Spotlight on historical sites


A lesser-known site of significance is Lexington, Mo., a small Missouri River port some 30 miles east of Kansas City where the greatest disaster in the history of Church migration occurred. Some 90 Mormon immigrants who had arrived in St. Louis, Mo., in 1852, boarded the side-wheeler Saluda, on March 30 to proceed westward.However, when the ship met heavy spring runoff waters, it was forced to put in at Lexington on April 4. Five days later the captain ventured forth again in calmer waters. However the engineers had carelessly allowed the boilers to become dry and red hot. When cold water poured into the boilers, the ship exploded, killing more than 100 passengers and bystanders, among them some 25-30 LDS immigrants.

A plaque commemorating this tragic event has been placed in Lexington by descendants of the immigrants of the ill-fated ship.(From Saints on the Seas by Conway B. Sonne.) An LDS marker has been placed in Machpelah Cemetery in Lexington.

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