William & Esther Gheen Home

Location: 55 Partridge Street
William A. and Esther Ann Gheen arrived in Nauvoo in 1842, having joined the Church in 1839 in Pennsylvania. They purchased a lot where they could watch the temple rising on the hill. Their brick home was finished by the end of 1843.
William donated many days of labor toward the temple construction. Esther served in the Female Relief Society. Both participated in proxy baptisms for the dead in the temple basement. Following a severe illness, William died in July 1845.  Esther and several of her children emigrated to Utah in 1846. Their oldest daughter and son-in-law moved into the home and remained in Nauvoo. Another daughter, Alice, was the grandmother of Spencer W. Kimball, 12th president of the Church. Esther died in 1858 in Utah.
Click on the links below to experience a 360° Walk-through, view an Image Gallery, and schedule an In-person or Virtual Tour.

360° Walk-Through

Take a look inside right from your computer or smart phone by checking out our 360° Photos. Click on the links during the tour to continue.

Image Gallery

Peek inside as you scroll through our Image Gallery.

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Gheen Home
The Gheen’s and their eight children lived in this home, which has been restored to its 1840s size and layout through careful research and design. For instance, the roof was raised approximately 18 inches (45 cm) during the restoration process.
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Before Restoration
The Gheen home was used as missionary housing for decades following its initial dedication in 1982 as part of the historic district. Notice how close the roof was to the windows compared to today’s restored home.
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Main Floor
The Gheen’s had been farmers in Pennsylvania, and they continued farming in Nauvoo. Their home was comfortable and functional. Joseph and Hyrum Smith were frequent guests.
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Parlor
The parlor is shown here with rows of chairs to depict a funeral setting as part of the tour. William’s death in 1845 occurred before he could be sealed (married for eternity) to his wife in the temple. She was able to complete that ordinance by proxy in February 1846 before heading West.
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Backyard
To support temple construction, the Gheen's divided their one-acre lot in half and donated the western half (seen beyond the fence) to the Church.
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Stairway
Family bedrooms were upstairs.
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Nauvoo Temple
Although the temple that William Gheen helped to build was destroyed in 1850, its promises regarding the eternal family remained intact. The Nauvoo temple was rebuilt in 2002 and is still visible from the Gheen's home.
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