Ramus, now Webster, Illinois, USA
Ramus, Illinois was originally settled by Revolutionary War veteran Ute Perkins and his family in 1826 and lies approximately 20 miles east of Nauvoo, Illinois.1 At the time of its initial settlement, Ramus was referred to as the Perkins Settlement, after the Perkins family.
Joel Hills Johnson, a member of the LDS Church, moved to Carthage in early 1839 and commenced preaching the gospel in the surrounding area. Ute Perkins and many members of his family were converted and a branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized on April 17, 1839 named the Crooked Creek Branch.
As the area grew, the branch was reorganized by Hyrum Smith into a stake with Brother Johnson as stake president.
Also around this time, the name of the area was officially changed to Ramus, a latin word meaning branch.2 When the town was formally incorporated in March 1843, the area was named Macedonia.
Joseph Smith made many trips to Ramus and often stayed with a close friend, Benjamin F. Johnson or one of his sisters, Sophronia or Catherine, both of whom lived in Ramus.3Additionally, Joseph Smith received Doctrine & Covenants sections 130 & 131 while in Ramus.
The members of the Church in Macedonia left en masse with the exodus of the Saints who went West in 1846. After the exodus, the name of Macedonia was changed again to its present-day name of Webster.
In May 2000, the Ute V. Perkins Family Organization, with the assistance of the Ensign Peak Foundation erected a historic marker describing the significance of the early history of the area and paying tribute to the many people who helped develop the community.
1 Susan Sessions Rugh, “Conflict in the Countryside: The Mormon Settlement at Macedonia, Illinois,” BYU Studies, Vol. 32, No.1, (Winter-Spring 1992), 149-74.
2 Andrew Jenson, Encyclopedic History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Publishing Co., 1941), 690.
3 Donald Q. Cannon, “Spokes on the Wheel: Early Latter-day Saint Settlements in Hancock County, Illinois,”Ensign, (February 1986), 62.
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Articles & Resources
Site of the town of Ramus, at Doctrine & Covenants Revelvation Sites Website
Donald Q. Cannon, “Spokes on the Wheel: Early Latter-day Saint Settlements in Hancock County, Illinois,” Ensign, Feb. 1986, 62.
Andrew Jenson, “Ramus,” Encyclopedic History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [Salt Lake City: Deseret News Publishing Co., 1941].
E. Dale Lebaron, “Benjamin Franklin Johnson in Nauvoo: Friend, Confidant, and Defender of the Prophet,” BYU Studies, Winter-Spring 1992.
Bruce A. Van Orden, “Items of Instruction: Section 130 and 131,” Hearken O Ye People: Discourses on the Doctrine & Covenants, 1984.
Susan Sessions Rugh, “Conflict in the Countryside: The Mormon Settlement at Macedonia, Illinois,” BYU Studies, Winter-Spring 1992.