Clitherall Church [Cutlerite]
created 2015-08-12 by daniel m. kelty
official name: Clitherall?
assertion #3731920 by daniel m. kelty on 2015-08-12: confidence 0%.
is a(n): branch?
assertion #3731923 by daniel m. kelty on 2015-08-12: confidence 0%.
started: May 1865
assertion #3731919 by daniel m. kelty on 2017-04-26: confidence 100%.
assertion #3745919 by daniel m. kelty on 2017-04-10: confidence 100%.
description: LDS missionaries calling on them in the early 1880s found well-used copies of the Book of Mormon and other church literature. Because of their lack of conspicuous public practices, they became a "less peculiar" people than their Salt Lake cousins. After visiting Clitherall in 1882, Elder Christian Wallantine reported that their numbers had dwindled to about one hundred and their experiment with the United Order had failed (JH 18 July 1883). "Their religious belief is not so very different from the average Protestant church," another writer noted, "except that they believe that the Book of Mormon is the word of God as well as the Bible" (Tiller 14 Jan. 1930, 4). In 1883, Charles M. Nielsen of Springville, Utah, and his companion, H. W. Buchanan, visited Clitherall while on a mission in Minnesota. Nielsen reported that the Cutlerites treated them kindly and allowed them to preach twice in their hall. But, he assessed, they had ceased to function as a religious body and had stopped holding meetings. They "still retain faith in 'Mormonism' to an extent, and revere Joseph Smith as a Prophet," commented Nielsen, "but they think they are all right as they are, without further change of location or opinion. When asked why they had ceased to hold meetings they replied that they had determined to 'stand still and see the salvation of God.'" He concluded that they were generally "withering as [a] religious society" (JH 9 Oct.1884, 2). LDS missionaries continued to visit Clitherall occasionally, and were always greeted kindly but made no known converts. Elder Winge: At the little town of Clitherall in Otter Tail County, he found a community of defected Mormons who had been led out of the church at the time of Joseph Smith's death by a man named Alpheus Cutler. The villagers, most of whom had relatives in Utah, were headed by a bishop, a president, and a patriarch. They had a meetinghouse, lived together co-operatively in a "united order," and believed that Cutler, not Brigham Young, rightly succeeded Joseph Smith.<br/>*1940 50 anniversary of branch Cutlerites group 1957<br/>
assertion #4001328 by mpra on 2017-04-10: confidence 100%.
assertion #3731922 by daniel m. kelty on 2017-04-10: confidence 100%.
located at: Ottertail County, Minnesota, United States
assertion #3714299 by daniel m. kelty on 2017-04-10: confidence 100%.
location: 46°15'46"N, 95°39'33"W
The village was along what is now called "Old Town Trail"
assertion #3720316 by daniel m. kelty on 2017-04-10: confidence 0%.
quote: The followers of Alpheus Cutler (about twenty families) came to OtterTail County in May 1865 and settled the west bank of the lake. Clitherall was the first settlement in the county after the Indian trouble of 1862. These people were very zealous in their belief. and thought they were the only church in the world with divine authority in all ecclesiastical matters. Most of them were Americans. and all of them were honest, law abiding people, good neighbors and patriotic citizens, firmly believing that the Mormon Bible and the Christian Bible were both inspired. The Mormons claimed to have been directed to Clitherall by a dream which one of their elders had of a land between two lakes, with an abundance of prairie and timber, and convenient bands of Indians whom they were to convert to the Mormon faith, and thus civilize and save them… Accordingly, a small band of these good people made the long overland trip through Illinois and Minnesota to Otter Tail county; They brought with them their cattle, sheep, horses and all kinds of tools. The men were nearly all farmers, although there were a number of skilled artisians among them. Edward Fletcher was a good blacksmith; Marcus Shaw was a stone mason and plasterer; Chauncey Whiting, their priest and prophet, was a fine mechanic and could make all kinds of furniture, but gave most of his attention to wagon making; “Uncle Al" Whiting was a chair maker; “Uncle Vet" Whiting was the storekeeper, postmaster and a famous hunter. By 1870, when I first came to the county. there were about fifteen men with their families in this settlement. Their names as I recall them were as follow:. Mr. and Mrs. Chauncey Whiting, Lewis Whiting and Sylvester Whiting—a year or two later another brother, Almon Whiting, his wife and children joined them: Hiram and Lyman Murdock: John, Albert and Edward Fletcher. three brothers and their families, all large families with children grown to manhood and womanhood and some of them married; Isaac, the oldest son of Chauncey Whiting. Warren Whiting. Rueben Oaks. Sr., and James Oaks, his son; Marcus Shaw, Jeremiah Anderson, Jesse Burdock, and a full-blooded New York Indian by the name of Dana, with his white wife; Thomas Mason and a Mrs. Mason, widow, and her daughter; Charles Taylor and the two McIntire brothers, Joseph and Sylvester.<br/> I always understood that there were twenty-five families, but I cannot make out but about sixteen married couples and four bachelors, making twenty households besides the children. Then there were a few families belonging to the church, who, as I recall it, came up to Clitherall with those just enumerated and later settled at Detroit. The settlers in Otter Tail county took up as homesteads about all the land between Clitherall and Battle lake. Much of this land taken by them lay in a strip about one mile in width; that is, they took a strip four forties wide from the north shore of Clitherall lake to the south shore of Battle lake. They opened up a road along the north shore of Clitherall lake and built their houses, barns, etc., along this road, so that the whole settlement was in a compact group. They erected a log church with a secret chamber in which they worshipped for more than fifty years. In recent years they have erected a fine little church and razed the old building which had served them so many years. In the early seventies the community a sort of commune, or, as they called it, “The Oneness.” All property was to be turned into the church. All grain and provisions were to be placed in the church granary and issued to members by the Storekeeper. When they adopted this rule the members of the community, although not wealthy. were very prosperous; but under the new system all or nearly all they had laid up was soon exhausted and little or no property was left in the store or in the hands of the members. So they broke up the “Oneness” and returned to their original mode of life and were soon again prosperous.<br/>The community, as a Mormon church, has scattered. Many have joined the Joseph Smith, Jr., branch; others have left the church or moved away. Now there remains only a small number of the faithful who are struggling to maintain the Cutlerite branch of the church, and keep the divine authority at Old Clitherall. These faithful old settlers had built beautiful homes on this tract of land. Old Clitherall, like Otter Tail City, once the commercial, political and religious center of the coutny, is today beautiful only in death. (source: Mason, John W. (ed) History of Otter Tail County, Volume 1, Indianapolis: B.F. Bowen, 1916, pp.388, 559-560.)
Reminiscence of E.E. Corliss
assertion #3732249 by daniel m. kelty on 2017-04-10: confidence 100%.
see also: Fletcher, History of Cutlerites
assertion #3711299 by daniel m. kelty on 2015-08-12: confidence 100%.
notes: The followers of Alpheus Cutler came to OtterTail County in May 1865 and settled the west bank of the lake.
assertion #3717299 by daniel m. kelty on 2015-08-12: confidence 100%.