Wilford Woodruff Home, Nauvoo, Illinois
Wilford Woodruff, fourth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, began work on this home after returning from one of his missions to England. He worked intermittently on the home between his missions abroad. With his attention to detail, he recorded in his journal that he searched through his entire supply of bricks to find the best ones for the front wall of the home.1
Aware of the effect of his absences on his family while he was engaged in missionary service, in 1843 Elder Woodruff wrote, “I desired to have a house for my family to abide in and be comfortable in my absence.”2 In an attempt to ensure that his family was comfortable, Elder Woodruff built a working fireplace in each room.3
However, after its completion in 1845, the Woodruff family was not able to live in the home long because of the Saints’ exodus from Nauvoo. He sold the home in the middle of April 1846 in order to make preparations to go west. While leaving Nauvoo, Elder Woodruff recorded, “I looked upon the Temple and City of Nauvoo as I retired from it and felt to ask the Lord to preserve it as a monument of the sacrifice of his Saints. “4
The Wilford Woodruff home was the first home in Nauvoo to receive architectural renovation, being completed in 1969.5 Today it is open to visits and displays a number of Wilford and Phoebe Woodruff’s possessions.
1 Loren C. Dunn, “Introduction to Historic Nauvoo,” BYU Studies, Vol. 32, 1992, 30.
2 Scott G. Kenney, ed. “Wilford Woodruff’s Journals: 1833-1898” (Midvale, UT: Signature Books, 1983), 2:233.
3 Dunn, 30.
4 Kenney, 3:49.
5 Dunn, 30.
Map & Directions
Hours of Operation:
May – August: Mon-Sat 9:00AM – 6:00PM; Sun 10:30AM – 6:00PM
September – April: Mon-Sat 9:00AM – 5:00PM; Sun 12:30PM – 5:00PM
The Wilford and Phebe Woodruff Nauvoo, IL home is owned and maintained by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is open for tours at limited hours most days of the week. The tours, which are free, are hosted by full-time missionaries dressed in period clothing. For those who cannot come in person, it is possible to sign up for a free virtual tour. This can be done at: https://www.nauvoohistoricsites.org/buildings/woodruff/
Articles & Resources
Scott G. Kenney, ed. “Wilford Woodruff’s Journals: 1833-1898” (Midvale, UT: Signature Books, 1983).