Discover the William Field cabin in Nauvoo

William Field cabin

The Nauvoo Historic District is a National Historic Landmark and is the largest historic site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In the midst of Nauvoo stand additional unique memorials to the past in the form of log cabins, dedicated to unique pioneer lives. One such is to the Field family.


When Mary Field Garner was born in 1836, the Restored Church was only six years old. Her parents joined after hearing preach in Herefordshire, England and emigrated to Nauvoo when Mary was five years old. She wrote,

“Here we lived in peace and happiness under the leadership and guidance of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Here he stood at the head of this dispensation, as Adam stands in the forefront of the human race. We were very glad to attend church and listen to the Prophet Joseph and other leading brethren teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to us. We marveled at Joseph’s superior intelligence of the Gospel and the simple way he could explain it unto the Saints, so that the most unlearned member could know and understand the truth.”

In her autobiography. Gamer recorded her brother assisted in fighting the mob of 200 men for three days until they were forced to surrender the city, crossing the Mississippi River when it was iced over, the burning of the Nauvoo Temple, and living in Council Bluffs. She gave great detail into the trials of crossing the plains including nearly being kidnapped by a Native American Chief because of her long red hair. After her husband William died in 1915, she took care of herself until she fell and broke her right hip. She had only seen a doctor once in her life before her fall, never needed glasses, and enjoyed good health.

At the time of the martyrdom, she was eight years old and lived until the age of 107, the last living witness of the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and so was called “the Last Leaf,”. Near the end of her life she bore this testimony:

“It is said I am the only living witness to have actually seen and known the prophet Joseph Smith, and I want to bear my testimony to the world and especially to every Latter-Day Saint to the truthfulness of the Gospel as revealed through the Prophet Joseph, that Jesus Christ is the Savior of mankind, that Joseph Smith was a true and living prophet of God, that he was divinely called of God to establish his true Gospel on this earth in the last dispensation. That he was a true and faithful leader of the Saints and that the principles he advocated were true and correct beyond a doubt, that he lived the Gospel as he taught it to his people, that he did seal his testimony with his blood, that I was in Nauvoo at the time of the martyrdom and I did see their bodies returned to Nauvoo to be prepared for burial, that I did view the bodies before they were buried. That Brigham Young and all the other presidents of our Church have been true prophets of God who were divinely called to lead and teach this people as they should be taught. I am glad my parents embraced the Gospel in England and came to Zion. I am thankful that I was permitted to live in this last dispensation when the Gospel was restored to the earth by the prophet Joseph Smith and of being many, many times in his presence. There is no doubt in my mind of the truthfulness of the Gospel and it is my desire to live the Gospel to the best of my ability for the rest of my life, that I may be found worthy to again associate with my family and the other righteous Saints.”

Mary is buried in the Hooper City Cemetery in Utah.

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