Presenters at the 2017 gathering:

Bob Baxter

Bob was born in Nauvoo and has maintained contact with the city ever since while he sailed international and domestic waters with the Merchant Marines. He is actively interested in Nauvoo historical memorabilia, especially Icarian items and Mississippi River history and artifacts.

David & Laura Bolton

Laura and David Bolton are the Co-Team Leads for the Joseph Smith Historic Site. They previously worked for Community of Christ headquarters in Independence, Missouri. Laura wrote youth lessons for Sunday schools and camps. She was active as a church youth leader in Independence plus a year in French Polynesia. David coordinated the Daily Prayer for Peace and promoted musical events at the Community of Christ Temple and Auditorium. He served on the steering team for the 2013 hymnal, Community of Christ Sings. David and Laura married in September 2015 and have enjoyed life in Nauvoo.

Tawnee Bowen

Sister Roberta Bussan

Sr. Roberta (better known as Sr. Bobbi) has been a Benedictine Sister since 1979.  She is currently Director of Benet House Retreat Center, the spirituality ministry operated by the Sisters.  Sister lived in Nauvoo from 1975-1979, working at St. Mary Academy as a resident director and social activities director.  She returned to Nauvoo in 1993 – 1997 as Academic Dean of St. Mary Academy.  She continued to live in Nauvoo until 2001 and served as liaison with the Mormons after their purchase of the high school facility.  Sister has a Parks and Recreation Administration degree from WIU, Macomb (1975), and a Masters in Religious Education from St. Meinrad School of Theology, St. Meinrad, Ind., (1983).

Barbara Chapman

Barbara C. Chapman, BS in Education, folk singer, entrepreneur, historical preservationist, and descendant of nationally active suffragettes has long been interested in life stories of ordinary Victorian era women.

Dane Chapman

Dr. Dane M. Chapman received an MD degree from the University of Michigan Medical School and a Ph.D. degree in Education from Brigham Young University in 1985.  He completed residency training in the new specialty of Emergency Medicine in Denver, Colorado, in 1989 and spent the next 25 years pioneering residency training programs in Emergency Medicine at multiple Universities including Washington University/Barnes-Jewish and St Louis Children’s Hospitals in St Louis, Missouri. With the encouragement of his sweetheart of thirty-eight years, he became boarded in Integrative Holistic Medicine in 2013.

Barton Golding

Barton Golding graduated from Nauvoo/Colusa High School in 1979 and has a history, geography, political science degree from Brigham Young University.  Mr. Golding has also completed graduate studies focusing on history, geography, anthropology and political science at Utah State University.

Joseph Johnstun

Joseph Johnstun is an independent historical analyst and associate high school teacher in Fort Madison, Iowa.  He has spent more than two decades researching, writing, and speaking on Nauvoo’s history and has performed significant research and interpretation on both Nauvoo and Carthage history.  His most recent article, “Weapons Related to the Murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith,” won the Best Historical Article Award from the John Whitmer Historical Association this past September.

Matt Kraus

John A. Kraus, whose grandparents emigrated from Germany, came to Nauvoo in 1912 and opened shop.  Since that time, one or more members of the Kraus family have been involved in keeping the family business going.  Matt Kraus is the fourth generation to do so.  He currently resides in Nauvoo with his fiancée (Amber) and daughter (Dakota).  Matt has been a lifelong resident of Nauvoo with the exception of four years spent in the United States Army.

Glenn Lloyd

Glenn Lloyd Jr., P.E. is a registered professional engineer; LTC retired from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and is currently a civil engineer with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Water Resources Center, Dam Safely Program in Rolla, Missouri. Mr. Lloyd earned his BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Connecticut in 1970, his MS in Civil Engineering from the University of Wyoming in 1977, and his ABD in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri, Rolla. Mr. Lloyd is currently an adjunct instructor at Park University and Webster University. Mr. Lloyd maintains the following teaching philosophy: “Give a man a fish, and he eats for one day. Teach a man to fish and he can feed himself and others!”

Mary Logan

Longtime Nauvoo resident, Mary Logan is a fourth-generation descendant of Icarian settlers, a retired Nauvoo High School teacher, and a member of the Baxter Winery family business.  She has dedicated much of her life to seeking out and preserving Nauvoo history.

Lach MacKay

Lachlan MacKay is a member of Community of Christ's Council of Twelve Apostles.  In this role he leads his church's history team and oversees historic sites in Illinois, Ohio, Iowa and Missouri.

Durrell Nelson

Durell recently retired as the horticulturist for Nauvoo Restoration, Inc.  He has a lifetime interest in history, especially the aspects of folk life and how people accomplished the day-to-day activities of life.  He is especially interested in historic food ways and what they tell us about how people of earlier times lived.

Lee Ourth

Lee was born in 1933 in the historic William Marks home.  He is a fourth generation of the Nicolas Diemer family who came to Nauvoo from Germany in the 1870s.  The Diemer family were hard-working farmers and made their living farming.  Lee lives on part of the farm his dad purchased 70 years ago where his family made their living by farming.  Lee has made his living as an educator for many years and was the administrator of the Hancock County Health Department for his last nine years before retiring.  Lee and his wife Karen live the house on the farm built in the 1840s by Davidson Hibbard. 

Ugo Perego

Ugo A. Perego, PhD, MSc, is the President of the online service Genetic Genealogy Consultant (, specializing in assisting customers in interpreting their DNA results within a genealogical context. He is also a visiting scientist at the University of Pavia in Italy and the Director of the Rome Institute of Religion Campus. He has previously worked for more than a decade as a senior researcher with the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation and and as an instructor in Biological Sciences at the Salt Lake Community College in Utah. Dr. Perego earned a BSc and an MSc in Health Sciences from Brigham Young University-Provo in Utah and a PhD in Genetic and Biomolecular Sciences from the University of Pavia in Italy. Ugo has contributed to numerous lectures and publications on DNA and its applications to population genetics, genealogy, ancestry, forensics, and history.

Chuck Pietscher

Chuck Pietscher has a life long interest in Western Rivers history. He has a BA degree in history, anthropology, and museum science from Luther College and is a long-time member of the George M. Verity museum Commission.  Chuck is Superintendent at the Water Resource Recovery Facility in Keokuk.

Kris Pilkington

Kris is a native of Hancock County, born and raised on a farm in Durham Township. She graduated from High School in La Harpe and received her Associate Degree in Accounting from Carl Sandburg in Galesburg. Kris moved to Carthage in 1978 and worked at Burlington Road Builders for four years as the bookkeeper and Corporate Secretary for three separate corporations. She then worked at Chem Gro, Inc in Adrian for 16 years as the Office Manager before being elected Hancock County Treasurer in 2002. Kris is serving her fourth four-year term in that office and loves serving the citizens of Hancock County.

Peggy Shurts

Peggy Shurts has had long-time interest in Nauvoo history and has spent several decades as researcher and teacher of genealogy.  She served two missions for the LDS Church working in the Church History Library.  She is currently serving a mission at the Nauvoo Land and Records Office.

Janet Smith

A retired lawyer, Janet Smith has served as president of the Keokuk Union Depot Foundation since 2012 and is coordinating the current efforts to restore the 1891 Depot’s roof to its original height and design.

Randall Soland

Randall grew up in Nauvoo. He loves Nauvoo and its rich history. He has a doctoral degree and three masters degrees (one in history). He has been a councelor for 36 years and is in private practice in Springfield, Illinois.

Meg Stout

Meg Stout is the author of Reluctant Polygamist; Joseph Smith, Jr.  Meg is a descendant of numerous citizens of 1840s Nauvoo, including trustee Joseph Leland Heywood, Apostle John Taylor, governess Elvira Annie Cowles, Nauvoo Stake counselor and later Strangite high priest Austin Cowles, and Smith confidant, Jonathan Harriman Holmes. Meg is an engineer by vocation, and writer by avocation. She blogs at Millennial Star (

Vickie Ziegler Thompson

Vickie Ziegler Thompson's roots in Nauvoo go back five generations to Andrew LaCroix and Henry Thornber, both great-great grandfathers. She started out at Powellton School, went away to college, spent a year in Vienna improving her German among other things, finished her Ph.D in medieval German language and literature at Yale, and taught at Penn State/University Park for many years. She is now married to Anthony Thompson and lives in Bethlehem, Pa.  

Father Tony Trosley

Fr. Tony Trosley is a Catholic priest of the Peoria diocese in Illinois.  He has served the Catholic Churches of Hancock County for thirteen years.

Irene Tukuafu

Irene met and married her Tongan husband while attending the Church College of Hawaii. Irene and Tomasi have lived in Hawaii and twice in Tonga on teaching assignments for a total of 30 years in the Islands. Irene is the Mother of 14 children, grandmother to 59 and the great grandmother of 8. Irene is passionate about music and builds harps, dulcimers, psalteries, banjos and many other things in her own shop in Nauvoo. 

Bob Wright

Bob Wright is a local historian and author of the following books: Nauvoo's Old Stone Church, Testament in Stone, and others. He is an international speaker and educator.