Bushman Reunion Day #3 The Nauvoo Stone Quarry

Martin Benjamin Bushman mentioned in a life sketch of his parents their participation in
building the Nauvoo Temple. He included this brief statement, “They helped to build
the temple the Saints was building at that time,” although he did not say precisely
what they were doing. (Martin B. Bushman, “Biographical Sketch of Martin and
Elizabeth Bushman,” 10 Jan 1920, in Jacob Bushman (1830-1919), Temple Record
Book, Family History Library, Film # 673266, Item 11.)

However, Martin wrote to Leonard Pickel about it in a letter sent just a few months
after the Bushmans arrived in Nauvoo. He wrote, “I have halled seven days logs
and stone for the Bilding” (the Temple.) (Martin Bushman letter to Leonard Pickel,
Bart, PA, 18 Dec 1842 in Leonard Pickel Mormon Letters, Beinecke Rare Book and
Manuscript Library, Yale University.)

Jacob wrote about it too, though much later. To John, he wrote a letter and said, “…
every tenth day we would go and haul rock for the temple.” (Jacob Bushman letter to
John Bushman, 1902, found on FamilySearch.org.)

Stone hauling was in high demand. In 1844, the stone cutters had cut out so much
stone from the quarry that there was no more room. They needed it hauled away
before they could do more cutting. “April 1844 Hyrum Smith informed the Saints,
‘The quarry is blockaded, it is filled with rock; the stone cutters are wanting work;
come on with your teams as soon as conference is over.’” (Don F. Colvin, The
Nauvoo Temple: A Story of Faith, pg 71.)

Some researchers believe that there were likely two quarries for the Temple stone.
We visited the main quarry was located near the riverbank on the north side of the city.  Another quarry is likely a couple miles south of town.

In a tithing book, Martin is recorded in an entry for 12.5 days of labor with a team. If a person worked with their team, they were credited $2 per day of work, double the value of working without a team.  (Trustee-in-Trust tithing and donation record, 1844 May-1846 January, Church History Library, CR 585, page 751. This entry was recorded for Jan 22, 1846.)

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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