Photo Number: 374

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Salt Creek Canyon Massacre, Monument Inscription

 Photo Id: 374

Available Versions of the Photo:
Type: eJPG, Size: 683 (KBytes)
Type: eJPG, Size: 155 (KBytes)
Type: eJPG, Size: 59 (KBytes)

Photo Information:
Date: 2002, August
Place: NEAR, USA, Utah, Juab, Nephi
Editor's Comments:
     The inscription on the monument is as follows:
     Daughters of Utah Pioneers, #11.
     Erected June 4, 1936.
     This monument replaces one previously erected (that crumbled through weather conditions) by Langley A. Bailey Sr., Jacob Bowers, and Henry Knowles in memory of the following pioneers: Jens Jergensen and wife, Jens Terkelsen, and Christian E. Kjerulf who were massacred by Indians June 4, 1858 near this spot, while travelling unarmed on their way to sanpete Valley.
     Sponsored by Juab county Company
     Some background about the massacre:
     On June 4, 1858, JENSEN, Hedevig Marie and her husband JORGANSEN, Nels were killed by American Native Indians in Salt Creek Canyon. This monument marks the spot where the massacre took place. It is located on the highway between Nephi and Fountain Green Utah in what is called Salt Creek Canyon. To locate the monument drive about eight miles from Nephi toward Fountain Green. The monument is located on the south side of the highway.
     The [Unknown Person Id: -1] family and the [Unknown Person Id: -1] family were called by President Brigham Young to be one of the first settlers in what is now Nephi, Utah. The [Unknown Person Id: -1] family decided to move from Nephi to Sanpete valley, so on June 4, 1858, they loaded up their ox cart and started through Salt Creek Canyon. As they travelled, they were massacred by a group of Indians. Several accounts of the massacre are provided below:
     The Editor of the Deseret News wrote the following about the incident:
     On June 4, 1858, a small company of Danes, who recently arrived in Utah were traveling up Salt Creek Canyon, on their way to the settlement in Sanpete Valley. They were unarmed and suspected no trouble with the Indians as the natives were supposed to be at peace with the whites at that particular time at least in that part of the Territory of Utah. The company traveled with an ox team and another ox hitched to a two-wheeled cart. The company had just stopped for lunch when all of a sudden a squad of Indians, who had been waiting in a hiding place, attacked them. Two of the men were killed about fifty yards from the wagon and the woman (Hedevig Marie Jorgensen) was found dead nearby.
     NIELSEN, Marine Anine described the massacre as follows:
     John Ericson, the only man who escaped, made his way to Ephraim, a settlement southeast of Nephi, and arrived after dark the same day. He was walking a distance ahead of the group and hid himself in the rocks when the Indians attacked. An ox, hitched to the cart, was frightened and ran back to Nephi. Still hitched to the cart, it was found outside the north entrance of the Fort which was erected in Nephi as a protection against the Indians. The murdered Danes were on their way to Fort Ephraim where they intended to settle. The bodies of the Jorgensens were buried in Fort Ephraim and those of Terkelsen and Kjerulf, in Manti, in Sanpete County. Thirteen Indians were said to have participated in the massacre.
     Mr. Langley A. Bailey Sr gave the following account of the massacre in "They Left A Record," A History of Nephi, Utah, 1851-1978
     The emigrants stopped at the salt cave to obtain salt to take with them. After stopping to eat lunch, John Ericson walked some distance ahead of them and the teams. The Indians allowed him to pass but as they came upon the Danes they fired, killing the men of the party instantly. John Ericson was unarmed and unable to prevent the Indians from torturing the woman before killing her with a tomahawk. Hedevig Marie was pregnant with their first child. The Indians set fire to the wagon and then went into the mountains.
     Proceeding on his way, John Ericson met some teams coming from Sanpete. Returning with them to the scene of the massacre, they found the bodies in the wagon and on the ground.
     It is interesting to note that JENSEN, Jens would have been with his sister, JENSEN, Hedevig Marie, and her husband JORGANSEN, Nels that day to help them with the move. He woke up that morning, dresses, and was ready to join them, but he suddenly became very ill. His malady forced him to go back to bed. After sleeping some time, he woke up and felt as well as ever. He told his wife, CHRISTENSEN, Maren Sophie that he would go try to catch up with his sister's party. He learned about the massacre as he travelled up the canyon. If he had gone with them that morning, he probably would have been killed also.

See Also:
[Photo]:  Salt Creek Canyon Massacre, Monument
[Photo]:  Salt Creek Canyon Massacre, Monument Area View

Associated Persons and Marriages:
(Living) and (Living) (Id# 3725) LinkMarriage, MEDIUM 
(Living) and (Living) (Id# 3510) LinkMarriage, HIGH