Church leaders decided to create a substantial camp at this site, a sort of temporary settlement to serve the thousands of weary and destitute pioneers who would yet come this way. Cabins were erected, grounds were fenced and plowed, crops were planted, and individuals were chosen to remain and oversee the camp. The bodies of several Saints were laid to final rest in a windswept lot known as the “cow yard.” The settlement was vacated in the spring of 1848.
Parley P. Pratt
“All things being harmonized and put in order, the camps moved on. Arriving at a place on a branch of Grand River we encamped for a while, having travelled much in the midst of great and continued rains, mud and mire. Here we enclosed and planted a public farm of many hundred acres and commenced settlement, for the good of some who were to tarry and of those who should follow us from Nauvoo. We called the place ‘Garden Grove.’”
The Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt: One of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, ed. Parley P. Pratt Jr. (Chicago: Law, King, and Law, 1888), 380.
Allen Joseph Stout
Journal Entry: Garden Grove
"So we kept rolling on from place to place through the mud until the 27th [of April] when we pitched our tents in a beautiful grove of timber where we began to make a farm. This place was called Garden Grove. Here it was determined by the council that those who were out of provisions should stop and raise a crop.
"About these times the rattle snakes bit a good many of our animals, and there was a great exposure the Saints were forced to under go. There one of Hoseas boys died. There was great want of bread in camp, so that we were oppressed on every hand; but we cried to the Lord, who heard our prayers, and we were fed by his all bountiful hands; but some showed out their evil hearts by their mean mutterings and selfishness" (Autobiography of Allen Joseph Stout, 1846, Miscellaneous Mormon Diaries, vol. 17, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, 24-25).
The Camp of Israel
Journal Entry: Garden Grove
"This is the 'title and address,' which has been adopted by the company of Mormons now on their way Westward.
A mail carrier arrived here on Monday last from the Camp, and reported the pioneer party, or head of the Column, as having crossed the tributaries of the Chariton, over 150 miles distant. By this time they are probably on the banks of the Missouri.
Thus far, everything has gone favorably, with the exception of the breaking down of a few overladen wagons. The party is in good health and spirits—no dissensions exist and the 'Grand Caravan' moves on slowly but steadily and peacefully. Their progress has been materially retarded by the want of fodder for their live-stock;—the grass not having fairly started, reduced them to the necessity of laboring for the farmers on the route, to supply the deficiency.
"They travel in detached companies, from five to ten miles apart, and, in point of order, resemble a military expedition" ("The 'Camp of Israel,'"Hancock Eagle, 10 Apr. 1946, 3).