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  • History

    President & Sister Glenn E. Nielson at Washington D.C. Mission Home

Now more than 65 years old, the Historic Cody Mural and Museum is as much a part of the Cody community as the ever-present views of Heart Mountain. It surprises many to learn, however, that the painting was not originally planned as part of the Cody, Wyoming, LDS chapel.

Local businessman and active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Glenn E. Nielson originally proposed that bells be installed in the building. The bells would play hymns to be enjoyed by those living near the building; however, a trip to San Francisco and a chance meeting with LDS General Authority Henry Moyle changed that plan. Instead, Moyle suggested that a painting reflecting the Mormon pioneer experience be installed.

Returning to Cody, Mr. Nielson met with Chicago artist Edward T. Grigware, who had relocated to Wyoming in the 1930s. As he listened to Mr. Nielson’s suggestion that a painting be created and installed in the space, Mr. Grigware instead considered the size and shape of the rotunda. Noting that the space had no beginning and no end, Mr. Grigware asked that instead of a mere painting, he be allowed to create the magnificent mural that can now be viewed by visitors today.