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Historical Accounts

The following stories fall into the bracket of Nawduh'gwenup. The Paiutes consider these stories as true. Some of them deal with battles between Paiutes and other tribes. Other stories deal with battles with the white men all of which can be read, documented in Peter Gottfredson's book Indian Depredations in Utah. (Gottfredson, 1919)

Martineau comments on Historical Accounts:

After I heard the Paiute versions of their wars with the white man, I began to check dates and events against Gottfredson's. I began to think that maybe he should have entitled his book "Anglo Depredations in Utah." This will become apparent when some of the following evidence comes out. First of all, there is little discrepancy between the Indian and Anglo versions. This bears out the truthfulness of the Indian versions. The battles where the Indians were not caught off guard generally ended in a standoff with a couple wounded or killed on each side after which the combatants withdrew. The only complete

victories the white man achieved were against peaceful Indians who tried to remain friends with the whites during the Black Hawk War. They didn't go into hiding as did the women, children, and aged of Black Hawk's fighting bands who went out into eastern Utah, probably in the remote Canyonlands area. This is evident in Gottfredson's book also.

The militia had little success in pitched battles with the Indians so they resorted to falsely accusing the peaceful bands and then massacring them. They would kill everyone including the women, children and aged. One of the purposes in doing this was to intimidate the fighting bands.

During the Black Hawk War this happened at the Circleville massacre of women and children, at the Grass Valley "Squaw Fight" as termed by Gottfredson, and on Kanab Creek where peaceful Paiutes were killed in retribution for a raid made by Navajos. Similar massacres occurred at other times. One happened in Spring Valley where peaceful Paiutes and Goshute's were killed to intimidate warring Shoshone's, and another in Pahranagat Valley just for the acquisition of land.

Claymont John.jpg

Battle with Navajos
in Wayne County

Claymont John, Shivwits, 1960's

Jimmie Timmican, Koosharem

Long ago in the Fall, some Indians from the Escalante area in Utah came to hunt on Thousand Lake Mountain. They came by way of Rabbit Valley and over into a canyon east of Thousand Lake Mountain in Wayne County, Utah. This canyon runs all the way to the river and at the upper end it forms a box canyon with a little spring there (this canyon is probably Chimney Rock Canyon in Capitol Reef National Monument, Utah. I flew over this canyon in an airplane with Jimmie Timmican after he told the story. The canyon he pointed out from the air appeared to be Chimney Rock Canyon.)

 There were only two ways into this canyon at the upper end consisting of two trails coming down each side of the canyon some distance below the spring. These Indians camped there for about two days. The men then went up on top of Thousand Lake Mountain to hunt.

On their way to this area they had unknowingly been tracked by a large Navajo war party. When the Navajos found that the Paiutes were trapped in this box canyon they descended and killed all but a few whom they took prisoners. Those killed were mostly old men, women, and children who had remained behind while the men had gone hunting.

One young boy ran through the Navajos who tried to shoot him but couldn't hit him. He got away from them and ran up out of the canyon and onto the mountain where he hollered, hoping the men of the hunting party would hear him. One of the hunters heard him and came to him. The boy said, "We've all been killed!"


They soon rounded up the rest of the hunters and started for the canyon. When they reached the head of the canyon the leader said, "Lets split in half and go along the top of both sides." They did this without looking down into the canyon. Soon the two halves reached the two trails but didn't see any tracks of the Navajos leaving the canyon. Therefore, they knew they must still be in the canyon and sent one man back along the top to see if he could spot the Navajos. He saw them and came back and said, "They are coming down the canyon leading four captive girls."

The Paiutes then laid an ambush within the canyon with men hidden on both sides and some downstream. The husband of one of the captive girls hid behind the topside of a rock. It was his wife who was in the lead with a Navajo right behind her. The Paiute behind the rock had told no one to fire until he fired the first shot. As his wife rounded the rock she spotted her husband and quickened her pace. A Navajo followed and as he came around the rock the Paiute shot him. The other Paiutes hidden close by also opened fire and the Navajos ran to the other side of the canyon into the hands of the opposite hidden group who then also commenced firing. The Navajos began running back and forth until they were all killed except one who broke through and ran all the way to the Colorado River. The Paiutes pursued him but couldn't catch him. When he reached the other side they let him go. They hollered to him and said, "Send back some more Navajos." He then clasped his hands behind his head and cried. The four girls were recovered safely. 

As told by Jimmie Timmican, Koosharem who heard the story from his grandfather.

I once heard a Navajo story about a Navajo father waiting by a large butte east of Page, Arizona for his son to return from a war party in Utah. He waited a long time and finally his son did return as the sole survivor of that disastrous war party. The Navajos gave a name to that butte that pertained to this event but I don't remember what it was. The Navajo story might pertain to the same event. (Martineau)

The Arapaho at Paradise Valley Lake

Jimmie Timmican, Koosharem

A Paiute was out hunting on Thousand Lake Mountain and spotted an Arapaho in a pine tree. The Arapaho had made himself a protected cover in the tree so he would not be seen but he evidently went to sleep and was spotted. This Arapaho had probably come to steal a horse.

The Paiute ran down into the valley to the camp there where the Indians were playing the hand game. They were betting bows, buckskins, and other personal items. He told them that an Arapaho was up there in a tree looking down on them. The men then said let's pretend we're going out into the valley to hunt rabbits and then we will sneak up on him.

The Indians spread out into the valley as if they were hunting rabbits. When they came to a wash they went into it and up the mountain towards the Arapaho. They surrounded him and approached him slowly. He was still sleeping and one man got under him and shot him a good one in his belly with an arrow. The Arapaho jumped down and took off running. He then whirled around and came back where he had left his bow. From there he darted off in another direction, and then another, as he found he was surrounded.

Among the Paiutes were two men who were very good runners, being able to

run down deer. The Arapaho darted past them and down the mountain side. These two good runners tried but couldn't catch him. As the Arapaho was approaching some Paiutes who were concealed down below, he keeled over dead.

The Paiutes turned his body over and when they looked at his eyes, they were glassy and staring. They then called the lake there "Moasuhm Pah Hawduhd," Glassy Eyed Lake. Timmican said this lake is by the road from Fremont to Emery.

(This lake is probably Paradise Valley Lake. As told by Jimmie Timmican, Koosharem who heard this story from Walker Ammon, son of Chief Walker.)


The dead Arapaho on Mount Marvine

One time, a Paiute was walking along near the top of Pahguh Kwawseev (This Paiute name means Fish Tail because Mount Marvine resembles a fish's tail),  just north of Fish Lake, Utah. This Indian spotted a pile of rocks with some feet sticking out from under them. He ran down to the Paiute camp just below, called "Yooveemp," Ponderosa, and told them about it.

They all went up to investigate, approaching slowly from both sides. As they got closer one man said, "Maybe he's sleeping." They continued to approach cautiously and soon were upon him. One man took a stick and poked him in the feet but he didn't move. They then took him by his feet and pulled him out and found that he was dead. He had probably died from some sickness or hunger.

(As told by Jimmie Timmican, Koosharem who heard this story from Walker Ammon, son of Chief Walker.)

Horsetail Hair's Vengeance

Morris Jake, Kaibab

One time two Paiutes were getting salt down in the Little Colorado River, near its junction with the Colorado. Some Apaches found them there and killed them.

When the Paiutes learned of this they wanted to get even. There was a Paiute from over around Bluff, Utah, somewhere who was bulletproof. His name was Kuvawkwusee Pauhk, Horsetail Hair. He led the Paiutes on a raid upon the Apaches who were then living around the San Francisco Peaks area in northern Arizona. They fought a battle in which the Paiutes won, driving the Apaches completely away from that area, down to where they stay now.

(As told by Morris Jake, Kaibab)


Horsetail Hair's Death        

Jimmie Timmican, Koosharem

A long time ago some Arapahos came down from the north and attacked some Paiutes encamped near the Strawberry Reservoir in northern Utah. When the Paiutes saw the Arapahos charging on horseback, down off the hill north of the present reservoir, they fled for cover. Among those fleeing was a young married couple. The man had on leggings with long fringe that became entangled in the brush and he couldn't go on. His wife stayed behind with him to help him get untangled, but by then the Arapahos were upon them and they were both killed.

The Paiutes then wanted to be avenged and sought help from the Utes. Twelve of the strongest Utes were organized to retaliate. Horsetail Hair (Kuvaw'kwusee Pauhk) was their leader as he was considered the greatest of them all. The twelve traveled far north past the mountainous land to some rolling grassy plains spotted with pine covered buttes. There they found the Arapaho camp, stretched out for several miles along a river. They managed to round up all the loose Arapaho horses at night and seven of the Ute warriors started south with them. Horsetail Hair, his brother, and three others stayed behind to hold off the Arapahos.


When the fighting started, one of the Utes became separated from the others and hid under a little grassy bank along a gully. From there he spotted an Arapaho tipi where he figured menstruating Arapaho women isolated themselves. He sneaked into the tipi and spent the night with an Arapaho woman staying there by herself.

Two of the other Utes were surrounded by Arapahos and fought side by side. The horse of one of the Utes had been shot. The Ute who still had his horse asked the other "How did you dream?" The other said, "I dreamed we made it safely." The two then rode double upon one horse and broke through the Arapaho lines to the safety of a pine covered butte.

Meanwhile, Horsetail Hair and his brother had destroyed about a mile of tipis and their inhabitants. They made a great slaughter upon the Arapaho because he and his brother were bulletproof and couldn't be killed. However, they eventually became tired and were captured. Even then they couldn't be killed easily because of their bulletproof power. It took a long time before they eventually died.

The two Utes who had escaped on the single horse watched from the seclusion of a pine-covered butte to see what happened to Horsetail Hair and his brother. When all was quiet they sneaked over to where he and his brother had been left and saw that they were dead. After studying the signs it became evident to them that it had been extremely difficult for the Arapahos to kill the two brothers because of their lingering power. Marks on their flesh revealed that bullets from the Arapaho rifles were not able to penetrate their flesh (Since rifles are mentioned in this story this event must have happened in historic times.) The only weapon that appeared effective was a hot knife stuck in the rectum. They had been scalped but from the evidence it appeared that the Arapahos had to use a hot metal knife to burn their hair off.

            The two surviving Utes started back south and on the way they spotted someone drinking water from a creek. They thought that it might be an enemy Arapaho but it turned out to be the Ute who had spent the night with the menstruating woman. All ten eventually reached home safely in Utah.

(As told by Jimmie Timmican, Koosharem who heard this story from Utes from the Ft. Duchesne, Utah, area.)

Battle on Carter Peak

There was a battle one time between Paiutes and some other Indians. One group defended themselves from the top of Carter Peak situated between Sigurd and Salina, Utah. (There is now a booster antenna, of some type, on top of this peak.)

As told in 1957 by Shivwits informant, Kenneth Charles who heard the story from Jimmie Timmican, Koosharem.

Medicine Power Destroys an Indian Band

Florence Kanosh, Koosharem

A long time ago there used to be many Paiute Indians living in Wayne County along the Colorado River. They were the Suhuh' Vawduhuts Band, Sumac Bush Water People. (Jimmie Timmican, a brother to Florence, says that this is the name of the band that lived near the confluence of the Colorado and Green rivers. These words mean "Sumac Bush Water People." This name was Anglicized by the white man to Sheberetch.)

One time they were having a big dance there and the wife of a medicine man got into a quarrel with the wife of another medicine man. Soon the two medicine men also began quarreling with each other due to the quarreling wives. They started fighting each other with medicine. Their medicine wasn't very strong and it killed all the Indians there one by one. The man who called the dance together was the first one to die. All this happened because of the two women.


Apaches kill Paiutes on Kaibab Mountain

Morris Jake, Kaibab

One night, long ago, the Apaches raided a camp of sleeping Kaibab Paiutes who were camped at a spring on the south side of Kaibab Mountain. The Apaches killed them all with stone clubs.

These "Apaches" were probably Yavapais or Tonto Apaches from north central Arizona who often raided the Havasupais within the Grand Canyon who were nearby neighbors to the Kaibab band. This might have happened in the Nankoweap area as this word means Indians Killed Off (Nengwoo' Koahoyp). (Martineau)


John Kinley and His 12 Paiutes Recruits

Jimmie Timmican, Koosharem

One time there was a man named John Kinley who came up from Mexico to recruit some Paiutes. He was a Paiute who had been taken south by the Spaniards and sold as a slave or possibly a half-breed son of a Paiute slave. When he arrived in this area he went to St. George, Cedar City, Kanosh, and over to Koosharem, Utah, to recruit warriors to help him fight the Mexicans or someone in Coahuila, Mexico. He recruited 12 warriors, including two from Koosharem. These 12 warriors were all bulletproof and nothing could kill them. John Kinley told them that if they would go with him they would see many things. One of these things would be a glass house where all the Spirits lived.

So, John and the 12 Paiutes went south, camping as they traveled along. They came to the glass house out in the valley some distance from the mountains. This glass house was where the spirits of all the dead went; they would enter the house as butterflies. In this

glass house there was a Mexican who would catch these butterflies. He was a big man and would sway back and forth as he caught them. After he caught them, he would bury them

in rows on the sandy floor. After while these buried butterflies would turn into little dolls. These dolls would look just like Indians. Some were Paiutes dressed in their rabbit blankets and yucca sandals. You could also see some Arapaho and Navajo dolls, and all

kinds of tribes.

Then this Mexican would take these dolls and stand them in rows along the walls of the house. These dolls could only move their heads from side to side. They couldn't talk or do any thing else. As they stood along the walls they grew bigger. The house itself also grew wider and taller until it reached up to heaven and it then punched a hole in the sky. (Both Navajos and Chippewas have been reported to be able to manipulate dolls from a distance.)

This story mentioned a white horse, some dust, the moon marrying a frog, and how dead Indians would come back to life. The story continued about how these 13 men met someone and were fed and told not to fight. In this story there was also a wagon or something dragging some branded cowhides. These hides were thrown in the water. After about a half hour the water started moving and up out of the water came a line of living cows

These 13 men eventually reached the ocean by Mexico or someplace. They also met "Suhnuv" (God) and shook hands. When these men returned to Utah they all testified about all the things they had seen. 

(As told by Koosharem 3 about 1961)

Supernatural descriptions as in this story do not make it a mythical legend. It was all considered true by the Paiutes. Compare the similar supernatural events that took place when some of the Plains Indians went to Nevada to visit Wovoka during the Ghost Dance days

This is the only story I didn't write down immediately after I heard it in about 1960. I actually wrote it down several years later after I had forgotten some of it. It was a very long story. (Martineau)

Vera Charles, Koosharem tells a similar story she heard from Florence Kanosh, a sister of Jimmy Timmican, Koosharem. She says the story is true. Florence was 95 at the time she told this story and according to the informant she would jump from one story to another. Florence said, "There were some Indians from Kanosh who went down to California. On the way many things happened and they had to fight enemy tribes as they went. When they arrived at the ocean they saw a great-grandmother there pounding buffalo jerky. She would put something with it and then toss it into the water and a live buffalo would come out."

"The old lady mentioned something about some white dolls. These were foretelling the coming of the white man. They would have bad breath and an underarm odor that would make all the Indians die off."


White Men Massacre Indians on Utah Lake

Deere Kanosh, Koosharem

A long time ago the soldiers attacked some peaceful Indians at Utah Lake during the winter when the lake was frozen over. Many of the women, children, and aged sought to flee to safety across the ice, but were overrun by soldiers on horseback who cut their heads off with swords.


Battle With the White Man in Wayne County

Jimmie Timmican, Koosharem

Some of the white men of Wayne County, Utah, and the nearby area, got together to fight the Indians. Among these men were Hatch and Jack Ourite (not sure of spelling) or "Sawngkuhts," as the Indians called him, because he limped. He was from Fremont, Utah and would trade whiskey to the Indians for hides.

These white soldiers were discovered accidentally while an Indian was out hunting. He spotted a man in a white blanket and being curious, he sneaked closer to get a better look. When he saw that he had a white face the Indian ran back to his camp on Pine Creek south of Bicknell. He told his people of what he saw and they decided to evacuate the women. The women all left their camp that night and started up O-a' Kaiv, a nearby mountain while the men waited behind to fight the soldiers. (This Paiute name means Yellow Mountain. It is a small mountain situated on the north end of Boulder Mountain, Utah. On the USGS map this hill is called Black Ridge although it is only the trees on top that make it appear black. It is locally known as "The Petrified Forest." The lower west side of the hill is yellow and red.)

Early that morning the soldiers spotted the women through their telescope going up the last of the trail near the top of the mountain. They also saw the men down in the valley

sitting around at the camp.

The Indians meanwhile had concealed some men in the brush where the soldiers would approach so they might ambush them. As the soldiers approached and were starting into the ambush, the lead man spotted one of the Indians who was probably wearing a red blanket. The lead man whirled around dashing past one other concealed Indian and out into the clear. The soldiers then ran up onto the point of the hill the Paiutes called Pachu Tuhngkun'evuhts (This Paiute word means Bat Cave. It is at Rock Point on Pine Creek near Loa, Utah) and commenced firing down on the Indians. The Indians and soldiers were not too close to each other so they were firing from long range. The Indians at this time had good rifles.

There were two Indians concealed behind a rock, somewhat closer to the hill, that almost got hit. One of these Indians spotted a man on the hill who was firing these shots. He told the other that he saw where the shots were coming from and that he was going to aim and wait for him to stick up again. When he stuck up, the Indian shot him between the eyes.

Jack Ourite hollered down from the hill in Paiute, as he spoke good Indian, and he said, "Tuhnunk'wu evun'e, kwou tuhkaw kwaivadum. Kaw yavawhaisump!" Come up here; let's smoke. Don't be afraid."

(As told by Jimmie Timmican, Koosharem who heard this story from Walker Ammon, son of Chief Walker. Gottfredson gives the date of this battle as September 21, 1865. He tells of it on Page 167 of his book.)


White Men Massacre Indians in Grass Valley

Koosharem, Jimmie Timmican, Florence Kanosh, Vera Charles

One time, soldiers were sent down into Sevier Valley from the Mount Pleasant area. Some Paiutes were encamped at Glenwood at the time. The Bishop of Glenwood warned the Indians and told them to leave. They then broke camp and followed the horse trail over the mountain and down into Grass Valley where they stopped.

The next day or so, one of the Indians was out hunting and spotted someone in a white blanket standing on a point. He sneaked up close and saw that he had a white face. He went back to the camp and told his people. The Chief said, "Don't worry, I have a paper from the Bishop; they won't bother us." Feeling safe, they remained there that night.

Early in the morning, before the sun came up and while they were all sleeping, the soldiers attacked them and killed them all. Some were still sleeping in their blankets. One Indian ran up the side of the hill and was shot between the eyes from a longs ways off as he looked back down.

One very small boy who had on a sheepskin cloak was lying beside his dead mother and when the white man spotted him they picked him up and took him with them, as they started back north. They hadn't gone far when the boy got loose and ran away. The soldiers didn't bother to chase him figuring he would die of starvation.

The little boy walked all the way up to the top of Mount Marvine which overlooks a Paiute camp he must have seen at one time while traveling with his folks. The Indians at this camp (Yooveemp) had just broke camp and were traveling towards Fish Lake. One old man however, had forgotten his water jug and returned to get it. He retrieved it and as he started off he faintly heard someone hollering. He rode up closer to where the hollering was coming from and saw the little boy in the sheepskin. He called to the boy and told him to come on down and that he would wait for him. When the boy arrived the old man asked him where his folks were. He lied and said, "They were on their way."

The Old man then put the little boy on the horse behind him and they started after the rest of the band. While they were on their way the boy told the truth, that his people had all been killed. When they reached the others they told them what had happened. They then formed a war party and asked the little boy to show them where it had happened. They followed the horse trail down off Fish Lake Mountain to Cedar Grove, near Burrville, and there they saw the massacred Indians.

They said, "Lets go chase the soldiers." The old man took the boy back and the others followed the trail for two days but couldn't catch up to them so they returned. The bones lay there for a long time until the white man took them.

(As told by Jimmie Timmican, Koosharem who heard this story from Walker Ammon, son of Chief Walker.)

Vera Charles, a daughter of Jimmie Timmican, said that Florence Kanosh, a full sister of Jimmy, told her that the Indian name for the massacre site is Tawhoo 'kwechun or Toohoo'wutsekai meaning something like a "Wail" or "War Cry from a Ridge." The informant said she couldn't translate it well. Gottfredson (page 159) gives the date of this massacre as July 18, 1865, and calls it "The Squaw Fight."

The following version was told to Vera by Florence Kanosh: The Indians killed at the Burrville, Utah, massacre were from the Koosharem Band. When the soldiers attacked the Indians, a little old Indian man went out with a piece of paper in his hand and showed it to the soldiers. He said, "We are not at war with you! We are at peace and have a treaty!" He was the first one killed. The soldiers cut his head off with a sword. There were no men in the camp, only old people, women, and children. My grandfather was a young boy and escaped and went and told the Indians at Fish Lake. They came and found the bodies of the Indians scattered around in the cedar trees.   


Battle With White Men at Rocky Ford

Jimmie Timmican, Koosharem

Soldiers from up north came down to Sevier Valley to fight the Indians. The Indians laid an ambush for them at Rocky Ford near Sigurd, Utah. As the soldiers approached, the lead man spotted one of the Indians sleeping in a red blanket. This alerted the soldiers who then retreated. After this retreat they returned and attacked, and the Indians retreated to the hillside. One Indian was shot through the leg just above the knee, not hitting the bone. The bullet went on through his leg killing his horse. Another Indian came back after him and pulled the wounded warrior up behind him on his horse and took him to safety.

These two, or two others, took refuge in a wash below the hill and were the closest to the soldiers. One white man who had no shirt on and who had painted his body would charge at them on his horse and tempt them by coming very close before retreating. One of the Indians had an old muzzle loader and the other had a bow. None of the Indians were well armed at this time, some having bows and the others muzzle loaders.

These two men tried to hit the white man on horseback but couldn't. They both tried several times. One time he came close and almost hit them. The Indian with the muzzle loader then loaded it very careful with a quartz crystal. He painted his rifle with war paint and prayed. When the white man came close again, he fired and killed him. In this fight the Indians lost two horses and suffered one wounded man. They killed two white men.

The white men claim that they killed White Horse Chief (the Paiute name for White Horse Chief was Tosaw' Kuvaw Neahv. It was Anglicized to Shenavegan.) In this battle by shooting him in the belly from a great distance as he was standing on top of the hill. This is not true. All during the fight, they never got very close to each other, always firing from a distance. (As told by Jimmie Timmican, Koosharem who heard this story from Walker Ammon, son of Chief Walker. Gottfredson, page 279, gives the date of this battle as the spring of 1868.)


Slaughter of Indians Circleville

Jimmie Timmican, Koosharem

There used to be a big old log house in Circleville, Utah, beside the road where it curves near where the potato cellars are. Years ago the white men at Circleville locked up in that house all the Indians who were living nearby and told them they were going to cut their throats. They began doing this by taking them outside one at a time and cutting their throats.

There were two young men inside who decided they were going to escape. One said to the other "We will have to dash through them and run just as they open the door." They did this and ran through the white men who were gathered all around, some on horseback. They opened fire on these two Indians but couldn't hit them. They ran towards the cemetery on the hill to the north and as they were going over it, one of the pursuing white men on horseback shot one of the Indians in his side by his ribs but it was only a flesh wound. From there they ran up into the mountains and then the wounded Indian put some Indian medicine on his wound and wrapped it in part of his shirt. The white men didn't follow them far so from there they went on over to Parowan or Beaver.

(As told by Jimmie Timmican, Koosharem who heard this story from Walker Ammon, son of Chief Walker. Gottfredson, page 144, gives the date of this massacre as April 22, 1866.)


Poisoning of Indians at Manti 

Jimmie Timmican, Koosharem

One time a man who lived over near Price and Emery, Utah, came down into the valley near Manti. He could see the Indian camp there with the tipis all around. He noticed that there was no smoke coming out of them. He also noticed that no one was around. The horses were out in the meadows grazing and were not fenced in. When he arrived at the camp no one was there, just blankets and belongings. There were not even any dogs to be found.

He went on up toward Nephi and told the Indians about it. They told him that the white men had given the Indians poisoned meat and flour and it had killed them all. The white men had come and got the bodies.

(As told by Jimmie Timmican, Koosharem who heard this story from Walker Ammon, son of Chief Walker.)

This is probably the incident that started the Black Hawk War of 1865-67. Gottfredson states that "During the winter of 1864-65, a small band of Indians were camped near Gunnison, San Pete Co. It is said that they had contracted small-pox, and that many of them died. The Indians seemed to think that the white people were to blame in some way for this and were threatening to kill the whites and steal their horses and cattle. Arrangements were consequently made for a meeting between the Indians and the whites at Manti on the 9th of April, 1865, to talk over the matter." This meeting broke up in disharmony and the Black Hawk War followed. (Gottfredson 1919, p.128.)


Massacre at Spring Valley

Johnny Jake, Indian Peak

One time some Indians from Parowan, Utah, and some Goshute's were camping together in Spring Valley, near the present town of Baker, Nevada. The white men had killed some horses belonging to the ranchers and the Indians were blamed. Soldiers then crept upon the encampment hoping to surprise them when an Indian spotted them and shouted the alarm. There wasn't enough time to prepare or flee. One Indian mother threw her blanket over her daughter and covered it with dirt hoping the soldiers wouldn't find her. The soldiers massacred everyone including women and children. Later on the girl lifted up the blanket and saw that everyone had been killed. She was old enough to know what happened and later told other Indians about it.

E. N. Wilson who wrote the book The White Indian Boy and who participated in this massacre says it happened just before the Civil War (Wilson 1919). A Nevada book gives the date as May 6, 1863, when 23 Indians were killed.



Massacre at Spring Valley and Elsewhere

Minnie Jake, Eagle Valley

Juicy (Josey) Point (Poench?), wife of George Point, from Ibapah, Utah, was my uncle's wife. One time when she was just a little girl, soldiers dressed in blue uniforms, caps, and stripes, attacked her people in Spring Valley, Nevada (between Baker and Ely). They were camped by a tree and a ditch. The soldiers killed everyone, even ladies and little kids. They wanted the land. Juicy's mother told Juicy to run and hide. She ran down the ditch and up the hill to the top of the mountain. The mountain has a point on it where she ran. She always used to tell me this story when I visited her.

Soldiers also killed Indians near Milford, Utah, and some Shivwits also. Down south at Pahranagat Valley, Nevada, they killed lot of Indians camped in a circle with the Chief's house or tipi in the center.

(For more information on this massacre see Paw Doogoo'nuntseng in, Band Names-Territories.)


Indians Die of Infected Clothing

Johnny Jake, Indian Peak

One time there used to be some Indians living in the cedar trees north of Lund, Utah. A wagon train of white people passed by, and dropped off some rags near the Indians that were infected with typhoid fever. They knew that they would pick them up. They did and died of this fever.


Indians Diminish at Eagle Valley

Johnny Jake, Indian Peak

The Indian population of Eagle Valley, Nevada, and Pahranagat band diminished because the government sent all the Indians off to school. Some went to school and returned, but others were fed to pigs and some were given to cannibal-like Chinamen who ate them.

Such stories probably originated because of the numerous Indian children who died when they were sent off to school. In 1901 a measles epidemic at the Uintah School killed 17 of 65 pupils. Utes were complaining then that, "Their children always died when they went to school." (Conetah 1982, p. 131.)


Pete, the Medicine Man

Minnie Jake, Eagle Valley

I was raised by my grandfather Pete. He was a Shoshone but spoke both Paiute and Shoshone. We lived in Eagle Valley, Nevada, where I was born. I was raised in a tipi when I was young. It was the custom of Pete's people to live in tipis. The tipi was canvas but earlier he had one made of elk hides. When it rained nothing happened to the elk hides because they were stretched tight on the teepee poles (the hides didn't get stiff).

One time, Pete fought with the soldiers and the soldier's bullets were just like mud when they hit him and he couldn't be killed.

In those days many of the Indians were killed by the white man all over Indian country all because of a child that had become lost. The white man blamed the Indians and that's why they killed them. Later they found the child but it was too late.

(Compare the similar versions of "The Sleeping Dairy Herder." This is probably the same story.)




















When Pete was about to die, he and many others were at Indian Peak. Before he died, there appeared lights in the sky and everyone saw them. I saw them also. The lights seemed to be caused by a mirror that kept coming closer, wobbling some way. As the lights approached, Pete died. When they buried Pete, it began to rain but there was no clouds in the sky. He was buried at Indian peak. Pete died when I was an adult.

Minnie Jake, Eagle Valley


Mountain Meadows Massacre

Minnie Jake, Eagle Valley

Two Indians saw the Mormons kill the white people at Mountain Meadows. The Mormons killed everyone, even women and children. The Mormons asked these two Indians to help them pack up all the booty (valuable, stolen goods). The Mormons kept the horses and milk cows, and they told the two Indians that if they saw any round gold pieces (coins) lying on the ground the Indians were not to pick them up because they were poison and would kill them. However, the Mormons picked up all the coins and put them in a sack and kept them. They hid everything else in a tunnel in a round red place down there someplace. The two Indians didn't help the Mormons in the killings.


Mountain Meadows Massacre

Johnny Jake, Indian Peak

The Paiutes fought with soldiers near Iron Springs, Utah, before the Mountain Meadows massacre occurred. Isaac Hunkup was involved in that massacre. The Mormons told him and some other Indians that they could have all the loot except the round yellow stuff (gold). They said, "It was no good for the Indians."


Indians Massacred in Kanab Creek

Tony Tillahash, kaibab

The following two stories refer to a massacre mentioned by Gottfredson on page 255 of his book as happening in early January 1867. He says that Col. Pierce, James Andrus, and others were pursuing some Navajos who had made a raid on a horse herd in Washington County. According to the Paiutes, the white man never caught the Navajos but instead killed an innocent band of Paiutes. The Paiute versions are as follows:

My father and grandfather were killed by the white man at a place called "Bullrush" in Kanab Creek below Pipe Springs, Arizona. Among the dead were five brothers, one of them my grandfather. The trouble started when the Navajos killed a sheepherder named Whitmore. Tony's band lived in Zion and was on their way to the Colorado River to eat Yunt (Agave). A group of white men from St. George and other places found them in Kanab Creek and massacred all the unsuspecting innocent men.

(Kaibab, Tony Tillihash.)

A daughter of Kaibab informant Tony Tillihash said that Tony Tillahash and his grandmother were the only survivors left by the white man. Both of Tony's parents were killed there. Tony's grandmother, being left an orphan, received the name Tuhduh'heets Orphan. This is how Tony got his anglicized last name of Tillahash. Evidently this name was given to her after the massacre. The general meaning the Tillahash family give this name is "The Beginning and the End of a Family." The name Tuhduh'heets comes from the root word tuh'du, meaning desolate, barren, or naked. The Tillahash family use this name in referring to the desolation of this family caused by the massacre.

(From the genealogical records of LaVan Martineau.)     


Indians Massacred in Kanab Creek

Morris Jake, Kaibab

After the Navajos had killed Whitmore, they gave some of his clothes to one of the members of a band of Paiutes. When the white men found these clothes among the Paiutes, they killed them all including men, women, and children. The only survivors were Georgey George's father and his brother who ran away northward and stayed with another band of Paiutes. These two escaped because they were young men and could run fast, while those who were killed were mostly old people.

One of the white men in the killing party recognized one old lady who used to do his washing for him in St. George and he didn't want her killed. James Andrus, however, wanted to kill her. In order for this man to save her, he had to grab her and lift her up to the side of his horse and hold her weight by having her stand on his foot in the stirrup. James Andrus, meanwhile, was trying to grab her but this white man kept spinning his horse around to keep her out of the reach of Andrus. Andrus finally decided to let her live. The friendly white man gave her some money to try to make her feel better. She threw the money on the ground feeling that it was not worth the lives of her loved ones they had just killed. The money is still there. (From the genealogical records of LaVan Martineau.)


Battle With White Men from Colorado


This group came into Utah from Colorado and fought a battle with the Paiutes. The Paiutes killed all of this unit and cut their ears off. They let one man go and told him to send back some more men to fight. It was a national guard type unit of about 100 men. (Might have been Bill Dawson posse of Dolores 1881?)


The Sleepy Dairy Herder

Marie McFee, Shivwits

In St. George, Utah, there were two white boys who used to watch the milk cows down below town. One day they lay down and went to sleep. A white man saw them and thought they had been killed by the Indians because they were lying on the ground. This white man killed an Indian over this and was still fighting with others when the boys awoke. When they came over to him, he stopped fighting.


The Sleepy Dairy Herder

Morris Jake, Kaibab

One time a white boy was taking a milk cow out to pasture south of St. George, Utah. On the way back he went to sleep in a haystack. When the white men missed the boy, they thought the Indians had killed him so they rounded up all the Indians camped near the temple, where they used to camp, and locked them up in the Tithing House. They planned on killing them if the boy was found dead.

First, they sent a man on horseback to look for the boy by the pasture and he found him sleeping in the haystack. They then turned the Indians loose. Kwetoos was one of those locked up. Erastus Snow said to him in Paiute,"Kwetoos, kawtch yaw'vawgai," Kwetoos, don't be afraid.


The Sleepy Dairy Herder

Johnny Jake, Indian Peak

A white boy was playing by the river down at St. George and didn't return. The Mormons then blamed the Indians for stealing him and killed some. When the boy returned, the Mormons could say nothing.


James Andrus Shoots at Indians

Archie Rogers, Shivwits

Two Shivwits were coming up to the Santa Clara River from Seveen' Tooweep in the south. James Andrus saw them and chased them over the two little hills near Bloomington, Utah. The two Indians hid behind a rock and shot his hat off with an arrow and he fled. They did this to scare him from killing any more Indians. James Andrus used to kill Indians and was a very mean man towards them, while others were good.

(Compiled from notes made on May 19, 1986, and another unrecorded date. Martineau.)

Seveen Tooweep is the Shivwits home of a whitish area of land out on the Shivwits Plateau on the Arizona Strip.


Cessation of Slave Trade Among the Shivwits

Bessie Tillahash, Shivwits

One time, three Yootaw (It is evident from this statement that the Shivwits considered the Indians north of them as Yootaw or Ute Indians.) Indians, two from Cedar City and one from Gunlock, seized two married women to sell as slaves. These women ran away down to the Grand Wash area to their relatives and asked for protection. This was in Moapa Indian land and those Indians there had a meeting to decide what to do about the three men pursuing the women. They decided to kill them. They killed the two from Cedar and the other one from Gunlock ran away as fast as he could. He was chased and shot in the back with an arrow. He kept running and when he reached the Indians at Bunkerville, he asked them to pull the arrow out. They refused saying, "This is what you wanted." This Indian couldn't pull the arrow out himself. The Indians used to say that an arrow in the back would keep working itself in. He went the rest of the way to Gunlock and died there from the wound.

The meeting the Indians held was at Fort Thomas on the Virgin River. The Shivwits, St. George, Moapa, and Kaibab Indians never got along with the Cedar Indians and others north of the St. George area. It was from the Cedar Indians that the Shivwits first got their guns in trade for children. (From the Martineau Paiute genealogical records.)


Stewart Snow, Shivwits

A long time back, the Shivwits and Cedar Indians had a disagreement over the Cedar Indians coming down and taking children to sell to the Mexicans. Toab and John Rice went to Silver Reef where they had a big meeting over this disagreement. They were almost to the point of war when Toab went and stood in the midst of the big fire they had built. He was not hurt and as he stood there in the fire his hair stood straight up caused by the wind of the ascending flames. This had the desired effect upon the Cedar Indians as it frightened them, and so trouble was averted. John Rice was standing by ready to back up Toab.

Toab had the power to heal and would heal people but sometimes he would lose it when somebody was using witchcraft. Toab was also bulletproof and one time while he was healing someone, he allowed himself to be shot in the chest with a muzzle loader to show his power. He just spit the bullet out.


Bessie Tillahash, Shivwits

When Toab killed George (Brig George's father, Railroad George?) Toab ran over to Kaibab for protection from the Indians around St. George, Utah. He stayed there awhile but soon was turned in to the white man by someone and was sent to Fillmore, Utah, for tria1. He didn't kill Kwetoos (his father-in-law) as claimed by the whites. It was George that he killed. Washington County Pioneer stories tell of Toab killing Kwetoos. Bessie said it was George that he killed. If he went to prison for this, then Utah State Prison records do not show it.


Utah prison records state that Toab served five days of his sentence of one year for stealing a horse (Grand Larceny). He entered the prison on Sept. 14, 1907, and was released Sept. 19, 1907. The horse belonged to a Mr. Ashby. The horse was old and turned loose to die. When Toab was going to take it, he was told by another Indian that it wasn't Toab's horse but he said it was and took it.



Powell's Men Killed

Bessie Tillahash, Shivwits

When the Indians around Parashont saw Powell's three men coming up Whitmore Wash they had a meeting with the surrounding groups to decide whether to kill them or not. Some of the young men wanted to kill white men and they were in favor of it. The young men said, "The white men come and kill our people so why can't we kill their people?" Chief Kweetoos replied, "If they did this then the white men would come and kill all the Indians." The young men decided to kill them anyway. They killed them near the head of Whitmore Wash.

My mother was a little girl when Powell came down the Colorado. When he first approached the Indians, my grandfather told the children to run and hide as maybe he was going to come and take the girls. My grandfather said he had seen the rock that Powell's men wrote upon when the party split up and the three men were killed. Maybe no white man has seen this rock. (From Martineau genealogical records.)


Paiutes Massacred in Pahranagat Valley   


In the late 1800s sometime, before I was born, the Indians were camped at Ash Springs, Nevada. As they were eating breakfast the Mormons attacked them killing men, women, and children. Those who managed to escape fled south to Hells Half Acre where they were followed and finally all wiped out by the Mormons. One Indian lady stuffed her little boy down a crack and he was the only survivor. His name was Bill China. He was raised by an old white man who died a couple of years later and the Sharps finished raising the boy.

The Mormons attacked the Indians for no reason at all as they had all the land they wanted and weren't bothered at all by the Indians. The Mormons responsible came out of Utah heading for Mexico. The Mexican government didn't allow them across the border so they moved to Pahranagat Valley where they perpetrated this massacre.

The stories of who were responsible for all the murders in Pahranagat Valley are written down in Josh Butler's dairy. The Mormons were always blaming the Indians for any murder of a white man but it was always a white man behind the killings.

As told by Blanche Davis, Hiko, Nevada, to LaVan Martineau October 19, 1976. Blanch Davis was a Fergeson and married into the George Davis family. She was born in about 1900 and is an Anglo.

The Giant Snake

Morris Jake, Kaibab

One time an Indian from Moapa went up into the mountains west of Moapa Valley, and later on returned by the same way. As he was coming down the trail he noticed a brown spot that was lying next to a little knoll beside the trail. He knew that he hadn't seen it on his way up so he was quite curious as to what it was. He circled around it and sneaked upon it until he was just above it. When he looked down off a point at it he saw that it was a giant snake all coiled up with its head lying across its tail. He decided to try to kill it so he aimed his arrow at the back of its neck and shot. The arrow hit true and the snake began to flop all over the place making a great deal of dust. The Indian got scared and ran. When he got home he told the other Indians about it. They didn't believe him, so he told them to go and see for themselves. They went and found the dead snake. You could see the bones there for a long time.

(As told by Morris Jake who heard this story from Charley Steve, Moapa.)


Willy Boy

Jim Chili, Chemehuevi

I was related to Willy Boy. The stories that the white men tell about his death are wrong. He was not killed by the Sheriff's posse. The posse couldn't catch him so to save face they burnt some animal bones in a thicket and said it was Willy Boy. Willy Boy stayed in the Reno area for a long time and died an old man in a hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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