Ice Cream Social attendees invited to visit 'Mountain Meadows' room
Everyone is invited to attend the Ice Cream Social on the Berryville Square this weekend and visit the Carroll County Historical Museum to see the new “Mountain Meadows Room.”
Patty Norris, president of the Mountain Meadows Massacre Descendants, and great-great-great-grandaughter of Capt. Alexander Fancher, will share some history of this tragic event in Carroll County history at 11 a.m. Saturday.
The massacre occurred after a wealthy wagon train made up of families from Carroll County, led by captains Alexander Fancher and John T. Baker, headed for California in the spring of 1857. After traveling five months, and being directed by Mormon Jacob Hamlin, who had “befriended” the wagon train, they stopped to refresh themselves and their large herd of livestock in the beautiful valley known to this day as the Mountain Meadows in Southwestern Utah.
For reasons that remain convoluted, they were attacked on the morning of Sept. 7 by a band of disguised Mormons aided by local Paiute Indians. The ensuing battle raged for five days.
On the morning of Sept. 11, horsemen carrying a white flag rode into the camp. Deceived into thinking the Indians alone were responsible for the attack and relieved their suffering was soon to end, the wagon train members reluctantly accepted the promise of safe passage, leaving their weapons and belongings behind to begin their march up the valley, where they were killed.
After the massacre, the victims were stripped of jewelry and clothing and their possessions were stolen. The families have never been able to recover any of the stolen goods. To this day, there are stories of property held that had belonged to the wagon train.
The surviving 17 youngest children, some wounded, were farmed out to local Mormon families. Two years later they were rounded up by the United States Army and eventually brought back to relatives in Arkansas. There may have been children left in Utah.