When Iowa was Home to a Mormon Clan
You know how there's a bunch of Mormons in Utah?
Per the bostonglobe.com, Mormons make up 62% of the state's population of 3.1 million people. That's more than any other state by far.
Following the death of the religion's founder, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young was granted a majority of support and led the new religion's community. Two years following his ascent to the top of leadership in 1842, Young led 148 west from their Illinois settlement. The group of people arrived in Great Salt Lake Valley Utah in 1847.
For the next two decades, wagon trains bearing thousands of Mormon immigrants followed Young’s westward trail. By 1896, when Utah was granted statehood, the church had more than 250,000 members, most living in Utah.
One group who planned on making the trek to Utah determined the place for them to stop was not the Beehive State, but the Hawkeye State.
The sect's leader, Charles Thompson claimed he was led by a spirit who he referred to as "Baneemy," and told that he needed to break away from the group he was travelling with. Another 60 families made the decision to stay with Thompson rather than continuing west. Iagenweb.org had this to say in reference to the so-called spirit:
In January, 1848, he claimed to have received a revelation or proclamation from "Baneemy," a spirit successor to Joseph Smith, by whom he was appointed agent, and in 1849 he claimed to have received the "Grand Key" which qualified him to act as "Chief Teacher of the Schools of Preparation," and in 1850 he organized what he called his first class in the covenant.
The site continues, telling of where the group settled in Monona County:
This place had at one time a population of some six or eight hundred, but they finally got into difficulties over the ownership of the property, and the organization broke up. As they believed their existence in the this world was only a preparation for the world to come, they named the town Preparation.
The settlement was also referred to as "Baneemy Town."
Mentalfloss.com adds this as to why the organization of Mormons broke up:
It was all well and good until Thompson received another "message" from a spirit that told all of the families in town to give all of their deeds and possessions to him. Many did—and then realized they had been scammed. Citizens set out after their former leader, who narrowly escaped by hiding in a friend's attic. He eventually fled the state, and much of his disillusioned camp went on to Utah. The 344 acres the town once occupied is now Preparation Canyon State Park.