Inscription on Trail Marker at each end of the
Mormon Pioneer Memorial Bridge

No. 131
Erected June 1, 1953
Mormon Pioneer Memorial Bridge

This bridge is on the Mormon Pioneer Trail from Nauvoo, Illinois, to the Rocky Mountains. Driven from their homes by mobs, many of the dispossessed Mormon people crossed the Mississippi River on the ice in February, 1846. From these refugees five hundred volunteers for the Mexican War left here on the longest infantry march in recorded history. Winter Quarters was established on the west bank of the Missouri River, and a ferry was operated at this site. Six hundred of these people - Nebraska's first white settlers - died here that winter.

April 5, 1847, Brigham Young and one hundred forty-seven others resumed the journey to select the trail and locate the place where the Mormon people could worship God in accordance with their religious belief. They reached the valley of the Great Salt Lake July 24 and founded Salt Lake City "in the top of the mountains." Thousands followed. They instituted modern irrigation and built an empire in the West.

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