Photo by Tiffany Lloyd
Pioneer Highlight - John Moyle
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.
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