Eldon Barrowes – Zelph Mound: Did Zelph Live at the Time of the Nephites?
I think my interest in Book of Mormon archaeology and Church history started with my father, Thayer C. Barrowes. He always had an interest in artifacts and where the Book of Mormon took place. I grew up in South Salt Lake City, Utah and went on a mission to the Philippines and next graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Biology. Next it was Dental school in Seattle Washington. Shortly afterwards, I moved to Nauvoo, Illinois to be the town dentist. I love to read about Joseph Smith and other early church leaders.
After specializing in Endodontics, I moved to Quincy, Illinois, and thanks to my Bishop, Clark Boulton, I learned about the Zion’s Camp route through Illinois. Bishop Boulton took us on a father’s and son’s outing and we tried, in vain, to find the location of Zelph Mound. I met up a few years later with some good member friends, Melvin Martin, Richard Mudd to discuss the Zion’s Camp Trail. Melvin Martin, showed use the location of Zelph Mound and we formed a Zion’s Camp Trail Committee of Illinois. Knowing that Zelph Mound was sacred ground, and preferring cornfields to urban sprawl, I moved my family from the Chicago Suburbs to Jacksonville, Illinois, on the Zion’s Camp route.
Our committee started giving youth activities and tours at historic sites along the Zion’s Camp Trail. By and by, we met with James Bradley, the author of the Book “The Eternal Perspective of Zions Camp”, Wayne May, the Author of Books on Archaeology and the Book of Mormon peoples and Rod Meldrum, the author of “Exploring the Book of Mormon in America’s Heartland”. We enjoyed sharing common interests with these men. For ten years, members of our committee and I enjoyed meeting with Rod Meldrum and many guests he brought on bus tours to Zelph Mound each year.
We discovered that artifacts were excavated from Zelph Mound by the University of Illinois archaeologists in 1990 and we photographed them. To correct some misinformation about the mound, I finished writing a book, “Joseph Smith’s Revelation about Zelph Mound” in 2017. The book is available on Rod Meldrum’s website here. After 38 years in Illinois, to be closer to my children, my wife, Terese and I moved back to Utah in 2019. I regretted leaving Zion’s Camp historical sites and Zelph Mound, but I brought my Zelph Mound art exhibit pieces with me and set them up in American Fork. Besides Church history I enjoy my children, grandchildren, camping, hiking and photography.
Virtual Expo September 2020