Iowa, LDS Communities in
From The Encyclopedia of Mormonism
[LDS refugees first settled in southeastern Iowa along the Mississippi River in 1839, after their expulsion from Missouri (see Missouri Conflict). The towns of Montrose, Keokuk, and Augusta had numerous LDS settlers. Latter-day Saints established Ambrosia, about three miles west of Montrose; Nashville (now Galland), three miles south of Montrose; and Zarahemla, their principal settlement, immediately west of Montrose. Because of anti-Mormon feelings, questionable land titles, and the desire to live closer to Church headquarters, most members eventually moved across the Mississippi River to Nauvoo, Illinois. See generally History of the Church: c 1831-1844, Ohio, Missouri, and Nauvoo Periods.
In 1846, Latter-day Saints moving west from Illinois established way-station settlements at Garden Grove and Mount Pisgah to raise crops for those who would follow. The Mormon Battalion was recruited first at Mount Pisgah. Also in 1846, numerous temporary settlements were established in the vicinity of Council Bluffs. In 1848 most Latter-day Saints remaining at the Missouri River withdrew from Winter Quarters, today part of Omaha, Nebraska, and settled across the river in present-day Council Bluffs, which they called Kanesville. LDS population in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, including Kanesville, may have reached as high as 8,000 in about forty settlements before the massive effort to move them to the Salt Lake Valley in 1852.
In 1856-1858, Iowa City was the outfitting point for church emigrants, including Handcart Companies. See Immigration and Emigration; Mormon Pioneer Trail; and, more generally, History of the Church: c 1844-1877, Exodus and Early Utah Periods.]