Illinois News

Commemoration celebrates life of Joseph Smith

Posted: Jun. 23, 2019 12:30 am

CARTHAGE, Ill. -- An outdoor celebration of the life of Joseph Smith will be held Thursday, June 27, at the historic Carthage Jail and Visitors Center.

Smith was killed in 1844 along with his brother, Hyrum, while being held at the jail, 310 Buchanan St., in Carthage.

The commemoration begins at 5 p.m. and will include keynote speaker Mark H. Taylor, a great-great-grandson of John Taylor, who was with Smith in Carthage and survived the jail attack.

Musical performances will feature the Nauvoo Brass Band and the touring Heritage Youth Chorus from Utah.

Smith founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1830 in New York, but the new faith was driven from early settlements in Ohio and Missouri before finding a period of stability when Smith's followers drained a swamp near what was then Commerce, Ill., in 1839 and built Nauvoo, which would become Illinois' second-largest city, behind Chicago, by 1845.

Organizers of this year's celebration will highlight Smith's achievements, especially those from the Nauvoo period. His legacy remains a pillar of faith for church members.

The public is welcome to attend the celebration to learn more about Joseph and Hyrum Smith and their contribution to religious thought and practice in the 19th century. Last year's event drew more than 900 people, with organizers expecting a larger audience this year.

Historic Nauvoo will close at 4 p.m. June 27 to allow performers, volunteers and guests to attend.

More information about the commemoration is at and by calling 217-577-2603.

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