Black River Falls dedicates plaque to Mormon forefathers

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BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- One of the biggest names in choral music takes its tour to Black River Falls for the first time.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, along with hundreds from the Mormon community visited on Wednesday. They were there to dedicate a plaque to their forefathers who worked as loggers back in the 1840's.

While it was a treat for people in Black River Falls to watch the choir perform, it was an extra special day for the singers and organizers who traveled far to see the site where some of their ancestors once lived and worked.

Tawna and David Marsh are visiting from Utah while David also performs in the Orchestra at Temple Square.

“Elvira Mills is from my side and Josiah Stout is from her side,” said David. “And they both were working here in the logging mills and you know producing the lumber that was then shipped down the river to Nauvoo, Illinois to build that city which became quite the city in the 1840s.”

David said Mormon people worked in Black River Falls during a time of adversity.

“They were incredible people. I can't imagine doing that in this day in age,” he said.

Marilyn Beazer from Alberta, Canada said her fourth great-grandfather, Henry Miller, also worked in Black River falls.

“He brought his wife Elmira here with his five children in September of 1841 to run the saw mills,” said Beazer. “I feel honored to be connected to that family and what they went through here with their five little children living in a tent all through winter.”

Beazer came to witness the plaque being dedicated by the city mayor Ron Danielson.

“Basically, they put a plaque here commemorating. In 1841, the first Mormons came to this area and they actually logged off a lot of the area between Neillsville and Greenwood and they rafted down the lumber down to Nauvoo, Illinois to make their temple, a hotel and 2,500 homes,” said Danielson.

He said the city council agreed to allow the historical marker in the Foundation Trail behind the Chamber of Commerce.

The plaque details the history of the Mormon community in Black River Falls.

“It talks about the Mormons being first here, how they had their saw mills and what they did. The plaque -- we have a four mile trail here in the city and the plaque is on part of that trail,” said Danielson.

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