Thursday, April 7, 2016 – Riser Boot Shop, Land & Records Research Center
For the 2nd day in a row, Sis. Johnson was at the Lucy Mack Smith Home giving tours. She said she loved it; there was a steady stream of visitors that came through, including a Methodist family from Ohio. She said they were really interested in everything and had a ton of questions. It gave her ample opportunity to share her feelings about Nauvoo, bear her testimony of this sacred place and the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. She said it was a very good day.
I spent my day giving tours in the George Riser Boot Shop. I enjoyed it a lot and I learned a lot about how the pioneers made shoes and boots. The Riser Boot Shop was actually in the Riser home. The whole two story building was only 16X16 feet. Upstairs was one bedroom for the whole family. Down stairs was the family kitchen with only a fireplace for cooking. George Riser was very busy so he hired three extra men to work with him. His wife, Christianna and all four men worked side by side in the cramped family kitchen. The average wage in Nauvoo at that time was a dollar a day and they worked 12 hour days.
George Riser was a very well respected and good man. When the saints were driven out of Nauvoo, George and his family left with the first wagon train of Saints for Utah. George was the first shoe maker in Salt Lake. He also helped settle several new locations in Utah. Later he was called to serve a mission in Germany. After his mission was over he stayed in Germany because he was then called to be the Mission President.
After my shift at the Riser Boot Shop was over I walked two blocks to the Land & Records Research Center. I had an hour before Sis. Johnson’s shift was over so I used the time to research the records of my great-great grandfather, Orville Southerland Cox. Wow, what a treasure of information I found with the help of the staff there. I was delighted to walk out with pages of detailed maps of where he and my great-great grandmother Elvira Pamela Mill Cox lived and worked. The staff also burned a CD of pedigree charts and everything they had available on the family, their story of arrival, persecution and departure for Utah.