The Ensign Peak Foundation is pleased to have sponsored a plaque in Neillsville, Wisconsin, honoring a group of Latter-day Saint loggers who went to harvest timber from an area that has become known as the Wisconsin Pineries. These men and their families were sent by the prophet Joseph Smith to Clark and Jackson counties Wisconsin between 1841-1845 for the purpose of providing lumber for the Nauvoo temple that was under construction. Once the trees had been cut down, they were floated down the Black River to mills at Black River Falls, and then were fastened together and floated as rafts as large as an acre some 400 miles down the Mississippi River to Nauvoo. Mormon loggers were the first white settlers to establish Neillsville. After they left in 1845, the site was settled by others including James O’Neill, for whom the town was subsequently named.
The commemoration was with the help and approval of the mayor of Neillsville, Wisconsin, Steve Mabie, and in cooperation with the Wisconsin Historical Society. The commemoration included several addresses, a ribbon cutting by Mayor Mabie, and a dedicatory prayer by Stake President Jacob W. Londsdale, president of the Wausau Wisconsin stake.
Sources & References
Picturing history: Historical marker commemorating Mormon pioneer loggers
By Kenneth Mays
Published September 21, 2016
BYU Studies Journal 32:1-2
“The Mormon Experience in the Wisconsin Pineries, 1841-1845”
by Dennis Rowley