Council Bluffs

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Also known as Kaneville

In the mid-1800s, more than 30,000 Mormon refugees flooded Kanesville (Council Bluffs) on their way to the Great Salt Lake Valley in Utah, escaping religious persecution.

Kanesville was named for Thomas Kane, a man sympathetic to the plight of the Mormons. (Kanesville was renamed Council Bluffs in 1853.)

In the process, these Mormons established more than 80 communities in southwest Iowa, organized churches, schools, city and county governments, band and choral concerts and four newspapers, greatly impacting the area.

Mormon Battalion started their march here.

Read Family

Elizabeth Georgina Read, Alicia Quilley Read and Thisbe Quilley Read arrived in the Salt Lake Valley with the Martin Handcart Company, 30 Nov 1856. Samuel George Read and Samuel Milford Read had returned to Iowa just a few days out into the Martin handcart trek. Walter Pyramus Read had become lost. The Read men were attempting to try to locate Walter quickly and rejoin the family. The women moved forward with the Martin group as Georgina was the company nurse. The Read money was divided, half for Georgina and the girls and the other half for the Read men. The money was quickly spent, Georgina giving her portion to help sustain the Martin Company. Samuel's portion went to boarding fees. It took several months to locate Walter and so it was not possible for the men to rejoin their family on the trail.

Ephraim Knowlton Hanks had been carrying correspondence for Georgina and Samuel. Georgina & Thisbe Read returned to Iowa in the summer of 1858 to visit husband and father Samuel Read, sons and brothers Samuel Milford Read and Walter Pyramus Read. Alica stayed in Salt Lake City and worked in the home of Brigham Young.

Samuel G. did not want to remain married to Georgina. Samuel and Georgina separated at permanently at that time. Samuel G. returned to the valley alone in 1859. Georgina, Thisbe and Walter returned in 1861 with the Ancel Harmon ox team. Walter was mature enough to drive the team himself for his family. Son and brother Samuel M., returned in 1862.

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