Proposed Arizona monument would honor Mormon settlers

Phoenix • A proposed monument on the Arizona Capitol would recall the migration story of 1000’s of Mormon settlers who made troublesome treks from Utah to Arizona within the 19th century.

Legislation authorizing the monument died final spring however is anticipated to be thought-about anew in 2019. Supporters hope they will erect the monument at Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza in Phoenix to honor settlers whose journeys included crossing the Colorado River at Lees Ferry close to the Grand Canyon.

The Arizona Republic reported this week that the centerpiece of the privately funded monument would be a college bell that after hung on the small settlement of Lees Ferry and that was rung to summon ferry operators when a wagon practice approached the riverbank.

To attain the river, settlers dispatched by church chief Brigham Young needed to cross tons of of miles of desert and canyon. In Arizona, they established communities resembling Mesa, Gilbert, Safford and Snowflake.

The thought for the monument began with Fred DuVal, a member of the Arizona Board of Regents. The bell has been in DuVal’s household for many years. His stepfather, Jack Whiteman, acquired it after he and a bunch of Phoenix businessmen purchased the Lees Ferry property in 1964.

“The bell is now a powerful symbol of the migration story, and the hardships faced by the thousands who crossed the river in search of new lives,” DuVal stated.

The property was later bought to the National Park Service, and that stretch of river is in style for fishing and launching whitewater rafting journeys.

Sen. Sylvia Allen, a Snowflake Republican whose ancestors crossed the river at Lees Ferry, plans to sponsor the monument invoice subsequent yr.

“I think we just owe a lot of gratitude to those who came before us,” Allen stated. “It’s just amazing to me how strong and resilient these pioneer people were. They would take on anything.”

The proposal isn’t with no tinge of controversy.

Before the settlers’ mass migration, church leaders despatched John D. Lee, to create a ferry service on the comparatively calm spot on the river. Lee was basically exiled for his position within the Mountain Meadows Massacre, when he and different Mormons in 1857 slaughtered 120 folks on their method to California.

But monument supporters stated its story would be in regards to the Mormon settlers’ migration and the hardships they confronted.

Architect Greg Lambright, who designed the Mormon temple in Gilbert, has volunteered to design the monument. He stated it would be formed just like the canyon at Lees Ferry, mimicking the world’s vermilion cliffs.

“It wasn’t an easy journey to get here. They wanted to obey and find out what God had in store for them,” he stated.

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