Medical Transcription Program
On to the Salt Lake Valley
As winter drew to a close, the Mormon pioneers prepared to continue their westward journey. Most of these latter-day saints gathered provisions and what meager belongings they could carry and prepared to travel west under the direction of Brigham Young. However, a number of these Mormon pioneers stayed behind, choosing to put down roots in Iowa rather than moving on with the other Latter-day Saints. They established farms and communities in the areas now known as Council Bluffs, Iowa (formerly Kanesville), Glenwood, Iowa, and other communities in and around the Omaha, Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa area.

In April, 1847, Brigham Young led a preliminary company of Latter-day Saints west in search of a permanent settlement in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Many other companies of Latter-day Saints followed in the ensuing months.

While most of the early Mormon pioneers were in Winter Quarters for just one winter, they left an indelible impression, enduring tremendous hardship and paving the way for future westward migrations – of Mormon and non-Mormon pioneers. Today, a variety of monuments, an impressive visitor’s center, and rich historical artifacts, including the original Winter Quarters cemetery, commemorate the stay and evidence the sacrifices of these early pioneers.

Following the departure of the Latter-day Saints, a community was formed in the previous location of Winter Quarters. The city of Florence, Nebraska was founded in 1854. As the community began to thrive, it chose to make use of the original Winter Quarters cemetery established by the Mormon pioneers.