|Mount Pisgah was a temporary way station in
southern Iowa for members of the LDS Church traveling west to Winter
Quarters from Nauvoo, Illinois. Mount Pisgah was established
in southern Iowa as a temporary way station for Mormon emigrants who
were crossing the Plains from 1846-1852.
The picturesque setting was a welcome to many of the expelled
Saints. Ezra T. Benson described Mount Pisgah as "the first
place that I felt willing in my heart to stay since I left Nauvoo."
Shortly after arriving, Indian Chief Pied Riche welcomed the Saints
to the area and described how their people had also been driven from
their home in Michigan and felt that they "must help one another,
and the Great Spirit will help us both. Because one suffers
and does not deserve it is no reason he shall suffer always.
We may live to see it right yet. If we do not, our children
However, despite the scenic beauty of the area, the Saints who
lived at Mount Pisgah endured many hardships. Within the first
six months of settling the area, at least 150 people died.
Among those who died there were Joseph Knight, Sr. who had joined
the LDS Church early in Colesville, New York.
In 1852, the Mount Pisgah settlers were instructed to dismantle
their settlement and emigrate to the Salt Lake Valley. In
1888, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints purchased the
pioneer cemetery and the surrounding one acre. A
monument was erected listing the names of many people who lost their
lives at Mount Pisgah.