HAUGHN'S MILL MASSACRE
An order had been issued by the Church authorities commanding all of the members of the Mormon
church to leave their farms, and to take such property as they could remove, and go to one of the
two fortified camps, that is, Far West or Adam-ondi-Ahman. A large majority of the settlers
obeyed and the two camps were soon full of people who had deserted home again for the sake
of the gospel.
There was a settlement on Log Creek, between three and five miles east from Far West. It was
quite a rich settlement. A man named Haughn had just completed a good flouring mill on the
creek. The morning after the battle of Crooked river, Haughn came to Far West to consult
with the Prophet concerning the policy of the removal of the settlers on Log Creek to the
fortified camps. Col. White and myself were standing by when the Prophet said to him:
"Move in, by all means, if you wish to save your lives." Haughn replied that if the settlers
left their homes all of their property would be lost, and the Gentiles would burn their
houses and other buildings. The Prophet then said: "You had much better lose your property
than your lives, one can be replaced, the other cannot be restored; but there is no need
of your losing either if you will only do as you are commanded."
Haughn said that he considered the best plan was for all the settlers to move into and around
the mill, and use the blacksmith's shop and other buildings as a fort in case of attack; in this
way he thought they would be perfectly safe. "You are at liberty to do so if you think best,"
said the Prophet. Haughn then departed, well satisfied that he had carried his point.
The Prophet turned to Col. White and said: "That man did not come for counsel, but to induce me
to tell him to do as he pleased, which I did. Had I commanded them to move in here and leave
their property, they would have called me a tyrant. I wish they were here for their safety.
I am confident that we will soon learn that they have been butchered in a fearful manner."
...The massacre at Haughn's Mill was the result of the brethren's refusal to obey the wishes of
the Prophet. All the brethren so considered it.
(from "Mormonism Unveiled" by John D. Lee, pg. 78-81)
A graphic description of this murderous attack is given in a lesson booklet written by
Archibald F. Bennett.
"On October 30, 1838 at a place called Haun's Mill on Shoal Creek in Missouri, a group of Mormon
families gathered. Among them were three brothers, Benjamin, Tarlton and David Lewis, born
respectively in the years 1803, 1805 and 1814. Angry mobs were threatening them from all the
other settlements and the brethren met in council, deliberating the best course to pursue
to defend themselves against the mob, threatening them with house burning and killing.
"About 28 of the men armed themselves and were in constant readiness for an attack of any
small body of men that might come down on them. The children were sporting and playing on
either side of Shoal Creek; the mothers were engaged in domestic activities and the fathers
stood guard in the Mills and other properties. The sun shone clear and all was tranquil.
"About four o'clock a large company of armed men approached on horses and began firing about
one hundred rifles upon Haun's Mills.
"Joseph Young, one of the President of Seventies, was among those who escaped. He hid in the
thicket until nightfall and relates his experiences as follows: 'I went to the house of
Benjamin Lewis where I found my family who had fled there in safety and two of my friends
mortally wounded, one of whom died before morning.'
"Returning to the blacksmith shop, they found eight others already dead and some expiring.
In jeopardy of their own lives, expecting to be fired upon by the mob any moment, they
gathered up the bullet pierced and maimed bodies of their friends and threw them into an
abandoned well nearby. In this wanton slaughter 18 or 19 were killed.
"Tarlton and Benjamin were wounded and managed to get home. Here their wounds were dressed
and Benjamin coughed up the pellet which had lodged in his stomach but he died before morning.
The remaining brother David, who had escaped without injury, wrote the following in his diary:
'Benjamin Lewis, my brother was found about three hundred yards from the shop by some of the
women who had bin concealed in the bruch during the fracus, he was alive and in his proper
senses. I went to him and with the aid of a horse and slide I got him to my house he lived
a few hours and dyed. I dug a hole in the ground rapt him in a sheet and without a coffin
Tarlton and Malinda are #8 and #9 on