Category Archives: Cemeteries

Aunt Libby’s Dog Cemetery

Published / by Shannon Gebbia / Leave a Comment

write-up by Shannon Gebbia

Placed by: Utah Pioneer Trails and Landmarks Associations, No 95

GPS Coordinates: N 40° 07.123, W 112° 34.660

Historical Marker Text:

BURIAL PLOT

Enclosing graves (west side) of two men and a child emigrants of the early eighteen sixties.

Original wall erected in 1888, By Mrs. Horace (Aunt Libby) Rockwell to shelter graves of her beloved dogs. 1. Jenny Lind, 2. Josephine Bonaparte, 3. Bishop, 4. Toby Tyler, Companions in her lonely, childless vigils here about 1866 to 1890.

Erected by enrollees U.S. grazing division C.C.C camp g-154, company 2517.

Utah pioneer trails and landmarks association Tooele tourism tax grant

Sons of Utah pioneers

-settlement canyon chapter

SUP No. 239     Rededicated 2017

Extended Research:

Sometime between 1860 and 1870, Horace Rockwell and his wife Elizabeth “Libby” Rockwell moved to Skull Valley, a 40-mile long valley in what is now Tooele County, Utah. They operated the Pony Express station known as Point Lookout then continued living on the property in a log cabin built by stage workers after the station had closed.[1] They became horse and cattle ranchers and garnered a reputation as “rough frontiers folk” and “two strange characters.”[2], [3] Over time, the pair came to be known affectionately as Uncle Horace and Aunt Libby.

Uncle Horace and Aunt Libby owned one of the only sources of water along their stretch of the Overland Trail and charged travelers a fee to access it. Many riders and locals remembered Aunt Libby for smoking a pipe and treating her dogs better than her hired men.[4] Her “colony of dogs” were described as black and tan, short-haired, possibly of the “Fiste” breed (perhaps a misspelling of Feist, a small hunting terrier).[5] Aunt Libby liked to name some of her dogs after popular characters of the time, both fictional and real. Her variety of name choices reveals a wide range of interests in music, history, and popular literature: Jenny Lind, the “Swedish Nightingale” of the mid- to late-19th century opera scene; Josephine Bonaparte, the first Empress of France; and Toby Tyler, the 10-year-old protagonist of the children’s novel, Toby Tyler; or, Ten Weeks with a Circus.[6]

Photo of the site in August, 1941, prior to restoration by the UPTLA.

 As testament to her devotion for her dogs, Dr. W. M. Stookey, a member of the Utah Pioneer Trails and Landmarks association, recalls an instance when Aunt Libby called upon Tooele’s Dr. William Bovee Dods to tend to one of her dogs, which had fallen ill. When Dr. Dods refused, Libby forced one of her workers, Elijah Perkins, to play sick, thus tricking Dods into paying a visit to the cabin. Once there, he reluctantly tended to the dog, and she paid him $100. Aunt Libby’s trick only worked once—the next time a dog got sick, the Rockwells had to travel roughly 70 miles to Salt Lake City.[7]

Photo of the site in August, 1941, prior to restoration by the UPTLA.

When one dog died en route for treatment in Salt Lake City, Aunt Libby brought him back to Point Lookout and buried him near a collection of three graves belonging to immigrants who had died while passing through Skull Valley.[8] She then hired a stone worker, Gustave E. Johnson, to build a wall around the small graveyard.[9] As her beloved dogs passed on over the years, Aunt Libby buried each one in her cemetery.

The Rockwells moved to California sometime after May 25, 1890 and lived there for the remainder of their lives.[10] Aunt Libby’s Dog Cemetery is the only structure still standing on the property known as Point Lookout.

View from Hwy 36 Pony Express Road

The historical significance of this cemetery seems to be centered around its location among the Pony Express stations along Utah’s section of the Overland Trail. Unlike Horace’s brother, Orrin Porter Rockwell, Horace and Libby Rockwell were not major figures in Utah or Mormon history—monuments haven’t been built in their name, we don’t learn about them in history lessons. But one story about a rough, pipe-smoking woman who tricked a Tooele doctor into treating her sick dog has survived the test of time and given historical value to this cemetery. Dr. Stookey explains that the reason for including the cemetery as an “extra in the line, both in design and significance,” was due to a “growing increase in its unique history,” and perhaps because it is one of the only remaining structures along this section of the Overland Trail.[11] Regardless of the reasoning, by including the cemetery among Utah’s historical markers, the UPTLA created an avenue for Aunt Libby’s stories to be retold forever. Within the chasm between the details of each recollection, we find the personality of that “strange character” Aunt Libby. According to most of the people who described her over the years, she was a rough, childless, pipe-smoking woman, unafraid of outlaw Porter.[12] But by way of the legacy of pet cemetery and the stories about her dogs, we see a giving, loving, motherly woman whose cultural knowledge reached far beyond the secluded scope of the Wild West.

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources

“Fatally Burned.”  Los Angeles Times. March 26, 1901. Accessed February 24, 2020. https://www.newspapers.com/image/380059910/?terms=Mrs%2BRockwell.

Sharp Manuscript: Stories published by James P. Sharp. Compiled by Shirley Sharp Pitchford and Susan Sharp Hutchinson. Utah State Division of History Archives.

Sharp, James P. “The Pony Express Stations.” Improvement Era (February 1945): 76–77.

https://archive.org/details/improvementera4802unse/page/n21/mode/2up

Stookey, W. M. “They Died But Lived Again! Aunt Libby Rockwell’s Doggone Dogs and Their Lonely Cemetery Beside the Historic Overland.” Salt Lake Tribune. August 31, 1941. Accessed February 24, 2020. https://www.newspapers.com/image/598747615/?terms=libby%2Brockwell

Utah Pioneer Trails and Landmarks Association marker records, ca. 1930–1990s. MSS B 1457, box 1. Utah State Division of History Archives.

Secondary Sources:

Bluth, John F. “The South Central Overland Trail in Western Utah, 1850- 1900.” U. S. Bureau of Land Management. https://ecos.fws.gov/ServCat/DownloadFile/101963?Reference=61466

Bluth, John F. “Supplementary Report on Pony Express Overland Stage Sites in Western Utah.” https://ecos.fws.gov/ServCat/DownloadFile/101965?Reference=61468.

Fike, Richard E. and John W. Headley. “The Pony Express Stations of Utah in Historical Perspective.” Cultural Resources Series Monograph 2. Bureau of Land Management of Utah, 1979.

https://archive.org/details/ponyexpressstati00fike/mode/2up

Jessop, J. D. “The Ghost of Aunt Libby May Be Nearby.” Tooele Transcript Bulletin, October 2, 2014. http://tooeleonline.com/the-ghost-of-aunt-libby-may-be-nearby/.


[1]Bluth, John F. “The South Central Overland Trail in Western Utah, 1850-1900” (U. S. Bureau of Land Management), p. 4. (accessed February 10, 2020) https://ecos.fws.gov/ServCat/DownloadFile/101963?Reference=61466; Jessop, J. D. “The Ghost of Aunt Libby May Be Nearby.” Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah, October 2, 2014. (accessed January 29, 2020) http://tooeleonline.com/the-ghost-of-aunt-libby-may-be-nearby/; Stookey, W. M. “They Died But Lived Again! Aunt Libby Rockwell’s Doggone Dogs and Their Lonely Cemetery Beside the Historic Overland.” The Salt Lake Tribune, August 31, 1941. (accessed February 24, 2020). The exact date is unknown as several accounts differ, but they all agree the Rockwells lived at this location until sometime in 1890.

[2] Stookey.

[3] Sharp, James P., “The Pony Express Stations ,” Improvement Era, (February, 1945), 76-77. (accessed Feburay 10, 2020) https://archive.org/details/improvementera4802unse/page/n21/mode/2up

[4] Stookey.

[5] Sharp.

[6] Jessop, Stookey.

[7] Stookey, Jessop. Several newspaper stories reported this story, but the accounts differ as to which dog was ill, who called for Dods, and the amount he charged.

[8] Stookey, Bluth. Three unknown emigrating travelers died and were buried here.

[9] Stookey.

[10] Jessop; Stookey; Los Angeles Times, “Fatally Burned.” March 26, 1901. (accessed February 24, 2020) https://www.newspapers.com/image/380059910/?terms=Mrs%2BRockwell. Again, much is contested about the date, but one fact stands out: Aunt Libby burned in her house after falling asleep smoking her pipe.

[11] Stookey’s article explains the UPTLA’s haste in using the nearby CCC camps to help place markers and monuments along the difficult terrain, and that most Pony Express stations had “little or nothing remaining of the originals.” The survival of this cemetery and its story provide a picture of life along the trail.

[12]Lloyd, Erin. “Colors of Life Paint Rich Past in Rush Valley.” Tooele Transcript-Bulletin, 9 Dec. 1998, pp. 25–27. The article states Porter Rockwell owed $500 to his brother Horace, and Libby vowed to cut off Porter’s hair if the debt remained. LDS history states Porter’s hair long hair held significance to his faith. https://www.newspapers.com/image/545721374/?terms=libby%2Brockwell

Union Cemetery

Published / by Rachel Roach / Leave a Comment

Write-up by: Rachel Roach

Placed by: The Daughters of Utah Pioneers in 1951

GPS Coordinates: Latitude: 40.609887° 36’ 35.6” N Longitude: -111.848845° 50’ 55.8” W

Historical Marker Text:

DAUGHTERS OF UTAH PIONEERS

No. 155

ERECTED 1951

“Rufus Forbush buried his wife, Polly Clark, at this spot on 22 August 1851. In 1852, after several victims of a black smallpox epidemic had been buried here, he contributed the land for use as a pioneer cemetery and many of the prominent early citizens of Union were buried here. All official records are lost but the restorers of the cemetery have been able to identify the graves of 48 adults, 72 children, and 20 persons of undetermined age.”

“Union Fort Camp, Salt Lake County”

[1]

Extended Research:

The Union Cemetery, located in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, was established by a man named Rufus Forbush. He came to the Salt Lake area on 24 July 1847, with Brigham Young and other pioneer families. He settled further southeast in what came to be Union, Utah. Forbush’s wife, Polly Clark Forbush, died on 22 August 1851, and Rufus buried her in “the highest spot of ground on his farm.”[2]The closest cemetery was in Salt Lake City, Utah, so Forbush decided to bury his wife closer to him. A few months later, in Sandy, Utah, there was an outbreak of Smallpox. Community leaders buried those who had died from the outbreak in Forbush’s cemetery. When he returned to his land in the spring he found the other graves that had been dug and marked. This was the beginning of the Union Cemetery.     

Use of The Union Cemetery was sporadic thereafter. Over the years, markers have been destroyed, irrigation flooded the area, and people moved elsewhere. As a result, there were sometimes long gaps between burials.[3]The Union First Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is located just east of the cemetery. Once the cemetery was surveyed, the ward was given a title and deed and became stewards of the cemetery. Ira Proctor played a significant role in making the cemetery look presentable again. He and a committee cleaned the grounds and put up a wire fence. The Central Camp Company of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers applied for the marker for this location, which was granted in the winter of 1950 and then the marker was dedicated in 1951.[4]

A very well-known pioneer, a man by the name of Green Flake, is buried at the Union Cemetery. He was an enslaved African-American pioneer who crossed the plains with Brigham Young and was one of the first men to enter the Salt Lake valley in advance of Young. Flake was born in January 1828 in Anson County, North Carolina where he was enslaved on the William Jordan Flake plantation. Green Flake lived in the Salt Lake Valley until the death of his wife, Martha Ann Morris Flake, who passed away in January 1885 and is also buried in the Union Cemetery. Flake moved to Idaho after his wife’s death. When he passed away in 1903, in Idaho Falls at the home of his son, Flake’s body was taken to the Union Cemetery to be laid next to his wife. They are buried together in the southwest corner of the cemetery, marked by the gravestone which Green carved for them to share.                       

[5]

Anyone who is buried at, or bought a plot at, the Union Cemetery had to sign in a certificate book. This picture shows that Olaf Johnson bought a burial plot on 15 August 1887. [6]

As far as researchers of the cemetery know, there are: 48 adults, 72 children, and 20 people who are of unidentifiable age in the cemetery. All people, who have been buried in the Union Cemetery are known and remembered because of the dedicated and thoughtful people who helped restore this land when it was in need.


[1] Rachel Roach. “Union Fort Cemetery,” 2019, taken at the Union Fort Cemetery.

[2]Lucy Elice Graham Green. “History of the Union Fort Cemetery” (n.p, n.d), (accessed: March 02, 2019).

[3]Green, ”History of the Union Fort Cemetery.” 

[4]Green, “History of the Union Fort Cemetery,” 3-4.

[5]Benjamin Kiser, “Green Flake” at http://centuryofblackmormons.org.

[6]Union Cemetery receipt book, 1887-1894, Church History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah, . 

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources: 

Union Cemetery receipt book, 1887-1894, Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Secondary Sources:

Green, Lucy Elice Graham. “History of the Union Fort Cemetery told to Leila Brady Nix.” Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Kiser, Benjamin. “Green Flake.” At http://centuryofblackmormons.org, University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Roach, Rachel. “Union Fort Cemetery.” Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Kanosh

Published / by Leah Kershisnik / 1 Comment on Kanosh

Write-Up by Leah Kershisnik

Placed By: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, Sally Kanosh Camp, 1954

GPS Coordinates: 43°38’19.39″N 116°14’28.86″W

Historical Marker Text:

The town site of Kanosh selected by Brigham Young was surveyed in 1867. The first settlers were Noah Avery, William Penney, and Baldwin Watts. Upon advice from Brigham Young, families from Petersburg, Corn Creek, added strength to the new settlement. C-nos, a Pahvant Indian chief and his tribe of 400 lived in this locality, hence the name “Kanosh” was given to the place. This tithing office building, erected in 1870, was also used as a meeting house. Culbert King was the first bishop. The Latter-Day Saints Church granted use of the building to the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers in 1952

Extended Research:

In 1849 Brigham Young dispatched the Southern Expedition under LDS Apostle Parley P. Pratt to explore Southern Utah and investigate possible settlement locations. The expedition spent time in the Pahvant Valley in Southern Utah and there likely met Chief Kanosh, the young leader of the Pahvant Indians who occupied Corn Creek, named for the corn cultivated by the Indians along the creek. Pratt reported an extremely friendly reception from the Native Americans in the area, news which encouraged Brigham Young to establish settlements in Southern Utah.[1]

Chief Kanosh was born around 1828 to one of the wives of Kash-ee-bats, a Timpanogos Ute chief. Kash-ee-bats was assassinated in the early 1840s while Kanosh was wintering in California with his mother. Kanosh returned to Utah and over the next few years rose to the position of head chief of the Pavahnt Ute band.[2]

From his earliest contact with the Mormons, Chief Kanosh was interested in maintaining peace and fostering friendly relations. Kanosh adopted some aspects of European attire in the late 1850s and was baptized into the LDS church in 1858, though after his conversion he continued to practice many aspects of his native religion, like Shamanism and ritual hunts.[3]

Kanosh’s people had practiced horticulture long before white settlers arrived in the Pahvant Valley, growing “corn, beans, pumpkins, squashes, potatoes, &c” and showed interest in permanently adopting a settled, agricultural lifestyle. A Deseret News article from December 1851 recounts the Pahavant Chief’s desire to stop “roaming,” preferring “to be instructed in tilling the soil.”[4] In the 1850s Brigham Young established a farm for the Pahvant Indians at Upper Corn Creek.

Fillmore (18 miles northeast of present-day Kanosh) was established in 1852. In 1859 two Fillmore residents, Peter Robison and Peter Boyce, left Fillmore and established Petersburg at Lower Corn Creek, three miles southwest of the Kanosh Indian village. They were joined by Charles Hopkins, a member of the 1849 Southern Expedition party. Petersburg grew steadily until 1867 when Brigham Young spoke at a Sunday meeting on April 28 encouraging those in Petersburg to move to Upper Corn Creek, to the site that would come to be called Kanosh.[5]

Originally the Kanosh Ward Tithing Office, now the Kanosh DUP Museum.

Unlike many towns, the townsite of Kanosh was surveyed in 1867 and completely plotted out before settlement began. Families received plots of land through a lottery system. By 1869 about 100 families lived in Kanosh. Mortimer W. Warner is credited with suggesting the town be named after Chief Kanosh.[6] Most families in Kanosh had small farms where they grew wheat, alfalfa, and sugar cane (processed into molasses) for family consumption. Families kept pigs and chickens, and many ran summer dairy operations in nearby canyons. The main sources of income were beef, wool and mutton.[7]

Upper Corn Creek had been occupied by Chief Kanosh and his people, but they had moved toward Meadow by the time Mormons began settling the area. In 1869 (after grasshoppers destroyed their crop in 1868) Kanosh would temporarily relocate his people to the Uintah Reservation, which had been created by President Abraham Lincoln in 1861.[8] Up until this point Kanosh had resisted relocating his people to the reservation.

Chief Kanosh married four times. His first wife was thought to be possessed by an evil spirit and executed. His third wife was executed after murdering his second wife. Finally, Chief Kanosh married Sally Young Kanosh, a Bannock Indian woman who had been raised in the home of Brigham Young’s wife, Clara Decker Young. Sally, the daughter of a chief, had been taken captive as a child by a rival Indian group and tortured before being sold to Charles Decker, Brigham Young’s brother-in-law. [9]

Chief Kanosh grave marker in Kanosh Cemetery.

In his final years, Chief Kanosh lived with his wife Sally in a log house in Kanosh that had been gifted to him. He died in December of 1881 and was buried in the first Kanosh cemetery, which site is now lost. Sally Young Kanosh died two years later. In 1934 the Sally Kanosh Camp of the DUP worked with the Civilian Conservation Corps camp stationed in Kanosh to erect a monument to Chief Kanosh in the city’s new cemetery.[10] The Kanosh Reservation was organized in 1929, expanded in 1935 and 1937, and would be the last reservation established in Utah until 1984.[11]

Chief Kanosh was revered by Mormons and Indians alike, and the harmony that existed between Mormon settlers and Native Americans in the area was due in large part to Kanosh. Chief Kanosh consistently chose a path of compromise with the white Mormon settlers. This willingness to be flexible allowed Kanosh and his band to foster good relations with the incoming settlers while still maintaining autonomy and independence.[12]

Kanosh Mercantile.

The earliest route between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles wound through the town of Kanosh. In the early 20th century, as traffic increased and the automobile became popular, this route became known as the Arrowhead Trail. In the 1920s the Arrowhead Trail became U.S. Highway 91, Southern Utah’s first paved interstate. This artery brought traffic to Kanosh, and businesses flourished. Then, in 1973, Interstate-15 replaced Highway 91. Though it followed some sections of 91, I-15 bypassed Kanosh. The rerouting of the freeway brought about the end of most businesses in Kanosh. The business sector has never recovered. The only remaining supplier of general groceries in town is Kanosh Mercantile. Most residents travel to Fillmore for necessary services and shopping.[13]

Kanosh remains a predominantly agricultural community. According to the 2010 census, the population of Kanosh was 474 and the estimated population for 2017 was 548.


[1] Edward Leo Lyman, Linda King Newell, and Utah State Historical Society, A History of Millard County, (Utah Centennial County History Series, 1999), 34-38.

[2] Edward Leo Lyman, “Chief Kanosh: Champion of Peace and Forbearance.” Journal of Mormon History 35, no. 1 (2009): 161.

[3] Hyrum S. Lewis, “Kanosh and Ute Identity in Territorial Utah,” Utah Historical Society, Volume 71, Number 1-4, (2003): 340.

[4] “Sketch of a trip to Pauvan [sic] Valley.” Deseret (Weekly) News. December, 13, 1851, 3

[5] Leavitt Christensen, Birth of Kanosh (1996), 15.

[6] Edward Leo Lyman, Linda King Newell, and Utah State Historical Society, A History of Millard County (Utah Centennial County History Series. 1999), 115.

[7] Christensen, Birth of Kanosh, 67.

[8] Forrest S. Cuch, David Begay, Utah State Historical Society, and Utah. Division of Indian Affairs, A History of Utah’s American Indians (Salt Lake City: Utah State Division of Indian Affairs : Utah State Division of History, 2000), 192.

[9]  E. L. Black, “Life Story of Indian Chief Kanosh,” 1-2.

[10] Christensen, Birth of Kanosh, 55-56.

[11] “An Act To reserve nine hundred and twenty acres on the public domain for the use and benefit of the Kanosh Band of Indians residing in the vicinity of Kanosh, Utah” (1929); “An act to reserve eighty acres on the public domain for the use and benefit of the Kanosh Band of Indians in the State of Utah” (1935); “An Act To reserve certain lands in the State of Utah for the Kanosh Band of Paiute Indians” (1937); Cuch, Begay, Utah State Historical Society, and Utah. Division of Indian Affairs, A History of Utah’s American Indians,142.

[12]Lewis, “Kanosh and Ute Identity,” 342-346.

[13] Christensen, Birth of Kanosh, 74.


For Further Reference:

Secondary Sources:

Christensen, Leavitt. Birth of Kanosh. 1996.

Cuch, Forrest S., Begay, David, Utah State Historical Society, and Utah. Division of Indian Affairs. A History of Utah’s American Indians. Pbk. ed. Salt Lake City: Utah State Division of Indian Affairs : Utah State Division of History, 2000.

Lewis, Hyrum S. “Kanosh and Ute Identity in Territorial Utah.” Utah Historical Society, Volume 71, Number 1-4, (2003): 332-347

Lyman, Edward Leo. “Chief Kanosh: Champion of Peace and Forbearance.” Journal of Mormon History 35, no. 1 (2009): 157-207.

Lyman, Edward Leo, Newell, Linda King, and Utah State Historical Society. A History of Millard County. Utah Centennial County History Series. 1999.F

http://digital-desert.com/historic-roads/arrowhead-trail/

https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/community_facts.xhtml?src=bkmk

http://wchsutah.org/roads/arrowhead-trail.php

https://www.blm.gov/visit/search-details/16460/2

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/168719452/sally-kanosh

https://www.recreation.gov/camping/gateways/16457

For more information on roads, environment, and memory, see Rogers, Jedediah Smart. Roads in the Wilderness : Conflict in Canyon Country. 2013.

Primary Sources:

“An Act To reserve nine hundred and twenty acres on the public domain for the use and benefit of the Kanosh Band of Indians residing in the vicinity of Kanosh, Utah” (1929)

“An act to reserve eighty acres on the public domain for the use and benefit of the Kanosh Band of Indians in the State of Utah” (1935)

“An Act To reserve certain lands in the State of Utah for the Kanosh Band of Paiute Indians” (1937)

Black, E. L. “Chief Kanosh and Kanosh Town.” Utah Humanities Research Foundation 1905-04-13

Black, E. L. “Life Story of Indian Chief Kanosh.” Utah Humanities Research Foundation. 1945.

Callister, Thomas. “Correspondence.” Deseret News. August, 11, 1869, 2.

“Sketch of a trip to Pauvan [sic] Valley.” Deseret (Weekly) News. December, 13, 1851, 3.

Wood, Lyman S. “Correspondence.” Deseret News. December, 26, 1855, 5.


German War Memorial

Published / by Kaleigh McLaughlin / Leave a Comment

Write-up by Kaleigh McLaughlin Undergraduate B.A. History and International Studies, University of Utah, University of South Dakota

 

Coordinates:  40.7601° N, 111.8243° W

 

 

Transcript:

Erected by the German-Americans of the United States of America. And the American Legion of the State of Utah. Unveiled on the 30th of May 1933.

Arno A. Steinicke. Sculptor

 

Transcript:

German War Memorial

The German War Memorial to the Victims of War was erected by the German-Americans of the United States of America in cooperation with the American Legion of the State of Utah in memory of the men who died while interred at Fort Douglas during World War I.

The monument was designed and constructed by Arno Steinicke. It was dedicated on Memorial Day, May 30, 1933.

Fifty-five years later, in 1988, the monument was restored by sculptor Hans Huettlinger and his son John under arrangements made by the German Air Force and German War Graves Commission.

Today the restored monument stands in of the victims of both World Wars who are buried here in Fort Douglas Cemetery and to the victims of war and despotism throughout the world.

Transcript Right Column in German:

Das  Deutsche Ehrenmal der Kriegstoten wurde von den Deutsch-Amerikanern in Zusammenarbeit mit der American Legion of the State of Utah zum Gedenken an die als Internierte und Kriegsgefangene des I. Weltkrieges in Fort Douglas verstorbenen Deutsch errichtet.

Kunstlerischer Entwurt und Ausfuhrung der Arbeiten erfolgeten durch Arno A. Steinecke. Das Ehrenmal wurde am Memorial Day, den 30. Mai 1933 eigeweiht.

Nach 55 Jahren wurde das Ehrenmal 1988 auf Initiative der Deutsch Luftwaffe im Zusammenwirken mit dem Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgraberfursorge e.V. durch den Bildhauer Has Huttlinger und seinen Sohn John aus Salt Lake City restauriert.

Das Ehrenmal dient nun dem Gedenken der Opfer der beiden Weltkriege, die hier in Fort Douglas ruhen sowie darbuer hinaus allen Opfern von Kriegen und Gewaltherrschaft in der Welt.

 Transcript:

The Last Resting Place of 21 German Prisoners of War who died at Fort Douglas during the World War

1917-1918

Henry L. Zinnel

Frank Stadler

Arthur Ruebe

Karl G. W. Blaase

Erich Laevemann

Friedrich O. Hanf

Walter J. Piezareck

Emil Laschke

Roko Zilko

Felix Behr

Maximilian Kampmann

Max Leopold

Joseph Fuckola

Herman Lieder

Stanislaus Lewitski

Georg Schmidt

Charles Morth

Frank Benes

Adolf Wachenhusen

Herman German

Walter Topff

 

Extended Research

On April 6, 1917 the United States unilaterally declared war on Germany. This moment marked the beginning of U.S. entry into the First World War. Accompanying U.S. entry into the war were all of the complications including the logistical, and tactical issues associated with war. One such issue the U.S. had to face was the treatment of ‘enemy aliens’. “Enemy aliens were defined as males born in Germany over the age of fourteen who have not been naturalized[1]”. As U.S. involvement in WWI progressed the ‘enemy alien’ classification was broadened to include Austro-Hungarians as well.

German Consul and Memorial Designer Steinicke Visiting the Memorial. Salt Lake Telegram, May 29, 1937

 

A person classified as ‘enemy alien’ was restricted in their freedom of speech and their mobility. Specifically, “enemy aliens were not allowed to write, print, or publish any attack against the United States or against anyone in the civil service, armed forces or the local municipal government[2]” Furthermore, “no alien enemy could depart the United States without a permit except under court order[3]”.  Under section 4067 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, enemy aliens who violated, or were suspected of violating these prohibitions were subject to arrest, internment, and removal.

Fort Douglas, Utah was to be the site of one of three designated camps during WWI.  “On May 2, 1917 [a] public announcement was made that Fort Douglas was to be the site of one of three internment camps for German prisoners of war taken from naval vessels[4]”. However, as U.S. involvement in the Great War continued, hysteria and paranoia about German spy plots increased. This occurred alongside a rise in arrests of enemy aliens for suspected subversive activities by U.S. Marshals. As a result, the designation of Fort Douglas changed. Originally, the camp was to contain German naval prisoners of war, however, this designation changed to include both naval prisoners of war, and enemy aliens.  In March of 1918, all of the remaining naval sailors were moved to Fort McPherson in Georgia and the camp at Fort Douglas evolved into an internment camp for enemy aliens[5]. This change has particular significance for the German War Memorial at the at the Fort Douglas cemetery. Out of the 21 names listed on the German War Memorial, only one is a naval prisoner of war (Stanilaus Lewitski), the rest are enemy aliens.

Salt Lake Telegram, May 30, 1935

Fort Douglas was “chosen for its central locality and its proximity to a main rail line[6]” The proximity to the railroad is the critical selection criteria, because the railroad would easily facilitate the transportation of interned aliens and prisoners of war. The ease of transportation was crucial to the selection of Fort Douglas because of the locations of the two other internment camps.  “The other two camps were located at Fort McPherson and Fort Oglethorpe in Georgia[7]”.  This meant that Fort Douglas was the only location west of the Mississippi where prisoners of war and interned aliens could be detained. “The civilian enemy aliens were rounded up by local authorities in most western states including Texas, California, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Nebraska, and South Dakota[8]” and then interned at Fort Douglas.

Life at Fort Douglas was different depending on whether you were a prisoner of war or an enemy alien. From the outset German prisoners of war were physically separated from the interned enemy aliens. This was an intentional action as specified by a letter to the inspector general of the army stating that there must be an that there must be an “absolute separation of Prisoners of War from interned aliens by sending the former class to the War Prison Barracks, at Fort McPherson, Georgia”.  The two groups at Fort Douglas enjoyed different privileges and experienced vastly different treatment throughout their stay at the camp. Inspections of the War Prison Barracks by the Swiss Legation demonstrate the differences between the two camps. In 1917, the barrack inspection of the prisoner of war camp “found it [the camp] in all respects excellent. The only problem was the athletic field. It was found to be too small[9]”. However, with regard to the inspection of the enemy alien camp the Swiss Legation concluded: “To attend church services, civilians [enemy aliens] had to make a request. Civilians were not allowed to partake in activities in the Y.M.C.A…persons suffering from Syphilis were not separated from other prisoners[10]”. Furthermore, there was a note about the increasing antagonism and animosity between the guards and the enemy aliens.

The experiences of Stanislaus Lewitski (a war prisoner) and Heinrich Ludwig (Henry L) Zinnel (enemy alien), underscore the differences between the two groups at Fort Douglas.

“An illiterate machinist employed at the Southwestern Machine Shop in El Paso, was working the day of his arrest. Heinrich Ludwig Zinnel, a thirty-five-year-old native of Germany, was making $4.50 per day when, on December 17, 1917, he was arrested and taken to the county jail at El Paso…Zinnel’s property was confiscated upon arrest and he remained at the country jail until eight days later when he was taken to Fort Douglas, on Christmas Day[11]”.

Cunningham continues Zinnel’s story noting that Zinnel accidentally injured himself while on the way to Fort Douglas. Visits to doctors proved to be ineffective, with one doctor accusing Zinnel of faking his illness. However, upon arrival at Fort Douglas Zinnel was desperately ill. He was suffering from fevers and losing weight. A roommate of Zinnel at Fort Douglas noted that Zinnel went from being about 180 pounds to 90. The doctor who attended Zinnel believed he was suffering from acute gastritis from some sort of poisoning. On June 1, 1918 Zinnel died. “A death certificate was not filed with the State of Utah, which was required by state law, and as a posthumous insult, his body was taken to be buried In the Fort Douglas Cemetery in a garbage wagon[12]”.      

It is significant to contrast the treatment of Zinnel with that of another detainee at Fort Douglas. Stanislaus Lewitski, was one of the prisoners of war. Lewitski was a member of the SMS Cormoron, a ship which was captured and destroyed near Guam. Lewitski sustained a fatal injury while doing some gymnastics at the Y.M.C.A. Lewitski suffered from a broken spinal column and died within a few days of receiving his injuries. While both Zinnel and Lewitski may have died at Fort Douglas their treatment after death is where those similarities end. In contrast to Zinnel, Lewitski was taken and “buried in the Fort Douglas Cemetery with full honors[13]”. The comparison in treatment after death between Zinnel and Lewitski underscores the differences between prisoners of war and enemy aliens at Fort Douglas. Another experience highlighting this difference was that of Emil Laschke. He “was an interned alien, but was a naval officer by trade. Hentschel [another inmate] recalled, ‘one of the dead, a Junior Officer in the Navy, Emil Laschke, was mocked by the placing of a gray cross upon his body and he was refused a grave stone[14]’”.

The differences in treatment between the war prisoners and enemy aliens, offer insights into the perceptions of Americans of the time about these groups. The Naval prisoners held at Fort Douglas were legitimate combatant actors in war. These were patriotic men fighting for their nation. In this regard, they were very similar to their American counterparts. However, enemy aliens were perceived differently. The classification of these people  ‘enemy aliens’ has strong and significant connotations, which could have helped to shape perceptions of Americans about such people. The plethora of propaganda and paranoia towards enemy aliens clearly illustrates what the perceptions of Americans were towards this group. Enemy aliens were perceived as dishonorable combatants. They were spies and defectors of malicious intent who embedded themselves among the general populace seeking subterfuge. They were a strange people who had refused assimilation into American life, and who had more importantly, refused American citizenship. All of these factors combined helped to make enemy aliens especially suspect during the war years.

However, it is important to note that enemy aliens were civilian noncombatants living in the United States. Many were immigrants who became trapped behind enemy lines with the declaration of war. Often, enemy aliens, were people negatively affected by wartime policy through no fault of their own. Many of the enemy aliens, due to vague laws, rumors, and suspicion were persecuted, arrested, and interned with little to no recourse. The true tragedy of camps like Fort Douglas is evidenced by the lives of those who lived and died within such camps. Interment, meant the loss of jobs, social isolation and stigmatization, and could also mean death. In the case of Fort Douglas, each of the 21 men interned were people with the agency to succeed and flourish within the United States. It is a somber truth that the internment of these men resulted in their deaths denying them such opportunities. But, it is this somber truth which demonstrates the need for historical research to serve as documentation, but more importantly as a remembrance for those who lived and died at the Fort Douglas internment camp during World War I. What follows are short biographical sketches of the men whose names are listed on the historical marker at the Fort Douglas cemetery. The majority of the men died of illness related to the global Spanish Influenza outbreak that killed forty million people worldwide: during World War I.

Arthur Ruebe                                                                                                                                

According to his death certificate, Arthur Ruebe was interned alien enemy no. 1150. He was a merchant born in Erfurst, Thueringis, Germany. His mother and father are unknown, however, he was married and therefore survived by a wife.
Ruebe died on December 22, 1918, at the age of 44, the cause of death was identified as Bronchio-pneumonia following influenza. The afflicting illness lasted 19 days. Rube was attended to by the leading doctor of War Prison Barracks Three, William F. Beer. He was buried at the Fort Douglas Cemetery on December 23.

Charles Morth

According to his death certificate, Charles Morth was interned alien enemy no. 1054. He was born in Krukenberg, Germany. His mother and father are unknown. Morth was married and survived by a wife. Morth died on December 1, 1918 at age 50 from pneumonia, a condition which affected him for two days. Influenza is listed as a contributory affliction. Morth was also attended by Dr. Beer. He was buried at Fort Douglas Cemetery, December 2, 1918. The Salt Lake Tribune published notice of  Morth’s death.

Emil Laschke

The death certificate of Emil Laschke lists him as German Prisoner of War no. 773. Laschke was a machinist mate from Breslau, Silesia, Germany. His father was Heinrich Laschke, his mother is unknown. At his time of death he was unmarried. Laschke died on December 3, 1918 at the age of 25 from influenza. Bronchial pneumonia is listed as a contributory affliction. The cause of death and afflicting conditions lasted 9 days. Laschke was attended by Dr. Beer and was buried in the Fort Douglas Cemetery on December 4, 1918. On December 5, 1918 the Salt Lake Telegram documented Laschke’s death.

Erich Laevemann                                                                  

Erich Laevemann is listed as Prisoner of War no. 813. He was born in Duisburg on the Rhine, Germany. His mother and father are listed as unknown. At the time of his death he was unmarried. Laevemann died on December 10, 1918, at age 22 of bronchial pneumonia. A contributory affliction is listed as influenza. The primary and contributory illnesses lasted 6 days. Attended to by Dr. Beer, Laevemann was buried in the Fort Douglas Cemetery on December 12, 1918. No newspaper sources have been discovered documenting the death of Laevemann.

Felix Behr

According to his death certificate, Felix Behr is listed as interned enemy alien no. 1151. Behr was born in Stotzheim, Alsace. His occupation is listed as a jeweler. His parents are unknown and at his time of death he was unmarried. Behr died on November 29, 1918 at the age of 32 from influenza complicated by pneumonia. His influenza lasted for seven days, and the pneumonia developed on the third  day.  At his time of death Behr had lived at Fort Douglas for three months and two days. He was attended by Dr. Beer and was buried in the Fort Douglas Cemetery on November 30, 1918. The Deseret News and Ogden Standard reported Behr’s death shortly thereafter.

Frank Benes

Frank Benes is listed as interned alien enemy no. 914. He was born in Germany in 1894. His parents are unknown. He worked as a miner and at the time of his death he was unmarried. Benes died on November 6, 1918 at age 24 from pneumonia, lobar, bi-lateral. At his time of death, Benes had resided at Fort Douglas for one month and eight days. He was attended by Dr. Beer and was buried in the Fort Douglas Cemetery on November 7, 1918. The Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune reported Benes death shortly thereafter.

Herman Lieder

Herman Lieder is listed as interned alien enemy no. 889. He was born in Gera, Turingen, Germany to Paul and Lina Lieder on January 24, 1894. Lieder was a coppersmith and at the time of his death was unmarried. Lieder died on November 18, 1918 at age 24 from pneumonia, pyogenic, bi-lateral, lobar lasting three days. A contributory affliction is listed as a severe cold which lasted one day. At his time of death, Lieder had resided at Fort Douglas for seven months. He was attended by Dr. Beer and was buried in Fort Douglas Cemetery on November 19, 1918.  On November 20, 1918 the Salt Lake Tribune reported Lieder’s death.

Joseph (Joe) Fuckala

According to his death certificate, Joseph Fuckala is listed as interned alien enemy no. 738. He was born in Zelo-Orda, Croatia to Latzko Fukala and Anna Sullitsch. Fuckala was a carpenter and at the time of his death he was unmarried.  Fuckala died on November 23, 1918, at age 30 of Spanish influenza complicated with pneumonia hemorrhages. The affliction lasted three days. At his time of death, Fuckala had resided at Fort Douglas for seven months and twenty-five days. He was attended by Dr. Beer and was buried in the Fort Douglas Cemetery on November 24, 1918.

Max Leopold

According to his death certificate, Max Leopold is listed as interned alien enemy no. 584. Leopold was born in Germany, his parents are unknown. Leopold’s occupation is unknown. At his time of death he was unmarried. Leopold died on November 24, 1918 age 32 of pneumonia hemorrhages bi-lateral lasting one and-a-half days. A contributory affliction, Spanish influenza is listed as lasting three days. At the time of his death, Fuckala had resided at Fort Douglas for one year three months and twenty-four days. He was attended by Dr. Beer and was buried in Fort Douglas Cemetery on November 25, 1918. No newspaper sources were found to report on Leopold’s death.

Maximilian Kampmann

Maximilian Kampmann is listed as interned alien enemy no. 597. Kampmann was born in Elberfeld, Germany, his parents are unknown. Kampmann was a well-respected doctor, specifically a psycho-pathologist who had lived and worked in the Utah area since 1916. Kampmann died on November 26, 1918 at age 29 of pneumonia lasting three days and influenza lasting six days. At the time of his death Kampmann resided at Fort Douglas for one year two months and twenty-six days. Kampmann had at some point formerly resided in Sper Lake, Los Angeles. Kampmann was attended by Dr. Beer and was buried in the Fort Douglas Cemetery on November 28, 1918. The Ogden Standard, the Sun, the Salt Lake Tribune, and Salt Lake Telegram all reported on Kampmann between the period of 1916-1918.

Roko Zilko

The death certificate for Roko Zilko does not specify an interned alien enemy status. However, Zilko was born on the Island of Vys Dalmatia. Zilko’s occupation is listed as a laborer. His parents are unknown. At the time of his death he was unmarried. Zilko died of pneumonia at age 36 on November 30, 1918. The pneumonia developed on the fourth day while he was suffering from influenza for seven days.  At his time of death Zilko had resided at Fort Douglas for one month and twenty-nine days. A former residence is listed as possibly Austria (the word Austria is accompanied by a question mark). Zilko was attended by Dr. Beer and was buried in the Fort Douglas Cemetery on December 1, 1918. No newspaper sources were found to report on the death.

Stanilaus Lewitzki

In a similar situation as Zilko, the death certificate of Stanilaus Lewitzki does not list a prisoner of war number. However, Lewitzki was born in Germany. His parents are unknown and at the time of his death he was unmarried. Lewitzki was a sailor serving on the SMS Cormoron. Lewitzki died on September 13, 1917 at the age of 25 from a fractured spinal column with specific damage to the sixth cervical vertebrae. This injury was sustained while partaking in gymnastic activities at the prison camp. Lewitzki was admitted to the War Barracks Hospital on August 17, 1917. Lewitzki was attended by Dr. H. May and at the time of his death he had resided at Fort Douglas for one month and eleven days. Lewitzki was buried at Fort Douglas on September 14, 1917. The Salt Lake Telegram reported his death shortly thereafter.

Walter J Piezareck

Walter J Piezareck is listed as interned alien enemy no. 862. He was born in Postdam, Germany. His parents are unknown and at his time of death Piezareck was unmarried. His occupation is listed as a laborer. Piezareck died on December 6, 1918 at the age of 31 from bronchial pneumonia. Influenza contributed to his death; both afflictions lasted nine days. Piezareck was attended by Dr. Beer and was buried in the Fort Douglas Cemetery on December 6, 1918. No newspaper sources were discovered to report his death.

Walter Toppf

Walter Toppf is listed as interned alien enemy no. 867. Toppf was born in Germnay to Louise Toppf. The birthplace of Louise Toppf is listed as W. Plumental St. Berlin, Germany. At his time of death his father and marital status were unknown. Toppf was an artist, specifically he was a painter. Toppf died on May 16, 1919 at the age of 33, from hemorrhage and the contributory affliction is listed as pulmonary lobar complications, both of which lasted for one month and twenty-four days. At his time of death, Toppf had resided at Fort Douglas for ten months and eight days. Toppf was attended by Dr. Beer and was buried on May 16, 1919. On May 17, 1919 the Salt Lake Tribune reported Toppf’s death.

Zinnel, Stadler, Blaase, Hanf, Schmidt, Wachenhusen, and German           

The aforementioned enemy aliens had no death certificates filed with the State of Utah. As such, there is extremely limited information on the lives of these men. Henirich Ludwig Zinnel, as previously mentioned was from El Paso. He died on June 1, 1918 from acute gastritis. He was known to be a laborer. Frank Stadler was an interned enemy alien who lived and died at Fort Douglas; any further information in unknown. Karl Johann W. Blaase was an interned enemy alien who lived and died at Fort Douglas. A ledger of interned enemy aliens revealed that Blaase was arrested on May 24, 1918, and he was sentenced to interment on July 5, 1918. According to historian Raymond Cunningham, Friedrich Otto Hanf:

“was one of those brought to Fort Douglas after the War, and was despondent over being there. As Christmas 1919 approached, Hanf was more depressed than usual. Fellow prisoners noticed that he was regretting the arrival of Christmas. At 7:30 a.m., Christmas morning, Hanf’s body was found hanging by a bedsheet from a rafter in his barracks[15]”.

The ledger of interned aliens at Fort Douglas also reveals that Hanf was arrested on December 7, 1919, and sentenced to internment on December 23, 1919.

Georg Schmidt and Adolf Wachenhusen were interned enemy aliens who lived and died at Fort Douglas with no further information known about their identities. Herman German was an interned enemy alien who lived and died at Fort Douglas. It is unlikely that Herman’s last name was German. It is more likely that his last name was unknown and he was known as ‘Herman the German,’ however, any further information is unknown.

Sources:

Primary

Beer, William F. Arthur Rube Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. December 23, 1918.

Beer, William F. Charles Morth Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. December 3, 1918.

Beer, Willian F. Emil Laschke Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. December 4, 1918.

Beer, William F. Erich Laevemann Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. December 11, 1918.

Beer, William F. Felix Behr Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. November 30, 1918.

Beer, William F. Frank Benes Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. November 7, 1918.

Beer, William F. Herman Lieder Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. November 18, 1918.

Beer, William F. Joseph Fuckala Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. November 24, 1918.

Beer, William F. Max Leopold Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. November 24, 1918.

Beer, William F. Maximilian Kampmann Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. November 28, 1918.

Beer, William F. Roko Zilko Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. November 30, 1918.

May, H. Stanilaus Lewitzki Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. September 13, 1917.

Beer, William F. Walter J Piezareck Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. December 6, 1918.

Beer, William F. Walter Toppf Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. May 16, 1919.

Salt Lake Tribune. Death of Charles Morth. January 13, 1918.

Deseret News. Prisoner at Fort Douglas Dead. November 20, 1918.

Deseret News. Frank Benes. November 8, 1918.

Ogden Standard. Influenza at Fort Douglas. November 30, 1918.

Odgen Standard. Kampmann to be interned for War. November 2, 1917

Salt Lake Telegram. Editorial by Max Kampmann. January 1, 1916

Salt Lake Telegram. Death of Emil Laschke. December 5, 1918

Salt Lake Telegram. Death of Stanilaus Lewitzki. N.d.

Salt Lake Tribune. Death of Walter Toppf. May 7, 1919.

Salt Lake Tribune. Social Notes from Utah Towns. September 9, 1916.

Salt Lake Tribune. Lieder Buried at Post. November 20, 1918.

Salt Lake Tribune. Frank Benes Influenza Death. N.d.

Salt Lake Tribune. Kampmann Appeal. September 28, 1917.

Salt Lake Tribune. Kampmann Arrest Causes Stir. September 20, 1917.

Salt Lake Tribune. Kampmann Taken by Federal Agents. September 19, 1917.

Salt Lake Tribune. Kampmann to be interned for War. November 2, 1917.

The Sun. Suspected German Spy now Making Appeal. Price, UT, October 5, 1917.

Secondary

Cunningham, Raymond Kelly Jr. Internment 1917-1920; A History of the Prison Camp at Fort Douglas, Utah, and the Treatment of Enemy Aliens in the Western United States. Department of History, University of Utah, Call Number D7.5 C85 1976.

Powell, Allan Kent. The German-speaking Immigrant Experience in Utah. Utah Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, Number 4, Fall 1984.

[1] Raymond Kelly Cunningham Jr., “Internment 1917-1920; A History of the Prison Camp at Fort Douglas, Utah, and the Treatment of Enemy Aliens in the Western United States,” (Master’s thesis. Department of History, University of Utah, 1976), 16.

[2] Ibid., 16

[3] Ibid., 16

[4] Allan Kent Powell, “The German-speaking Immigrant Experience in Utah,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 52(Fall 1984), 324.

[5] Cunningham, 96.

[6] Cunningham, 3

[7] Powell, 326

[8] Powell, 325

[9] Cunningham, 94

[10] Cunningham, 107

[11] Cunningham, 41

[12] Cunningham, 42

[13] Cunningham, 90

[14] Cunningham, 157

[15] Cunningham, 167