Seventies Hall, Nauvoo, Illinois

Seventies Hall with the Nauvoo Temple in the background. Photo by Kenneth Mays.
Seventies Hall with the Nauvoo Temple in the background. Photo by Kenneth Mays.

The Seventies Hall in Nauvoo was created as a meeting place for the Seventies, a quorum organization in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that focuses on missionary work. It was built in 1844 on land donated by Edward Hunter, a member of the LDS faith in Nauvoo.

During construction of the hall, a tornado leveled one of the walls. Brigham Young instructed the workers to rebuild the wall, making it one additional brick thicker.1After it was completed in late July 1844, the hall also became the first library in Nauvoo, housing many books brought from abroad by returning missionaries. When the Saints moved to Utah, the books were removed from the Seventies Hall and used to establish the first library between Missouri and California. The main floor was also used as a lecture hall and as a chapel for church meetings, while the second floor contained the library and office for the seventies. The hall was dedicated by Brigham Young in December 1844, although it had already been in use for several months. In early August 1844, it was in the Seventies Hall that Sidney Rigdon presented to the other leaders of the Church his claim that he should be a “guardian” over the Church.2

After the Saints left Nauvoo to travel west, the Seventies Hall became the meeting place for another denomination before the second floor was removed and the structure used as a schoolhouse. Sometime before 1897, the building was leveled. In the 1960s, the site was bought by Nauvoo Restoration, Inc., and in 1971-72, a replica of the original building was erected on the original foundation. Today, a museum of Nauvoo artifacts resides on the second floor, and the main floor has been restored to as it appeared in the 1840s.

Seventies Hall, interior view. Photo by Kenneth Mays.
Seventies Hall, interior view. Photo by Kenneth Mays.

SOURCES

 

1 Arnold K. Garr, Donald Q. Cannon, Richard O. Cowan, eds., Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History, (Deseret Book Company: Salt Lake City, Utah, 2000), 1091.

2 Stanley B. Kimball, “Heber C. Kimball and Family, the Nauvoo Years,” BYU Studies, Vol. 15, Number 4, Summer 1975, 471.

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Photos

Seventies Hall with the Nauvoo Temple in the background. Photo by Kenneth Mays
Seventies Hall with the Nauvoo Temple in the background. Photo by Kenneth Mays
Seventies Hall, interior view. Photo by Kenneth Mays.
Seventies Hall, interior view. Photo by Kenneth Mays.

Articles & Resources

John Taylor’s Account of the Dedication of the Seventies Hall

Author(s): John Taylor
Type: First-person account
Source(s): Richard Neitzel Holzapfel and T. Jeffrey Cottle, Old Mormon Nauvoo and Southeastern Iowa, (Santa Ana, California: Fieldbrook Publishing, 1991), 131-32.

SeventiesHall

I attended the dedication of the Seventies Hall. The services commenced under the direction of President Joseph Young, who organized the meeting in the following order. The stand was occupied by…

Dedicatory Prayer of the Seventies Hall

Author(s): Brigham Young
Type: First-person account
Source(s): Dean C. Jessee, “The John Taylor Nauvoo Journal: January 1845-September 1845” (1983), BYU Studies, Vol. 23, Summer 1983, 7-9.

“Thou god who dwellest in the midst of thine own kingdoms, and doeth thy pleasure in the midst of the same. We realize that we are thy children although we have long wandered from thee. Yet we feel that it is thy good pleasure to bless us, when we come unto thee with…”

Seventies Hall PDF