Early Mormon settler in Valley to be portrayed by great-great-grandson

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WALLA WALLA -- Bror Sorenson, a mid-19th century Mormon settler in the Walla Walla Valley, will be portrayed by his great-great-grandson Ron Klicker in a living history performance 2 p.m. Sunday at Fort Walla Walla Museum, 755 Myra Road.

Klicker will describe his family's immigration from their native Sweden to America. They settled in Utah, where they became followers of Joseph Morris, a new prophet who challenged the leadership of Brigham Young.

After Morris and his followers were attacked by authorities, and Morris killed, many went into exile. In 1867 some, including Sorenson, followed William Davies first to Montana, then to the outskirts of Walla Walla. Here, Davies proclaimed a piece of land on Scenic Loop near what is now known as Mormon Grade, a consecrated place, where he established what he called "The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth" and revealed himself as the incarnation of the Holy Spirit.

In 1868, Davies proclaimed his newborn son the incarnation of Jesus Christ, and this son, Arthur, became known as "Walla Walla Jesus." In 1869, Davies identified another son, David, as God the Father. After a diphtheria epidemic struck the religious community in 1879 and his wife and sons died, several of Davies' followers sued him in Walla Walla County Superior Court for the return of their pooled property and compensation for their contributed labor. After a trial, Davies' land was sold to satisfy the judgment awarded against him, and the religious community was ultimately dissolved. Some, including Sorenson, remained faithful to their prophet throughout their lives.

Ron Klicker is the owner of Klicker Berries, Fruits & Antiques, 3300 East Isaacs in Walla Walla. In his experience with the Living History Company, he has also portrayed his great-grandfather Jacob Klicker X, Dr. Dorsey Baker, Capt. John Mullen, Governor Isaac Stevens, Lt. Col. Edward Steptoe, and druggist H. E. Holmes.

Living History presentations are every Sunday through October, with added performances each Saturday at 2:00 p.m., June through August.

The Museum is open daily April through October, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; November 1 through December 23, daily (except Thanksgiving), 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; January through March, open Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Admission is $3 for children 6-12; $6 for students and those age 62 and up; $7 for adults; and free for members. For more information, call 525-7703.

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