This is our final conversation with Brian Stutzman, and we’ll talk about Warsaw, Illinois today. Brian thinks this should be a must-stop for church history buffs. We’ll also discuss how Brian came to love the city, and how he came there and how he would like to restore the city to its historic roots.
Brian: I drove into town and saw this building. It says Thomas Sharp, Warsaw Signal. Little did I know that the Lutherans help fund that building. How ironic. In 1987, there was a Mormon historian from Nauvoo named Michael Trap. He came down and he gathered some people together and says, “You know what, you got some history here. Maybe it’s the dark side of Mormon history. But let’s take this old grocery store.” I think it was built in 1880, “and we’ll raise some money and we’ll make it look like it would have an 1840. We’ll get an old press in here.”
So I really enjoy getting to know the good people. They had me speak at their historical society last year when my book was in the first edition. There’s a ton–1550 people, we had over 100 people together at the high school and I gave a little presentation on the overview of my book. This sweet old lady comes up and says, “Will you move here to Warsaw?” Because I told them at the end of my presentation I said, “You need to promote your town. You’ve got a story to tell. There’s a tragic triangle here. Thousands, millions of people know about Nauvoo. Thousands, millions of people know about Carthage. Nobody’s heard of Warsaw. When people go, they’re only seeing two thirds of what they should see. You need to come down. You need to invite LDS tourists to come here. You need to have a sign that says this is where Willard Richards and Brigham Young we’re going to build a Mormon community at our request that people of Warsaw’s request, even though the local histories, including 1880 Thomas Greg said that they almost fell into the hands of the Mormons.”
He also tells about a beloved Mormon family in Warsaw. Check out our conversation, by signing up to our free newsletter to hear the final part. Go to https://gospeltangents.com/newsletter and I will send you a secret link to hear the conclusion!