Haun’s Mill, Caldwell County, Missouri, USA
Haun’s Mill was named after Jacob Haun, a member of the Church, who built a mill on Shoal Creek between 1835 and 1836.1 In October 1838, there were an estimated 75 families living there, although there were only perhaps a dozen or so houses along with a blacksmith shop and a mill.2
In the afternoon of October 30, 1838 a mob consisting of more than 200 men descended upon the settlement. Many of the Saints ran into the blacksmith shop where members of the mob placed their rifles in the cracks between the logs and opened fire.
At least fifteen LDS men were killed during the attack or died shortly thereafter because of wounds inflicted by the attack.3 After the massacre, the mob looted the houses and tents and drove off horses and wagons.4
Joseph Young, Brigham Young’s older brother gave an account of the events at Haun’s Mill in response to Joseph Smith’s request to gather information about the atrocities that they endured while in Missouri.5 After being driven out of the state, the Saints then fled to Quincy, Illinois before settling the city of Nauvoo.
1 Andrew Jenson, Encyclopedic History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Publishing Co., 1941), 320.
3 Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols., introduction and notes by B. H. Roberts (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1932-1951), 3: 186.
5 See Doctrine & Covenants 123:1-3.
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Articles & Resources
Joseph Young's Account of the Massacre at Haun's Mill
Author(s): Joseph Young
Type: First-person account
Source(s): Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols., introduction and notes by B. H. Roberts (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1932-1951), 3: 178.
On Sunday, twenty-eighth October, we arrived about twelve o’clock, at Haun’s Mills, where we found a number of our friends collected together, who were holding a council, and deliberating on the best course for them to pursue, to defend themselves against the mob, who were…
Amanda Smith's Account of the Healing of Her Son Alma Smith
Flesh, hip bone, joint and all had been ploughed out. We laid little Alma on a bed in our tent and I examined the wound. It was a ghastly sight. I knew not what to do.yet was I there, all that long, dreadful night, with my dead and my…
Alexander L. Baugh, “A Call to Arms: The 1838 Defense of Northern Missouri,” Ph.D. dissertation, 1996.
Alexander L. Baugh, “The Haun’s Mill Massacre and the Extermination Order of Missouri Governor Lilburn W. Boggs,” Religious Studies Center Newsletter, 1997.
Alexander L. Baugh, “Joseph Young’s Affidavit of the Massacre at Haun’s Mill,” BYU Studies, 1999.
Alexander L. Baugh, “A Rare Account of the Haun’s Mill Massacre: The Reminiscence of Willard Gilbert Smith,” Missouri Mormon Frontier Foundation Newsletter, 1998.
Alma R. Blair, “The Haun’s Mill Massacre,” BYU Studies, 1972.
Alma R. Blair, “Haun’s Mill Massacre,” Encyclopedia of Mormonism, ed. Daniel H. Ludlow et al., 1992.
A. K. Benson, “The Haun’s Mill Massacre: Some Example of Tragedy and Superior Faith,” Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History, ed. Arnold K. Garr and C. V. Johnson, 1994.
John P. Greene, Facts Relative to the Expulsion of the Mormons, or Latter-day Saints from the State of Missouri, under the “Exterminating Order,” 1839.
Paul W. Hodson, Never Forsake: The Story of Amanda Barnes Smith, Legacy of the Haun’s Mill Massacre, 1996.
Andrew Jensen, “Haun’s Mill Massacre,” Historical Record, 1888.
Maurine C. Ward, “The Sacrifice of a Mother,” Nauvoo Journal, (Fall 1998), 33.