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First Encampment Park

Published / by Jesse Hassard / Leave a Comment

Write up by Jesse T. Hassard

Placed by: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers

GPS coordinates Latitude: 40° 43’ 59.45” N, 111° 52’ 38.58” W

Historical Marker text 1

“First Encampment in the Salt Lake Valley. Daughters of Utah Pioneers. On July 22, 1847, the main body of the Mormon Pioneer Company, along with a few of the Mormon Battalion sick detachment and some of the Mississippi saints, camped near this location. After leaving Emigration Canyon, the group traveled in a southwesterly direction along the south side of Emigration Creek. Near where Emigration and Parley’s Creeks come close together, they camped. Thomas Bullock, the company clerk, recorded in his journal, ‘We descended a gentle sloping table land to a lower level where the Soil and grass improved in appearance… The Wheat Grass grows 6 or 7 feet high, many different kinds of grass appear some being 10 or 20 feet high – after wading through thick grass for some distance, we found a place bare enough for a Camping ground, the grass being only knee deep, but very thick; we camped on the banks of a beautiful little stream [Parley’s Creek] which was surrounded by very tall grass…’ Orson Pratt and his exploring expedition, who entered the valley earlier that morning, joined the camp in the evening. A council was held and the decision was made to move the next day to a site they had chosen to plant crops, on City Creek two miles to the north. Brigham Young, whose small party was delayed because of illness, did not enter the valley until July 24, going directly to the camp on City Creek. When surveyed, the area of the first encampment became part of the ‘Big Field’ farming plat. Among those with farms here was Wilford Woodruff, whose two houses still stand a half block north of this site. Beginning in the 1890s, the area was platted and subdivided for residential development. Parley’s Creek still flows through the neighborhood in an underground conduit. 1997. No. 509. Salt Lake Liberty Park Company.”

(First plaque)

Historical marker text 2

A mounted plaque on the east monument says: “Others Who Came. When the main body of the Pioneer Company camped here July 22, 1847, other members of the Company were in various locations. A group of pioneers and two Mormon Battalion men (James Oakley and George S. Clark) were delayed by Colorado tick fever and entered the valley two days later, July 24. It included: Brigham Young, Ezra T. Benson, Robert E. Baird, George P. Billings, James Case, Thomas P. Cloward, Hosea Cushing, Isaac P. Decker (child), Benjamin F. Dewey, Howard Egan, Addison Everett, Andrew S. Gibbons, Stephen H. Goddard, Artemas Johnson, Heber C. Kimball, Ellen Sanders Kimball, William A. King, Carlos Murray, Eli H. Pierce, Albert P. Rockwood, Henry G. Sherwood, William C. A. Smoot, Briant Stringham, Thomas Tanner, Horace K. Whitney, Orson K. Whitney, Wilford Woodruff, Clarissa Decker Young, Harriet Page Wheeler Young, Lorenzo S. Young (child) and Lorenzo D. Young. Four men had been sent to guide the valley members of the Mormon Battalion Sick Detachment and a group of Mississippi Mormons who had wintered at Fort Pueblo, Colorado. Amasa M. Lyman and Roswell Stevens of the Pioneer Company. John H. Tippets and Thomas Wolsey of the Mormon Battalion. Five men had been sent back along the trail to guide the large Mormon companies following, the first of which reached Salt Lake Valley, September 22, 1847. Rodney Badger, Aaron F. Farr, Eric Glines, George Woodward and Phinehas H. Young. Nine men had been left to build and operate a ferry on the Platte River at today’s Casper, Wyoming, to aid future companies and earn revenue from other travelers. James Davenport, Edmund Ellsworth, William Empey, Thomas Grover, Appleton M. Harmon, John Higbee, Luke Johnson Frances, M. Pomeroy and Franklin B. Stewart. Honor also to the families left behind at Winter Quarters and elsewhere; to 70,000 other Mormons who came in the next 22 years; and to 6,000 whose journey ended in death somewhere along the trail.”

Historical marker text 3

A mounted plaque on the south monument says: “How the Park Came to Be. This park grew from what began as a Federal Heights Ward sesquicentennial project – a simple monument to mark the first Mormon campsite in Great Salt Lake Valley. The vision expanded, and the park became a joint project of the Emigration and Wells Stakes of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, bringing to reality a dream of the neighborhood and the historical community. Engraved on stones throughout the park are names of the 109 men, 3 women, and 8 children thought to have slept here that first night in the valley, July 22, 1847. The park design represents the landscape they encountered. Granite boulders mounded in the eastern part represent the Wasatch Mountains. The path through the mountain rocks represents Emigration Canyon, down which the Pioneers came. The dry streambeds represent Emigration and Parley’s Creeks. Primary children of the two stakes embedded pebbles in the fresh concrete of the streambeds. In addition to thousands of hours of volunteer labor by both stakes, the park was made possible by American Oil Company’s generosity in the donating the land and by liberal financial support, primarily by members of Emigration Stake. Contributing firms and organizations included Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Kelby Electric Company, Oakland Construction Company, Clean Cut Landscaping, United Fence Company, Lehi Block Company, Howe Rental, and others. Landscape Architect Stuart Loosli created the design and, with Mark Finlinson, managed construction. William B. Smart was general chairman. Dedicated by Elder M. Russell Ballard, July 22, 1997, exactly 150 years after the arrival of the pioneers here. Presented as a city park to the people of Salt Lake City and to all who honor our pioneer heritage.”

Extended research

Mormons were violently persecuted and pushed from Ohio to Missouri, from Missouri to Illinois and from Illinois, they were pushed west outside the bounds of the United States to northern Mexico. After Joseph Smith, the founder of the faith, was murdered in Illinois, Brigham Young, the faith’s new leader decided to move his people into unclaimed lands in northern Mexico. In 1846, members of the LDS church then began their long journey across the United States and into the Rocky Mountains. After spending the winter in present-day Nebraska, Brigham Young led a vanguard group into the Salt Lake Valley in July 1847. During the long journey, however, the Mormon wagon train was broken up into two different groups. The group that would continue into the Salt Lake Valley totaled 42 men and 23 wagons. They would be the first Latter-day Saints to reach the Salt Lake Valley, two days ahead of  Brigham Young who stayed behind because of an illness he was suffering from.1

The advanced party followed the Hasting’s cutoff trail blazed by the ill-fated Donner Party the year before. Three other groups also tried Hasting’s cutoff in 1846 but entered the valley through Weber Canyon.  The Donner Party instead pioneered a path through Emigration Canyon which the Latter-day Saints followed one year later. After leaving Emigration Canyon, The LDS pioneers traveled southwesterly along Emigration Creek till they reached a bank positioned where Emigration and Parley’s Creeks come close together. Thomas Bullock, the pioneer company’s clerk, wrote, “We descended a gentle sloping tableland to a lower level where the soil and grass improved in appearance.”

The Mormons had finally arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. Thomas Bullock described the campsite in his journal: “… after wading thro thick grass for some distance, we found a place bare enough for a camping ground, the grass being only knee deep, but very thick; we camped on the banks of a beautiful little stream which was surrounded by very tall grass.”

The original landscape of the area that would become the first encampment park is described as very beautiful as stated by Bullock: “we found a place bare enough for a Camping ground, the grass being only knee deep but very thick. We camped on the banks of a beautiful little Stream; which was surrounded by very tall grass. in digging a place down to the stream. cut thro’ a thin bed of Clay. After about a foot depth of rich soil; then rich soil again.” The camp was reportedly very sound and was located close to the present-day intersection of 1700 South and 500 East, in modern-day Salt Lake City.

This makes the First Encampment Park the approximate location where the First Pioneer Company of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints camped when they first arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on July 22, 1847. The group included three enslaved men, Green Flake, Hark (Lay) Wales, and Oscar (Crosby) Smith. Their Latter-day Saint enslavers had sent them ahead to prepare cabins and to plant crops so that the white enslavers would have a place to live and food to eat when they arrived the following year. African American Slavery thus arrived in the Salt Lake Valley two days ahead of Brigham Young. 

On July 24, 1847, Brigham Young arrived at the second encampment two miles north, close to City Creek, where they began to grow crops and establish a layout of the new city they would build.

In 1997, 150 years later, community leaders established a small pocket park at the first encampment location, now known as the first encampment park. Its granite stone landscape bears the names of the first pioneers to arrive and represents the Wasatch Mountains and Emigration Canyon through which they traversed. This monument is a representation of the hardships and sacrifices of the Mormon pioneers. It details their journey across the mountains into the Salt Lake Valley. This place is the end of their long journey and the first place in the Salt Lake valley that they camped. For this reason, this marker is very significant in the history of Utah, much like Plymouth rock and its importance as the beginning of the United States. The first encampment park serves as the beginning of the Mormon story in Utah; it represents the beginning of Euro-American settlement in the Salt Lake Valley. Latter-day Saints hoped to be free from outsiders or others that would threaten to run them out of their houses and change their lives. The First Encampment Park represents the end of the Latter-day Saints’ long journey and the beginnings of their new settlement.

For Further Reference


Dixon, Randall W. “From Emigration Canyon to City Creek: Pioneer Trail and Campsites in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847,” Utah Historical Quarterly 65, no. 2 (Spring 1997): 155–64.

Franzwa, Gregory M. The Mormon Trail Revisited. Tooele, UT: Patrice, 2007.

Grandy, Joellen. “First Encampment Park Report.” Public Lands Department. Accessed February 2, 2022.

Kiser, Benjamin Kiser. “Green Flake,” Century of Black Mormons, accessed April 8, 2022.

Turley, Richard E. and Lael Littke, Wagons West: Brigham Young and the First Pioneers (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2016).

Weiss, Megan. “Hark Wales,” Century of Black Mormons, accessed April 8, 2022.


Thomas bullock journal, July 13- 22,1847, Church History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Donner-Reed Memorial Museum and Early Bldgs.

Published / by Alex Mower / Leave a Comment

Write-Up by Alex Mower

Placed By: Utah Pioneer Trails and Landmarks Association (Now overseen by the Sons of Utah Pioneers)

GPS Coordinates: (40.6019445, -112.4738719)

Historical Marker Text:

This property was within the walls of the Willow Creek Fort, (Grantsville), which was built shortly after the first white settlers arrived. The main building was erected in 1852. J. Reuben Clark II purchased the property in later years and restored the building. The site was eventually donated to Grantsville City for use as a museum. The log cabin and blacksmith shop were placed here in later years.

            This museum is named for the Donner-Reed Party. In 1846 they stopped at nearby Twenty Wells to let their animals rest and gain strength before continuing their ill fated trip. While crossing the Salt Desert they lost many wagons and other belongings on the mud flats east of Pilot Mountain. The hardships suffered in Utah delayed their journey. Winter overtook them in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, resulting in their well known catastrophe. Some of the articles left by the Donner-Reed Party are displayed in the museum, along with other pioneer and Indian relics.

            This monument contains cornerstones and markers from early Grantsville buildings. Refurbishment of the area began July 1975 and was completed July 1976. Funds were from Utah American Revolution Bicentennial Commission and Grantsville City Corporation.

Extended Research:

            The highly publicized story of the ill-fated Donner-Reed Party is one of America’s truly great cautionary tales. Having left the midwest en route to California in the spring of 1846 for greater economic opportunity, the group of pioneers officially set out on the dangerous journey many other Americans would attempt both before and after them.[1] Taking direction from Lansford Hastings’ The Emigrants’ Guide to Oregon and California, a guide written more based on theory than experience, the group set off for the west, utilizing a “shortcut” through Utah and the Salt Desert. After delays forced them to winter high atop the Sierra Nevada mountains, the group was compelled to resort to cannibalism to survive.

Donner-Reed Party Artifacts

While no one in the group participated in cannibalism while they traveled across Utah, many of the delays the party incurred were the direct result of the group’s decision to blaze the “shortcut” through the Salt Lake Valley and forge their way through the muddy trenches of the Salt Desert.[2] Over ten days in 1846, the Donner-Reed Party created and navigated a road through Emigration Canyon that Mormon pioneers traveled through and enhanced the next year when they entered the valley for the first time.[3] After navigating the canyons, the group endured more delays in the Salt Desert, setting them even further behind on their journey west. On the salt flats, the Donner-Reed Party left behind material goods like wagon parts, animal equipment, and gun fragments. These artifacts now reside at the Donner-Reed Memorial Museum.

The “Old Adobe Schoolhouse”

            The building housing the artifacts has served many different purposes over the years. Known locally as the “Old Adobe Schoolhouse ” it was, unsurprisingly, originally built as a school. It was later adapted to function as a meetinghouse for religious services before eventually serving as the town’s city hall and jail from 1894 to 1917.[4] The building was then sold by Emma Burmester to J. Reuben Clark, Jr. in 1941, who gifted the building for use for meetings by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers.[5] In 1969 the building came under the ownership of Grantsville City. It then began its life as a museum, and the home of many pioneer artifacts, including but not limited to those of the famed Donner-Reed Party.[6] The building has become a landmark for the community, and was added to the National Register as a Utah Historic Site in 1995.

Museum Contents

            Inside the museum, patrons can view a wide array of Donner-Reed and other pioneer relics. From guns to wagon remnants, artifacts in the museum tell a story of cost and loss for the Donner-Reed Party as they traveled across the salt flats, and it was possibly the most costly leg of the journey before the group would make it to the Sierra Nevada mountains, as the group experienced many delays in the Salt Desert. Not only was the desert larger than they had anticipated, it also proved more difficult to traverse than expected. On the Salt Desert, with water and grass all but impossible to acquire, the group was forced to abandon several wagons and lost an estimated 36 oxen.[7] Because of the Salt Desert’s “mud that never dries,” the Donner’s “Pioneer Palace Car” embedded itself and its wheels deep in the desert floor, and was left behind; it was one of many wagons that would reach the same demise in the desert.[8]

            The delays in both the Salt Lake Valley as well as the Salt Desert would contribute directly to the group’s late arrival to the Sierra Nevada mountain passes, which would ultimately lead to so many of their unfortunate and untimely deaths. The artifacts found in the museum help to ground one of the nation’s most hazardous tales to its connection to the state of Utah, and highlights the role played by the environment of the state in the tale of the Donner-Reed Party.

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources:

Hastings, Lansford Warren, Newberry Library, and Adam Matthew Digital. The Emigrants’ Guide to Oregon and California : Containing Scenes and Incidents of a Party of Oregon Emigrants; a Description of Oregon : Scenes and Incidents of a Party of California Emigrants; and a Description of California; with a Description of the Different Routes to Those Countries; and All Necessary Information Relative to the Equipment, Supplies, and the Method of Traveling. Selected Americana from Sabin’s Dictionary of Books Relating to America. Unit 170 ; Fiches 14,252-14,253. 1845.

Secondary Sources:

Hardesty, Donald L. The Archaeology Of The Donner Party. Wilbur S. Shepperson Series in History and Humanities. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1997.

Hawkins, Bruce R., and Madsen, David B. Excavation of the Donner-Reed Wagons : Historic Archaeology along the Hastings Cutoff. Paper ed. 1999.

Johnson, Kristin. 1996. Unfortunate Emigrants. Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press.

McGill, Sara Ann. Donner Party. 2009.

National Register of Historic Places Registration: Grantsville School and Meetinghouse

Stookey, Walter M., 1869. Fatal Decision : The Tragic Story of the Donner Party. Utah: Desert Book Company, 1950, 1950.

Spedden, Rush. The Donner Trail across the Salt Lake Valley. 2008.

All photos taken by Alex Mower

[1] McGill, Sara Ann. Donner Party. 2009.

[2] Hardesty, Donald. The Archaeology Of The Donner Party. Wilbur S. Shepperson Series in History and Humanities. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1997. P. 10

[3] Spedden, Rush. The Donner Trail across the Salt Lake Valley. 2008.

[4] National Register of Historic Places Registration: Grantsville School and Meetinghouse

[5] National Register of Historic Places Registration: Grantsville School and Meetinghouse

[6] National Register of Historic Places Registration: Grantsville School and Meetinghouse

[7] Hawkins, Bruce R., and Madsen, David B. Excavation of the Donner-Reed Wagons : Historic Archaeology along the Hastings Cutoff. Paper ed. 1999. And Johnson, Kristin. 1996. Unfortunate Emigrants. Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press. P. 143

[8] Stookey, Walter M., 1869. Fatal Decision : The Tragic Story of the Donner Party. Utah: Desert Book Company, 1950, 1950. P. 99 And Donald L Hardesty. The Archaeology Of The Donner Party. Wilbur S. Shepperson Series in History and Humanities. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1997. P. 5

Egyptian Theater with Sundance Film Festival on Marquee

Park City Egyptian Theater

Published / by Jesse Labastida / 1 Comment on Park City Egyptian Theater

write-up by Jesus Labastida Munguia

Placed by: Park City Centennial Commission

GPS Coordinates: 40.6425°N 111.495°

Historical Marker Text (1):  



The Egyptian Theater

In the early 1900’s Park City’s social and entertainment needs were served by a number of flourishing theaters and social halls. When the Dewey Theater, originally on this site, collapsed under a heavy snow load, John Rugar replaced it with the Egyptian Theater built in 1926. It was designed to seat 400 and to accommodate both movies and vaudeville. It became the first “sound movie” theater in Park City.

After being remodeled in 1963, the building opened as the Silver Wheel Theater and old fashioned “meller dramas” were performed for the next fifteen years. In 1978 the building’s architectural integrity was threatened by an attempt to change its facade to a western motif. Preservation of its distinctive Egyptian features was achieved, however, when the building became the home of Park City Performances in 1981.

The Egyptian Revival Style represents a unique period architecture which peaked in America around 1930. Egyptian theaters are rare, and this is one of only two remaining in Utah. Originally the interior contained replicas of Egyptian artifacts. This is a masonry structure with   a false front shield its hip roof. Tiles at the base of the ticket booth and pilasters in obelisk shape reinforce the Egyptian Motif.

Presented by the Park City Centennial Commission, 1984

Egyptian Theater with Sundance Marquee.

Extended Research:

The Egyptian Theater is an iconic fixture of Utah’s Park City community, standing prominently on Main Street. Its edifice is a beautiful representation of its Egyptian Revival architecture. The history of the Egyptian Theater is just as colorful as its outside design. The site where it is located has had a longstanding reputation for being the place in Park City where members of the community could congregate to enjoy entertainment provided through local theater and arts.[1]

Main Street Egyptian Theatre at Night.

The history of the Egyptian theater traces its roots all the way to “the Big Fire of 1898.” The fire tore through Park City’s now historical Main Street creating a site that two businessmen, David Keith and James Ivers, found suitable to construct the Dewey Theatre– the very first iteration of the Egyptian Theater. The Dewey Theater was known for showcasing the best professional fighters and travelling theatrical troupes of the time. The old Dewey Theater even boasted a barbershop, a candy store, and a state-of-the-art floor that could be raised and lowered to suit the needs of the theater. Sadly, the reign of the famous Dewey Theater would come to an end in 1916 after a heavy snowpack that accumulated on the roof caused it to cave-in. Fortunately, the collapse took place after closing time and no one was injured.[2]   

In 1926, a new theater was constructed at the old Dewey Site under a $50,000 contract.[3] The theater was designed in the style of Ancient Egyptian architecture and motifs, heavily influenced by a craze in Egyptology following the discovery of King Tutt’s tomb. The Egyptian theater offered picture shows as well as theatre performances for enjoyment. The erection of the theatre was heavily dependent on the growing demand for entertainment in Park City. John Ruger spearheaded the development project and maintained ownership until 1948 when he sold the theater to Russ Dodderman. Shortly after several changes in management, owners renamed the playhouse the Lu Ann Theater for a period thereafter.[4]

City Officials in Front of the Silver Wheel Theater.

Much like the rest of the nation in the 20th century, Utah saw developments of movie theaters across the state. Many theaters of the early 20th century utilized the previous playhouse and opera house buildings and revamped the theater’s edifice with attention grabbing design motifs ranging from Spanish Colonial revival to Neoclassical architecture. This sudden possibility of movie-going ushered in a new era of connection to Main Street. The Egyptian Theater in Park City is one of two remaining Egyptian Revival theaters in the state, the other is the Peery’s Egyptian Theatre in Ogden, Utah. The attention-grabbing Egyptian architecture seen at the Egyptian Theaters are reflective of the novel craze of movie-going that took place across the United States; it is loud, exciting, and demands the attention of all who walk by it.[5]

By 1959, Art Durrant purchased the playhouse and ran it for a little more than three years before he became burnt out from managing the theater. He subsequently sold the property to a theater management company named Silver Wheel Enterprises. Silver Wheel Enterprises decided to change the name of the location once more to the Silver Wheel Theater for its opening in 1963. The Silver Wheel Egyptian theater would go through many similar changes in management and changes in entertainment, eventually becoming home to the Park City Performances (PCP), a local community theatre organization.[6]

In the twenty first century the Egyptian Theater is a historical testament to Park City’s love for entertainment. The theater today is used for community performances and film viewing, as it is one of Sundance Film Festival’s most desirable venues, where highly praised filmmakers are invited to showcase their films.

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources:

City Officials in Front of the Silver Wheel Theater (Egyptian Theater), Park City, Utah (2 Views). Photograph. Accessed May 2, 2022.

Dewey Theater Changes Hands.” Salt Lake Tribune. February 20, 1910.

Egyptian-American Theaters Change Hands.” Park Record. March 11, 1948.

New Silver Wheel Enterprises Buys Lu Ann Theater in Park.” Summit County Bee and Park Record. March 4, 1963.

New Theatre Will Be On Dewey Site.” Park Record, July 2, 1926.

Silver Mill, Theater Group near Agreement on Egyptian.” Park Record. September 22, 1983. 

Secondary Sources:

“About Us.” Park City Shows. Egyptian Theatre, December 11, 2021.

 Carter, Thomas, and Peter L. Goss. “Egyptian Revival 1920-1930.” In Utah’s Historic Architecture, 1847-1940: A Guide, 135–35. Salt Lake City, UT, Utah: Center for Architectural Studies, Graduate sic School of Architecture, University of Utah, & Utah State Historical Society, 1991.

Roper, Roger. “Going to the Movies: A Photo Essay of Theaters.” Utah Historical Quarterly 67, no. 2 (1999): 111–22.

[1] Carter, Thomas, and Peter L. Goss. “Egyptian Revival 1920-1930. In Utah’s

Historic Architecture, 1847-1940: A Guide, 135–35. Salt Lake City, UT, Utah: Center for

Architectural Studies, Graduate sic School of Architecture, University of Utah, & Utah

State Historical Society, 1991.

[2] “New Silver Wheel Enterprises Buys Lu Ann Theater in Park.” Summit County Bee and Park Record. March 4, 1963.

[3] “New Theatre Will Be On Dewey Site.” Park Record, July 2, 1926.

[4] “New Theatre Will Be On Dewey Site.” Park Record, July 2, 1926.

[5] Roper, Roger. “Going to the Movies: A Photo Essay of Theaters.” Utah Historical Quarterly 67, no. 2 (1999): 111–22.

[6] “Silver Mill, Theater Group near Agreement on Egyptian.” Park Record. September 22, 1983.

USS Harder Memorial

Published / by Rylan Suzzi / Leave a Comment
Photo by Rylan A Suzzi

Write-up by Rylan A. Suzzi

Placed by: Utah Chapter of United States Submarine Veterans

GPS Coordinates: 40.44188775552948, -111.93219578198409

Historical Marker Text (1)

Photo By Rylan A. Suzzi


The USS Harder crew under the superb leadership of Commander Samuel D Dealey USN set a war record for submarines by sinking five Japanese destroyers in five days and was credited with sinking 78,000 tons of Japanese shipping before being lost in 1944.

May all the lost Submariners have eternal peace knowing the sacrifice they made helped defeat the evil forces who tried to enslave the world. 

May this hallowed place reflect the bond the living share with those who have given all for the price of freedom and peace.

This memorial was erected by Utah Submarine Veterans in 1997. We appreciate the donations from former crew members and others.

Photo By Rylan A. Suzzi





24 AUGUST 1944

Photo By Rylan A. Suzzi



U.S.S. S-26U.S.S. S-44U.S.S. DARTER
Photo by Rylan A Suzzi


Explosive In Head 600 lbs.

Weight Complete 3185 lb.

Size 21” Dia. X 20’6” long.

Low Speed 9000 Yds. at 36 M.P.H.

High Speed 4500 Yds. at 55 M.P.H.

Extended Research:

USS Harder Courtesy of

Construction on the USS Harder began on December 1st, 1941, six days before the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan forced the United States into the Second World War. The USS Harder was a gato-class, the first mass-produced submarine by the United States, a diesel-electric submarine, one of the first gato class submarines to be constructed. She was launched on August 19, 1942, and later commissioned on December 2, 1942 when she began active duty.[1] Under the command of Samuel D. Dealey, the Harder sailed from Groton, Connecticut to Pearl Harbor, where she began active combat patrols. From Pearl Harbor, she began her first patrol off the coast of Japan, striking the Japanese Sagara Maru. She returned to Midway Island on July 7, 1943 to refit and receive new orders.

            The Harder began her second war patrol on August 24, 1943, launching from Pearl Harbor with orders to patrol off the coast of Honshu, Japan. On September 9, Harder sank the Koyo Maru, followed by the Yoko Maru two days later. On September 13, she was spotted by Japanese planes and forced to submerge. After evading Japanese search planes, Harder surfaced on September 19 and sank the Kachinas Maru. On September 23, she sank the Kowa Maru and Daishin Maru off the coast of Nagoya Bay. Having spent all her torpedoes, Harder returned to Midway Island on September 28 but was able to destroy two more Japanese boats with her main deck cannon. She made port at Midway Island on October 4.[2]

            On October 30, the Harder joined the USS Snook (SS-279) and USS Pargo (SS-264) to create a “wolfpack.”[3] While patrolling the Mariana Islands in the North-western Pacific Ocean on November 12, the Harder sank two Japanese anti-submarine ships. Changing course to Saipan, Harder encountered three Japanese warships, the Udo Maru, the Hokko Maru, and the Nikko Maru, and was able to sink them all with help from Snook and Pargo. With all her torpedoes spent yet again, Harder returned to Pearl Harbor on November 30.[4]

Crew members of the USS Harder with the ship’s pennant. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &

On her fourth war patrol, the Harder left Pearl Harbor on March 16, 1944, along with the USS Seahorse (SS-304). With orders to serve as a lifeguard ship, Harder sailed to Woleai, a small coral atoll in the eastern Carolina islands in the Pacific Ocean, where she rescued an injured pilot who had been shot down. Continuing her patrol, the Harder encountered Japanese search planes on April 13. The Japanese Destroyer Ikazuchi moved to intercept the Harder, but Commander Dealey chose to engage the vessel instead of submerging. The Harder fired four torpedoes, sinking the Ikazuchi. Four days later, Harder encountered a Japanese merchant escort and, firing four torpedoes, sank the Matsue Maru. She then returned to the Fremantle Submarine Base in Western Australia.

The Harder received orders to patrol Tawi-Tawi, an island in the Philippine Sea, where the Japanese fleet had been last spotted. The Harder left Fremantle with the USS Redfin (SS-272) on May 26. Harder encountered three Japanese tanker ships and two destroyers in the Sibutu Passage, a deep underwater channel that separated Borneo and Tawi-Tawi, on June 6. The Harder surfaced and fired three torpedoes at the two warships, with two hitting the Minazuki and sinking it. The other destroyer was undamaged and Harder submerged due to depth charges. The very next morning, Japanese search planes spotted the Harder, and a destroyer engaged her. Commander Dealey yet again decided to attack the destroyer head-on, firing three torpedoes at the Hayanami. Two of the torpedoes hit their mark, and the Hayanami sank. Harder then left the Sibutu Passage and rescued six Australian Coastwatchers off of northern Borneo. On June 9, Harder returned to the Sibutu Passage and encountered two more Japanese destroyers. She sent four torpedoes at the two ships, destroying the Tanikaze and crippling the second ship. The next day, Harder encountered a Japanese task force of three battleships and four cruisers. Commander Dealey commanded the crew to turn the Harder so that she was to the front of the lead cruiser, fired three torpedoes, and immediately submerged. The crew reported a massive explosion just as the Harder passed underneath the lead destroyer. Harder was only 24 meters below the destroyer when her torpedoes hit the destroyer. The Harder then performed reconnaissance on the Japanese fleet at Tawi-Tawi, reporting intelligence to Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, commander of the Fifth Fleet of the US Navy. This intel was crucial in Admiral Spruance’s Battle of the Philippine Sea. Harder’s aggressive attack strategy also led Japanese Admiral Soemu Toyoda to believe Tawi-Tawi was surrounded by American submarines.[5] The Harder’s radioman, Calvin Bull, was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions during Harder’s fifth war patrol.[6]

 “Sub Is Given Up for Lost”The Wilkes-Barre Record. 1945. p. 3.

 After returning to Fremantle on July 3, Harder began her sixth and final war patrol on August 5, 1944. She received orders to patrol the South China Sea and formed a “wolfpack” with the USS Hake (SS-256), Haddo (SS-255), Ray (SS-271), Guitarro (SS-363), and Raton (SS-270) on August 21. They then attacked Palawan Bay, Mindoro, destroying four Japanese ships. The next day, Harder and Haddo sailed to Bataan and patrolled Dasol Bay. There, they encountered three Japanese ships, the Matsuwa, Hiburi, and Asakazi. Harder sank Matsuwa and Hiburi, but Asakazi was only injured by Haddo, which by then had expended all of her torpedoes. Joined by Hake, Harder followed Asakazi to Dasol Bay, where they encountered a Japanese minesweeper, the Phra Ruang, escort ship CD-22, and destroyer PB-102. Hake and Harder worked to escape the Japanese ships, but at 07:28 on August 24, Hake’s radioman reported 15 explosions in the distance. Afternoon, Hake surfaced and examined the area, but there was no sign of the Harder or any of her crew. The United States Navy declared the Harder lost on January 2, 1945.[7]

 The USS Harder earned the nickname “Hit ‘Em Harder” for her aggressive combat style. She received six battle stars and earned the Presidential Unit Citation. Commander Dealey was awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously[8]. Information about the Harder, and any American service vessel, can be found on the Naval History and Heritage Command website.

Walker Neal Snyder

Torpedoman’s Mate, Third Class Walker Neal Snyder was the only casualty aboard the USS Harder from Utah. He was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on March 21, 1925. He was originally declared Missing in Action on August 24, 1944, but was later declared Killed in Action.[9] Along with the USS Harder memorial in Bluffdale, Utah, PO3 Snyder is memorialized at the Tablets of the Missing, Manila American Cemetery.[10] He was awarded the Purple Heart and the Presidential Unit Citation. He was the only surviving son of Guy Mckinley Synder, born in 1896, who was born in Richfield, Utah, and lived until July 12, 1980.[11] His mother, Kathryn Marie Synder, was born on January 11, 1902, and died on February 19, 1933.[12]

Walker Neal Snyder is also listed in the “Killed in Action, Died of Wounds, or Lost Lives as a Result of Operational Movements in Warzones” in the Combat Connected Naval Casualties by States: Volume II under the subsection Nevada, although Walker Neal Snyder was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. Combat Connected Naval Casualties by States: Volume II was commissioned by the United States Naval Department of Information in 1946.[13]

[1] “Sub Is Given Up for Lost”. The Wilkes-Barre Record. 1945. p. 3.

[2] Harder I (SS-257). Accessed March 2, 2022.

[3] The term “wolfpack” when used in terms of naval combat, refers to a coordinated attack group or squadron. Coined by the German Kriesgmarine.

[4] Harder I (SS-257). Accessed March 2, 2022.

[5] “Pacific Wrecks.” Pacific Wrecks – World War II Pacific War and Korean War. Accessed March 2, 2022.

[6] “Nebraskan Awarded Bronze Star Medal”. Beatrice Daily Sun. 1945-03-26. p. 8

[7] “Sub Is Given Up for Lost”The Wilkes-Barre Record. 1945. p. 3.

[8] “Navy Man’s Family Will Receive Medal”Eau Claire Leader. 1945-08-28. p. 2.

[9] “Walker Neal Snyder.” On eternal patrol – walker Neal Snyder. Accessed April 7, 2022.

[10]“Walker Neal Snyder.” Walker Neal Snyder : Petty Officer Third Class from Utah, World War II Casualty. Accessed April 7, 2022.

[11] Snyder, William Orson. “Guy McKinley Snyder.” geni_family_tree, October 23, 2017.

[12] Snyder, William Orson. “Kathryn Marie Snyder.” geni_family_tree, October 23, 2017.

[13] Combat Connected Naval Casualties, World War II, by States. 2. Vol. 2. Washington: U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1946.

Further References

Primary sources

“Sub Is Given Up for Lost.” The Wilkes-Barre Record. January 3, 1945. p. 3

“Nebraskan Awarded Bronze Star Medal”. Beatrice Daily Sun. March 26, 1945. p. 8.

“Navy Man’s Family Will Receive Medal”. Eau Claire Leader. August 8, 1945. P. 2.

 Combat Connected Naval Casualties, World War II, by States. 2. Vol. 2. Washington: U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1946. 

Secondary sources

Harder I (SS-257). Accessed March 2, 2022. “Pacific Wrecks.” Pacific Wrecks – World War II Pacific War and Korean 

War. Accessed March 2, 2022.

“Walker Neal Snyder.” Walker Neal Snyder : Petty Officer Third Class from Utah, World War II Casualty. Accessed April 7, 2022.

“Walker Neal Snyder.” Walker Neal Snyder : Petty Officer Third Class from Utah, World War II Casualty. Accessed April 7, 2022.

News, Deseret. “Utah Submarine Veterans Dedicate Memorial Today.” Deseret News, Deseret News, 27 Sept. 1997,

“Samuel Dealey, USS Harder (SS-257).” The National Medal of Honor Museum, 21 Aug. 2020,

“Sub Is Given Up For Lost.” The Wilkes-Barre Record, 3 Jan. 1945, pp. 3. 

Memory Park World War I Marker

Published / by Andrew Slack / Leave a Comment

Write-up by Andrew Slack

Photo by Andrew Slack

Placed by: The Salt Lake Chapter of the Service Star Legion

GPS Coordinates: Lat 40.77763, Long -111.8844

Historical Marker Text (Main Face):

Photo by Andrew Slack

1914-1918/ In Grateful Remembrance of the Heroic Sons of Utah Who Gave Their Lives in the World War/ This Monument Erected A.D. 1932

Face 1:

Photo by Andrew Slack

Leo Earl Able, Roni C. Ahlquist, Vincenzo Albi, Guy B. Alexander, C. E. Allen Jr, Orin H. Allen, James Anaquist, Alexander Anderson, Clarence Anderson, Clyde V. Anderson, Darrel A. Anderson, Edward C. Anderson, George E. Anderson, George Erastus Anderson, Junius N. Anderson, Otto A. Anderson, W.W. Anderson, George N. Ansley, Clarence M. Argyle, Horace R. Argyle, James Earl Armistead, Winston Arnett, Wallace W. Asher, Earl Ashton, James B. Austin, Lear E. Austin, Roy Irl Austin, Spot Austin, S. A. Axelson, Charles A. Bacon, James C. Bagan, Burl H. Baker, Herman Baker, John L. Banner, Joel C. Barlow, John W. Barnes, Ben Barnett, Charles H. Barrett, Edward H. Barrus, Cliff Barton, Arthur T. Bates, Joshua H. Bates, James C. Bawden, Clinton G. Beasley, Kemper J. Beasley, L. C. Beauman, Otto Beebe, Leroy E. Benson, William Bentler, A. L. Bergman, George N. Bernardis, Edward T. Berry, Christian H. Best, Ralph Biddell, Elmer S. Bishop, WM. H. Blackburn, Allen Murl Blain, John Blundell, Rufus G. Bolten, Fred Booth, John David Boyd, Ralph R. Braby, Ross J. Bracken, George A. Brand, Clarence J. Brandley, Ira Claton Brandt, Alexander L. Brewer, James Roy Brighton, Earl P. Brown, Eugene A. Brown, Harold Brown, John H. Brown, Logan H. Bryant, George E. Bunker, Hubert H. Burns, Harold H. Burrows, Hubert G. Bush, Ralph W. Bush, Emil W. Butler, Meldon Byerco, Arthur L. Cahoon, Joseph A. Cain, Victor Caldart, Alton Calder, Elmer C. Calhoun, Harold Cameron, Fred J. Cannon, George W. Carlile, Alvin P. Carlson, Curney F. Carlson, Charles T. Carroll, Maurice R. Carter, Stefano Casgiano, Albert Casera, Russell Chambers, George Chandler, Elwin F. Chapman, Ralph E. Chapman, Anthony Chiaromonte, James E. Chipman, Erbie Christensen, Royal Christenson, F. B. Christiansen, Roger H. Clapp, John F. Clark, William Russell Clark, Earl L. Cobb.

Face 2:

Photo by Andrew Slack

William E. Colby, Virgil Cole, Ray C. Coleman, Vernell W. Coleman, Albert Comina, Umberto Conedero, George B. Cook, James L Corbitt, George Cottam, Eugene Cottis, Clive N. Coupe, Archie E. Cowen, Robert W. Cowdrey, Harold A. Cox, Jose Coz, Abraham J. Crawford, Edward J. Crawford, Elmer J. Criddle, James W. Crosland, Edward J. Crossman, Earl F. Crow, Raymond F. Crow, James Cuff, Milton R. Cummings, Adolphus B. Curtis, Carter Curtis, George Curtis, Leroy Curtis, James Dacoles, Edwin Dahlquist, Jesse Daly, Joseph L. Damron, Fred O. Dancan, C. P. Danielson, John G. Darley, Fletcher G. Darrold, George F. Darrow, Gifford Davidson, Russell W. Davies, Bryce E. Davis, Frank D. Davis, Norman S. Davis, David Day, George R. Day, Jesse Dayley, David L. Dean, Fletcher G. De Ford, Charles Densley, Mike Descisco, Peter Detomasi, Roy Dewitt, Jared Dickson, Thomas W. Dimond, James M. Dodds, John Doles, Joseph R. Don, John T. Donnohue, Ora J. Douglas, Lionel C. Dover, George Drand, Austin Draper, Jabbez M. Draper, John R. Draper, Oliver Drysdale, Claud L. Duff, Arthur Duffin, Fred J. Duncan, George D. Dundas, Robert E. Durrant, George E. Earl, Fred Edler, Frank W. Edwards, John Thomas Egan, Abel J. Ekins, John A. Ekman, Ernest H. Ellerman, James Elliott, Walter B. Elliott, Mervin A. Elwood, Carl O. Engemann, Emmet Erickson, Harry D. Estes, Kenneth Evans, Lawrence Evans, Chris W. M. Evensen, George G. Falter, Leonard G. Farley, George E. Farnow, Partick J. Farrell, Nathon Faux, Harold M. Ferguson, E. Finteilakis, Charles L. Fiske, Ed. H. Fitzgerald, John T Forscen, Claude Ray Foster, Herbert E. Fowers, William E. Fowlers, James W. Foy.

Face 3:

Photo by Andrew Slack

Anders J. Fredson, Bert W. Freeman, Frank S. Fuller, William O. Funk, Jarald M. Furgason, John A. Furphy, George M. Gaisford Jr, Melvin Galbraith, Verne Gardner, Wayne Gardner, C. Elwood Garvin, Louis Garzia, Thurman Gates, Basilios Gerogopulos, George Gidney, Eldridge S. Giffin, Elmo Arthur Gillen, John W. Gillespie, Morris S. Ginsburg, Herman Glassmier, Willian T. Gleason, Herbert F. Gledhill, Albert W. Goddard, George W. Goins, T. E. Gourgiotis, Willard C. Gowans, N. Ray Gowers, James M. Graham, Fred J. Grant, Edwin M. Gray, Wallace Gray, Amasa L. Green, Armistead A. Green Jr, Arthur R. Green, Carl E. Green, Lawrence Green, Clayton B. Griswold, Stephen Groesbeck, Richard N. Grunow, H. N. Gudmunson, Richard M. Hackett, Norman J. Haeckel, Jacob Hafen, James A. Hagan, J. H. Hague, Lloyd Burt Haigh, Howard Hales Jr, Henry Hall, Ralph Hall, Fred W. Halser, Alfred C. Halseybrook, Harry J. Halton Jr, John W. Hansard, Milton G. Hansen, Hans Hanson, Paul O. Hanson, Earl S. Harper, F. S. Harrison, Marion J. Hatch, Golden Hatfield, Leon Haws, Carmen F. Hayes, Geofrey B. Hayes, James J. Hayes, Manford W. Hayes, Ruben L. Hayes, James J. Hayward, Lester R. Helland, Orion Helm, Geo. A. Hendrickson, Jacob Henschell, Alton Hlatt, Lavon R. Hickman, Robt. F. Hilderbrandt, Stanford Hinckley, Harold V. Hobson, Thadeous Hodges, Amos Hoeft, Henry Hofele, John Arthur Hogan, John M. Hogan, Doak Holler, Emil John Hollow, Phelps R. Holman, Raymond M. Holmes, Fred Parry Holton, Cicil J. Horton, Ira Houtz, Samuel E. Howard, James E. Howell, Seymore O. Howell, William H. Huffman, Harry D. Humphries, Basil A. Hunsaker, Thomas Hunt, Daniel W. Hurst, Russell A. Ingersoll, Wm. Wallace Ipson, Eugene B. Isgreen, Frank A. Issakson, Arthur Ivie, David Ivie, Ray Ivie, Wilbur G. Jackson, Wilbur I. Jackson, William L. Jacobs.

Face 4:

Photo by Andrew Slack

William G. Jackos, Arthur Janney, Alma L. Jensen, Irving W. Jensen, Leo M. Jensen, Leroy Jensen, Ruben M. Jensen, Waldemar Jensen, D. E. Jesperson, Richard I. Jewkes, Edmond Johannesen, Arnold Johnson, Clarence L. Johnson, Ernest F. Johnson, Raymond Johnson, Wilbert Johnson, Guy Johnston, Charles C. Jones, Bert M. Jones, David L. Jones, Henry M. Jones, John E. Jones, Joseph Jones, Joseph L. Jones, Joy V. Jones, Marvin L. Jones, Hans Hilbert Jorgerson, Guy J. Jurgensen, William Kallas, Demetrios Karvarites, Daniel L. Keate, George H. Keifer, Harry Keith, Michael J. Kelly, V. A. Kelly, Earnest Kendall, Joseph Kenner, George Kerr, Peter L. Keyes, Scott R. Kimball, Worthy Kinear, Thomas Kirkland, Homer W, Kizer, Moroni Kleinman, Alexian E. Koshaba, Henry R. Kramer, Edward A. Kupfer, Bakran Kurkjian, Vahran Kurkjian, Sims Kwan, Wesley L. Lackyard, Henry J. Lafever, Bazel G. Lake, Joseph B. Lambert, George G. Lambourne, Arthur F. Langshaw, Isaac H. Langston, Jesse L. Larrabee, Cleveland S. Larsen, Lars L. Larsen, Lawrence E. Larsen, Orvill Harry Larsen, George T. Larson, Hubert H. Layton, William Layton, Ernest A. Lee, John H. Lee, William H. Lees, Carl P. Leishman, William Leitz, Frank Leland, Cirilo Leones, Herbert C. Leslie, Harold E. Lewis, James Fallis Lewis, George Kenley Liddell, Gustavus R. Lilya, Daniel J. Limb, Roy Link, Edward L. Lister, Alfred P. Liston, George Lloyd, Dan A. Lockhart, William Lofthouse, Albert W. Long, Charles R. Longson, George Lord, Wayne G. Loveless, Frank Luckini, George Luedeke, Fred Lungrin, Francis W. Lyman, Grant H. Lyman, Merl Gowans Lyman, Walter S. McCann, William J. McCombb, Seth McConkie, Harold McConnell, Charles S. McDonald, Monroe McDonald, Douglas R. McEwen, Ernest McFarlane, Calvin P. McGovern, O. K. McGraw, William Arthur Grown.

Face 5:

Photo by Andrew Slack

Orestes K. McGun, Roy McKay, Alvin McKean, Angus R. McKellar, Harold J. McKinnon, Robert C. McLaughlin, P.P. McManamon, Melvin V. McMillan, David L. McNeil, Elias Mabarah, Fred Mabutt, William R. Mace, Ray Van Cott Madsen, Paul Maeser, Jack Major, C. J. W. Malmstrom, Harry F. Malone, Lawrence E. Manning, Harold Manwaring, Joe R. Maranjo, Leland R. March, David A. Margetts, Jackson Martin, William Martin, Joseph M. Martinez, William C. Marvin, C. J. Mason, William H. Mather, Mat Mattson, Wm. Henry Maturin, Frank Alma Maughan, Frank Thomas Maze, Frank W. Medell, Joseph H. Merrill, Alf Meyer, Daniel R. Michelsen, Cleo Mileni, Glenn Miles, Maurice K. Miles, Jacob B. Millar, Bert R. Miller, Byron G. Miller, Clarence E. Miller, Frank Miller, Glen S. Miller, W. E. Millerberg, Charles Mills, Charles J. Mitchell, Corbet Mitchell, Louis Monas, Francis L. Monk, Walter A. Monson, Ross Moore, Lester Earl Moreton, Adrian L. Morin, James F. Morris, Rexford W. Morris, Claude W. Morse, Arthur L. Mower, Joseph C. Muir, Russell Muir, John Mulder, James H. Murphy, Francis W. Naylor, Russell Neargarder, Boyd A. Neilson, George N. Neilson, Charles E. Nelson, Clarence K. Nelson, Gorge J. Nelson, George R. Nelson, George W. Nelson, Louis O. Nelson, Oscar E. Nelson, Roy P. Nelson, William A. Netcher, Alfred Nichols, Arthur S. Nielson, Harry D. Nones, FritzL. Oberg, Joseph G. Okey, Raymond Oldham, Rutilio Olguin, H. K. Olmstead, Andrew M. Olsen, Charles F. Olsen, Hyrum Olsen, Leander Olsen, Albert F. Olsen, Jabe A. Openshaw, Oran A. Openshaw, John H. Osborne, W. E. Osborne, Frank R. Ostler, Thomas W. Ostler, Carl L. Ostlund, Carl J. Ostlund, Dewey H. Ottosen, G. Pallioutahakis, C. D. Papademetrin, Harvey A. Parker, Lawrence E. Parker, Arthur Regan Parkes, George Parkinson, J. A. Parnell, Eugene Pasley, John Henry Poulson.

Face 6:

Photo by Andrew Slack

Melvin C. Patten, Delos LeRoy Peay, Hyrum A. Perry, Ralph Perry, Edward M. Peters, George J. Peters, Alvin G. Peterson, Arthur L. Peterson, Edward C. Peterson, Frank E. Peterson, John O. Peterson, Kimball C. Peterson, Leonard H. Peterson, Levi F. Peterson, Paul D. Peterson, Peter C. Peterson, Ray D. Peterson, Vern A. Peterson, Dell Phillips, Peter D. Pitts, Wm. Raymond Platt, Rayley Postlethwaite, Frank B. Potampa, Dan Potovitch, Joseph Powell, Thomas J. Powell, Alvin L. Prater, Claytor P. Preston, William Price Jr, Arthur L. Pritchard, Merlin Proctor, Reuben V. Radmall, Albert L. Ralph, Cleon J. Reber, Frank Redo, Jerry V. Reece, David M. Reed, Joseph D. Reed, Oreal D. Reeder, Ornamon Remington, Edward J. Rice, William H. Richards, L. F. Richardson, Earl E. Ridd, Brutus L. Rideout, Elmo Ridges, Joseph Riggs, Harold L. Ritchie, William A. Robbins, Arthur O. Roberts, John W. Roberts, Alex G. Robertson, Joseph Robertson, Joseph Robinson, Lynn S. Robison, Peter J. Rolley, Grant M. Romney, William L. Rook, Ernest Rudy Rosell, Gus Ross, Egino Rosson, Louis H. Rowe, Thor Y. Rowley, Orvill W. Ruby, Abraham Ruesch, Sterling Russell, Albert S. Sadler, Frank G. Sainsbury, Frank Salvatore, Elmer John Sandberg, Martin Sanders, William R. Sands, Angel SanTarelli, Wilford N. Sargent, Eugene N. Saunders, William A. Schade, Fred F. Schmmalz, Albert F. Schneider, Lesliie C. Schrider, Vernon L. Scott, William A. Seier, James L. Shaffer, James Shaw, Scott M. Sheets, John W. Sherman, George B. Shotliff, George M. Silver, Kwan Sims, Neils Skeen, R. W. Slater, Ardie Smith, Gilbert L. Smith, Harry E. Smith, Henry Smith, Lehi Larsen Smith, William Smith, Elmer S. Snyder, Ernest W. Sorenson, Grover P. Sorenson, Hyrum M. Sorenson, Joseph H. Sorenson, Raymond D. Sorenson, Sydney A. Sorenson, Walter J. Sorenson.

Face 7:

Photo by Andrew Slack

Gustave Spitzbaurdt, James K. Sprunt, Russell K. Sprunt, Edwin E. Squires, William Squires, Glen Stallings, Constant Steelant, William Steglish, George W. Stevenson, Alphonso Stewart, Charles J. Stewart, Edward Stewart, Ned Stewart, Forrest Stewart, Francis N. Stringham, Ernest E. Strong, Arthur F. Sullivan, Osborne Sutton, Robert Swan, William M. Swan, Alfred Swens, Horace R. Tanner, August C. Targetta, Joseph Taylor, Lynn Taylor, Robert B. Taylor, Carson Terry, Hadley Howard Teter, Arthur P. Thomas, Frank W. Thomas, Guy Thomas, Heber H. Thomas, P. Alonzo Thomas, Stanley W. Thomas, Benjamin Thompson, William O. Thompson, George Tomaka, Ransford Torgerson, Vernon W. Tozer, Thomas W. Tower, Thomas Traggastis, Herman Trew, Harold A. C. Trotman, Charles L. Tucker, Percy D. Tucker, Parley C. Turner, Roland V. Twelves, Jack E. Tyler, Gordon Van Alystine, William Van Dusen, Alber V. Van Pelt, Harlow H. Vincent, Don C. Wade, Martin E. Wagner, Ren Wagstaff, William Wainwright, Wm. H. Walkington, J. Blaine Wall, James John Wallas, Partick J. Walsh, Frederick W. Walson, Edward H. Walters, Wilford R. Wanberg, William Wanio, William C. Wanner, Keith Warby, B. E. Watkins, Devers Watkins, Ernest B. Watkins, Ellis L. Weeter, Harley Weir, James C. Wells, Wilford Wells, Richard Werner, Russell J. West, George H. Western, John H. Weston, M. Wheelwright, Ira B. Whitaker, Charles L. White, Fred T. Whitehouse, W. A. Whiteley, Fred T. Whitesides, Mason D. Whitmore, Clifford A. Williams, Ray O. Williams, Joseph C. Willmore, Joseph S. Wilkes, Herbert Wilson, James H. Wilson, James W. Wilson, Orson P. Wilson, Elmer Winters, Alden M. Witbeck, John E. Witbeck, George Woodard, W. W. Woodland, Joseph R. Woolley, N. F. Woolley, Nelden F. Worley, Anton Woytak, Jack P. Wright, A. H. Wunderlich, James G. Yardley, George L. Young, John P. Young.

Extended Research:

World War I saw the highest level of foreign troop deployment in American history. Due to the extreme number of casualties and the difficult nature of transporting the dead back to the United States for burial, many servicemembers were buried overseas. The American Battle Monuments Commission was formed and tasked with creating US cemeteries overseas. In the US, the Service Star Legion created the National Memorial Grove in Baltimore to honor those who were lost and buried overseas. These events inspired similar monuments to US servicemembers who died in the war throughout the nation. Utah’s memorial to those lost was initially proposed by the local chapter of The Service Star Legion in 1920, and City Creek Canyon was selected as the anticipated site. The Service Star Legion was made up of mothers of servicemembers across the country who displayed flags with stars that indicated how many sons they had fighting in the war. A Gold Star Mother referred to a mother who displayed a gold star on her flag, indicating that she had lost a son in the war. [1]

Original Marker

By 1924, the mothers of Utahns killed in the war had organized into the Gold Star Mothers of Salt Lake, and proposed a monument that included a bronze tablet adorned with the names of Utahns who died during the war. Their efforts in lobbying the state legislature and garnering public support were vital in this effort. Anne Payne Howard was named the treasurer of the committee that oversaw the development of the monument, and was instrumental in securing funding for the project.[2] She repeatedly called on local citizens to donate to the monument fund, and purchased numerous advertisements in local newspapers to drum up support. Due to the efforts of Anne Payne Howard and the Gold Star Mothers of Salt Lake, the original monument was dedicated on Friday, June 27, 1924 by then-Mayor C. Clarence Nelson. The dedication ceremony drew hundreds of visitors, including then-Governor Charles R. Mabey, Disabled American Veterans president James McFarland, and Medal of Honor recipient Sergeant Samuel Woodfill. This version of the monument was designed by Salt Lake City architect Walter J. Cooper, and according to sources at the time, featured the names of 728 Utahns.[3] Later sources cite 665 names, and the discrepancy is not explained anywhere. It is possible the original news announcement had incorrect information.

Current Marker

            In 1932, Anne Payne Howard served as the chairman of Memory Grove Park, and announced that a new monument for those lost in World War I would replace the original. The new monument included a pergola made of the same Vermont marble that was used in the Lincoln Memorial, and an octahedral marker in the center. The construction of the monument cost $13,500.[4] On Memorial Day of 1932, a ceremony was held to honor the veterans of World War I. During the ceremony, the efforts of the Gold Star Mothers and Anne Payne Howard over the past decade were realized with a new monument engraved with the names of 665 Utahns, cementing their sacrifice so they may be honored.

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources

Miller, Selma. “Soldier Dead Honored with Bronze Plate.” Salt Lake Tribune. June 27 1924.


“War Memorial Work Planned Soon.” Salt Lake Tribune. February 16 1932.


Secondary Sources

Kiser, Benjamin, Holly George, Kaleigh McLaughlin, Valerie Jacobson, and Christina Epperson. “Utah’s World War I Monuments.” Pamphlet by Utah State Division of History.

Love, William G. “A History of Memory Grove.” Utah Historical Quarterly 76 no. 2 (2008): 148-167.

Powell, Alan Kent. Utah and the Great War: The Beehive State and the World War I Experience. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press. 2016.

[1] Allan Kent Powell, Utah and the Great War: The Beehive State and the World War I Experience (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2016), 397.

[2] Benjamin Kiser et al, “Utah’s World War I Monuments,” Pamphlet by Utah State Division of History.

[3] Selma Miller, “Soldier Dead Honored with Bronze Plate,” Salt Lake Telegram, June 27 1924,

[4] “War Memorial Work Planned Soon,” Salt Lake Telegram, February 16 1932,

Benson Grist Mill

Published / by Dean Church / Leave a Comment

Write-up by Dean Church

Placed by: The Benson Grist Mill Restoration Volunteer Committee

GPS Coordinates: N 40° 39.033 W 112° 17.834

Historical Marker Text:

BENSON GRIST MILL In 1850 L.D.S. Church Apostle, Ezra Taft Benson, was authorized by President Brigham Young to develop a mill site at Twin Springs Creek to serve Mormon communities in Tooele County. In 1851 a sawmill commenced operating and in 1854 the Lee brothers, skilled pioneer artisans, were hired to build the mill. The mill’s large mortised timbers were hauled by team and wagon from the nearby Oquirrh Mountains. 

In 1855 the millsite community became known as “Richville” and served as the County Seat until 1861, when Tooele City was designated. 

In 1860 the “E.T. Benson Flour Mill” had one male employee and one run of millstones which produced 1,200 barrels of flour, 72,000 pounds of bran and 56,000 pounds of corn meal, together valued at $17,000. In the same year, Brigham Young acquired the mill, when E.T. Benson moved to Cache Valley. 

By 1862, the mill was referred to as “Young and Rowberry’s,” Bishop John Rowberry being an early resident of the Milltown (Richville) area. The mill that year reportedly processed 200 bushels of wheat per day under a 250 horsepower capacity. 

In 1922, J. Reuben Clark, Jr. (A U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and later an apostle in the Mormon church) purchased the mill. Earlier it’s original wooden waterwheel and millstones had been replaced by a metal turbine and imported free-standing “grain breakers.” After finally ceasing flour-milling operations in 1938, the mill was used several years for grinding animal feed. 

A volunteer committee was organized in 1983 to acquire and restore the historic mill, which was donated by Terracor Corp. to Tooele County. 

Photo Credit: J. Willard Marriott Digital Library (accessed on 3.2.22)

Extended Research:

Apostle Ezra Taft Benson, the original founder of the mill, was one of the first to arrive in Utah alongside Brigham Young’s pioneer company in 1847. After arriving in Utah, he was shortly sent back to Missouri where he helped prepare more Latter-day Saints for the trip to Utah.[1] He stayed in Missouri for two years until he eventually made his permanent move to the Salt Lake Valley in 1849. Ezra Benson would then help settle what we now call the Tooele Valley.

Cyrus Tolman is also important in this early history of the Benson Mill, as according to local history Tolman brought a load of straw and shingle timbers to Brigham Young to show the natural resources located in Tooele Valley.[2] This helped convince Brigham Young to sign off on milling and timber rights to Ezra Benson, Anson Call, Josiah Call, and Judson Tolman. In return these men promised to help develop roads to the new facilities. Due to the rich supply of timber, and grain grown by early settlers, milling operations were quickly attracted to the Tooele Valley

Benson hired brothers Cyrus and Judson Tolman, along with millwright Phineas Wright to find locations for mills and to begin construction. New Settlers to the area built their first homes around Benson’s sawmill in an area they called Settlement Canyon. These shelters were quickly abandoned, as a “Fort” was created due to hostilities with nearby Native Americans.[3] 

Latter-day Saint carpenter Thomas Lee and his brothers constructed the Benson gristmill in 1854. John Rowberry supervised construction and then maintained the mill for the owners, a group of people that included Rowberry, Ezra Benson, Benjamin Crosland, and other church leaders.[4] 

Settlers relied heavily on the Benson Mill in its early years, with reports describing workers there grinding as many as 6,000 bushels of wheat, 1,000 bushes of corn, and 228,000 pounds of flour.[5] To the right is an ad in the Deseret News written in 1857 advertising the Benson Gristmill. It mentions short notice grinding at any time of the year.[6]

Deseret News, 11 March 1857, 7.

Ownership of the Mill has changed several times throughout the decades. In 1860, Ezra Benson sold off his two-thirds share to Brigham Young. Young’s brother Lorenzo was interested in the mill and constructed an adobe home across from it. A conflicting story reports that Ezra Benson acquired sole ownership of the mill in 1866. It is thought that this was done in order to protect the ownership of the mill in behalf of the LDS church, as around this time the Church was being investigated by the federal government for polygamy.[7]

J. Reuben Clark Jr., an apostle in the LDS church, then purchased the Gristmill in 1922. Alterations were made to the mill including exchanging its original wooden waterwheel for a metal turbine, and its millstones were replaced with “imported free-standing ‘grain breakers’”. It ran all the way until the 1940’s, being used for grinding animal feed. Terracor, a land development company, then acquired the Gristmill. For roughly 40 years the mill sat abandoned until Terracor donated the building to Tooele County. 

The Benson Grist Mill Restoration Volunteer Committee created by Jack Smith, and consisting of members Wayne Shields, Boyd and Ouida Blanthorn, Ray Court, Bob and Marilyn Shields, Douglas Smith and Maxine Grimm, worked hard to return the Gristmill to its current condition. Today, the mill is used as a setting for field trips, weddings, reunions, and other social gatherings. “The site, complete with covered picnic tables, has become a virtual village as well as a roadside park. It hosts a replica miller’s house, historic cabins, a granary, a large barn and all manner of other buildings, plus several wagons.”[8]

[1] Ezra Benson, “Ezra Taft Benson, 1811-1869,” Autobiography of Ezra T. Benson (1811-1869), accessed April 8, 2022,

[2] Ouida Nuhn Blanthorn, A History of Tooele County (Salt Lake City, UT: Utah State Historical Society, 1998), 70-72.

[3] Ouida Nuhn Blanthorn, A History of Tooele County (Salt Lake City, UT: Utah State Historical Society, 1998), 70.

[4] Ouida Nuhn Blanthorn, A History of Tooele County (Salt Lake City, UT: Utah State Historical Society, 1998), 73.

[5] Ouida Nuhn Blanthorn, A History of Tooele County (Salt Lake City, UT: Utah State Historical Society, 1998), 226-227.

[6] “Grinding, Grinding,” Deseret News, 11 March 1857, 7.

[7] Ouida Nuhn Blanthorn, A History of Tooele County (Salt Lake City, UT: Utah State Historical Society, 1998), 73-74. 

[8]  Ray Boren, “The Benson Grist Mill Is a Rugged Monument to a Dynamic Pioneer Past,” Deseret News, 17 May 2012.

For Further Reference: 

Primary Sources: 

Benson, Ezra. “Ezra Taft Benson, 1811-1869.” Autobiography of Ezra T. Benson (1811-1869). Accessed April 8, 2022.

Grinding, Grinding,” Deseret News, 11 March 1857, 7.

Secondary Sources:

Blanthorn, Ouida Nuhn. A History of Tooele County. Salt Lake City, UT, Utah: Utah State Historical Society, 1998. 

Boren, Ray. “The Benson Grist Mill is a Rugged Monument to a Dynamic Pioneer Past.” Deseret News (Salt Lake City), May 17, 2012. 

Fire Station No. 8

Published / by Jordyn Gasper / Leave a Comment

Write-up by Jordyn Gasper

Placed by: Division of State History, N- 582

GPS Coordinates: N 40° 45.829 W 111° 51.228

Historical Marker 2022

Historical Marker Text:            

Fire Station No. 8, the second oldest visually intact fire station in Salt Lake City, is historically significant in documenting the expansion and development of the firefighting service in Salt Lake City. It was constructed in 1930 to serve the “outlying” east bench area, one of the fastest growing residential areas at the time. The building’s residential appearance reflects the careful attention given to ensure compatibility with surrounding houses.

Front View of Station 2022

Extended Research

The Salt Lake City Fire Department has been active for over 100 years. Prior to 1883, the department was operated by volunteer firemen only. This changed when the “Salt Lake City Council established a full-time, paid fire department, after a particularly damaging fire occurred in downtown Salt Lake City on June 21, 1883.”[1] The fire ripped through downtown Salt Lake City and created an explosion which caused nearly $100,000 in damages.[2] This massively devastating fire destroyed many city buildings and truly exposed the limited resources that Salt Lake had to help combat the fire.[3] The volunteer firemen attempted to put out the blaze, but it was obvious that there was not enough manpower to help the situation. After this extreme disaster, the Salt Lake Fire Department was created. The stations within the department had specific architectural styles to match their intended purposes for the time being. For example, the first station of the department, Fire Station no. 1, had a very particular architectural style that reflected its time period. This photo is from 1911 and shows how the station is very large.[4] It was a bigger structure because it was the only operating station at its time. The photo reveals smaller, circular garage openings to fit horse drawn fire engines. At this time, there were no motorized vehicles being used within the department, so the station did not need to expand its openings to fit larger equipment.

Fire Station No. 1 in 1911 courtesy of Salt Lake City Fire Department Photographs, accessed March 2, 2022,

As the population of the area grew, so did the number of stations within the department. In 1930, Fire Station no. 8 was constructed “to serve the east bench area” in Salt Lake City.[5] This station is historically significant because its architectural style and development reflected the expansion of the city and the fire department.[6] The architectural style of Fire Station no. 8 matches the looks of the surrounding homes within the area during the early twentieth century. Architect Albert White is praised for his work on the station because its appearance “reflects the careful attention that was given to the scale, setback and design of the building to ensure that it would be compatible with the surrounding houses in this prime residential neighborhood.”[7] The station was constructed to coexist with its surroundings and not stand out.

The design of Fire Station No. 8 is referred to as an English Cottage style building. This was the style of the majority of Salt Lake residential homes during the early twentieth century.[8] One important note about the English Cottage style was that although they appeared “deceptively small from the street, often they actually extended deep into the lot.”[9]     

Front View of Station 2022

Side View of Station 2022

As seen in the photo above, the fire station extends very deep into its lot. This was because the station needed to fit multiple fire engines and other fire equipment inside the building. Not only was the English Cottage style appealing to the eye, it was also very convenient for the purpose of a Fire Station.

However, as the city was expanding and new equipment advanced, the station could no longer function efficiently. Fire Station No. 8 was only operational until the year 1980 “because the doorways could not handle large modern firetrucks.”[10] This photo shows the crew in front of the station before it shut down.[11]

Fire Station No. 8 1980 courtesy of Salt Lake City Fire Department-Station 8, Classified Photograph Collection, Utah State Historical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah.

After the Salt Lake County Fire Department stopped using Fire Station No. 8, private investors purchased the building. These buyers transformed the station into a restaurant in the early 1980s called the Market Street Broiler.[12] In May of 2014, different investors bought the building and transformed it into a new restaurant called the Porcupine Pub and Grille.[13] As of 2022, Fire Station no. 8 serves as a Mexican restaurant called the Rio Grande.

[1] “Salt Lake City Fire Department Photographs, 1885-1901,” Salt Lake City Fire Department Photographs, accessed March 2, 2022,

[2] “The Big Blaze,” Salt Lake Herald-Republican, (Salt Lake City, UT), June 22, 1883,

[3] Jeffrey D. Nichols, “1883 Blaze Spurred Creation of Salt Lake City’s Professional Fire Department,” History to Go, April 29, 2016,

[4] Salt Lake City Fire Department- Station 1, Classified Photograph Collection, Utah State Historical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[5] Heather L. King, “Porcupine Pub Renovates Historic Utah Fire Station No. 8,” Utah Stories,

[6] National Register of Historic Places, Fire Station no. 8, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, National Register #83004423.

[7] National Register of Historic Places, Fire Station no. 8, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, National Register #83004423.

[8] Thomas Carter and Peter L. Goss, Utah’s Historic Architecture, 1847-1940: A Guide. (Salt Lake City, UT: Center for Architectural Studies, Graduate School of Architecture, University of Utah, & Utah State Historical Society, 1991), 137.

[9] Thomas Carter and Peter L. Goss, Utah’s Historic Architecture, 1847-1940: A Guide. (Salt Lake City, UT: Center for Architectural Studies, Graduate School of Architecture, University of Utah, & Utah State Historical Society, 1991), 34.

[10] “Firestation No. 8 (Salt Lake City),” Wikipedia (Wikimedia Foundation, April 26, 2021),

[11] Salt Lake City Fire Department-Station 8, Classified Photograph Collection, Utah State Historical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[12] Heather L. King, “Porcupine Pub Renovates Historic Utah Fire Station No. 8,” Utah Stories,

[13] Heather L. King, “Porcupine Pub Renovates Historic Utah Fire Station No. 8,” Utah Stories,

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources:

Salt Lake City Fire Department-Station 1, Classified Photograph Collection, Utah State Historical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Salt Lake City Fire Department-Station 8, Classified Photograph Collection, Utah State Historical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah.

“The Big Blaze.” Salt Lake Herald-Republican. (Salt Lake City, UT). June 22, 1883.

Secondary Sources:

Carter, Thomas, and Peter L. Goss. Utah’s Historic Architecture, 1847-1940: A Guide. (Salt Lake City, UT: Center for Architectural Studies, Graduate School of Architecture, University of Utah, & Utah State Historical Society, 1991).

“Firestation No. 8 (Salt Lake City).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, April 26, 2021.  

King, Heather L. “Porcupine Pub Renovates Historic Utah Fire Station No. 8.” Utah Stories, November 25, 2016.

National Register of Historic Places. Fire Station no. 8. Salt Lake City. Salt Lake County. Utah. National Register #83004423.

“Salt Lake City Fire Department Photographs, 1885-1901.” Salt Lake City Fire Department Photographs. Accessed March 2, 2022.  

Nichols, Jeffrey D. “1883 Blaze Spurred Creation of Salt Lake City’s Professional Fire Department.” History to Go, April 29, 2016.

The Walker War

Published / by Christopher Rich / Leave a Comment

Write-up by Christopher Rich

Placed by: The monument does not describe what organization placed it.  However, according to employees at the Peteetneet History Museum, it was funded by The People Preserving Peteetneet and installed by the Highway Department.

GPS Coordinates: 40.033313, -111.734020

Photo Credit: Christopher Rich

Historical Marker Text:

You are a fool for fighting your best friends, for we are the best and the only friends that you have in the world” wrote Brigham Young to the Ute Indian Chief Walkara in 1853, after the latter had engaged the settlers of Utah in their first major Indian war.

Angered because the whites had put an end to the Indian slave trade in the territory and had encroached upon their lands, the redmen found a pretext for beginning hostilities at Springville, July 17, 1853, when an Indian, while beating his squaw, was killed by a white man. The following day, Alexander Keele, a guard at Payson, was shot by Indians and the war was on. The policy of the white defenders was one of vigilant watch and limited offensive warfare. However before Governor Brigham Young led a peace mission into Walkara’s camp in May 1854 that ended the conflict, 20 whites had been killed including the U.S. Government surveyor Captain John W. Gunnison, who was massacred with 7 of his men near the present site of Hinckley, Utah.

Extended Research:


When the first Euro-American explorers came to Utah in 1776, the Western Ute were a non-equestrian people whose way of life was not very different from other local Indigenous people such as the Paiute and the Goshute.  However, over the next thirty years, the Western Ute obtained horses and firearms and were integrated into New Mexican trade networks.  The Ute developed a raid and trade economy in which they enslaved non-equestrian Indians in the Great Basin and traded them into New Mexico.  In the mid-1820s, they also began to trade with American and British trappers.  The Ute band leader Wákara (or Walker) eventually joined mountaineers such as Thomas “Peg-Leg” Smith in large-scale horse raids in California.  By the time that Brigham Young led the Latter-day Saints to the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, Wákara had grown rich in a trade system based on stolen livestock, firearms, and slaves.[1]

Brigham Young hoped that his people could avoid conflict with the Ute.  He purposely chose to settle in the Salt Lake Valley rather than on the principal Ute lands in Utah Valley so as not to “crowd upon the Utes until we have a chance to get acquainted with them.”[2] Nevertheless, a small band of Timpanogos Ute soon began stealing Mormon livestock.  In February 1849, a Latter-day Saint posse surrounded the band, and after the warriors refused to surrender, engaged in a two-hour battle in which 4-6 Timpanogos were killed.  Soon afterwards a group of Mormon colonists entered Utah Valley to create a permanent settlement.  Over the next year, incidence of theft and violence increased around the new Mormon colony at Fort Utah.  In one instance, a group of Mormons killed a Ute named “Old Bishop” and attempted to cover-up the crime.  After much cajoling by settlers and visiting military officers, Brigham Young finally authorized the territorial militia to carry-out a full-scale assault against the Timpanogos in March 1850.  Young was not informed of the murder of Old Bishop, and later indicated that he would not have sent the militia had he known the truth.[3]  But for the next year, the Latter-day Saints implemented an aggressive policy against “hostile” bands of Ute and Goshute.  By June of 1851, Young abandoned this war policy on both fiscal and humanitarian grounds.

Fort Utah

Despite the conflict in Utah Valley, the Mormons entered into an alliance with Wákara’s band of Ute in the summer of 1849.  This alliance ultimately lasted for four years.  Wákara believed that the Latter-day Saints would provide a local market for the spoils of his raiding activities, and that he could also continue to trade with the New Mexicans.  However, the Mormons objected to the trade in Native American women and children that was an important component of Wákara’s business model.  In some cases, Mormons refused to purchase children from Ute slavers who would then kill the children.  This left the Mormons in a difficult position.  They wanted to halt the slave trade, but worried that enslaved Indians were in immediate danger if the Mormons did not purchase them. In the winter of 1851-52, the Latter-day Saints prosecuted a group of New Mexican traders for engaging in the slave trade with the Ute. At the same time, the Utah Legislature passed a law permitting Mormons to purchase Indian slaves and hold them as apprentices for up to 20 years.

By the spring of 1853, Mormon restrictions on the slave trade were causing significant friction with Wákara’s band. This state of affairs was only exacerbated by the continued expansion of Mormon settlements onto Ute land. Threats were exchanged on both sides, but direct hostilities did not break out until the summer.  On July 17, a Mormon settler in Utah Valley named James Ivie intervened in a physical altercation between a Timpanogos man and woman, mortally wounding the man.  Brigham Young immediately wrote to Wákara and his brother Arapene and urged them to remain at peace.[4]  Local Mormons also attempted to negotiate.  But the relationship between the Saints and the Ute was too badly damaged.  The next day, the Ute retaliated by killing a Mormon named Alexander Keel.  Over the next several days, the Ute wounded several more Latter-day Saints in different locations.  Militia leaders in Utah Valley quickly organized a punitive expedition and killed several Utes before Brigham Young ordered them to return home.  But these events initiated a cycle of revenge that lasted for six months.    

During the ensuing conflict, Brigham Young followed a strategy that has been described as “defense and conciliation.”[5]  He ordered the militia to refrain from pursuing Ute raiders.  Instead, he instructed Mormon communities to build forts and to send excess livestock to the Salt Lake Valley while he attempted to make peace.  However, the Saints often ignored these directives and engaged in retributory attacks.  On at least two occasions, the Mormons summarily executed unarmed Ute prisoners.[6]  At the same time, the Ute relied on guerilla tactics, attacking small parties of Mormons or stealing livestock and then fleeing back into the mountains.  The Ute sometimes mutilated the dead, further inflaming passions.  One victim, Thomas Clark, was found scalped with his head smashed in and his heart removed.[7]  By January 1854, 12 Mormons had been killed as had 24-34 Ute.[8] However, the infamous murder of Captain Gunnison and his mapping party by Pahvant Utes in October 1853 was unrelated to the larger conflict.[9]

Although the struggle between the Mormons and the Ute has come to be known as the Walker War, Wákara’s actual participation in hostilities is disputed. As early as July 22, the Mormons heard rumors that Wákara had counseled his band to seek peace and left the theatre of conflict.[10] By November, the Saints were convinced that Wákara’s band had split and that Wákara had gone south to winter with the Navajo. Other members of his band continued to fight until January 1854.  Even so, Brigham Young entered into peace negotiations with Wákara during the spring.  Wákara demanded the right to trade with the New Mexicans as before and to receive annual tribute for the occupation of Ute lands.  In May 1854, Young and Wákara met in person.  Young refused to accede to Wákara’s demands although Young did purchase at least one Paiute captive from the Ute leader.  Nevertheless, the two men entered into a peace agreement. Wákara died early the following year.  Although there was brief fighting with the Ute band leader Tintic in 1856, the Latter-day Saints and the Ute largely remained at peace for the next decade.  In 1865, Western Ute leaders signed a treaty with the federal government in which they agreed to remove to a reservation in the Uinta Basin.

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources

Journal History of the Church, 1830-1972.  Church History Library.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Young, Brigham.  “Brigham Young to Wakara and Arapene,” July [18?], 1853.

Secondary Sources

Alley, Jr., John R.  “Prelude to Dispossession: The Fur Trade’s Significance for Norther Utes and Southern Paiutes.” Utah Historical Quarterly 50, no. 2 (Spring 1982): 104-123.

Christy, Howard A. “The Walker War: Defense and Conciliation as Strategy.” Utah Historical Quarterly 47, no. 4 (Fall 1979): 395-420.

Jones, Sondra G.  Being and Becoming Ute: The Story of an American Indian People. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2019.

Wimmer, Ryan Elwood. “The Walker War Reconsidered.” MA thesis, Brigham Young University, 2010.

[1] Sandra G. Jones, Being and Becoming Ute: The Story of an American Indian People (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2019), 8-68; John R. Alley, Jr., “Prelude to Dispossession: The Fur Trade’s Significance for Norther Utes and Southern Paiutes.” Utah Historical Quarterly 50, no. 2 (Spring 1982): 104-123.

[2] Journal History of the Church, 1830-1972, 21 July 1847, Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City, Utah).

[3] Jones, Being and Becoming Ute, 84-87.

[4] Brigham Young, “Brigham Young to Wakara and Arapene,” July [18?], 1853.

[5]  Howard A. Christy, “The Walker War: Defense and Conciliation as Strategy.” Utah Historical Quarterly 47, no. 4 (Fall 1979): 395-420.

[6] Wimmer, Ryan Elwood. “The Walker War Reconsidered.” MA thesis, Brigham Young University, 2010, 139-40, 144-45.

[7] Ibid, 143-44.

[8] Ibid, 155.

[9] Ibid, 148-49

[10] Ibid, 132-33.

Echo Canyon Breastworks

Published / by Christopher Rich / 1 Comment on Echo Canyon Breastworks

Write-up by Christopher Rich

Placed by: Boy Scouts of America Troop 681 and 738.  Funded by Summit County Restaurant Tax and Summit County Historical Society. The aging wood was replaced with steel in 2015 by the Summit County Historical Society.

GPS Coordinates: 41.008377, -111.380923

Photo Credit: Christopher Rich

Historical Marker Text:

The Echo Canyon Breastworks were constructed during the autumn of 1857 under the direction of Daniel H. Wells, commander of the Mormon militia.  They were set atop high cliffs where they would provide the greatest advantage against possible attack by Johnston’s Army during the Utah War (1857-58).  This 2,500 man force was sent by President James Buchanan to silence what was perceived to be a rebellion by the Mormons.

The dry masonry wall, constructed of uncut stones stacked on random courses without mortar were 1 to 2 feet above ground and 4 to 12 feet in length.  These fortifications stretched some 12 miles along the [sic] section of Echo Canyon.  These breastworks were part of a larger defensive network that included plans to dam the creek to force the troops against the canyon wall where the breastworks are located, and large trenches across the canyon to impede the passage of horses and men.

More than 1,200 men worked together completing the breastworks on the cliffs in a matter of a few weeks.  However, the peaceful resolution of the Utah War in the early summer of 1858 rendered the fortifications unnecessary.

Extended Research:

The Utah War of 1857-58 was grounded in a dispute between Latter-day Saints and the federal government concerning the extent of local sovereignty.  Utah was organized as a territory as part of the Compromise of 1850.  While this permitted the citizens of Utah to elect a legislature, all executive and judicial officers were appointed by the President.  Millard Fillmore appointed Brigham Young as governor and split the remaining offices between Mormons and Gentiles (a nineteenth century term used in Utah to designate non-Mormons).  Nevertheless, there was continual friction between the Saints and federal appointees. Points of contention included theocratic governance in Utah, alternative judicial structures, Indian affairs, and of course, the practice of polygamy.  In 1851, and again in 1857, a number of federal officers left their posts in Utah claiming that they could not adequately fulfill their duties, and that a military force would be necessary to enforce federal sovereignty in the Territory.[1]

Brigham Young

In March 1857, President James Buchanan was inaugurated as President.  From the beginning, his administration was plagued by growing sectional animosity over the extension of slavery, including the volatile situation in Kansas Territory.  Within weeks of taking office, his administration received a memorial from the Utah Legislature that indicated an unwillingness to submit to the authority of federal officials who did not conform with their expectations.  Soon afterward, Judge W.W. Drummond of the Utah Supreme Court published a letter of resignation that provided a highly inflammatory account of affairs in Utah and demanded military intervention.  The President did not take the trouble to independently investigate these allegations.  Instead, in May he decided to replace Brigham Young as governor and deploy a military expedition to Utah consisting of 2,500 soldiers.

James Buchanan

On July 24, 1857, Brigham Young was informed that a federal army was on its way to Utah.  However, he had received no word of explanation from the Buchanan Administration.  Young feared that the Utah Expedition presaged the reenactment of the Saints’ previous experiences in Missouri and Illinois where they had been dispossessed by a combination of mobs and state militia units.  He also had a bitter taste left in his mouth from a much smaller contingent of troops who had wintered in the Salt Lake Valley from 1854-55.[2]  As a result, Young and his associates prepared a strategy to slow the oncoming army and keep it outside population centers until snow blocked the mountain passes. At the same time, they prepared to defend the Territory from attack.

The breastworks at Echo Canyon were part of this larger strategy.  Echo Canyon was a narrow choke point through which the Utah Expedition had to pass in order to reach the populated areas of the Territory.  Other routes required the army to take a long march around natural barriers that would significantly slow its progress. Fortifying the canyon therefore served two major purposes.  The first was as a strong line of defense in case the army attempted a direct assault through the mountains.  But perhaps more important was the canyon’s value as a deterrent.

Echo Canyon Breastworks. Photo Credit: Kenneth Mays

It is unclear how effective the Mormon defenses might have been in the face of a determined attack.  One Latter-day Saint observer wrote to his wife in the fall of 1857 that the “position [at Echo Canyon] is such with its defenses as to defy any army that may ever seek to break through it.”[3]  Upon seeing the breastworks nine months later, Captain Albert Tracy of the Utah Expedition was less impressed.  Although he noted certain earthworks and walls that would be “difficult to carry,” he concluded that with the proper application of artillery, “the ‘corrals’ of rocks which they had erected by the shelves and gulches and along the ridges of the cliffs, would have been knocked about their ears, and rendered untenable in but a brief time and the way opened for our own light troops from the hills at rear.”[4] 

As a deterrent, however, Echo Canyon proved formidable.  Captain Stewart Van Vliet of the Quartermaster Corps preceded the main body of the Utah Expedition and met with Brigham Young in early September 1857.  Young outlined his defense strategy to Van Vliet who took the message back to the army, and eventually on to Washington.  Van Vliet passed through Echo Canyon both on his way to Great Salt Lake City, and on his way back.  At this time, the Mormons had not prepared significant defenses in the canyon.  Nevertheless, Van Vliet reported that there “is but one road running into the valley on the side which our troops are approaching, and for over fifty miles it passes through narrow canons [sic] and over rugged mountains, which a small force could hold against great odds.”[5]  This report unnerved the senior officer commanding the lead elements of the expedition, Lieutenant Colonel Edmund Alexander, who turned away from the direct course into Utah, only to countermarch.  However, the delay was enough to permit a heavy snow fall that effectively cut-off the road to Great Salt Lake City for the winter.  With the Utah Expedition stuck at the burned-out remains of Fort Bridger, diplomacy was able to resolve the crisis.

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources

Tracy, Albert.  “The Utah War Journal of Capt. Albert Tracy, 1858-1860.”  In Utah Historical Quarterly 13, no. 1,2,3, 4 (January, April, July, October, 1945): 1-119.

Van Vliet, Stewart. “Van Vliet’s Report.” In Mormon Resistance: A Documentary Account of the Utah Expedition, 1857-1858, edited by Leroy R. Hafen and Ann W. Hafen, 50-55. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2005, 1958.

Watt, George D.  “Pvt. George D. Watt to Alice Watt, 14 October 1857.”  In At Sword’s Point, Part I: A Documentary History of the Utah War to 1858, edited by William P. MacKinnon, 361-63.  Norman, Oklahoma: The Arthur C. Clark Company, 2008.

Secondary Sources

Furniss, Norman.  The Mormon Conflict, 1850-1859.  New Haven: Yale University Press, 1960.

MacKinnon, William P., ed. At Sword’s Point, Part I: A Documentary History of the Utah War to 1858.  Norman, Oklahoma: The Arthur C. Clark Company, 2008.

McKinnon, William P. “Sex, Subalterns, and Steptoe: Army Behavior, Mormon Rage, and Utah War Anxieties,” Utah Historical Quarterly 76, no. 3 (Summer 2008): 227-246.

Rogers, Brent M. Unpopular Sovereignty: Mormons and the Federal Management of Early Utah Territory. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2017.

[1] Brent M. Rogers, Unpopular Sovereignty: Mormons and the Federal Management of Early Utah Territory (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2017).

[2] William P. McKinnon, “Sex, Subalterns, and Steptoe: Army Behavior, Mormon Rage, and Utah War Anxieties,” Utah Historical Quarterly 76, no. 3 (Summer 2008): 227-246.

[3] George D. Watt, “Pvt. George D. Watt to Alice Watt, 14 October 1857,” in At Sword’s Point, Part I: A Documentary History of the Utah War to 1858, edited by William P. MacKinnon, 361-63 (Norman, Oklahoma: The Arthur C. Clark Company, 2008), 362.

[4] Tracy, Albert.  “The Utah War Journal of Capt. Albert Tracy, 1858-1860.”  In Utah Historical Quarterly 13, no. 1,2,3, 4 (January, April, July, October, 1945): 1-119, 20.

[5] Stewart Van Vliet, “Van Vliet’s Report,” in Mormon Resistance: A Documentary Account of the Utah Expedition, 1857-1858, edited by Leroy R. Hafen and Ann W. Hafen, 50-55 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2005, 1958), 53.

Indian Trails Monument

Published / by Colbie Hymas / Leave a Comment

Write-up by Colbie Hymas

Placed by: The Sons of Utah Pioneers

GPS Coordinates: N 41 degrees 19.227 W 111 degrees 53.922

Historical Marker Text (1):

Early explorations:

Indian bands of the Shoshone tribe were located throughout northern Utah, southern Idaho, and western Wyoming long before the advent of the white men. Northern Utah was inhabited by hunting and wild berry – pine nuts – roots gathering bands of the Northwest Shoshones and some Ute Indians. The Indians wandered from area to area on a network of well-traveled trails throughout the region. 

    Pathfinders, trappers, and explorers followed the well-worn Indian trails through Utah territory. In May 1825 Peter Skene Ogden of the Hudson’s Bay Company led a party of trappers south from Cache Valley on trail #2 and in seven days the party took 585 beaver pelts in New Hole as Ogden called the valley. The Ogden party left from New Hole and followed trail #4 south to the Weber River. After skirmish with some American trappers at Mountain Green Ogden retraced his steps North, never descending to the lower valley. Mountain men called the valley Ogden Hole, such men as Smith, Fitzpatrick, Weber, Sublette, Bridger, Russell, Clyman, and Goodyear. In 1843 John C. Fremont and his expedition traveled south on an Indian trail from Fort Hall, arriving at the Weber River they launched a boat and visited the island in the Great Salt Lake which now bears his name. In 1849 Capt. J. Howard Stansbury led an expedition of Topographical Engineers of the U.S. Army to the west. He left the Donner Trail south of Evanston and descended the Bear River until he found “an Indian lodge trail” going west (Trail #3). “We soon arrived at the headwaters of Pumbar (Lost) Creek, a tributary of the Weber”. The party took Trail #1 west and visited Brownsville, now called Ogden. Later while encamped on the west side of Promontory Mountain Capt. Stansbury noticed indications of the area’s having been inundated at some remote time by “a vast inland sea”. Stansbury thus became the first person to record the existence of an ancient Lake Bonneville. 

Historical Marker Text (2):

Five Indian Lodge Trails radiated from Ogden Valley long before the arrival of White men. Trail #1 ascended North Ogden Creek to North Ogden Pass where we are, veered to the North as it descended to the valley. Trail #2 crossed the divide north of Liberty and descended the South Fork of the Little Bear River to Cache Valley. Trail #3 went east up South Fork, ascended Skin Toe Trail between Causey Creek and South Fork, crossed Lost Creek on its way to the Bear River north of Evanston. Trail #4 went up Hawkins Creek south of Huntsville, over the low hills and connected with a trail on the Weber at Mountain Green. Trail #5 went west down Ogden Canyon to the narrows near the west end of the canyon, ascended the mountain between Cold Water and Warm Water creeks, continued west above the cliffs and emerged from the canyon near 21st street. All of these trails joined other migratory trails. 

Historical Marker Text (3):

Pioneer Settlements:

Brigham Young learned much about the geography of the region near the Great Salt Lake from the writings of a few of the mountain men and from interviews with others. Soon after the arrival of the first company of Mormon Pioneers in the “valley” in July 1847 Brigham Young sent exploring parties north and south along the Indian trails west of the Wasatch Mountains to locate places for settlements. One of these parties contacted Mills Goodyear at Fort Buenaventura. In 1848 Brigham Young sent a party to explore the country around Bear Lake. The group went up Weber Canyon and took Trail #4 to Ogden Hole and then Trail #3 up South Fork on their way to Bear Lake. In 1854 Brigham Young sent an expedition over Trail #1 to find a shorter route to Fort Bridger for the settlers near Ogden so that they would not need to go via Salt Lake City. This expedition took the first wagon into the valley in (Ogden Hole). Charles F. Middleton wrote, “The first wagon that was taken into the valley was taken by hand of man. No mules or oxen hauled that vehicle. I steered the wagon. The wheels were locked, and my companions held onto the vehicle with ropes to prevent its breaking loose and dashing down the steep incline.) In 1856 Ogden Hole became a summer grazing area for cattle. The next year the first herd houses were built where Eden is located. The first permanent settlers arrived in 1858 and located near the herd houses. Huntsville and then Liberty were settled soon thereafter. A toll road through Ogden Canyon constructed in 1860 by Lorin Farr and Isaac Goodale, subsequently became the main route into Ogden Valley. Each summer for a number of years Indian bands passed through the valley over the old trails on their way to and from their hunting grounds. The Indians were not hostile for they had learned that they could get more food by bartering with leather goods and by the settlers being aware of their needs than by fighting. 

Extended Research:

The Indian Trails Monument stands in the North Ogden Canyon and showcases a series of trails created by the movements of early Native American tribes, primarily the Northwestern band of Shoshone. The monument was placed by the Sons of Utah Pioneers and benefited from the research of people such as Mae Parry who was a very impactful Native American leader in Weber County, Utah.[1] Parry and others established a commitment to Native American history in the area, as it had largely been forgotten. The monument not only traces five Indian trails, but also gives a brief history of the early peoples who used these trails, such as Native Americans, early mountain men, and Mormon pioneers.

Long before white men arrived in the areas now known as Huntsville, Liberty, Eden, Ogden, and Cache Valley, Utah, they were inhabited by the Northwest band of Shoshone Indians. The Native Americans who lived there called the area “Opecarry,” which translated to “stick in the head.”[2] The Shoshone Indians were spread out around Utah and Idaho, however, the Indian Trails Monument in North Ogden Utah, specifically documents the trails established and used by the Northwestern band. These native peoples were nomadic hunters and gatherers who moved from place to place in search of water, edible vegetation, and wild game. They traveled with the seasons and learned over time the best places to obtain the greatest amounts of resources at the most opportune times. This took the Northwestern band into Northern and Eastern Nevada where they would harvest pine nuts, into southeastern Idaho where they found hot springs in the winter, and many other places throughout the year.[3]

Older Shoshone Indians used the term “So-So-Goi” to describe themselves, the term translates to “those that travel on foot.”[4] Before horses were introduced to the Northwestern band, this is exactly how they traveled, and from the young to the old, everyone was expected to pull their weight. The concept of sharing what one had, even with a stranger, was deeply engrained in the Northwestern band, and the concept of personal property did not exist. Helping neighbors and receiving help from neighbors was a way of survival for these early Indians, and therefore, they were constantly moving between different encampments of Shoshone and other nearby native groups for means of trading, socializing, and establishing kinship networks.

            After years and years of travel between encampments, and areas known to harbor significant amounts of resources, the Shoshone established well-worn trails. These trails could be followed to get to several places in Northern Utah. The trails not only traversed large areas of Northern Utah, but they also connected to other migratory trails, and could be followed into places such as Fort Hall and other important sites in early Utah. As a result of their useability and effectiveness, early trappers in Utah also utilized these trails. The monument discusses the paths and trails early trappers such as Peter Skene Ogden, John C. Fremont, and Captain Howard Stansbury traversed in the area.

After coming into the area and having success trapping beaver, Peter Skene Ogden of the Hudson Bay Company would name this area “Ogden Hole.”[5] Some of these trails and expeditions even led John C. Fremont to the Great Salt Lake where he would discover the island that now bears his name and record other important scientific information about the Great Salt Lake. Many other early trappers and mountain men used these trails to move from area to area trapping and trading goods and interacting with Native tribes.[6]

            The Mormon pioneers followed the same pattern and utilized the Native American trails for their own purposes. When the Mormons began arriving in the area, Chief Sagwitch led the Northwestern band of Shoshone. Contrary to the mountain men who often had good relationships with native tribes and integrated themselves into their culture and societies, the early Mormons often clashed with native tribes. When Chief Sagwitch learned of a group of Mormon pioneers coming their way, he went to meet their leader, Brigham Young, to offer peace and communication, as well as discuss stewardship over the land. Due to Brigham Young being ill, the Shoshone chief instead met with Heber C. Kimball who told him that the land belonged to the Lord, and the Mormons planned to cultivate and plant it. This is not what the Shoshone chief hoped to hear, but due to the peaceful and neighborly nature of the Northwestern band, Chief Sagwitch and his tribe continued to offer peace and assistance to the Mormon pioneers for years to come.[7]

            The Mormon pioneers continued to use these trails for several reasons. As more saints continued to arrive in the Mormon settlements, farmland became scarce, and Brigham Young sent out scouts to find new land to settle. These scouts would undoubtably have used these well-worn trails as they moved through the area looking for promising ground. Furthermore, Brigham Young sent missionaries to find native tribes and assimilate them into Mormon society. Native Americans were thought to be descendants of the Lamanites, an important group of people in the Book of Mormon, which is the leading spiritual text of the Mormon faith. Therefore, missionaries would seek out native tribes to teach them of their importance to the Mormon faith and attempt to convert them. This was successful with many native tribes, especially the Northwestern band of Shoshone.[8] Many Shoshone converted and continued to share this land with their new neighbors.

            The trails blazed by early Native Americans were important for many people occupying the area throughout the years. By traversing these trails, Native Americans were able to thrive in Northern Utah by migrating with the seasons and working with the land. The trails later made it significantly easier for mountain men to gain access to the frontier and trap animals and make early trading connections with native tribes. Furthermore, the Mormon pioneers would have had limited success moving throughout the area to settle and convert Native Americans had it not been for these trails that literally acted as a “golden brick rode” to the most resource rich areas, and native tribes.

The trails continue to be used today for recreational purposes and are favorite hiking trails for many residing in or near these areas. The history of these trails makes hiking them even more fascinating for many people, and through the work of the Sons of Utah Pioneers, and people such as Mae Parry and Darren Parry, author of The Bear River Massacre, the history of Native Americans and their homelands is being preserved and shared to the greater public.

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources:

Stansbury, Howard. An Expedition to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake of Utah. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Grambo & CO, 1855.

Miller, David E. “Journal of Peter Skene Ogden; Snake Expedition, 1825.” Peter Skene Ogden’s Journal of his Expedition to Utah, 1825. Accessed March 1, 2022.

Secondary Sources:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. “Lamanite Identity.” Accessed March 2, 2022.

North Ogden City. “About North Ogden.” Accessed February 18, 2022.

Parry, Darren. The Bear River Massacre: A Shoshone History. Salt Lake City, UT: Common Consent Press, 2019.

Roberts, Richard, and Richard W. Sadler. A History of Weber County. Salt Lake City, UT: Utah State Historical Society, 1997.

[1] Richard C. Roberts, and Richard W. Sadler, A History of Weber County (Salt Lake City, UT: Utah State Historical Society, 1997), 396.  

[2] “About North Ogden,” North Ogden City, accessed February 19, 2022,

[3] Darren Parry, The Bear River Massacre: A Shoshone History (Salt Lake City, UT: Common Consent Press, 2019), 12.

[4] Parry, Bear River Massacre, 13.

[5] “About North Ogden,” North Ogden City, accessed February 19, 2022,

[6] Ibid, About North Ogden.

[7] Parry, Bear River Massacre, 28-29.

[8] “Lamanite Identity,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, accessed February 27, 2022,