By Kent Larsen
Lyman Wight's Texas Colony Remembered
DALLAS, TEXAS -- Historian A.C. Greene remembers the Texas colony
established by Apostle Lyman Wight in the late 1840s in an article in
yesterday's Dallas Morning News. The article gives a brief sketch of the
various locations of the colony in Texas.
Wight left Nauvoo and the main body of the Saints led by Brigham Young after
the martyrdom of Joseph Smith. He believed that he had been called on a
mission to preach to the American Indians in Texas by Joseph Smith, and led
a colony of saints there contrary to the advice of Young.
Greene tells how Wight's group found suitable land on the Pedernales River,
near Fredericksburg, Texas in Gillespie County. Here they built a grist
mill, houses and shops and named the town Zodiac. There Wight wrote a tract,
"An Address by Way of an Abridged Account and Journal of My Life -- with an
Appeal to the Latter Day Saints, Scattered Abroad in the Earth" and had
some success among the Mormons left behind in Iowa and Missouri in 1848.
This led the main body of Mormons under Brigham Young to excommunicate Wight
on December 3rd of that year.
Meanwhile, the Wight colony had some success in Zodiac for about four years.
In 1850, a flood destroyed the mill and buried the mill stones, leading them
to find a new location on Hamilton Creek. There they built another mill,
after Wight had a revelation and found the buried mill stones using a
Greene says that after 1850 the colony moved frequently until in March 1858,
Wight prophesyed a war between the North and the South, and started north
with many of the group. But eight miles from San Antonio, Wight died
suddenly. He was taken back to Zodiac, where he was buried.
Without a leader, the colony soon disbanded, and "Lymanism" as his movement
was known, ended.
A.C. Greene: In 1800s, Mormon colony made Texas its homeland
Dallas Morning News 19Nov00 N6
By A.C. Greene