The Dedication of the Oliver Cowdery Monument in Richmond, Missouri, 1911
In 1911, a monument to honor the work and testimony of Oliver Cowdery was erected under the direction of Junius F. Wells in Richmond, Ray County, Missouri, where Cowdery and his wife moved shortly before Oliver's death. Wells was asked to construct it by John Henry Smith, a member of the First Presidency. Holzapfel and Schwartz frequently reference Wells' personal account of the work on the monument. Photographs taken by George Edward Anderson, depicting the creation and dedication of the monument are also included. Wells decided that the text on the monument should honor the testimony of all of the three witnesses. His account describes Cowdery's great contributions to the church, including his involvement as Joseph Smith's scribe, his role as the first person baptized in the Latter-day Church, and how, although he was estranged from Joseph Smith for a time, he stayed true to his testimony and eventually rejoined the Church. Before erecting the monument, Wells traveled to Richmond to find Cowdery's grave and to obtain the consent of family members, local officials, and the townspeople. Despite the obvious negative feelings generally held towards Mormons in Missouri, his idea was warmly received.