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The Crossroads Journal

Photo by Tiffany Lloyd

Pioneer Highlight - John Moyle

By Tiffany Lloyd
In 1926, sculptor Torlief Knaphus created the Handcart Pioneer Monument. Today it is displayed in Salt Lake City at Temple Square.

The bronze sculpture depicts a man pulling a handcart with a woman to his side and a boy pushing from the back.

Knaphus decided on using John Moyle as the likeness for the man in his sculpture. This was appropriate because John Moyle's life models the attributes of a pioneer: determination, persistence, and willingness to sacrifice.

John Moyle traveled across the country in the first handcart company in 1856. Soon afterward, he became a stonemason for the Salt Lake Temple.

Despite living in present-day Alpine, he walked approximately 22 miles to Salt Lake City and then 22 miles back his home every week.

One weekend on his farm, he was kicked by a cow and suffered a compound fracture in his leg. This resulted in an amputation below the knee. After what was surely a difficult recovery, he continued walked to Salt Lake City on a carved wooden leg he made for himself.

In 1885, John Moyle, now aged 77, climbed 100 feet of scaffolding and carved "Holiness to the Lord" on the east side of the temple.

His dedication to his work continues to inspire us today.

In 2008, a movie titled Only a Stonecutter offered a tribute to his work and commitment to his duties.

The family of John Moyle and the city of Alpine constructed a park for visitors to learn more about him and to provide a glimpse into what life would have been like back then.

Visitors can see the Moyle family's actual pioneer home, a watchtower, and pioneer-era tools at the Moyle Historical Park at 770 N 600 E in Alpine.

Call 801-830-3502 to schedule a free tour and learn more.
The community news source for Eagle Mountain Utah, Saratoga Springs Utah, Lehi Utah, American Fork Utah, Highland Utah, Alpine Utah, and The Cedar Valley, including Cedar Fort Utah and Fairfield Utah. Copyright 2024 The Crossroads Journal LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Photo by: Tiffany Lloyd ©
Source: Deseret News, Icon Monuments, Mormon Migration


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