Milo Andrus, St. Louis, and the St. Louis Luminary
In 1854 Milo was sent from Salt Lake City to St. Louis, Missouri. He was called to serve as the Stake President. He served until 1855.
The Significance of St. Louis to the Mormons
Not all Nauvoo families were able to make the 1846 pilgrimage across Iowa. Many families “went south” to St. Louis, where they found employment to pay their passage to Zion. This was just one way in which St. Louis played a vital role during the early “gathering” years of the Church. Thousands of LDS emigrants landed in America at New Orleans and then traveled up the Mississippi by river boat and located temporarily at St. Louis until they earned means to take them to the Salt Lake Valley. And, thousands of missionaries bound for the eastern states and Europe made their way through St. Louis, where the members gave them food, lodging, supplies, and financial aid to continue their journeys.
There were an estimated fifteen hundred Latter-day Saints in St. Louis during the winter of 1846–47 (1). According to the federal census, in 1840, St. Louis had a population of 16,469. During this important period of Church history, Latter-day Saints comprised nearly 10 percent of the population of St. Louis.
When the St. Louis Stake of Zion was organized in 1855, the LDS membership there was numbered at about three thousand.
According to historian Stanley Kimball: “Throughout the Missouri and Illinois periods of the Church, up to the coming of the railroad to Utah in 1869 and beyond, St. Louis was the most important non-Mormon city in Church history. . . . St. Louis played two important roles in Mormon history—as a city of refuge and as an emigrant center” (2).
The St. Louis Luminary
The St. Louis Luminary was an early Mormon newspaper started by Apostle Erastus Snow and printed in St. Louis under the direction of Brigham Young.
The Luminary was a weekly newspaper and was used as a tool by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to not only share the gospel, but also to help strengthen and defend LDS Church policies of the time. It included local church news, letters from church leaders, doctrinal essays and news and letters from the Salt Lake Valley.
Milo is mentioned about 140 times in the 52 issues of the newspaper.
The document below contains all the references to Milo in the St. Louis Luminary. Especially interesting are his speeches and letters; they give you a real sense of his personality.
1 Stanley B. Kimball, “The Saints and St. Louis, 1831–1857: An Oasis of Tolerance and Security,” BYU Studies, 13 (Summer 1973): 507.
2 Ibid, 489-90.