This afternoon we loaded the buses for a field trip to Iowa, to visit the farm area where the Bushmans lived and worked after leaving Nauvoo. Here is the view from across the river in Montrose, looking back on Nauvoo.
After the Bushman family left Nauvoo, they traveled to Iowa. According to Jacob’s
account, in June 1846 they went to a farm of a “Mr. Bunell,” where they helped to
harvest 500 acres of grain. The Bonnell farm in Iowa was started by five Bonnell
brothers: Calvin, James, John, Sylvanus, and William. The brothers with their families
left their homes in New Jersey in 1843 and 1844 to begin a new life in Iowa. In 1845,
the Bonnell brothers purchased around 680 acres of land along Highway 218 in Lee
County, Iowa, which they farmed as a group. The very next year, the saints evacuated
Nauvoo, and some of these families crossed over into Iowa and worked on the
We passed an old family cemetery near the Bonnell farm where John Bonnell’s wife Rosana Hoover and their child are buried. Rosana died a few weeks after the passing of their newborn baby.
Today, as far as you can see, the land is planted in soybeans and corn. Below is the land that once belonged to the Bonnell family, where the Bushmans stayed and worked.
It was interesting to me that these fields have no furrows for irrigation. The only irrigation here is rain!
After visiting this farmland, we drove on to Burlington and the Catfish Bend Convention & Event Center for our Reunion Banquet,