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Winter Quarters Monument

The Winter Quarters Monument, located in Omaha, Nebraska, serves as a grim reminder of the sufferings endured by Latter-day Saints at the Winter Quarters settlement along the Middle Missouri River Valley. Nearly 6,000 Latter-day Saints lost their lives during the period between 1846 and 1849, while migrating to Iowa and Nebraska. The monument is located inside the Pioneer Mormon Cemetery. It depicts a man and his wife standing over the open grave of their child. The monument was created by noted sculptor Avard Fairbanks, three of whose ancestors lay buried in this cemetery. The scene depicted by the monument gives one an overall picture of the agonies undergone at the winter camps established along the frozen Missouri River. Following the slaying of Latter-day Saint prophet Joseph Smith, the people left their old home at Nauvoo, Illinois and began a journey towards a new home. The journey across Iowa proved to be hazardous, owing to marshy lands and tough winter conditions. The Winter Quarters settlement was established along the Missouri River on the border between Nebraska and Iowa. This settlement served as a resting place during the long journey. During this particular stay, many of the church's members lost their lives owing to various illnesses and the harsh weather. The surviving members of the settlement went on to establish The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.