OCTOBER 20, 1938
QUINCY, Ill., Wednesday—It was rather pleasant to sleep in a hotel last night after having spent the previous five nights on trains. Strange to say, I rather missed the motion of the train, which shows how quickly we adapt ourselves to circumstances.
When we drove up in a slight drizzling rain to the Civic Center in Hammond, Indiana, where I lectured last evening, it looked very big to me. But my hosts were so kind that I regained some composure before I went in to find a very delightful audience. I was told they had been running this forum for 15 years and at times had had a great deal of difficulty keeping it going, but this year forums have suddenly become popular and the demand for season tickets is overwhelming. Funny how fashions will change, even in forums.
We left Chicago this morning at 10:30. It was pleasant to find that Mrs. Cotsworth and Mrs. Flynn were to be our hostesses again and that Mr. Cotsworth was going with us as far as Keokuk, Iowa. The train waited over some time in Burlington, Iowa, so Mrs. Carl Pryor arranged to take us in a seven passenger car for a very beautiful drive which allowed us to rejoin the train in Keokuk. We stopped for one minute to see my daughter-in-law Ruth's aunt and uncle and I even enjoyed a glimpse of their beautiful home on the bluffs above the Mississippi River.
Then we motored through the Iowa countryside to the little town of Nauvoo, Illinois, which was a Mormon settlement, later French and then German. The thing which impressed me most is the amount of work which the Mormons accomplished in the short seven years of their occupancy. The photograph of Joseph Smith shows a very handsome young man, but he also must have been an extremely capable gentleman, for the mansion in which he spent the last year of his life, is still standing and is a house of real pretensions. There are enough old buildings standing to make the restoration of this little town interesting and it is now planned to turn the part down by the river into a state park.
From there we drove along the river into Keokuk. The drive is lovely and crossing the river gave me an excellent view of the dam which I had never seen before. We saw our train making its way down the other side of the river and if Mr. Cotsworth had not been with us I should have been very nervous, but I think they only held the train about two minutes for us.
The railroad follows the river and I am receiving a very pleasant surprise, for I had always supposed the Mississippi was a brown and extremely muddy stream, but today it looks clear and blue. I caught a glimpse of an old riverboat churning up water at the stern. It looked extremely clumsy and made me think of an old lady with a bustle in the style of the 1890's.