Category Archives: Military

Hill Aerospace Museum

Published / by Max Thompson / Leave a Comment

Write up by: Maxwell Thompson

GPS Coordinates: 

Latitude: 41° 9′ 43.4088” N
Longitude: 112° 1′ 8.5224” W

Historical Marker Text: “1991- This Plaque commemorates the gift of the museum building complex from the citizens of the state of Utah to the United States Air Force—the 1988 and 1989 Utah State Legislatures”

Extended Research: 

The Hill Aerospace Museum is located on the northwest corner of Hill Air Force Base in Roy, Utah. The Air Force base itself was built and activated in 1940 and named after Major Ployer P. Hill, a test pilot who died while testing a plane.[1] The base is the second largest in the Air Force in terms of population as well as its geographic size, with over one million acres of land and 1,700 facilities. For Utahns, the base is the state’s largest single employer site, with over 23,000 people working there.[2] The base was used as a maintenance and supply depot during World War II and then as logistical support for large numbers of aircraft during the Korean and Vietnam wars.[3]

In the 1940s, the museum was originally located on the military base itself, although it was fairly small and only held a WWII display of some weapons and equipment.[4] The Museum grew and eventually moved to its current location in 1987 where it now houses several large planes which are no longer in commission, war equipment, and some educational centers for the children who visit. In 1988, the State of Utah appropriated $5 million for the building of the current museum complex. 

The focus of the Hill Aerospace Museum is on flight and the history of the Air Force. There is a secondary focus on Utah flight history. Throughout the museum there are small plaques with descriptions of Utah Air Force aviators who served their country in different capacities. This is capped off by the Utah Aviation Hall of Fame which is just inside the entrance to the museum. This is a special room that is dedicated to celebrating the contributions that men and women from Utah have made to the world of aviation. With Hill Air Force Base being so close to the museum, there are quite a few aviators who served at Hill who are showcased in the Hall of Fame. 

Inside of the museum are two large areas where different artifacts, mainly planes and helicopters, are displayed. Outside there are very large carrier planes for visitors to see.

 The Museum is comprised of two different sections, both are more like giant plane hangars than a regular museum. Both sections house aircraft from different eras, beginning with World War I, all the way up through some of the popular F-16s that are used in today’s Air Force. Included along with the aircraft, are a series of  uniforms that the military men and women wore while in combat, along with their everyday uniforms. The uniforms are organized chronologically,  set up to parallel the plane era progression.

It is also worth noting that there is an aircraft just outside the museum, which was one of the jets used as  “Air Force One” while  Lyndon B. Johnson was president of the United States. The aircraft has had some work done on it to renovate it after some normal wear and tear from a few years of flight.[5]

In sum, the Aerospace Museum at Hill is filled with planes and helicopters and offers an overview of aviation history. There are plenty of airplanes and aviation artifacts at the museum to capture the attention of visitors, old and young alike.

Former Air Force One plane on display at the Aerospace Museum

For further reference:

Secondary Sources:

“About the Museum,” Hill Aerospace Museum,

“About Us,” Hill Airforce Base,

Aerospace Heritage Foundation of Utah. Hill Aerospace Museum Official Guide Book. 2007.

Hibbard, Charles G. “Hill Air Force Base.” Utah History Encyclopedia. Ed. by Allen Kent Powell. Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, 1994.

[1] Charles G. Hibbard, “Hill Air Force Base,” Utah History Encyclopedia, ed. by Allen Kent Powell (Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, 1994).

[2] Hibbard, “Hill Air Force Base;” “About Us,” Hill Air Force Base,, accessed 9 April 2020.

[3] Hibbard, “Hill Air Force Base.”

[4] “About Us,” Hill Air Force Base,, accessed 9 April 2020; “Hill Aerospace Museum,” Hill Air Force Base,, accessed 9 April 2020.

[5] Hill Aerospace Museum Plaque.

U.S.S. Utah Bell

Published / by Matt Peplin / Leave a Comment
The bell in its current display

Write-up by Matt Peplin

Placed by: Naval History and Heritage Command

GPS Coordinates: 40° 46’ 0.408” N 111° 50’ 56.94” W

Historical Marker located on each side of bell
Plaque just left of bell from first image

Historical Marker Text: Main Ship’s bell from the USS Utah (BB-31) bronze with later painting of bell shoulder and lip. Originally installed suspended and used for ship functions and ceremonies. It is uncertain if the bell was still on board the Utah in 1941. Conservation treatment completed and bell reinstalled at the University of Utah in 2017.

Courtesy of Naval History and Heritage Command, Catalog No. 2016.048.001

Plaque Reads: U.S.S. UTAH 31 AUG. 1911 7 DEC. 1941

Bell Reads: U.S.S. UTAH 1911

Extended Research:

Built by the New York Shipbuilding Company, the U.S.S. Utah launched on December 23, 1909 from Camden, NJ. The ship was sponsored by Mary Alice Spry, daughter of former Utah Governor William Spry and commissioned August 31, 1911 in the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The ship spent most of its early years as a training vessel, operating across the eastern seaboard from as far North as New England and as far South as Cuba. The Utah saw its first “action” in April of 1914 in Veracruz, Mexico. Its battalion at the time (17 officers and 367 sailors) successfully seized the Veracruz customs house, preventing the Germans from supplying arms and munitions to the Mexican dictator, Victoriano Huerta. Seven men were awarded Medals of Honor for their roles the operation. [1]

BB-31 during trials in 1911 (Courtesy of Naval History and Heritage Command)

When the United States entered World War I in 1917, the Utah reported to Bantry Bay, Ireland to help escort Allied convoys to the British Isles. Once the hostilities of World War I ended, the Utah participated in the honorary escort of President Woodrow Wilson to France (aboard the George Washington) for the eventual signing of the Treaty of Versailles. In the interwar period, the Utah continued a regular schedule of battle practices and maneuvers. On October 31, 1925 the ship was briefly decommissioned to undergo modernization, switching from coal to oil fuel, among other changes. Notably, the Utah transported President Hoover to South America and back in the winter of 1925. [2]

BB-31 photographed in WW1 with camouflage on hull (Courtesy of Naval History and Heritage Command)

On July 1, 1931 the Utah, in accordance with the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty, converted from a battleship (BB-31) to a mobile target (AG-16) in the Norfolk Navy Yard. The ship was equipped with a radio control apparatus that could adjust the ship’s speed and course without human hands, among other changes that made it more suitable for training exercises. As a mobile target, the ship was an invaluable teaching tool that gave US navy pilots a realistic objective to practice torpedo bombing, among other maneuvers. The Utah was instrumental in training the next generation of US sailors, who fought in World War 2. After transitioning to a mobile target, the Utah spent the rest of the 1930s on the west coast, primarily off the shores of California. [3]

AG-16 off the coast of Long Beach, CA in 1935 (Courtesy of Naval History and Heritage Command)
Wreckage of the Utah in Pearl Harbor, February 1944 (Courtesy of Naval History and Heritage Command)

The Utah moved from California to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in September of 1941, the same place it was on the morning of December 7, 1941. The highest ranking officer on the ship at the time was Lieutenant Commander Solomon Isquith, who described the events as follows, “On Sunday, December 7, 1941, while moored at Berth FOX-11 Pearl Harbor, T.H., 3 planes whose identification were not questioned but taken for U.S. planes maneuvering, were observed just as colors were being hoisted at 0800, heading northerly from the harbor entrance. They made a low dive on the southern end of Ford Island and each dropped a bomb.” Isquith adds, “At about 0812, the last mooring lines had parted and the ship was capsized, the keel plainly showing. All men picked up by ship’s boats were taken ashore to Ford Island and boats ordered to return and pick up any men still swimming about.” [4] The Utah sank within the first 10 minutes of the events of Pearl Harbor. Its hulk remains there today. Six officers and fifty-two men from the ship lost their lives. [5]

AG-16 (or BB-31) represented the state it got its name from admirably, providing 30 years of service for this great nation. Some parallels can be drawn between Utah, the state and Utah, the ship. Like the ship, the state of Utah was used for training, preparing, and supplying soldiers for the realities of World War II. The Wendover Air Force Base and its surrounding salt flats helped prepare numerous American airmen and Salt Lake City served as a manufacturing and logistical hub for the army in the West. While the ship is often overshadowed by the U.S.S. Arizona in the tragedy of Pearl Harbor, the state’s WWII contributions are usually overlooked. [6] The outbreak of WWII (in the US) may have sunk the ship, yet the war brought in a tidal wave of jobs and economic activity to the state. The state’s fourteen military installations created nearly 40,000 jobs over the course of the war and the state’s population increased 25% from 1940-1950. The war also transformed the lives of the over 62,000 Utahns who served in WWII, with 3,660 Utahns paying the ultimate price for their nation. Perhaps the Utah and its now memorialized bell can serve as a reminder of the incredible hard work and sacrifice made by thousands of Utahns throughout this period of our nation’s history. [7]

The bell in its original display, outside the Naval Sciences Building on the campus of the University of Utah (Courtesy of the Marriott Library)

The U.S.S Utah Bell and Plaque are located in the Naval Sciences building on the campus of the University of Utah. It was originally donated to the University of Utah in approximately 1965. The bell arrived in Utah from Hawaii after then-Senator Wallace Bennett arranged for the Navy to ship it on an indefinite loan. Rear Adm. E.M. Eller wrote to Bennett on March 14, 1961, “My Dear Senator, the display of this fine relic should make a splendid memorial to the hardy naval [vessel] that bore the name of Utah for 30 years in our country’s service and to the gallant sons of the Beehive State who contributed so nobly to the heroic traditions of the naval service.” [8] The bell sat outside the Naval Sciences building until August of 2016, when it went back east for a stay at the Naval War College’s Senior Enlisted Academy in Newport, Rhode Island. The bell sat in Tomich Hall to commemorate the 27th anniversary of the facility, named after Chief Wartender Peter Tomich, who heroically went down with the ship in Pearl Harbor. After the brief stay in Rhode Island, it went to Richmond, Virginia to undergo a restoration process. It returned to the University of Utah on December 7, 2017 (the 76th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack) and placed where it now sits, inside the Naval Sciences Building. [9]

[1] Cressman, Robert J.. “Utah I (Battleship No. 31),” Naval History and Heritage Command, last modified May 19, 2019.  

[2] Cressman, “Utah I.”

[3] Cressman, “Utah I.”

[4] Isquith, Lieutenant Commander S.S.. “USS Utah, Report of Pearl Harbor Attack”, Naval History and Heritage Command, report from December 15, 1941.

[5] Cressman, “Utah I.”

[6] Launius, Roger D. “World War II in Utah,” Utah History Encyclopedia, accessed April 2, 2020

[7] Launius, “World War II.”

[8] Ernest M. Eller, correspondence to Wallace F. Bennett, March 14, 1961. Quoted in Rolly, Paul. “To mark Pearl Harbor Day, the bell from the sunken USS Utah returns to the Beehive State, sounding the toll of history,” The Salt Lake Tribune, December 7, 2017.

[9] Rolly, Paul. “To mark Pearl Harbor Day, the bell from the sunken USS Utah returns to the Beehive State, sounding the toll of history,” The Salt Lake Tribune, December 7, 2017.

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources:

Isquith, Lieutenant Commander S.S.. “USS Utah, Report of Pearl Harbor Attack”, Naval History and Heritage Command, report from December 15, 1941.

Secondary Sources:

Cressman, Robert J.. “Utah I (Battleship No. 31),” Naval History and Heritage Command, last   modified May 19, 2019.

Launius, Roger D.. “World War II in Utah,” Utah History Encyclopedia, accessed April 2, 2020.

Rolly, Paul. “To mark Pearl Harbor Day, the bell from the sunken USS Utah returns to the Beehive State, sounding the toll of history,” The Salt Lake Tribune, December 7, 2017.

“U.S.S. Utah Ship’s Bell Goes to NROTC Unit,” Utah Daily Chronicle, February 2, 1966.

Pioneers of Antimony

Published / by Eric Montague / 4 Comments on Pioneers of Antimony

Pioneers of Antimony

Write-up: Eric Cecil Montague

Placed By: Daughters of Utah Pioneers Forrest Camp · · · Garfield County (1949)

G.P.S. Coordinates: 38° 6.907′ N, 111° 59.8′ W

Historical Marker Text:

In 1873, Albert Guiser and others located in a fertile meadow, which they named Grass Valley. Surveyors camped on a stream, lassoed a young coyote and called the place Coyote Creek. The first L.D.S. settlers were Isaac Riddle and family, who took up land on the east fork of the Sevier River. Later, a school house was built, and the Marion Ward organized with Culbert King as bishop. In 1920 the name was officially changed to Antimony after the antimony mines east of the valley.

A picture on the day of the dedication of the marker with Antimony townswomen – Amber Riddle and Maude Wiley on the left and Esther Mathews and Ethel Savage on the right. (Courtesy of the Mayor’s Office – Antimony, Utah)

Extended Research:

The history of Antimony is a story of diverse groups making a home in a beautiful valley. Much like the story of Utah at large, these groups consisted of Native Americans, early settlers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (L.D.S.), and miners. The fertile valley of Antimony has been known by several names over the years: Clover Flat[1], Grass Valley[2], Coyote[3], and after 1920, Antimony. The latest name was chosen because of the abundant antimony mines in the canyons that surround Antimony and the mining industry that the mineral supported. This valley is covered in lush grass that is naturally irrigated by Otter Creek and the East Fork of the Sevier River.

The primary native people of the valley were Southern Paiute Native Americans. Previously, approximately 10,000 years ago, early native peoples, including the Fremont and Ancestral Puebloan peoples, inhabited Southern Utah.[4] Twenty-seven miles south of Antimony, at the ranch of Jeff Rex, archaeologists found ruins known as the North Creek Shelter Site. These ruins provide insight into the lives of the native peoples that inhabited the area before European settlement. The site, used as temporary shelter by many generations of hunters and travelers, contains artifacts from the Paiutes and earlier native peoples. Artifacts found at North Creek include stone tools, farming equipment, projectiles for hunting, pottery, and other common native objects.[5] The item from the North Creek site that received the most acclaim was a wild potato; this is the earliest documented use of potatoes in North America.[6]

North Creek Shelter Site

The more recent peoples of the region are linguistic relatives of the Utes, known as the Kaiparowits Band of the Southern Paiute.[7] Shoshone bands also occupied the area. Both groups used the substance now known as antimony (a very brittle, bluish-white metallic substance),[8] which they extracted from the canyons around Grass Valley,[9] for tools and weaponry. This Southern Paiute band engaged with Europeans (Mormon settlers and the U.S. Army) during the Black Hawk War (1865–1872), and Europeans settled permanently in the region shortly thereafter. The small Southern Pauite band that lived in Grass Valley called themselves the Paw Goosawd Uhmpuhtseng or Water Clover People.[10]

The earliest Anglo-European contact with the region occurred as a result of the Spanish Trail and the John C. Fremont explorations. A trading path off the Old Spanish Trail called the Gunnison trail was used during the 1830s and 1840s. The trail split at the summit of Salt Creek in Salina Canyon. From there, the path passed through Seven Mile Canyon and Fish Lake, descended along Otter Creek, and continued along the Sevier to the Pahvant Mountains.[11] Trading caravans used this path to supply two economies: goods and slaves. The most prominent trade goods were furs, buckskin, and dried buffalo meat. In addition, the Ute people sold captured Southern Paiutes as slaves to the Spanish traders.[12] Later, in the winter of 1853–1854, Captain John C. Fremont made his fifth and final expedition to the Western territories. During this expedition, Fremont encountered harsh weather and searched for safety. After a long trip through the San Rafael Swell, Capitol Reef, and the Awapa Plateau, Fremont and his group followed Otter Creek into Grass Valley, and there found shelter and recuperated.[13] The party later continued to Parowan for further recovery. In a letter to his sister about his trials, Fremont wrote that “the Mormons saved me and mine from death and starvation.”[14]

During the Black Hawk War, Mormon settler Captain James Andrus received orders from Brigadier General Erastus Snow to conduct a reconnaissance mission throughout Southern Utah to ascertain the strength of Native American communities in the region. This group passed through Grass Valley on September 4, 1866. In Grass Valley, the soldiers found the most “extensive” defense works they had ever encountered, erected by the Southern Paiutes.[15]

Brigham Young, then president of the L.D.S. Church, organized the first Mormon exploration party into Grass Valley in 1873, following the end of the Black Hawk War. The group included Albert K. Therber, William Jex, Abraham Holladay, General William Pace, George Bean, and George Evans. Throughout Southern Utah, Chief Tabiona of the Shoshone tribe served as their guide. During their exploration of Southern Utah, on June 18, 1873, they camped at what is known today as Antimony Bench. That evening, they recorded in their journal that “We were just going to camp for the night when we saw an old coyote with three young ones. We gave chase and caught the little ones, cut their ears off short, tied a paper collar around one’s neck and turned them loose. We named the stream Coyote.”[16] Thus, Grass Valley was renamed Coyote.

In 1873, the first European settler arrived in the valley: Albert Guiser. Guiser and his family owned mines in Oregon, namely the Bonanza, the Brazos, the Pyx, and the Worley mines. He likely came to Utah as a mining speculator because of the propaganda surrounding Utah during the national mining fervor and its promised mineral riches. Guiser established a cattle operation in the valley as well, yet did not establish a permanent settlement or buildings in Coyote, only visiting during summer.[17]

To understand the account of Antimony’s first permanent settlers, one must be acquainted with the practice by the adherents of the Mormon faith known as the United Order. The United Order, established by Brigham Young, was an economic concept based on cooperative and communitarian ideals. In the Order, all property was held in common, whereby its participants’ goal was to become self-sufficient from the external world. Most United Order communities only lasted a few years before dissolving.[18] Two Order communities that had lasting effects on Antimony were Kingston and Circleville. John Rice King, son of the leader of the Order in Kingston, purchased the Antimony Guiser cattle operation as part of the Order.[19] Two prominent future leaders of Antimony came from United Order communities: Isaac Riddle and Culbert King, from Kingston and Circleville, respectively. Riddle used Grass Valley to graze the Order’s cooperative beef herd. The Order from Kingston built a dairy beside Riddle’s ranch in Antimony.[20] After the dissolution of the Order in 1878, Isaac, Culbert, and others came to Grass Valley.

Isaac Riddle was the first permanent settler in Coyote. Riddle was born in Boone County, Kentucky, where his family converted to the Mormon faith and moved to Nauvoo, Illinois. He enjoyed his time making shingles for the Nauvoo temple. Riddle spoke of the challenges that he encountered from the “mobbers of Illinois,” who persecuted the Mormons. He also described the troubles of 1844 that the Mormons encountered in Nauvoo at the murder of the founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith. Notably, he wrote a description of Smith’s death, stating that “he cannot tell how we felt.” For the next six years, while migrating to Utah, Riddle endured numerous trials. His three-year journey to Winter Quarters in Omaha resulted in his “destitute condition.” To add further challenges, Riddle’s father left him in charge of the family in Omaha for two years when he was only 17 years old. After his arrival in Utah, Brigham Young called on Riddle and Jacob Hamblin to go on a mission to Southern Utah to improve relations with the native people.[21] Riddle’s exploration of Utah resulted in his acquisition of a vast estate throughout Southern Utah. In 1875, Riddle and his son, Isaac Jr., built ranches on the east fork of the Sevier River in Grass Valley.[22] Isaac and his son had explored the area the year before and assessed it to be perfect for cattle because of its abundant water and natural meadows. In addition to Riddle, John Hunt, Joseph Hunt, Gideon Murdock, and Walter Hyatt all used Antimony for cattle grazing.[23] Riddle was a shrewd businessman. To this end, he allotted a part of his ranches as a stopover for travelers on their way to Hole-In-The-Rock.[24] Riddle’s financial interests not only included ranches, but he also established many grist mills and sawmills throughout the region. After the dissolution of the United Order, Riddle owned thousands of cattle, sheep, and horses. He was also a polygamist with multiple wives, which resulted in his incarceration, along with George Q. Cannon, an apostle of the L.D.S. Church, from September 1887 to February 1888 for polygamy under the Edmunds Tucker Act. Riddle died on September 1, 1906.

Isaac Riddle

Isaac Riddle in Prison for Polygamy with George Q. Cannon (L.D.S. Apostle) Riddle is the in the second row, first person on left side

In 1878, around the Riddle Ranch, the town of Antimony began when thirty-three Mormon families—some of whom were friends of the Riddles—moved into the valley. The most noteworthy among the settlers were the Eliza Esther McCullough, Elizabeth Ann Callister, Sarah Elizabeth Pratt, Lydia Ann Webb, and Culbert King families; the Eliza Syrett and Volney King family; the Helen Maria Webb and John King family; the Mary Theodocia Savage and John Dingman Wilcox family; the Esther Clarinda King and George Black family; the Polly Ann Ross and Culbert Levi King family; the Christina Brown and Mortimer W. Warner family; the Charles E. Rowen family; the Knute Peterson family; the Peter Neilson family; and the James Huff family.[25]

Antimony Post Office 1896

Of the first settlers in Antimony, one prominent member of the community, Culbert King, became the spiritual leader of the early Mormon settlers. King was born on January 31, 1836, in the state of New York. His parents joined the L.D.S. Church and moved to Illinois. In Nauvoo, the King family became acquainted with the religious leader, Joseph Smith. Following Smith’s murder they joined the migration of the Saints in 1846, arriving in Utah in 1851. Shortly after their arrival, Brigham Young sent the Kings to Fillmore, Millard County, where they erected the first house in the area. King served as a soldier during both the Walker and Black Hawk wars. Afterward, he became a friend to the Southern Paiutes and became somewhat proficient in speaking their language. After staying for 15 years in Kanosh, he moved to Circleville, Piute County, where he lived in the United Order for several years and served as a member of the ecclesiastical leadership there until the Order dissolved. He then relocated to Grass Valley and, in 1882, became bishop of the L.D.S. ward. From December 1885 to June 1886, he was imprisoned for polygamy. He continued to serve as bishop until 1901 when he was released and ordained a patriarch by Apostle Francis M. Lyman. He died on October 29, 1909. He and his wives were all buried in Antimony.[26]

Culbert King

Culbert King with Primary Assocation

The most prominent non-Mormon settler and early miner in Antimony was Archibald Munchie Hunter. After emigrating from Scotland to the United States through Boston in 1851, Hunter’s career took him across the nation. In 1874, he arrived in Utah and resided in Sevier County as a breeder of thoroughbred racehorses. In 1879, he joined the settlers in Antimony. That he felt at home in Antimony is no surprise, given the communitarian beliefs of the town founders and Hunter’s prominence as a socialist. He spent the rest of his life there, supporting himself by providing supplies to various mining speculations, running a hotel, and raising and exporting his horses to Scotland. The successful mining efforts of Hunter and others gave the town its current name—Antimony—after the mineral that he and others mined in the canyons above the town. When he moved to Antimony in 1879, Hunter became chairman of the school board, and residents who experienced financial difficulties testified to Hunter’s generosity. Hunter cared for his sister, Jane Talbot, and her five children in his home, which he also ran as a hotel. He died in Antimony in 1931 and was buried in Salt Lake City.[27]

Archibald M. Hunter

Archibald Hunter with Family in front of his hotel

Archibald, as a school board trustee and benefactor, is significant to another group of Antimony pioneers: its earliest women. Female pioneers in Antimony influenced the town substantially, most notably as teachers and nurses. Carrie Henry, Lydia Tebbs Winters, and Esther Clarinda Black were the first teachers in Coyote. In 1882, at the home of George Black, the first schoolhouse was built, and in 1885, the school found its more permanent residence in the newly built church, until a dedicated school building was built in 1916. The school’s most remembered teacher was Esther Clarinda Black. One of her students, Lillian McGillvra Abbott, remembered her as having a “pleasant disposition.”[28] Black’s daughter, Esther Black Matthews, revered her mother. She recalled that Black began to teach out of necessity to provide for her family while her husband, George Black, served a mission for the L.D.S. Church in England.[29] Black’s impact on the community cannot be understated due to her effect on the town’s children. Black served for 23 years as the town leader of the youth organization of the L.D.S. Church, named the Primary Association, thus influencing the education and spiritual lives of the town’s children.[30]

Lydia Tebbs Winters with Antimony School Children

In addition to teaching, Esther was also a midwife. Midwifery and nursing were vital to the health of the young town. The first baby born in Antimony was Forrest King, son of John R. and Helen King, on April 1, 1879.[31] Some of the most esteemed nurses were Catherine Wilcox Webb and her two daughters, Helen Matilda Webb King and Lydia Webb Huntley,[32] among whom Catherine’s history is remarkable. Her first husband was Eber Wilcox, a member of Zion’s Camp, a Mormon militia organized by Joseph Smith to reclaim property stolen from members of the faith by Missourians. Wilcox died of cholera while on the Zion’s Camp expedition at Fishing River.[33] Joseph Smith officiated over Catherine’s marriage to her second husband, John Webb, in Kirtland, Ohio.[34] Catherine and her family came to Utah as original overland pioneers with the James Pace Company in 1850[35] and settled in Fillmore. After Catherine’s husband was killed guarding the fort at Fillmore during the Black Hawk War,[36] she joined her children in Coyote. She and her daughters were excellent nurses. Upon Catherine’s death, her obituary said of her that “her sphere of usefulness was unbounded as she assisted at the birth of many and at the bedside of the sick. She knew her profession well and was extensively known and well-beloved by all her acquaintances.”[37]

Catherine Wilcox Webb

From its humble pioneer beginnings, the town now known as Antimony made its mark on the Utah history in both the 19th and 20th centuries. The infamous Butch Cassidy and his group of criminal outlaws often frequented the area when it was known as Coyote and one-time marshal George Black encountered the gang there.[38] The telephone line arrived in Antimony in 1912, permanently connecting the town to the outside world.[39] That same decade, Antimony contributed in two ways to World War I. First, it sent eight of its young men to serve: Alonzo Black, Nelo Brindley, Loril Carpenter, Glen Crabb, Wilford Davis, Gus Lambson, David Nicholes, and Arnold Smoot. All eight returned home with honorable discharges. In addition to its soldiers, two antimony mines shipped ore to ammunition plants as part of the war effort. Following the war, the global influenza pandemic claimed four of Antimony’s residents: George Jolley, Arella Smoot, Thomas Ricketts, and Nephi Black.[40]

The official incorporation of Antimony as a town occurred in 1934, during the peak of its population. The 1880 census counted the town’s population as 125, and it rose in the 1920s and 1930s to its all-time peak of 290. It then precipitously declined until it began to rise again in 2000 and is just over 130 today. In 1938, The Works Progress Administration of the New Deal brought culinary water to Antimony.[41] Its population decline over the 20th century is a result of the difficulties of farming and mining in the region. The antimony mines closed after World War I. Without mining, Antimony had to rely solely on its agriculture. Antimony has always been a farming community, with the potato as its most common crop. The former importance of potato farming is demonstrated all over Antimony today in the potato cellar derelicts that dot the highway and roads throughout town.

Antimony Potato Cellar

While World War II was raging half a world away, L.D.S. Apostle Marion G. Romney spoke at the dedication of the newly built Antimony Ward chapel on April 23, 1944. In his dedicatory prayer, Romney prayed for those from Antimony and the rest of the U.S. who were serving overseas. He said, “Bless our boys and girls in the armed services who are spread out upon the earth in this great war.”[42] Antimony sent the following young men to battle in World War II: Lark Allen, Wayne Allen, Burns Black, Noel Black, Dean Crabb, Keith Crabb, Keith Gates, Robert Gates, Dahl Gleave, Marthell Gleave, George Jolley, R.J. Jolley, Arthell King, Darral King, Eugene King, Fount Lambson, Boyd Lindquist, Verl McInelly, Alton Mathews, Dasel Mathews, Gerald Mathews, Calvin Montague, Cecil Montague, Arden Nay, Clinton Nay, Harvey Nay, Merrill Nay, Guyle Riddle, Ted Riddle, James Sandberg, Lynn Savage, LaMaun Sorenson, Harmon Steed, Robert Steed, Arther Twitchell, Clarence Twitchell, Ephrium Twitchell, Grant Warner, Robert O. Warner, Warren Wildon, Carling Young, and Verl Young. All of these men returned home, except for three who were killed in action: Lark Allen, Ted Riddle, and Arther Twitchell. On Friday, May 30, 1947, the town held a service in honor of its war veterans. It was presided over by the president of the Panguitch L.D.S. Stake, Douglas Q. Cannon, and the bishop of the L.D.S. ward, Chester Allen, who had lost his son, Lark.

Antimony War Veterans Plaque – WWI & WWII

Dedicatory Services for Bronze Plaque Program Cover

Dedicatory Services for Bronze Plaque Program Inside

In 1946, electricity arrived in Antimony. The first home in which the Garkane Power Company installed its service was that of Avera and Ivan Montague.[43] Throughout the first half of the 20th century, dances were held in one of the canyons leading out of Antimony at the Purple Haze dance hall. When it opened, for 50 cents, people from towns around Antimony came to hear the live orchestra and dance late into the night as the sunset cast a purple haze over the canyon. The dance hall closed in the 1960s as the popularity of social dancing subsided.[44]

Throughout the last half of the 20th century, Antimony’s population dwindled, even dipping below 100 residents in 1990. One reason for this was the declining potato crop industry and other farming struggles.[45] Another reason was the pull factor that drew the younger generations of Antimony into larger cities. Population decline usually has a negative economic effect on rural towns. The impact of this is evident in the median income of Antimony households dropping to $22,500 in 2010, as reported by the 2010 census. However, since its lowest population point, Antimony is rebounding, largely due to its tourism and recreational significance, as the town is on the route to Bryce Canyon, a U.S. National Park. Antimony also has the advantage of being part of the American Discovery Trail, a non-motorized trail that one can use to travel across middle America. The trail is “a new breed of national trail—part city, part small town, part forest, part mountains, part desert—all in one trail. Its 6,800+ miles of continuous, multi-use trail stretches from Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware, to Pt. Reyes National Seashore, California.”[46] Furthermore, Mayor Shannon Allen has brought popularity to Antimony with a fireworks display every Independence Day. Antimony is home to many highly popular attractions: the Antimony Mercantile, Otter Creek Reservoir, and the Rockin’ R Ranch. The “Merc” is well-known for its half-pound Antimony Burger, the Rockin’ R for its dude ranch experience, and Otter Creek for its unprecedented trout fishing. As its citizens attest, Antimony owns a special place in Utah’s history.


Primary Sources

Abbott, Lillian McGilvra. My Life Story. No Date.

Deseret News (July 1884): 16.

Garfield County News (April 1923): 6.

The Engineering and Mining Journal (1896).

The Joseph Smith Papers, Journals 1 (1832–1839).

Fremont, Capt. J. C. Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the year 1842 and to Oregon and North California in the years 1843-44. Washington: Gales and Seaton, printers, 1845.

King, Culbert Biographical Sketch of Culbert Levi King. No Date.

Mathews, Esther Black. A Short Sketch of My Life: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. 1947.

Riddle, Isaac. “Autobiography of Isaac Riddle.” In The Descendants of John Riddle, edited by Chauncey Cazier Riddle, 2003.

Utah Department of Heritage & Arts. “Archibald Murchie Hunter Papers.” No date.

Utah Digital Newspapers. ” Salt Lake Tribune | 1885-12-13 | The Second District Court.” No date.

Wallace, John Hankins. Wallace’s Monthly 9 (1883).

Secondary Sources


Biography of Catherine Narrowmore. Fillmore, Utah: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. No Date.

Brown, Harlow F. Grass Valley History. Ogden: FamilySearch International, 1937.

Chidester, Ida, and Eleanor Bruhn. Golden Nuggets of Pioneer Days: A History of Garfield County. Panguitch, Utah: The Garfield County News, 1949.

Crampton, C. Gregory. “Military Reconnaissance in Southern Utah, 1866.” Utah Historical Quarterly 32, no. 2 (1866): 145–161.

Gottfredson, Peter, Indian Depredations in Utah. Salt Lake City: Press of Skelton Publishing Co., 1919.

Gunnerson, James H. The Fremont Culture: A Study in Culture Dynamics on the Northern Anasazi Frontier, Papers of the Peabody Museum, vol. 59, No. 2. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1920.

Janetski, Joel C., Mark L. Bodily, Bradley A. Newbold, and David T. Yoder. “Deep Human History in Escalante Valley and Southern Utah.” Utah Historical Quarterly 79, no. 3 (2001): 5–24.

Jensen, Andrew. Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City: Press of Skelton Publishing Co., 1941.

Kelly, Isabel T. Southern Paiute Ethnography. Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1964.

Louderback, Lisbeth A., Bruce M. Pavlik “Ancient potato use in North America.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114, no. 29 (July 2017): 201705540.

Mormon Historic. “North America & Hawaii.” No date.

Newell, Linda King, and Vivian Linford Talbot. A History of Garflied County. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1998.

Newell, Linda King. A History of Piute County. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1999.

Nielsen, Mabel Woodard, and Audrie Cuyler Ford. Johns Valley: The Way We Saw It. Springville: Art City Publishing Co., 1971.

Periodic Table of the Elements. “Antimony.”

Probasco, Christian. Highway 12 – Hoodoo Lands and the Rim Red and Bryce Canyons, the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Salt Lake City: Utah State University Press, 2005.

Reeve, W. Paul, and Ardis Parshall. Mormonism: A Historical Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 2010.

“Catherine Webb.” Overland Travel Pioneer Database, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Warner, M. Lane. Antimony, Utah – Its History and Its People 1873-2004, 2nd ed. Provo, Utah 2004.

[1] John Hankins Wallace, Wallace’s Monthly 9 (1883): 625.

[2] Andrew Jensen, Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Press of Skelton Publishing Co., 1941), 4.

[3] Lane M. Warner, Antimony, Utah – Its History and Its People 1873-2004, 2nd ed. (Provo, Utah, 2004), 5.

[4] James H. Gunnerson, The Fremont Culture: A Study in Culture Dynamics on the Northern Anasazi Frontier, Papers of the Peabody Museum, vol. 59, No. 2 (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1920).

[5] Joel C., Janetski et al. “Deep Human History in Escalante Valley and Southern Utah,” Utah Historical Quarterly 79, no. 3 (2001): 5–24.

[6] Lisbeth A. Louderback and Pavlik M. Bruce, “Ancient potato use in North America,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114, no. 29. (July 2017): 201705540.

[7] Isabel Kelly, “Southern Paiute Ethnography,” Anthropological Papers No. 69, Glen Canyon Series No. 21 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1964)

[8] Periodic Table of the Elements, “Antimony,”

[9] Warner, Antimony, Utah, 4.

[10] Linda King Newell and Vivian Linford Talbot, A History of Garflied County (Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1998), 62.

[11] Harlow F. Brown, Grass Valley History, (Ogden: FamilySearch International, 1937), 2.

[12] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 43.

[13] Brown, Grass Valley History, 2.

[14] Capt. J. C. Fremont, Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the year 1842 and to Oregon and North California in the years 1843-44 (Washington: Gales and Seaton, printers, 1845).

[15] Gregory C. Crampton, “Military Reconnaissance in Southern Utah, 1866,” Utah Historical Quarterly 32, no. 2 (1866): 159.

[16] Peter Gottfredson, Indian Depredations in Utah (Salt Lake City: Press of Skelton Publishing Co., 1919): 324-330.

[17] The Engineering and Mining Journal (1896): 383.

[18] W. Paul Reeve and Ardis Parshall, Mormonism: A Historical Encyclopedia (Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 2010), 287.

[19] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 119.

[20] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 127.

[21] Riddle, Isaac. 2003. Autobiography of Isaac Riddle in The Descendants of John Riddle. Edited by Chauncey Cazier Riddle.

[22] Jensen, Andrew. 1941. Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Deseret News. 4.

[23] Nielsen, Mabel Woodard, and Audrie Cuyler Ford. 1971. Johns Valley: The Way We Saw It. Springville, UT: Art City Publishing Co. 196.

[24] Probasco, Christian. 2005. Highway 12 – Hoodoo Lands and the Rim Red and Bryce Canyons, the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Utah State University Press. 33.

[25] Chidester, Ida, and Eleanor Bruhn. 1949. Golden Nuggets of Pioneer Days – A History of Garfield County. Panguitch, Utah: The Garfield County News. 124.

[26] Jensen, Andrew. 1941. Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Deseret News. 185

[27] Archibald Murchie Hunter Papers, 1871-1933.  MSS B 68. Utah State Historical Society Archive, Salt Lake City, Utah

[28] Mathews, Esther Black. 1947. A Short Sketch of My Life: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.

[29] Abbott, Lillian McGillvra. My Life Story

[30] Garfield County News. 1923. April 20: 6.

[31] Linda King Newell, A History of Piute County (Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1999), 129.

[32] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 120.


[34] The Joseph Smith Papers, Journals, vol. 1 1832-1839.


[36] Biography of Catherine Narrowmore. Fillmore, Utah: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.

[37] Deseret News. 1884. July 30: 16.

[38] Warner, Antimony, Utah ,96.

[39] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 222.

[40] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 258.

[41] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 294.

[42] Warner, Antimony, Utah, 71.

[43] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 300.

[44] Warner, Antimony, Utah, 77.

[45] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 337.


Antimony Mining Company Stock Certificate

Utah and the Civil War (5) Markers

Published / by Seth Todd / Leave a Comment

Utah and the Civil War Markers (1961):

These historical markers were erected September 30, 1961 by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers (Central Company). It encompasses four markers.

GPS Coordinates (Latitude/Longitude):

40.7767625°, -111.89043469°


“This monument honors the Utah men who answered the call to protect the mail and telegraph lines along the continental route during the Civil War. April 25, 1862 Acting Governor of Utah, Frank Fuller, called for volunteers from the Nauvoo Legion. The next day twenty-four men under Col. Robert T. Burton left for their assignment. Two days later Brigham Young received an authorization from President Abraham Lincoln, through Secretary-of-War Stanton, for a company of cavalry to serve ninety days protecting the same route. One hundred and six men responded for duty under Captain Lot Smith. Later some Utah men joined the 3rd Regiment, California Volunteers, stationed at Fort Douglas, Oct. 1862-July 1866. Other pioneers served in the Civil War before coming to Utah.”


Captain Lot Smith Company:

Joseph S. Rawlings, 1st Lt.

J. Q. Knowlton, 2nd Lt.

Richard H. Atwood, 1st Sgt.

James M. Barlow, 2nd Sgt.

Samuel H. W. Riter, Sgt.

Howard Spencer, Sgt.

Moses Thurston, Sgt.

John P. Wimmer, Sgt.

Andrew Bigler, Corp.

Wm. A. Bringhurst, Corp.

Hiram Clemons, Corp.

Joseph H. Felt, Corp.

John Hoagland, Corp.

Newton Myricn, Corp.

John Neff, Jr., Corp.

Seymore P. Young, Corp.

Moroni W. Alexander

William C. Allen

John Arrowsmith

Isaac Atkinson

William Bagley

Lachoneus Barnard

William H. Bess

John R. Bennion

Samuel R. Bennion

Henry Bird

Edwin Brown

Charles C. Burnham

John Cahoon

Theo J. Calkin

Thomas S. Caldwell

Francis R. Cantwell

Jesse J. Cherry

Peter Cornia

George Cotterell

Everet Covert

James H. Cragun

Charles Crismon Jr.

George W. Davidson

Albert Davis

Henry L. Dolton

Parley P. Draper

Josiah Eardley

Charles Evans”


Captain Lot Smith Company:

Joseph A. Fisher

Wid Fuller

John Gibson

Moses W. Gibson

Joseph Goddard

William Grant

James Green

Edward F. M. Guest

Solomon Hale

Thomas H. Harris

John Helm

Samuel Hill

Ira N. Hinckley

James S. Hixson

Richard Howe

Louis A. Huffaker

Harvey C. Hullinger

James Imlay

Lars Jensen

Powell Johnson

Hiram Kimball, Jr.

Wm. J. Larkins

Thurston Larsen

Leander Lemmon

Daniel C. Lill

Wm. Longstrough

Thomas Lutz

William W. Lutz

William Lynch

Elijah Maxfield

Edwin Merrill

Reuben P. Miller

Mark Murphy

Daniel McNicol

Benjamin Neff

Edward A. Noble

Hiram G. North

Lewis Osborn

Hugh D. Park

Francis Platt

Lewis Polmantur

Francis Prince

Alfred Randall

Adelbert Rice”


Captain Lot Smith Company:

Landon Rich

Wm. H. Rhodes

Alley S. Rose

James Sharp

Emerson D. Shurtleff

Harlon E. Simon

John Standiford

James H. Steed

Joseph J. Taylor

Joseph Terry

William Terry

John H. Walker

William H. Walton

E. Malin Weiler

James H. Wells

Bateman H. Williams

Ephrain H. Williams

Col. Robert T. Burton Company:

Heber P. Kimball, Lt.

Robert J. Golding, Sgt.

Joseph M. Simmons, Sgt.

John W. Woolley, Sgt.

Stephen Taylor, Corp.

James T. Allred

William Carlos

Mark Croxall

Lewis Grant

William J. Harris

Henry Heath

Richard D. Margetts

Orson P. Miles

Lewis N. Neeley

Samuel D. Serrine

Adam Sharp

George Spencer

Joshua Terry

George W. Thatcher

Lewis A. West

James Woods

Brigham Young, Jr.

John W. Young”

Utah and the Civil War Marker (2015), Utah Civil War Casualty:

This historical marker was erected on November 11, 2015 by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers (International). It was added as part of the Utah and the Civil War Markers (1961).

GPS Coordinates (Latitude/Longitude):

40.7767625°, -111.89043469°


“Lieutenant Henry Wells Jackson (March 10, 1827- May 27, 1864), was the only Utah battle fatality of the Civil War and the first known Latter-Day Saint to be killed in a U.S. national conflict. Jackson marched in the Mormon Battalion, Company D, musician; panned for gold at Mormon Island (now Folsom Lake), California; and used gold to pay for his wedding. He and Eliza Ann Dibble were married in Salt Lake on February 3, 1850, by Brigham Young. Henry and Eliza started a family and helped establish settlements in Tooele Valley and San Bernardino, California. In 1858, Henry carried mail for George Chorpenning on the Overland Mail Route, a precursor to the Pony Express. Due to bad management, Henry was owed $1,300 in back pay for his mail service. He decided to go back East to try and collect the money. Payment was delayed, so Henry took employment as a wagon master and was ultimately captured by the Confederate Army and held as a prisoner for three months. He was later released in exchange for Confederate prisoners. Because of the way he was treated, he decided to fight for the Union. Henry enlisted with the First Regiment, District of Columbia, Volunteer Cavalry and was commissioned as a lieutenant due to his previous service in the Mormon Battalion. On May 8, 1864, Henry took part in the Battle of White Bridge near Jarrett’s Station, Virginia, and was shot. Due to infection, he died on May 27, 1864, leaving behind his wife and three children. Henry Wells Jackson is buried in Hampton National Cemetery and is remembered for his great sacrifice and love for family and country.”

Extended Research:

            On April 12, 1861, the United States descended into a civil war, portrayed in the contemporary perception as a conflict between an industrial north and a slaveholding south. With this perception, it is often thought of as a war in the southern and eastern United States, excluding the American West from discussion about this uncivil bloodshed. While the American Civil War and its cruel battles remained mainly in the eastern portion of the country, people from its western territories and states participated in various manners. Utah’s role was small and limited, enacting its state militia for only a 90-day service before federal troops from California assumed responsibility. Members of the Nauvoo Legion were ordered to protect the telegraph lines and the overland trails. While the militia accomplished little in terms of warfare, the Nauvoo Legion’s participation helped provide a counterpoint to the American perception about members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ loyalty to the United States.

Questions about Latter-day Saints shifted into doubts regarding the loyalty of Latter-day Saints to the Union. Prior to the Civil War, they were viewed as alien to the ideal American community, which was white and Protestant.[1] During the war, this perception became coupled with heavy suspicions that Latter-day Saints collaborated with the Confederates. For example, the governor of Nebraska Territory wrote of “Mormon emigrants,” who “sympathize warmly with the secessionists” and, “If they were disposed to make common cause with the secessionists in our own Territory and Missouri, the Indians also becoming their allies, they could easily exterminate the whole loyal population between the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains before relief could be obtained from the Government.”[2] It was not enough that the group traveling through Nebraska were emigrants. They were “Mormon emigrants” who would ally with Native Americans, reflecting the idea that Latter-day Saints were not white through their associations and beliefs about Native Americans in their religious text, “The Book of Mormon.”[3] The religious people were contrary to the ideal American community, which suggested in the eyes of the public that they must be secessionists too. Perhaps, therefore, Simon Cameron reminded President Abraham Lincoln of the Utah War and recommended that another army should be sent to Utah to prevent violence by Latter-day Saints.[4] The “Mormon Problem” expressed before the war became a question of doubt about loyalty.

            Latter-day Saint disloyalty came from their understanding of themselves as a persecuted people. In December 1861, Brigham Young, speaking in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, stated clearly that “never was a wickeder man than the President of the United States, and his associates are very wicked men.”[5] However, Brigham’s words were to express his disdain for the “Gentile” territorial leaders that lived in the state, believing them to have engaged in misconduct against the Latter-day Saints.[6] It reflected his desire for Utah statehood and the corresponding right for Latter-day Saints to govern themselves. Heber C. Kimball, an early Latter-day Saint leader, declared that while he did not pray for the destruction of the government of the United States, he knew that “dissolution, sorrow, weeping and distress are in store for the inhabitants of the United States, because of their conduct towards the people of God.”[7]

For Latter-day Saints, the Civil War thus brought a reliving of previous abuses and a reminder of the recent Utah War where the nation, in their eyes, turned against them once more. As a result, it was easy for Latter-day Saints to view the Civil War as God’s justice enacted against the United States when the war erupted. This is evident in an editorial likely penned by George Q. Cannon, which stated, “Already our boasted land of liberty… is deluged with blood, and will continue to be so until it has atoned for rejecting the Gospel and refusing to avenge the wrongs of our people, and for passively sanctioning the murder of God’s servants.”[8] The Civil War, in the early Latter-day Saint perspective, was justified for the murder of their prophet, Joseph Smith, as well as other abuses. These expressions of frustration, however, when viewed by the American public were seen as further evidence of LDS disloyalty.

           Yet as much as Latter-day Saints expressed fiery indignation toward the United States for their “abuses,” there was a fair amount of conciliation and sympathy as well. Brigham Young did express sorrow for the people in the East.[9] Though angry at the United States federal government, Brigham affirmed Latter-day Saint loyalty to the country. He felt that it was better that his people submitted “to those things which are [unpleasant] than for us to do wrong” when asked if the Utah Territory would secede.[10] His first telegram to the United States reaffirmed Utah’s loyalty to the Constitution and the laws of the land.[11] To help affirm Latter-day Saint allegiance to the Union in the minds of the American people, he offered the Nauvoo Legion as an aid.

President Abraham Lincoln—tasked with the reunification of the country—knew that the survival of the United States rested on maintaining the loyalty of the states and territories remaining in the Union.[12] Part of Lincoln’s duty was to ensure communication lines with the western states and territories remained open. As workers built the transcontinental telegraph, Lincoln realized its importance. During its construction, he had the lines shifted more towards the north, putting the route through Salt Lake City.[13] Moving the route enabled the transcontinental telegraph line to remain open and free from interruptions. If this was not accomplished, communicating with the people in the West would prove long and tedious as it would more likely be done through messengers on horse. It would add further strains to an already stressed country.

It was not only President Lincoln who saw the vitality of communication with the West. Politicians, too, noted its importance. On May 1, 1861, Erastus Corning, an American politician, wrote a letter to Simon Cameron (the Secretary of War at the beginning of the American Civil War) stating:

I also think that it is of vital importance to the Government that the Hannibal and Saint Joseph Railroad be preserved to its owners, and that its free and uninterrupted use be maintained at all times and at all hazards. It furnishes the only accessible and speedy route by which the Government can communicate with Kansas, Nebraska, and Utah, or with its military posts along the Western and Northwestern frontier to the foot of the Rocky Mountains, and, if allowed to fall into and remain in the hands of an enemy, it is easy to see how difficult and well-nigh impossible in such an emergency it would be for the Government to preserve its Western Territories and military posts, for the danger to which they would be exposed would indeed be serious, and they could only be supported at immense expense and loss both of time and of means.[14]

However, the trouble did not come from Confederate sympathizers, but from Native Americans. For Native Americans, there was a desperate struggle to survive on dwindling resources as settlers encroached on their territory. Competition for natural resources taxed the natives as more settlers entered Utah.[15] The United States made treaties with the various tribes that comprised Utah territory in disadvantageous ways. They were written in English with terms not explained correctly and made with Native Americans who did not lead the tribe.[16] These treaties often faltered. Reservations were never maintained properly with living conditions proving difficult.[17] It pushed some Native American people to raid emigrant trains and cause general mayhem. For these reasons, Native Americans disrupted communications even prior to the war. During the war it proved alarming as Native Americans in the eastern United States sided with both the Union and the Confederates. There was a legitimate fear that native peoples in the West would join the Confederate cause and eliminate those loyal to the Union.

Feeding Native American peoples would not prove to be a solution. As reported by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for the year 1862 in Utah, “To keep [Native Americans] from robbing the stations and committing depredations upon them, and upon the settlers and travelers, the largest expenditures were incurred for flour, wheat, and beef; but it was impossible, with the funds… to furnish them a constant and adequate supply.”[18] Resources were needed elsewhere as the war continued. The question of how to protect the communication lines was eventually solved by bringing forces to ensure Native Americans in the West did not cause issue for the embattled Union instead of using assets to keep peace. “The safe and speedy transportation of mails and of treasure over this route has now become of such vast importance to… the government, it is supposed the funds appropriated… cannot be devoted at the present time to a more useful purpose than the protection of the mail and telegraph lines.”[19] Perhaps surprisingly to the American public, Brigham Young offered Utah’s militia “to take care of all the Indians within [Utah’s] borders.”[20] Until other forces could assume responsibility, the Latter-day Saints had the duty to protect important communication lines, allowing them to prove their loyalty.

            The opportunity for service came shortly after a year of the war had passed. The adjutant-general, Lorenzo Thomas, wrote to Brigham Young on April 28, 1862, allowing him to raise a company to protect the mail routes and telegraph lines. He wrote, “By express direction of the President of the United States you are hereby authorized to raise, arm, and equip one company of cavalry for ninety days’ service.”[21] Brigham Young acted immediately on this letter, ordering Daniel H. Wells, the Lieutenant-General of the Nauvoo Legion, to act on the telegram.[22] Daniel H. Wells raised the company with Lot Smith at the head. At the time, Colonel Robert T. Burton and his men were protecting mail routes in northern Utah.[23] As well, Robert T. Burton and his men were instructed “to protect Colonel Hooper, [General] Chauncey W. West, and Judge Kinney.”[24] Lot Smith and his men had different duties. He and his men were to be representatives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been admonished by Brigham Young to be “kind, forbearing, and righteous in all your acts.”[25] They marched to Fort Bridger in May and then to Independence Rock (both in Wyoming), improving the trail and noting the destruction of mail stations along the way.[26] In July, at Independence Rock, some of the men were instructed to apprehend deserters. Lieutenant J.Q Knowlton captured a horse thief (which resulted in a brief skirmish).[27] At the behest of Brigham Young, they contacted Chief Washakie of the Shoshones to ensure that he remained a friend to the Latter-day Saints.[28] Their last mission involved recovering animals from a Native American raid. On their return in August, a Private Donald McNichol “lost control of his horse” in the Snake River and was pulled under the river current, drowning.[29] Private McNichol’s death was the only loss that the Nauvoo Legion experienced. With their service completed, the United States passed the duty to protect Utah and the mail routes and telegraph lines to Colonel Patrick Edward Connor, a leader of a group of volunteers from California. Connor established Fort Douglas on the bench overlooking Salt Lake City and presided over federal forces in the territory for the duration of the Civil War.

           Utah’s part in the Civil War was limited and small, but for the people involved, it meant a measure of self-preservation. For Native Americans, they sought to maintain their way of life as settlers encroached on their lands, diminishing viable resources. Options for survival changed; raiding and destroying became a method to uphold their rights as a people. As Latter-day Saints were perceived as alien before the conflict, this perception warped as the American public viewed them as secessionists that would consume the West. Latter-day Saint participation, through the Nauvoo Legion, achieved little in terms of warfare. Their service provided instead an opportunity to prove loyalty to a doubting Union and a way for Latter-day Saints to attempt to foster a positive self-image.

For Further Reference

Primary Resources:

Alford, Kenneth L. Utah and the American Civil War: The Written Record. Oklahoma: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 2017.

Corning, Erastus. Erastus Corning to Simon Cameron, May 1, 1861. In Utah and the American Civil War: The Written Record, edited by Alford, Kenneth L. Oklahoma: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 2017.

Dole, William P. “Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.” H.exdoc.1/5. From Office of Indian Affairs, Department of Interior.

Paddock, Algernon. Algernon Paddock to Simon Cameron, June 24, 1861. In Utah and the American Civil War: The Written Record, edited by Alford, Kenneth L. Oklahoma: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 2017.

Thomas, Lorenzo. Lorenzo Thomas to Brigham Young, April 28, 1862. In Utah and the American Civil War: The Written Record, edited by Alford, Kenneth L. Oklahoma: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 2017.

Utah State Archives (Salt Lake City, Utah). Utah Territory Militia; Nauvoo Legion Correspondence, Orders and Reports, 1-2126. Film. Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1966. Found in Family History Library.

Secondary Resources:

Alford, Kenneth L. Civil War Saints. Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2012.

Fluhman, J. Spencer. ‘A Peculiar People’: Anti-Mormonism and the Making of Religion in Nineteenth-Century America. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2012.

Maxwell, John G. The Civil War Years in Utah: The Kingdom of God and the Territory That Did Not Fight. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2016.

Reeve, Paul W. Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.

[1] Spencer J. Fluhman, “A Peculiar People”: Anti-Mormonism and the Making of Religion in Nineteenth-Century America (Chapel Hill, 2012).

[2] Algernon Paddock to Simon Cameron, June 24, 1861, in Utah and the American Civil War: The Written Record, ed. Kenneth L. Alford (Norman, Oklahoma: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 2017), 87.

[3] Paul W. Reeve, Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015).

[4] Alford, Utah and the American Civil War: The Written Record.

[5] John Gary Maxwell, The Civil War Years in Utah: The Kingdom of God and the Territory That Did Not Fight (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2016), 103.

[6] Maxwell, The Civil War Years in Utah.

[7] Kenneth L. Alford, Civil War Saints (Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, Provo Utah, 2012), 97.

[8] Alford, Civil War Saints, 98.

[9] Alford, Civil War Saints.

[10] Alford, Civil War Saints, 111.

[11] Alford, Civil War Saints.

[12] Alford, Civil War Saints.

[13] Alford, Civil War Saints.

[14] Erastus Corning to Simon Cameron, May 1, 1861, in Utah and the American Civil War: The Written Record, ed. Kenneth L. Alford (Norman, Oklahoma: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 2017), 80.

[15] Alford, Civil War Saints.

[16] Alford, Civil War Saints.

[17] Alford, Civil War Saints.

[18] William P. Dole, “Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs,” (Office of Indian Affairs, Department of Interior, September 12, 1862), 342.

[19] Dole, “Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs,” 342.

[20] Alford, Civil War Saints, 72.

[21] Lorenzo Thomas to Brigham Young, April 28, 1862, in Utah and the American Civil War: The Written Record, ed. Kenneth L. Alford (Norman, Oklahoma: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 2017), 142.

[22] Utah State Archives (Salt Lake City, Utah), “Utah Territory Militia; Nauvoo Legion Correspondence, Orders and Reports, 1-2126” (Film, n.d.).

[23] Alford, Civil War Saints.

[24] Maxwell, The Civil War Years in Utah, 136.

[25] Maxwell, The Civil War Years in Utah, 137-138.

[26] Alford, Civil War Saints.

[27] Alford, Civil War Saints.

[28] Alford, Civil War Saints.

[29] Alford, Civil War Saints, 138.

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




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



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.


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


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.



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.


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












Connor Statue at Historic Park

Published / by Zach Vayo / Leave a Comment

Connor Statue at Historic Park

Write-up by Zach Vayo

GPS Coordinates: 40.764399°N, 111.832891°W

Historical Marker Text:


Born in County Kerry, Ireland. Emigrated as a child to the United States. Enlisted in the army at age 19. Attained rank of Captain in the Mexican War. As Colonel, commanding the Volunteers, established Camp Douglas on Oct. 26, 1862. A soldier-statesman of great energy and vision, he was the “father of Utah mining”, published the first daily newspaper in Utah Territory, and founded Stockton, Utah. * * * * This park presented to the United States Army by the Fort Douglas Museum Association on the 124th Anniversary of the founding of Fort Douglas. Oct 26, 1986.”

Extended Research:

Aside from Brigham Young, perhaps no individual played a larger role in shaping nineteenth century Utah than Patrick Connor. Indeed, prominent Utah historian Dean May has hailed these men as the two founding fathers of modern Utah.[1] Today, Connor’s statue in Fort Douglas quietly rivals Young’s much grander memorialization across Salt Lake in Temple Square – a silent reenactment of what was in its day a bitter public rivalry between these two men and their competing visions. Young sought to establish Utah as the Kingdom of God on Earth according to the unique sensibilities of the LDS Church. Connor, meanwhile, aimed to bring Utah into the American mainstream by conquering the land’s indigenous peoples and opening the door for white settlers like himself, looking to make their fortunes out West. Intensely distrustful of Utah’s Mormon population, Connor was himself an immigrant who, having undergone a process of Americanization, now sought to “Americanize” Utah along the same lines as the rest of the West. Portrayed as everything from hero to murderous plunderer, Connor has been sweepingly characterized as “the archetypal nineteenth century man”, who was “representative of all that was good and bad in that age.”[2]

The man who would come to identify himself as P. Edward Connor was born Patrick Edward (“Paddy”) O’Connor in County Kerry, Ireland. Very little information exists on Connor’s early life; he claimed to have been born on St. Patrick’s Day, 1820.[3] Economic stagnation in Ireland drove his family to emigrate to New York when he was perhaps sixteen. Connor spent several years working odd jobs as a laborer before beginning his military career by volunteering for the First Dragoons in 1839. It is possible the young Irishman viewed military service as a useful means to “Americanize” himself in an era animated by nativism and anti-Catholicism.[4]

Connor’s five year tour with the Dragoons took him to the lands in and around the newly-created Iowa Territory to maintain relations with the region’s native peoples. This fledgling military presence in the trans-Mississippi West, with the US fresh off the Jacksonian ethnic cleansing of native peoples in the East, would foreshadow atrocious military violence against the indigenous peoples of the West during and after the Civil War, in which Connor himself was to play a leading role.

While relatively uneventful, Connor’s tour with the Dragoons gave him valuable experience as a soldier. More importantly, he appeared to become enamored with the West, where he would spend almost all of the remainder of his life. Following the end of his tour of duty, he returned to New York for several years, engaging in “mercantile business” and becoming a naturalized citizen (a process no doubt made easier by his military record).[5] Also around this time, he removed some of the conspicuous Irish-ness from his name by dropping the O’ in his surname and shortening Patrick to an initial, becoming P. Edward Connor. With the outbreak of war with Mexico in 1846, Connor headed west again, joining a company of Texas Volunteers. He participated in the US victory at the Battle of Buena Vista, receiving praise for his bravery.[6]

Connor ca. 1860s

The war resulted in the US seizure of a vast swath of land claimed by Mexico. Connor was among many who viewed these lands as a place to make it big, travelling to California in 1850 on the heels of the Gold Rush. After an ill-fated attempt to establish a community on the Trinity River, he settled in Stockton. Over the next decade, his numerous entrepreneurial ventures, particularly a gravel quarry on his property, resulted in Connor accumulating a degree of wealth. He emerged as a leading citizen of Stockton and came to head its militia, the Stockton Blues. In 1854, he married Johanna Connor, another emigrant from Kerry County.[7] The couple would raise five children to adulthood, enduring the loss of two sons who died in childhood.

This relatively peaceful period of Connor’s life came to an end in 1861 with the outbreak of the Civil War. Eager to serve his adopted country once more, he took the lead in recruiting several companies of California Volunteers to serve under his command. In spite of his (and his troops’) desire to fight the Confederacy in the East, he found himself assigned to protect overland mail routes in Utah, as the Lincoln administration sought to preserve California’s tenuous connection to the Union.[8] In Utah, Connor’s troops were to serve as an occupying force to both native peoples such as the Shoshone and to the territory’s Mormon population, practitioners of an enigmatic and fanatical religion in the eyes of many, whose loyalty to the country seemed particularly dubious, particularly in light of the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre.

During the journey across Nevada, Connor began to hone his reputation as an Indian fighter, launching attacks that killed several dozen Shoshones. Reaching Salt Lake City in 1862, Connor remarked with disgust on the apparent un-Americanness of the Mormons, calling them “a community of traitors, murderers, fanatics, and whores,” claiming “the people publicly rejoice at reverses to our arms,” and “Brigham Young rules with despotic sway.”[9] For their part, the Mormons had good reason to fear federal troops due to the “Utah War” of 1856-58. As such, they were none too happy when Connor, despairing of the state of the old Camp Crittenden (Camp Floyd) in Utah Valley, planted his troops directly above their capital, establishing Camp Douglas on an eastern bench of the Salt Lake Valley on October 26, 1862. Connor cited this new location as all the better to “say to the Saints of Utah, enough of your treason.”[10] Connor’s troops thus became the most visible symbol of “Gentile” (non-Mormon) presence in the territory, sparking a war of words between the two groups lasting for decades.

Camp Douglas (later Fort Douglas) ca. 1865. Connor named the fort for Lincoln’s great political rival, Stephen Douglas.

The year 1863 was a critical one for Connor. Denied the chance to fight in the East, he seized on a chance to “chastise” the Northwestern Shoshone instead. Increased Anglo-American incursions into what is today southern Idaho had strained relationships with the Shoshone, producing intermittent fighting and claims of kidnapping. In the bitter cold of January, Connor marched his troops from Camp Douglas to a Shoshone encampment on the Bear River. One California newspaper offered a telling insight into the attitudes of the day by publishing a gleeful letter from a Salt Lake correspondent, stating that “before [Connor’s troops] quit the entertainment Mr. Redskin is to be well thrashed, and, if possible, ‘wiped out.’”[11]

Arriving at the encampment, Connor’s troops launched an attack on the 29th of January. What began as a battle became a bloodbath as Connor’s troops flanked the Shoshones, trapping them in a ravine. The troops proceeded to massacre anyone within reach, including women and children. The death toll may well have exceeded four hundred, making it the largest massacre in the history of the American West. Connor’s troops destroyed homes and food supplies, murdering dozens more women who refused to submit to rape by the soldiers.[12] His actions would make him one of the most despised figures in Shoshone memory, with one survivor, Sagwitch, later recalling the bitter irony of “that merciless battle, when women and suckling babes met their death at the hands of civilization.”[13] Those same actions, however, made Connor a hero to white colonizers in the West, and earned him a promotion to brigadier-general.

Bear River Massacre site.

Back in Salt Lake, Connor became fixated on the notion of publicizing Utah’s mineral wealth so as to draw non-Mormons into the territory, contending that “inducements … to the teeming population of the East and West, seeking new fields of exploration and prosperity” would spell political and social doom for the Mormonism that he saw as “not only subversive of morals, in conflict with the civilization of the present age, and oppressive on the people, but also deeply and boldly in contravention of the laws and best interests of the nation.”[14] To that end, he founded the Daily Union Vedette, a staunchly non-Mormon newspaper that wrote extensively on the wealth to be had in Utah. Connor helped to establish and personally invested in numerous mining districts, including what would become Bingham Canyon, earning the honorific “father of Utah mining.” In 1863, Connor also established the town of Stockton, near Tooele, named for his former home in California. Connor intended Stockton as a hub for non-Mormon settlement, though his grand visions could never elevate it beyond a minor settlement on the fringes of Brigham Young’s Mormon kingdom. Of course, Young and his disciples were none too happy to see these capitalistic incursions into their Zion. After Young petitioned unsuccessfully to have Connor and his troops removed from Utah,[15] he was spared of the general for a time when Connor was sent to present Wyoming for the Powder River expedition in 1865.

Connor thus departed Utah to crush resistance from the Cheyenne, Sioux, and Arapaho in response to a mining boom that had drawn a wave of white colonizers into Montana. While Connor’s campaigns failed to win any “victories” as decisive as that at Bear River, he nonetheless killed several hundred indigenous persons in a series of battles and skirmishes such as Tongue River (at times fighting alongside indigenous allies such as the Omaha). Such militancy undermined the capacity of indigenous communities to sustain themselves, leaving little recourse to federal economic dependency and reservations (with poverty ironically reinforcing white perceptions of indigenous nations as primitive and backwards). The Powder River endeavor was largely regarded as a failure, in part due to negative publicity surrounding another event to the south: namely, the army’s 1864 Sand Creek Massacre against the Cheyenne and Arapaho, which had soured the nation for a time on war with native nations.[16] Reflecting this shift in attitude, the Salt Lake Tribune expressed desire for “some sensible plan” regarding “the poor Indian race.”[17]Nonetheless, the expedition cemented Connor’s status as to hero to white colonizers in the West. This would be Connor’s last major military mission, as he resigned his commission in 1866.

After a brief return to Utah (and a trip to Washington DC to testify against the evils of the Mormons), Connor returned to California with his family. By 1869, however, the looming completion of the transcontinental railroad brought him back to Utah. This time, his family stayed in California, establishing a permanent residence in Redwood City. Over the next decades, Connor would become increasingly estranged from his family as he bounced between various mining and railroad endeavors in Utah and Nevada in largely unsuccessful attempts to amass his fortune, made all the more difficult by the market instabilities laid bare in the Panic of 1873. Johanna Connor would eventually die in 1889, making no mention of her oft-absent husband in her will.

In Utah, the railroad spelled doom for Brigham Young’s bucolic conception of an economically isolated Zion. Anticipating an economic and demographic influx to the territory, Connor took an interest in the town of Corinne, near the mouth of the Bear River, which emerged in the wake of the railroad’s completion as Utah’s leading non-Mormon community. His assessment of this emerging landscape proved somewhat overly optimistic, with his vision of a steamboat service across the Great Salt Lake connecting Corinne to Stockton never truly materializing. As the most esteemed non-Mormon in the territory, Connor became the symbolic leader of Utah’s anti-Mormon Liberal Party, which denounced polygamy and sought to block statehood for fear of losing federal leverage against the dominant religion. Speaking at an 1880 Liberal rally, Connor declared his intention of “taking up the fight with renewed vigor,” and “helping forward the good work of regulating and Americanizing Utah.”[18] This symbolic leadership notwithstanding, Connor proved unsuccessful in parlaying his notoriety into political office, losing a bid even for the modest office of Salt Lake County Recorder. He died in Salt Lake in 1891 with much prestige and little wealth, and was buried in the Fort Douglas Cemetery.[19]

Connor with President Hayes during the latter’s visit to Fort Douglas, 1880.

The decades after his death saw Patrick Connor’s vision of an Americanized Utah come to fruition to a remarkable degree. Booming mining industries throughout the new state in regions such as Carbon County and Bingham Canyon attracted waves of non-Mormon immigration from countries including Greece and Italy, and, to a lesser extent, Japan and China. Mining in particular signified Utah’s increasing integration into the national economy; while providing economic opportunity, this new colonial economy also spawned appalling working conditions and environmental degradation. Connor would no doubt also have been pleased to see the LDS church, the object of his perpetual contempt, take a firmer stance against polygamy and recede from the political sphere in the first decades of the twentieth century (though the latter change did not prove permanent). Furthermore, the twentieth century also saw emphasis on Brigham Young’s model of economic cooperation decline as many Mormons made their peace with Connor’s capitalist vision. Indeed, while not abandoning their distinct identities, Mormon communities have undergone a noteworthy degree of Americanization since Connor’s time.[20] Connor himself practiced what he preached with regards to Americanization: the Irish-born immigrant epitomized the self-made man of fame and fortune. While this rugged, romantic image has become iconic in conceptions of the West, Connor’s case also illustrates its shortcomings. Never truly successful in making his fortune later in life, his obsessive quest for wealth resulted in considerable alienation from his family. Underpinning all of this is Connor’s darkest legacy (and one that is conspicuously absent from his historical marker): the brutalization of indigenous nations, on whose dispossessed land the processes of “Americanization” played out. Particularly for the Northwestern Shoshones, the impacts and bitter memories of Colonel Connor’s atrocious actions on the Bear River echo into the twenty-first century.

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources:

P. Edward Connor, Official Report on the Bear River Massacre, February 6, 1863.

Secondary Sources:

Madsen, Brigham. Glory Hunter: A Biography of Patrick Edward Connor. Salt Lake: University of Utah Press, 1990.

May, Dean. Utah: A People’s History. Salt Lake: University of Utah Press, 1987.

Varley, James. Brigham and the Brigadier: General Patrick Connor and His California Volunteers in Utah and Along the Overland Trail. . Tucson: Westernlore Press, 1989.

[1] Dean L. May, Utah: A People’s History (Salt Lake: University of Utah Press, 1987), 194.

[2] James Varley, Brigham and the Brigadier: General Patrick Connor and His California Volunteers in Utah and Along the Overland Trail. (Tucson: Westernlore Press, 1989), x.

[3] Brigham Madsen, Glory Hunter: A Biography of Patrick Edward Connor (Salt Lake: University of Utah Press, 1990), 3-5.

[4] James Varley, Brigham and the Brigadier, 2.

[5] Brigham Madsen, Glory Hunter, 18-19.

[6] James Varley, Brigham and the Brigadier, 4.

[7] Brigham Madsen, Glory Hunter, 30.

[8] Ibid, 48.

[9] P. Edward Connor, letter to Major R. C. Drum, September 14, 1862.

[10] Ibid.

[11] “A Big Expedition – Connor and the Volunteers after the Indians,” Sacramento Daily Union (Sacramento, CA), Feb. 7, 1863

[12] Scott Christensen, Sagwitch: Shoshone Chieftain, Mormon Elder, 1822-1887 (Logan: Utah State University Press, 1999), 52.

[13] F.W. Warner (Sagwitch), “Sagwitch Writes The Citizen About New Monument,” Franklin County Citizen (Preston, ID), Jul. 11, 1918.

[14] P. Edward Connor, letter to Major E. McGarry, October 26, 1863.

[15] Brigham Madsen, Glory Hunter, 114.

[16] Ibid, 121.

[17] James Varley, Brigham and the Brigadier, 258.

[18] Brigham Madsen, Glory Hunter, 237.

[19] Brigham Madsen, Glory Hunter, 271.

[20] Dean L. May, Utah: A People’s History, 190, 194-198.