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A Witness becomes mayor

Whitmer’s character, civic duty overcame religious prejudice

Longtime Richmond resident David Whitmer, was one of the Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon. Remembered as a community-oriented citizen, the first David Whitmer Community Service Award will be presented in his memory this Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Farris Theatre. (Photo courtesy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

By Liz Johnson, Staff Writer

The early days of the Mormon Church in Missouri were well recorded. Yet it’s a little-known fact that one of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon took over as the mayor of Richmond after his predecessor was shot and killed at an infamous bank robbery in 1867.

It is believed that upon the death of Mayor John Shaw, who was shot in the chest during the robbery of the Hughes & Wasson Bank in Richmond on May 23, 1867, Whitmer became mayor to fulfill Shaw’s mayoral term until Jan. 1, 1868, according to historic records kept by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and accounts in the Richmond Conservator.

David Whitmer was a longtime Richmond resident, livery stable owner and former city councilman.

Marking the 150th anniversary of Whitmer becoming mayor, Richmond Historical Society and Missouri Mormon Frontier Foundation will present the first David Whitmer Community Service Award to lifetime citizen F.G. Weary Saturday, Sept. 2, at the historic Farris Theatre.

The complete story is in the Friday, September 1, 2017 Richmond News.

Click here for our E-edition and read the rest of the story.

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