Killbuck Creek, Wooster, OH - Zion's Camp

Chippewa Creek, Wayne County, OH. Photo (2006) by Kenneth Mays.

On May 9, 1834, after camping on the banks of Chippewa Creek, Wayne County, OH, the members Zion’s Camp moved out for another day on the route that would eventually take them to Missouri. The day before had been one in which the Prophet Joseph Smith divided and organized the camp into divisions with various responsibilities for each member. Historian Matthew Godfrey writes:  “The expedition followed a strict regimen. A camp bugle blew each night signifying that it was time for prayer, and it sounded again in the morning to rouse participants.”

Wooster, Wayne County, OH. Photo (2006) by Kenneth Mays.

Moreover, Godfrey cites participant Reuben McBride as recalling “that the expedition had strict instructions ‘not to molest anything in the street, not so much as a dog, nor to say anything, where were were going or what our business was or the names of those who were in the camp.'” James Bradley reports that Zion’s Camp continued that day until they had reached and passed through the town of Wooster, and camped near a creek just outside of the town on the southwest side. Other researchers have noted that the site where they stayed on the evening of the 9th was on the banks of Killbuck Creek.

Killbuck Creek, where Zion’s Camp stayed on March 9, 1834. Photo (2021) by Kenneth Mays.

Zion’s Camp researcher, Roger Launius, notes that on the day of this segment of the journey (March 9), The Telegraph of Painesville, Ohio edited by E. D. Howe, “carried a long story on the expedition. It began: ‘The Mormon War in Missouri is about to be renewed.'” Launius summarizes: “As a result of this unfavorable view of the mission, the camp attracted the curiosity of many settlers as it marched through their country.”

Map and Directions

Ownership Status

There are no extant structures associated with Zion’s Camp in the Wooster area. Any sites to be viewed in the general area are public.


Alternate view of Kilbuck Creek near Wooster, OH. Photo (2021) by Kenneth Mays.
Landscape of the route from Chippewa Creek to Wooster, OH. Photo (2006) by Kenneth Mays.

Articles & Resources

Articles and Resources

Roger Launius, Zion’s Camp, 65.

Keith W. Perkins and Donald Q. Cannon, in LaMar C. Berrett, ed., Sacred Places Volume 3: Ohio and Illinois, 17.

Matthew C. Godfrey, Zion’s Camp 1834: March of Faith, 42.

James L. Bradley, The Eternal Perspective of Zion’s Camp, 50.