The Fountain Green Massacre is one of the more frequently cited examples of violence between Utes and Mormon colonists surrounding the so-called Walker War. There is a Daughters of the Utah Pioneers monument memorializing the Fountain Green Massacre located in City Park in Fountain Green, UT.
In the early hours of the morning of October 1, 1853, Utes of Sanpitch attacked and killed four men: William Reed, James Nelson, William Luke, and Thomas Clark, as they were encamped at Uinta Springs, near the head of Salt Creek Canyon. The men were driving two ox-drawn wagons filled with wheat to Salt Lake City as the advance party of a larger group headed by local Manti Mormon leader Isaac Morley. William Luke, an immigrant from Manchester, England, was anxious to go see his three sons, who had recently arrived from England, and may have encouraged the group to hasten its journey. The four men camped at Uinta Springs against Morley’s instructions, which had been for the group of men to make camp on the San Pitch River and await the arrival of the main group.
When Morley’s group arrived at the camp, they found William Reed stripped, scalped, and disemboweled a short distance from the wagons. Luke and Clark’s throats were cut, and they were also disemboweled. The Morley party emptied the wagons of their grain and the loaded the bodies for transport to Nephi, Utah. As the party readied to move on, numerous Utes appeared on the hillside. Morley, angry over the disobedience to his orders, denied the men burial in the town cemetery. Their remains remain lost to this day, in spite of several attempts to locate them.
Soon after the massacre, eight Utes were murdered in Nephi, in an act of revenge. According to a prominent local woman: This barbarous circumstance actuated our brethren, counseled by Father Morley of San Pete…and President Call of Filmore, to do quite as barbarous an act the following morning, being the Sabbath. Nine Indians coming into our Camp looking for protection and bread with us, because we promised it to them and without knowing they did the first evil act in that affair or any other, were shot down without one minute’s notice. I felt satisfied in my own mind that if Mr. Heywood had been here they would not have been dealt with so unhumanly. It cast considerable gloom over my mind.
—Martha Spence Heywood, Journal The remains of the slain Utes were recently discovered in a place called Old Hallow in Nephi.
A little less than five years later, four Danish immigrants–Jens Jorgensen, his wife Hedevig Jorgensen, Jens Terklesen, and Christian I. Kjerluf–were slain by natives in Salt Creek Canyon, while they were en route to settle with other Scandinavian immigrants in the Sanpete Valley. This tragedy, known as the Salt Creek Canyon Massacre, was marked by the brutality with which Jorgensen’s wife and unborn child were butchered with a tomahawk.