Fine Artist Cartoonist E Denney Neville Wyoming Fine Artist Cartoonist E Denney Neville Wyoming
Slip scrapers, horses, canal project in Wyoming, LDS Church murals and paintings Slip scrapers, horses, canal project in Wyoming, LDS Church murals and paintings



38 "h x 147"w

Creating these paintings was a three year project. Putting the facts of the Prayer Rock story together from several journals took time. With the help of Roland Simmons and an important interview my father did with his father and wrote down, we were able to recreate the story and get all of the facts of the incident together correctly. 

Prayer Rock Narrative

Painting #1-THE SURVEY

In 1900, a colony of pioneers under the leadership of LDS Apostle Abraham O. Woodruff arrived in North Big Horn Basin with the purpose of building a canal and establishing Latter-day Saint communities. The canal, later named The Sidon, was planned to irrigate 14,000 to 17,000 acres of farmland. The survey found that two miles below the head of the canal a large rock lay across the right-of-way. Removal of the rock was necessary to maintain the established grade.

Painting #2-EXCAVATION

Their solution was to dig a deep hole down to the bottom of the rock along the full length of the lower side, roll it into the hole and build the canal across it. They worked many days with shovels, picks and pry bars and by going in a circular pattern with horses pulling slip scrapers to remove the rocks and sand. As the work progressed, the huge rock leaned ominously out over those working at the bottom of the hole. When the hole was near twenty feet deep and twenty feet in length, they had not yet found the bottom.


In their morning, evening and personal prayers, the colony members exercised faith in resolving the problem of the large rock obstructing the canal right-of-way. As work continued at the site, colony leader of the canal project, Byron Sessions, observing the work one afternoon, felt the inspiration of the Lord and told all the workers to stop and remove themselves, their horses and tools from the area in the hole beneath the over-hanging rock. Within minutes of leaving the work area below the rock, it split full length and the larger part fell into the hole. The result was an obvious miracle. There was no loss of life or injuries, nor was there any a loss of tools and equipment. The remaining portion of the rock is yet visible in the upper bank of the Sidon canal. In remembrance of their faith, Prayer Rock got its name

E. Denney NeVille
Fine artist and cartoonist inspired by life and history in beautiful, rugged and majestic Wyoming. You will find humor BEYOND Denney's cartoons – browse the Paintings and you will see hints of it throughout his fine art work. More about Denney is coming soon!

Wyoming Fine Artists and Cartoonists E Denney Neville Wyoming Fine Artists and Cartoonists E Denney Neville