Day 4, Part 4 of our Trip to Nauvoo: The Browning Gun Shop!

This is the Browning Gunsmith Shop and Home in Nauvoo, Illinois. I missed taking a picture of it, so I got this photo from the website. The picture belongs to that website. You can read about Jonathan Browning on the site here.

Yes, the famous Browning firearms brand has roots in Nauvoo. The Browning company was founded in Utah by Jonathan Browning, who was born in Tennessee. It was there that he was baptized and then he moved to Illinois, eventually ending up in Nauvoo, where he built his home and gunsmith shop. The shop has a ton of guns on display.

Jonathan, or his son, John Moses Browning, invented a prototype of the machine gun, which is on display in the shop. I can’t remember which one.

This is Jonathan Browning and his wife, Elizabeth Stalcup Browning. They had 12 children. They left Nauvoo and went westward. I was impressed that Jonathan obeyed church leadership and stayed in Council Bluffs when he was asked to do so, even though his natural man inclination was to go off with the men who enlisted in the Mormon Battalion. Jonathan was all about guns, so when we heard there was a war going on, he wanted to take off with them. But the Quorum of the 12/the prophet (not sure of the date here, if it was after Brigham was sustained) told him he was needed to stay in Council Bluffs and provide leadership and practical skills. He helped the saints with building firearms and wagons to prepare for the trek to the Utah Territory.

Jonathan Browning always carried a gun with him that said “Holiness to the Lord – Our Preservation.” The above picture shows his shop where he made and repaired firearms.

This shows some of the guns on display at the home.

One of the Browning babies died while the family lived in Nauvoo and is buried in this small grave in the backyard of the home. From the same back door you can get a great shot of the Nauvoo Temple.

I felt inspired by this visit to be as industrious and faithful to the gospel as Jonathan and Elizabeth Browning.

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