ( "Temple Ordinance Chronology," 1975 Church Almanac, pp. F5-F6.) There were 369 deceased spouses sealed. (Cowan, Temple Building: Ancient and Modern, p. 29.)

8 Feb 1846 -- Last sealings of living spouses were administered. ( "Temple Ordinance Chronology," 1975 Church Almanac, pp. F5-F6.) There were 2,420 couples sealed. (Cowan, Temple Building: Ancient and Modern, p. 29.)

The Twelve met in the attic and Brigham Young dedicated the temple thus far completed, leaving the building in the hands of the Lord. (Smith, History of the Church, 7:580; Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p.28.) A fuller account reads: "The Twelve met in the southeast corner, room No. 1, the upper story in the temple, kneeling round the altar and dedicating the building to the most high and asked His blessings upon our iintended move to the west, also asking Him to enable them someday to finish the lower part of the building and dedicated it to Him and to preserve the temple as a monument to Joseph Smith, the Twelve, then left." (Henry W. Bigler, Autobiography, Typescript, Lee Library, BYU.)

9 Feb 1846 -- The roof caught fire at 3 A.M. from an over heated stove pipe in the attic which ignited drying cloth. The fire burned for half an hour before being put out. (Smith, History of the Church, 7:581; Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p.29.) The fire burned "from the railing to the ridge about 16 feet North and South and about 10 feet East and West. The shingles on the north side were broken through in many places." There was about $100 worth of damage. (Bullock, "Bullock Journal," BYU Studies, 31 [Winter 1991]: 49.)

12 Feb 1846 -- In Burlington, Mr. Hager, a local artist, displayed paintings done in Nauvoo, including one of the Temple. In describing the Temple, "he pointed out its beauties and the singularity of its architecture, saying that it was perfectly unique and totally unlike all the orders laid down in the books." He further stated, that in a conversation with Joseph Smith, when ask about the Temple's architectural style, the Prophet was said to have answered, "I know of nothing better than for you to call it 'Jo Smith's order'." (Burlington Hawkeye, 12 Feb 1846.)

13 Feb 1846 -- Brigham Young and William Weeks signed a certificate officially appointing Truman O. Angel to be Weeks' successor as superintendent over finishing the temple according to the plans and designs given by Weeks to Angel. (Certificate, 13 Feb 1845, CA. in Arrington, "William Weeks," BYU Studies, 19 [Spring 1979]: 353.) Soon after this Williams Weeks left Nauvoo. (History of the Church, 7: 580; Colvin, "Nauvoo Temple," p. 47.) Brigham Young wanted William Weeks to be with the vanguard of pioneers, because he wanted him "to dig deep and the lay the foundation of the Temple for [Brigham Young] intend[ed] by the help of the brethren to build a Temple unto the Lord just as soon as the Saints by a united effort can complete it." (Kelly, John D. Lee, p. 101.)

17 Feb 1846 -- Workmen relaid the burnt part of the temple roof and covered it with lead. (Bullock, "Bullock Journal," BYU Studies, 31 [Winter 1991]: 52.)

20 Feb 1846 -- Workmen were plastering the attic walls which had been burnt in the fire. (Bullock, "Bullock Journal," BYU Studies, 31 [Winter 1991]: 53.)

22 Feb 1846 -- During a Sunday meeting of the Saints in the first floor, the floor suddenly settled, causing panic and confusion among those present. Brigham Young tried to calm the congregation, but he could not, and some persons even jumped out the windows. (Smith, History of the Church, 7:594; Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p.44-45; George Morris, Autobiography, Lee Library, Special Collections, BYU .) The local press reported on the "Crash in the Temple," stating that the "confusion was tremendous," and some were "badly hurt" (Burlington Hawkeye, 5 Mar. 1846; Weekly [St. Louis] American, 13 Mar. 1846], and the news made the national press as well (Niles Weekly Register, 70 [ 21 Mar 1846]: 36.)

9 Mar 1846 -- The Twelve appointed Orson Hyde to remain in Nauvoo and represent the Church, and to see that, when the first floor of the Temple was completed, the building was dedicated, if the Twelve could not return to do it. (Journal History, 9 Mar 1846; Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p.73.)

March 1846 -- During the latter part of March and first part of April laborers worked on laying the brick floor in the basement. (William Mendenhall Journal, cited in Harrington and Harrington, Rediscovery of the Nauvoo Temple, p. 23.) The floor consisted of red bricks, set in a herringbone pattern. (Ibid, p. 25.)

27 Mar 1846 -- Orson Hyde wrote Brigham Young that the Temple would not be ready to dedicate on the Church's sixteenth anniversary, April 6, 1846. (Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p.110.)

15 Mar 1846 -- In the evening fourteen men, who were laboring to complete the temple, met for prayer in the attic story, where they experienced a pentacostal season. Some of the brethren spoken in tongues, other saw visions, and heavenly beings in the room. Outside the Temple Chester Loveland saw a bright light and felt that the temple was on fire, but he saw that the "flames" were not consuming the building and thus concluded it was the glory of God. Another brother also saw the light, thinking at the belfry or tower was on fire. He rushed to the temple, but when he reached he found all was quiet. (Bullock Journal, 15-16 Mar 1846, BYU Studies, 31[Winter 1991]:61-62.)

Spring 1846 -- Lucian Woodworth made two daguerreotypes of the Temple. The first was taken from his gallery in lower Nauvoo, showing the Temple in the distance on the bluffs above the city. The second was a close-up view of the Temple. Both daguerreotypes are presently housed in the Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Apr 1846 -- James J. Strang's followers approved resolutions in their conference that the Trustees were illegally formed and that they possessed no legal authority to sell the temple. He cautioned anyone in making a purchase from them. (Voree Herald, 1 [Apr 1846]: 20.) Strang made up a special edition of Voree Herald with the resolutions and his followers distributed the newspaper throughout the region around Nauvoo. (Hajicek, "Burning of the Nauvoo Temple," p. 3.)

6 Apr 1846 -- The Saints in Nauvoo met for General Conference in the basement of the Temple, because workers were painting the rooms above and it was too rainy to meet in the grove. (Autobiography of Isaac Haight, Lee Library, BYU, typescript p. 11 )

10 Apr 1846 -- The Trustees issued an advertisement in the Hancock Eagle, offering to lease the temple for favorable terms for twenty years, to be used for educational or literary purposes.(Hancock Eagle, 10 Apr 1846.)

The Trustees published formal announcements in the press of the Temple's three-day dedicatory services, beginning at 11:00 A.M. on 1 May 1846. The public was invited to attend for one dollar in order to help pay the salaries of the workmen who completed the building. (Hancock Eagle, 10, 17, 21 April, 1846.)

13 April 1846 -- Wilford Woodruff returned to Nauvoo from his mission to England. Well downriver he saw the city from the steamboat he was sailing on. Taking a spy glass, he "examined the city. The Temple truly looked splendid." (Wilford Woodruff, Journal, 13 Apr. 1846, CA.)

22 Apr 1846 -- The joiners or carpenters finished their work, and they swept and cleaned the interior. The painters were still working. (Journal History, 22 Apr 1846.)

The Daily Missouri Republican reported that a wealthy individual was on his way to Nauvoo concerning the sale of properties, including the Temple, but reported that negotiation thus far had not been entirely successful. Although agreement had been reached concerning most of the properties (some 100 lots including the Masonic Hall and arsenl), the Trustees were unwilling to sell the Temple, but were willing to lease it. This the individual found unsatisfactory. (Daily Missouri Republican, 22 Apr. 1846.)

23 Apr 1846 -- The Sangamo Journal reported that "a rich old bachelor from the South" was negotiating for the purchase of the Temple, intending to turn it into "a retreat for poor widows and other females." (Sangamo Journal, 23 Apr 1846.)

26 Apr 1846 -- Brigham Young received a letter from Orson Hyde, who wrote that a wealthy Catholic benefactor had offered to buy the Temple for $200,000. Hyde offered to lease the Temple to him instead, but he refused and the offer fell through. Hyde asked if it might not be better to sell the Church's two temples at Kirtland and Nauvoo, and use the money to help the poor move west. (Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p.143.)

27 Apr 1846 -- Apparently acting on Orson Hyde's suggestion, the Twelve determined to sell the Temple and use the funds to help the poor move West, reasoning that if no Saints remained in Nauvoo the Temple would be of little use to the Church. Brigham Young wrote a letter to Hyde with the Twelve's decision. (Journal History, 27 Apr 1846; Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p.145.)

29 Apr 1846 -- Workmen and their wives met in the attic to celebrate the completion of the Temple. They had a banquet of cakes, pies and other goods. They spent the evening in prayer, testimony bearing, preaching and some brought their children in for blessings. The festivities lasted until mid-night. (Crockett, "Nauvoo Temple History")

The Iowa Capital Reporter ran an article about a "wealthy gentleman from the South," who had recently been in St. Louis and was on his way to Nauvoo to purchase the Temple as an "asylum for widows and destitute females." (Iowa Capital Reporter, 29 Apr. 1846.)

30 Apr 1846 -- At 7:45 p.m. Joseph Young, assisted by twenty-five men who had remained behind to finish the temple, gathered in the first floor hall for a private dedication of the building by the men who had labored so hard to finish the building. During the services Orson Hyde and Wilford Woodruff joined them. The men occupied the priesthood stands, representing the order of the Priesthood. Joseph Young offered the dedicatory prayer. The men ended the services with the Hosanna Shout and retired to the attic, where there was a delightful banquet set for them. (Wilford Woodruff Journal, 30 Apr 1846; Samuel W. Richards, Journal, 30 Apr 1846, BYU; Minutes of the Dedication of the [Nauvoo] Temple, April 30, 1846, CA.)

1 May 1846 -- Public dedication of the temple under the direction of Apostles Orson Hyde and Wilford Woodruff. "The Temple was dedicated in the presence of strangers and all who would pay one dollar for admittance." Orson Hyde read the dedicatory prayer. (Wilford Woodruff Journal, 30 Apr 1846; Samuel Richards, Journal, 1 May 1846, BYU; Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p.147-148; "Nauvoo Temple," 1978 Church Almanac, p. 265.)

2 May 1846 -- Second day of dedicatory services. ( "Nauvoo Temple," 1978 Church Almanac, p. 265.)

3 May 1846 -- The third day of dedicatory services, when the "dedication of the Temple closed." (Wilford Woodruff Journal, 3 May 1846; "Nauvoo Temple," 1978 Church Almanac, p. 265.) The Hancock Eagle reporting that 5,000 persons attended on the third day, which was reserved for the Latter-Day Saints. During these services the Saints approved a resolution to sell the Temple and use the funds to help the poor in their move West. (Colvin, "Nauvoo Temple," p. 140.)

6 May 1846 -- The Quincy Whig reported on Strang's resolutions, which claimed that the Trustees had "no right to convey title to any property of the Church and caution[ed] all against buying of them." (Quincy Whig, 6 May 1846.) Strang's assertions made the Trustees' work much more difficult, especially when Strang published information from the Hancock County Book of Mortgages and Deeds, attempting to show that Joseph Smith's successor was the President of the Church, who was the Trustee-in-Trust, and only he had the right to convey title to Church property. (Hajicek, "Burning the Mormon Temple," p. 4.) Apparently when Strang raised the question of who held legitimate title to the temple, it clouded the issue and often prevented the temple's sale.

8 May 1846 -- During a Sabbath service, Orson Hyde explained why the Saints were compelled to finish the Temple, "It we move forward and finished this house we should be received and accepted as a church with our dead, but if not we should be rejected with our dead. These things have inspired and stimulated us to action in the finishing of it which through the blessing of god we have been enabled to accomplish and prepare it for dedication." Wilford Woodruff concluded the meeting, "The Saints had labored faithfully and finished the temple and were now received as a Church with our dead. This is glory enough for building the temple and thousands of the Saints have received their endowment in it. And the light will not go out." (Wilford Woodruff, Journal, 8 May 1846, CA.)

13 May 1846 -- The Daily Missouri Republican reported on the resolution to sell the Temple on May 3, stating that its sale would "cut off the last and only motive which could exist to induce them [the Mormons] to stay in Nauvoo, or to return to it at any future time." (Daily Missouri Republican, 13 May 1846.) The Peoria Democratic Press reported that a gentleman from a southern state was interested in purchasing the Temple. (Peoria Democratic Press, 13 May 1846.)

15 May 1846 -- The Temple Trustees placed the following advertisement in the Hancock Eagle: "Temple For Sale. The undersigned trustees of the Later Day Saints propose to sell the Temple on very low terms, if an early application is made. The Temple is admirably designed for literary and religious purposes. Address the Undersigned Trustees, Almon Babbitt, Joseph L. Heywood, John Fullmer. Nauvoo, May 15, 1846." (Hancock Eagle, 15 May 1846.) They also ran the same advertisement in the Nauvoo New Citizen from May 15 until December 23, 1846, without resulting in a sale of the temple.

16 May 1846 -- The Alton Telegraph and Democratic Review reported on the notice of sell in the Hancock Eagle, also reporting on the resolution passed at the third dedicatory session to sell the Temple, hopefully to"some wealthy individual or corporation."(Alton Telegraph and Democratic Review, 21 May 1846.)

18 May 1846 -- The Semi-Weekly Galena Jeffersonian reported that a "council" in Nauvoo and the "Twelve" had resolved to sell the Temple, in order to raise money for emigration purposes. (Semi-Weekly Galena Jeffersonian, 16 may 1846.)

21 May 1846 -- The Missouri Whig reported on the effort to sell the Temple, stating that the purchaser could acquire it for less than one fourth of the cost to the Mormons to build it. The article reported that the temple was now considered finished and said of the first floor: "The grand hall designed for the congregation is worthy of attention of all architects in originality and taste." It also reported on the dedication of the temple, stating that 5,000 persons were present on the third day, when a vote was taken to sell the Temple; the asking price was $200,000. (Missouri Whig, 21 May 1846.)

23 May 1846 -- The Alton Telegraph and Democratic Review notes the advertisement of for the sale of the Nauvoo Temple in the Hancock Eagle (Alton Telegraph and Democratic Review, 23 May 1846.)

6 Jun 1846 -- The Quincy Whig reported that there were three negotiations underway concerning the lease or sale of the temple. (Quincy Whig, 16 June 1846.)

14 Jun 1846 -- Several hundred men gathered at the temple with their firearms because a large mob had assembled at nearby Golden Point and were threatened to attack the temple. When the temple bell rang, the defenders met at the green near the temple. Stephen Markham led the troops into the temple and rallied them together. On this occasion the mob dispersed and did not dare approach the city. But these renewed threats prompted many families to quickly leave their homes and start their journey to the west. (Crockett, "Nauvoo Temple History.")

15 Jun 1846 -- A newspaper reported that a man in Fort Madison, Iowa, expressed no hesitation in saying that the Temple must be destroyed, and he had powder ready for that purpose. (Daily Missourian Republican, 15 Jun 1846.)

26 Jun 1846 -- The Trustees wrote Brigham Young that Trustees Babbitt and Heywood had started for St. Louis to seek buyers for the temple. A Mr. Paulding was interested in the building, but he was in New Orleans and a deal could not be closed for five to six weeks. (Journal History, 16 Jun 1846.)

25 Aug 1846 -- Brigham Young sent word to the Temple Trustees not to sell the Temple for less than $100,000. (Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p.349.)

16 Sep 1846 -- Following the so-called Battle of Nauvoo, the Trustees surrendered the city to the anti-Mormon mob by signing a "treaty," which allowed five Mormons, including the Trustees, to remain in Nauvoo for the disposition of Church and private property, but all other Mormons were required to move as soon as possible. (Miller and Miller. Nauvoo: City of Joseph, p. 202.)

17 Sep 1846 -- The anti-Mormon mobs occupied Nauvoo and began the forcible removal of the remaining Mormons from the city. The Trustees gave the keys to the Temple to Henry I. Young, chairman of the Quincy Committee; he promptly opened the building to the mob, who began desecrating the Temple. The Trustees' actions were clearly done under duress. (Journal History, 17 Sep 1846.)

18 Sep 1846 -- When the mob occupied the Temple, some of them ran to the tower, where they beat a drum, rang the bell, and shouted for joy. One preacher yelled, "Peace! Peace! Peace! To the inhabitants of the earth, now the Mormons are driven!" (Jensen, Historical Record, 8:856; and Journal History, 18 Sep 1846.)

25 Sep 1846 -- Daniel H. Wells and William Cutler arrived at Winter Quarters with letters concerning the Battle of Nauvoo. (Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p. 395.)

27 Sep 1846 -- Brigham Young in a letter to the Trustees counseled them to use their best judgment in selling the temple and use the funds to pay the laborers who worked on the temple and to assist the poor. They also asked them to forward the Temple bell to him, as "you will have no further use of the Temple Bell." (Journal History, 27 Sep 1846; Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, pp. 396-397.) This was done and the bell was forwarded, because when the pioneer party left for the Rocky Mountains Brigham Young took the bell. (Journal History, 16 Apr 1847.)

Oct 1846 -- During the month two brothers, David and Andrew Lamoreaux snuck into Nauvoo at night and retrieved the Temple bell from a Methodist minister, who had taken it from the Temple belfrey. They hid in a boggy marsh until it was safe and then ferried the heavy bell across the Mississippi River. The bell arrived in Winter Quarters in December 1847, where Brigham Young used it to call the Saints to meetings. In June 1847 the bell was carried by the "Big Pioneer" company as left for the West. President Young had directed that he be used to to call people to their prayers and for other reasons, including as an alarm for Indians. (Crockett, "Nauvoo Temple History.")

2 Oct 1846 -- Trustee Heywood wrote the Twelve that Mr. Paulding of New Orleans was still considering buying the temple. (Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p. 432.)

5 Oct 1846 -- The Hancock Eagle reported on the damage done to the temple: holes cut in the floors, names carved in the wood, messages scrawled on the walls, and the font defaced with the oxen disfigured and broken. (Hancock Eagle, 5 Oct 1846.)

20 Oct 1846 -- The Trustees wrote Brigham Young that the mob had given the keys to the Temple to Brother Paine in their behalf. (Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p.439.) During November the mob left the city, returning to their homes.

6 Nov 1846 -- The Trustees wrote Brigham Young that Mr. Paulding was yet interested and wished a list of all Church property and the lowest prices the Church would accept. The men wrote that they wished to finish their work and leave Nauvoo, because some of the "worst characters" lived in the area. (Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p. 448.)

14 Nov 1846 -- The Twelve replied to the Trustee's letters of 20 Oct and 6 Nov 1846, directing them to use all their influence to have all the able bodied men around Nauvoo to form a company and remove to Winter Quarters by March 1847.(Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, pp.454-455.)

26 Nov 1846 -- John M. Bernhisel wrote Brigham Young that Isaac Galland had sworn out an attachment on Church property, including the Temple, for $20,000. (Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p.482.)


Ca. 1847 -- During this year Louris R. Chaffin made a daguerreotype of the Temple. A copy is presently owned by the Cedar City, Utah, chapter of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.

7 Jan 1847 -- Brigham Young wrote to three members of the Twelve that the temple had not yet been sold and that Trustee Babbitt had left for Kirtland and points East. (Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p.499.)

20 Jan 1847 -- The Twelve received a letter from the Trustees which reported that Isaac Galland had sworn out an attachment on the Temple and Church property for $25,000. (Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p.507-508.)

3 Feb 1847 -- Brigham Young received a letter from the Trustees, reporting that Almon Babbitt had written them that he had made an unsuccessful attempt to sell the temple in Baltimore. (Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p.520.)

20 Mar 1847 -- Having returned from the East, near this date Babbitt wrote Brigham Young that he had been unsuccessful in his efforts and that the Trustees hoped to sell the temple when the Spring came. He inquired what they should do with any surplus. (McGavin, Nauvoo Temple, p. 115.)

5 Apr 1847 -- Trustee Babbitt wrote Brigham Young that he arrived in Nauvoo from the East 2 weeks earlier, where he had visited a number of cities, and that he had been unable to find a buyer for the temple. The best he could get was an offer of $100,000 for the temple and the Wells and Kimball properties. He felt that he could get that amount locally. He also reported that Galland had two suits against the Church, one "in Chancery, as well at common law." (Journal History, 5 Apr 1847; Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p.546.)

13 Apr 1847 -- Near this date the Brigham Young wrote the Trustees to come to Winter Quarters with any surplus funds, as well as all their records and books. He asked whether the Church was so poor that it was now "obliged to sell their Father's house for a morsel of bread," lamenting that any money released from the sale would be used to pay off the unjust suits, liens, and judgments against the Church. (McGavin. Nauvoo Temple, p. 117.)

12 Jun 1847 -- The Warsaw Signal reported that the Catholic Church had agreed to purchase the Temple for $75,000. (Warsaw Signal, 12 June 1847.)

7 Aug 1847 -- The Warsaw Signal reported that the sale of the Temple to the Catholic Church had collapsed because of a defective deed, perhaps referring to Strang's assertions or to Galland's liens. (Warsaw Signal, 7 August 1847.)

6 Oct 1847 -- Trustee Babbitt arrived at Winter Quarters for consultation with the Twelve, who had recently arrived from the Salt Lake valley. (Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p. 407.)

7 Oct 1847 -- The Twelve met with Babbitt and counseled him to sell the Church properties in Nauvoo without delay. (Watson. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p. 407.) Babbitt left for Nauvoo the next day.

19 Oct 1847 -- The Warsaw Signal reported that during the past year the temple had been on the verge of being sold a number of times, only to have the transfer of title fail, because of a reportedly defective deed. (Warsaw Signal, 19 Oct 1847.)

3 Nov 1847 -- The Twelve met and decided to write the Trustees, recommending that they give the keys to the Temple to Judge Owens and leave the care of the "building itself in the hands of the Lord." They were also to gather all papers and records, and remove to Winter Quarters.(Smith. History of the Church, 7:617.)


25 Jan 1848 -- In a meeting with Trustee Babbitt, Hiram Kimball and John Snider at Winter Quarters Brigham Young indicated that he really did not desire to sell the temple. (Woodruff, 1847-1853 Journal, 25 Jan 1848, CA.)

11 Mar 1848 -- The Trustees sold the Temple to David T. LeBaron, the brother-in-law of Trustee Almon Babbitt. (deed recorded 12 Nov 1848) for $5,000. (Hancock County, Deeds, Book V, p. 93.) During 1848, LeBaron and his brother-in-law, George W. Johnson, conducted visitors through the Nauvoo Temple. LeBaron attended it one day and Johnson the next. (George W. Johnson, Autobiography, typescript, BYU.)

7 Jul 1848 -- Wilford Woodruff stopped in Nauvoo while on the way East and toured the temple, which he found to be in a better state of preservation that he had expected. (Woodruff, 1847-1853 Journal, 7 July 1848, CA.)

6 Sep 1848 -- Lightning struck the weather vane on the cupola with little damage, but left a large scar on the building. (Arrington "Destruction of the Nauvoo Temple," p. 417.)

27 Sep 1848 -- A newspaper reported that a Mr. Bower of New York had made a contract to lease the temple for fifteen years and convert it to a college for the Home Missionary Society of New York. The contract was to close on 1 Oct 1848. (Oquawka Spectator, 27 Sep 1848.)

2 Oct 1848 -- The temple leased to the Home Missionary Society of New York for 15 years. (Journal History, 2 Oct 1848.)

9 Oct 1848 -- An arsonist set fire to the Temple. The Keoukuk Register reported that "Great volumes of smoke and flames burst from the windows, and the crash of falling timbers was distinctly heard on the opposite side of the [Mississippi] river. The interior of the building was like a furnace, the walls of solid masonry were heated throughout and cracked by the intense heat. The melted zinc and lead were dropping from its high block during the day." The Nauvoo Patriot also reported: "Our citizens were awakened by the alarm of fire, which, when first discovered, was bursting out through the spire of the temple, near the small door that opened from the east side to the roof, on the main building. The fire was seen first about three o'clock in the morning, and not until it had taken such hold of the timbers and roof as to make useless any effort to extinguish it. The material of the inside were so dry, and the fire spread so rapidly, that a few minutes were sufficient to wrap this famed edifice in a sheet of flame. It was a sight too full of mournful sublimity. . . . Although the morning was tolerably dark, still, when the flames shot upwards, the spire, the streets and houses for nearly a mile distant were lighted up, so as to render even the smallest objects discernible. The glare of the vast torch, pointing skyward, indescribably contrasted with the universal gloom and darkness around it; and men looked on with faces sad as if the crumbling ruins below were consuming all their hopes." The next morning the walls were still too hot to touch. The building was gutted, only the four walls were left standing. (Harrington and Harrington, Rediscovery of the Nauvoo Temple, p. 5)

Brigham Young later said of the arson, "I hoped to see it burned before I left, but I did not. I was glad when I heard of its being destroyed by fire, and of the walls having fallen in, and said, 'Hell, you cannot now occupy it.'" (Journal of Discourses, 8:202-03, October 8, 1860)

20 Mar 1849 -- The Quincy Whig reported that 281 Icarian emigrants had docked at the city wharf on their way up river to Nauvoo. (Quincy Whig, 20 Mar 1849.) The Icarians moved into Nauvoo shortly thereafter.

2 Apr 1849 -- David T. LeBaron conveyed the fire-damaged Temple to Etienne Cabet, leader of the Icarian Community, for $2,000. (Hancock County, Deeds, Book V, p. 408.)

10 Sep 1849 -- John M. Bernhisel on a trip to the East stopped at Nauvoo and left a description of the Temple ruins: "Though the walls of the Temple are standing, yet they are much cracked, especially the east one; and not a vestige of the once beautiful font remains." He reported that no work had been done to repair the structure, except for clearing away some rubbish, and that the lot was used as a sheep fold and cow pen.(Journal History, 16 Sep 1849.)

Ca. 1850 -- Before May 27 of this year T. W. Cox made a tintype of the Temple's damaged facade. A copy is presently housed in the Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah.

27 May 1850 -- During 1849-1850 the Icarians had begun to repair the Temple, placing a series of new piers in the basement, planning on refurbishing the building for their use. On this day, as they were working, a tornado suddenly arose and toppled the north wall, leaving the east and south walls severely damaged. The workmen barely escaped with their lives, scrambling out of the ruins in stinging hail, pouring rain, thunder and lightening, all accompanied by violent winds. (St. Joseph Adventure, 28 Jun 1850; Harrington and Harrington, Rediscovery of the Nauvoo Temple, p. 6.)

28 May 1850 -- Nauvoo city officials "declared that the southern and eastern walls would soon fall down, and that to avoid any serious accident, it was better to destroy them." The walls were then razed, leaving only the west facade standing. (Deseret News, 24 Aug 1850.)

3 Nov 1850 -- Fredericka Bremer wrote of a visit to Nauvoo, "We are now in sight of Nauvoo, formerly the capital of the Mormon district, and the magnificent ruin of their former temple is standing on its elevated site." (Stanley, Kimball, "Nauvoo," Improvement Era, January 1966).

Spring 1853 -- Frederick Piercy visited Nauvoo in the Spring of 1853 and sketched the temple ruins, which he published in his Route from Liverpool to Great Salt Lake Valley. This drawing is the only known depiction of the Temple's interior structure.

2 Feb 1865 -- During the intervening years the facade slowly crumbled, until only the southwest corner remained, "towering in sad grandeur above the surrounding buildings" of the Nauvoo business district. Prior to this date the damaged facade was purposely leveled for safety. The Carthage Republican reported, "The last remaining vestage [sic] of what the famous Mormon temple was in its former glory has disappeared, and nothing now remains to mark its site but heaps of broken stone and rubbish." (Harrington and Harrington, Rediscovery of the Nauvoo Temple, p. 6.)

1876 -- William Adams visited Nauvoo and recorded in his journal, "No remains of the temple, except pieces of wall on the north side of the block could I discovered." (Autobiography of William Adams, p. 36, BYU Library.)

Late 1800's The temple site was leveled and the property used for a variety of purposes, including a vineyard. (Miller, Nauvoo, The City of Joseph, p. 119.)


22 Sep 1936 -- Apostle George Albert Smith, historian Andrew Jenson, Wilford C. Wood and John D. Giles of the Utah Trails and Landmark Association visited Nauvoo and inspected the Nauvoo Temple site, apparently with intention of investigating the purchase of the property. (Nauvoo Independent, Sep 22, 1936).

19 Feb 1937 -- Wilford C. Wood and Jack Smith, representing the Mormon Church's interest, inspected the Temple lot and then went to the local bank to negotiate a purchase. At first the bank president, Mr. Anton, asked too much, but Brother Wood was inspired to say, "Are you going to try and make me pay an exhorbitant [sic] price for the blood of a martyred Prophet, when you know this property rightfully belongs to the Mormon people?" The statement softened Mr. Anton, who lower the price to $900. Bro. Wood quickly agreed and purchased part of Lot 2 (northwest quarter) of the Temple lot, which included the old, covered temple well in the Temple's basement. The deed was transferred the next day at the Carthage courthouse. (Cannon, Nauvoo Panorama, p.71; Deseret News, Feb. 20, 1937; Carthage Gazette, 27 Feb 1937).

19 Apr 1937 -- Wilford C. Wood, acting on his own, purchased Lot 1 (northeast quarter) of the Temple Lot for $1,100 and turned it over to the Church some six moths later. (Carthage Gazette, 7 May 1937.) During the next few years Bro. Wood also purchased three small parcels making up the southern side of Lot 4 (southeast quarter) for the Church. (Colvin, "Mormon Temple at Nauvoo," p. 189.)

April 1938 -- Lane K. Newberry, an artist from Chicago who had visited and painted the old buildings of Nauvoo for the past seven years, had a dream of restoring the city to its former grandeur. He approached the First Presidency about restoring Nauvoo. He received their approval and cooperation, in which the Presidency promised to erect a monument on the Temple site. (Cannon, Mormon Panorama, p. 72.)

24-25 June 1939 -- Over 700 Latter-day Saints gathered in a conference at Nauvoo, under the direction of Byrant S. Hinckley (Northern States Mission President), commemorating the centennial of the city's founding, as well as the death of Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith. The activities sparked a mission to restore Nauvoo. A Sunday service was held on the Temple lot, where President Hinckley spoke about Nauvoo's restoration. Artist Lane related his dream of seeing Nauvoo restored and "the temple rebuilt in full size on this spot where it once stood." (Cannon, Mormon Panorama, p. 75.)

29 Oct 1940 -- The purchase of three lots, making up the southern side of Lot 4 (southeast quarter), begun by Wilford C. Wood, but it took thirteen months for the titles to clear. The deeds for some of the buildings had as many as eleven signatures. One of the buildings had been built by the Icarians. Wood also turned this property over to the Church. (Colvin, "Mormon Temple at Nauvoo," p. 189; Improvement Era, 45 [Feb. 1942].)

1947 -- The Centennial Caravan (duplicating the orginal company first to enter Salt Lake valley), composed of 143 men, 3 women and 2 "scouts," left the Nauvoo Temple lot in automobiles and headed west in memory of the Mormon pioneers. (Cannon, Mormon Panorama, pp. 76-77.)

Jun 1951 -- Wilford C. Wood acquired another parcel of Lot 2 (northwest quarter) for the Church. The property contained a large home, which the Church turned into a Bureau of Information. (Colvin, "Mormon Temple at Nauvoo," p. 190.)

July 1952 -- The Church announced that forty-six tons of cut face stones, originally part of the Nauvoo Temple, which had been used as part of other buildings in Nauvoo, had been salvaged for "future use by the Church," by the work of twenty-two men from the Chicago Stake. ("The Church Moves On," Improvement Era, 55 [Sept 1952].)

22 Feb 1959 -- Richard C. Stratford, acting for the Church, completed acquisition of a narrow right of way, between the northeast and south east quarters, from the telephone company. (Ogden Examiner, 22 Feb 1959).

1961 -- During this year the Church acquired all of the property owned by the Catholic Church, which included all of Lot 3 (southwest quarter) and the rest of Lot 4 (southeast quarter). (Colvin, "Mormon Temple at Nauvoo," p. 190.)

Dec 1961 -- Dr. Melvin Fowler, Southern Illinois University, undertook the first archeological investigation of the Temple site, by digging a preliminary trench, which established the existence of masonry remains below ground. (Harrington and Harrington, Rediscovery of the Nauvoo Temple, p. 6).

Jun 1962 -- Dr. Fowler with Dee F. Green returned and begun a major archaeological project, uncovering the entire Temple basement, except for a small piece of property owned by the RLDS Church. The dimensions of the building were established and the interior excavated to a depth of five feet. Further work was postponed for three years while archeological investigations were conducted in other parts of Nauvoo. (Harrington and Harrington. For Rediscovery of the Nauvoo Temple, p. 7).

27 July 1962 -- Nauvoo Restoration, Inc., usually called NRI, incorporated under the direction of Dr. J. Leroy Kimball, Heber C. Kimball's great-grandson. Dr. Kimball's son wrote, "He proclaimed that to all who would listen that the Temple Block was the "great centerpiece" of the project." ( J. LeRoy Kimball, "Nauvoo Restoration Pioneer: A Tribute by James L. Kimball, Jr.," BYU Studies, 32 (Winter 1992).

1962 -- By the end of this year the Church had acquired a small piece of property owned by the RLDS Church in Lot 2 (northwest quarter), which completed the acquisition of the entire Temple lot the Church. (Colvin, "Mormon Temple at Nauvoo," p. 190.)

Summer 1966 -- Further archeological investigations of the Temple site were undertaken by Dr. J. C. Harrington, hired as Director of NRI's archeological program. (Harrington and Harrington, Rediscovery of the Nauvoo Temple, p. 6).

Summer 1967 -- Further archeological investigations of the Temple site were undertaken by Dr. Harrington. (Harrington and Harrington, Rediscovery of the Nauvoo Temple, p. 6)

Summer 1968 -- Further archeological investigations of the Temple site were undertaken by Dr. Harrington. (Harrington and Harrington, Rediscovery of the Nauvoo Temple, p. 6).

Oct 1968 -- Announcement of a plan to partially restore the Nauvoo Temple appeared in the Improvement Era: "The temple's footing and floor will be built over the exact spot where once stood the original temple, and will follow the exact measurements of the original build. Indeed, some of the original stone work, including some of the original footings, will be used in the reconstruction. The brick basement floor will also contain some of the original basement bricks. Portions of the legs of the original 12 oxen that surrounded the font will be used in the font restoration. Nearby will be the temple well which provided water for the font. The front facade of the temple is to be rebuilt to the original height of the upper pediment, so that tourists may ascend the stairway and obtain a glimpse of the view that so enchanted early-day Nauvoo visitors." The article included a rendering of the new structure. (Jay M. Todd, "Nauvoo Temple Restoration", Improvement Era, [October 1968].) This project was never undertaken.

7 Aug 1971. -- Architects, Steven T. Baird and Tim Maxwell, found parts of seven of the original 30 sunstones used in the Nauvoo Temple while investigating the construction of the Icarian Building in Nauvoo. They found five complete stones and two badly broken ones in the building's foundation. (Church News, Aug. 7, 1971.)

14 Aug 1982 -- President Gordon B. Hinckley of the First Presidency dedicated seventeen restored historical sites in Nauvoo, including the Nauvoo Temple block. ("Pres. Hinckley Dedicates 16 Sites in Nauvoo," Church News, 14 Aug 1982.)

Jan 1988 -- The Historical Society of Quincy and Adams Counties advertised the sell of an original sunstone, which had been in the society's possession since 1913 and displayed at the governor's mansion in Springfield.. ("The Glory of the Sun," Sunstone,12 [January 1988], inside cover.)

2 Dec 1989 -- The Smithsonian Institute paid $100,000 for the sunstone, owned by the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams Counties, Illinois. The only other sunstone was displayed in the Nauvoo City Park. (Church News, 2 Dec 1989.)

10 Nov 1990 -- Ricks College displayed three stones from the Nauvoo Temple, which had been donated in 1989 in memory of Thomas E. Ricks (who had worked on the temple in 1845) and other Nauvoo Temple laborers, by Ricks' descendants. Ricks College was founded by Thomas E. Ricks. (Church News, 10 Nov 1990.)

26 Jun 1994 -- The sunstone, which had been on display in the Nauvoo State Park, was relocated to the Temple Block, amid impressive ceremonies, under the direction of President Howard W. Hunter. The stone was encased in a special glassed-in case to preserve it from further deterioration. (Church News, 2 July 1994.)

1 Nov 1996 -- A four-foot high ornamental wrought iron fence, replacing a hedge and chain-link fence around the Temple block was completed by the Petersen Engineering and Fabrication of Ogden, all through donated labor. (Church News, 11 Nov 1996.)

April 4, 1999 -- Gordon B. Hinckley, President of the Church, announced in the last session of General Conference, that, because of the generosity of a donor, the Church would rebuild the Nauvoo Temple as a monument to the Mormon pioneers. He anticipated it would not be a busy temple, except in the summer when LDS tourists visited Nauvoo. He stated that architects were working on the project, but that it would take some time to complete. A spokesman for Nauvoo Restoration, Inc. suggested that the reconstruction would "likely cost twenty times" the original construction cost of $800,000. Construction was expected to begin sometime within the next two years.

23 April 1999 -- The First Presidency announced that the Church would accept donations for the construction of the Nauvoo Temple. Members could use the "Other" line on the donation receipt and enter the amount and the "Nauvoo Temple." (Church News, 15 May 1999.)

27 Apr 1999 -- The Church announced that the Temple would be built on the same site as the original Temple, and that its external appearance would also reflect the original. (Church News, 27 April 1999)

1 May 1999 -- In an interview published 1 May 1999, Gorden B. Hinckley indicated that the Nauvoo Illinois Temple would be built upon the original site. The Temple would be constructed of reinforced concrete block in order to meet modern seismic codes, but would be faced with light-gray limestone from the original quarries, as well as others nearby. He said, that no decision had been made yet as to whether the tower would be graced with a reproduction of the original recumbent angel or the statue of the Angel Moroni commonly used today, but all other details of the exterior would be expected to follow the original plans. (Deseret News, May 1, 1999.)

6 May 1999 -- Leon Burton, Nauvoo Restoration spokesman, reported that the Temple would cost 16 million dollars, twenty times more than the original 200,000 dollars. The Church would use its own temple architectural department staff, as well as non-Church firms. Work wold also be done by "outside [non-Mormon] contractors," with some labor being performed by Church's own crews. ([Burlington [Iowa] Hawk Eye, 5 May 1999.)

20 Jun 1999 -- In a meeting between the Nauvoo Restoration and local Nauvoo businessmen, Bob Dewey of the Church Architecture Department, stated that construction bids may go out as early as February 2000, with work beginning on the temple in the spring, weather permitting. Dewey stated that the final design work will be done by Lew Chiadini Associates Architects of Saint Louis, Missouri, and Harry Weiss and Associates. He stated that it was expected that a portion of the Temple will be open to the public, with displays, etc. (Nick Literski's Latter-day Saint Temple Homepage [].)



Bigler, Henry W., Autobiography, Typescript, Special Collections, Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois, Court, Deeds, Typescript, Nauvoo Restoration Inc. Files, Nauvoo, Illinois.

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Morris, George, Autobiography, typescript, Lee Library, Special Collections, Typescript, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

Nauvoo High Council Minutes, Typescript, Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah

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Brown, Lisle, "The Sacred Departments for Temple Work in Nauvoo: The Assembly Room and the Council Chamber," Brigham Young University Studies, 19 (Spring 1979): 361-374.

Beecher, Maureen U., "'All Things Move in Order in the City:' The Nauvoo Diary of Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs," BYU Studies, 19 [Spring 1979]: 285-320.

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