RICHMOND – Life-long Richmond resident and civic leader Jimmy Carter received the 2019 David Whitmer Community Service Award – a bust of David Whitmer – in conjunction with the Third Annual Whitmer Symposium at the Farris Theatre on Aug. 24.
The award is presented annually to a Ray Countian whose life exemplifies community service and integrity, event organizer information states.
“Born to parents who were also Richmond natives, Jimmy has deep roots in the Ray County area. These roots stem back to his father’s great-great-grandfather, who donated the land upon which Richmond was established,” based on information provided by event organizers. “Jimmy has been a member of the Ray County Historical Society since 2008 and served two years as the organization’s president. He was appointed to the Richmond Redevelopment Board in 2015 and currently serves as president. He served as a Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce board member from 2015 to 2017 and as the Downtown District chairman from 2013 to 2017. From 2013 to 2017, Jimmy was the chairman of the Fall Festival Outlaw Days.”
In addition to belonging to other civic groups, Carter has supported enrichment efforts around the county, “including the rebuilding of Orrick’s city park, the Ray County Humane Society, Dear Elementary Bicycles for Reading and the American Celebration.”
Past award recipients are Linda Emley in 2018 and F.G. Weary III in 2017.
The symposium included the Whitmer family tree, with the full-size version covering the Farris Theatre stage.
The product of countless hours of research by Whitmer family descendants and genealogy volunteers from the Far West stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the family tree displayed more than 2,500 names of the descendents of Peter and Mary Mussleman Whitmer, David Whitmer’s parents. Whitmer’s descendents had pictures taken in front of the tree, event information states.
David Whitmer, 1805-1888, lived all of his life in Richmond, where he operated a livery stable. In 1867, voters elected him to fill an unexpired term as mayor.
“Well-known as one of the Three Witnesses of The Book of Mormon, Whitmer was an active member of the Richmond community until his death in 1888,” event information states.
The symposium included a short film, “A Day for Eternities,” about how the Peter Whitmer family assisted in the work of translating The Book of Mormon. Released in 2016, the film had previously only been seen at visitor centers for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“The film chronicles an astonishing answer to prayer in the life of David Whitmer,” organizer information states.