Anthropology, Department of


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Published in Nebraska Anthropologist Vol. 25 (2010). Copyright © Sherri L. Sklenar; published by The University of Nebraska-Lincoln AnthroGroup.


This preliminary study examined the cultural and logistical factors underlying the settlement of the historic town of nyoming, Nebraska. Located along the Mormon Trail, this site provides a new window for understanding the dynamics of nineteenth century u.s. emigrant trails. Utilizing a body of primary and secondary documents as well as cartographic source, the preliminary analysis revealed two integrated themes: (1) frontier logistics and expansion and (2) religious values and experiences. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or Mormons, needed both a prosperous town to equip themselves for their journey to Salt Lake City and a smaller town relatively free from "immoral vices" such as taverns and brothels. This small Nebraska town not only fit both these criteria, but it was also free from Native American unrest and the epidemics that ravaged their former settlement at Winter Quarters near Omaha. Thus the town became the new starting point of the Mormon Trail west of the Missouri River. This study will also form the basis for the site:S nomination to the National Register of Historic Places and aid in the formulation of a data recovery plan for afuture archaeological dig on the site.

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