Out of nearly 200 people who died from murder or other homicides on the Oregon Trail in the mid-1800s, only one lies in a grave with a known location. Missourian Ephraim Brown, a leading figure on a wagon train bound for California, was killed near South Pass in 1857 in what appears to have been a bitter family dispute. Details, however—who killed him, why and how—are frustratingly sketchy.
People & Peoples
Browse Articles about People & Peoples
|1949, Blizzard of||Rebecca Hein|
|A.M.E. Church, Rock Springs||Brie Blasi|
|Ada Magill Grave||WyoHistory.org|
|Allred, Golden, Bighorn Basin trapper||Washakie Museum and Cultural Center|
|American Indian tribes, trade among||Samuel Western|
|Babcock, Charlotte, Casper author||Nichole Simoneaux|
|Baker, Jim. Frontier Scout||Lori Van Pelt|
|Barber, Amos||Wyoming State Archives|
|Barlow, Bill||Rebecca Hein|
|Barrett, Frank||Wyoming State Archives|
People & Peoples
Wyoming soldier, artist, bugler and wolf killer George Ostrom joined the National Guard in 1913 and in 1918 found himself serving with an artillery regiment in the Great War. While in France he sketched vivid combat scenes but is best remembered for his design of Wyoming’s famed bucking-horse logo, modeled on his beloved sorrel, Redwing.
The Sixth Crossing of the Sweetwater offered wagon-train emigrants good water again after 16 dry and dusty miles. Most camped at the crossing. Here, in 1856, 500 members of the Willie Handcart company, most of them Mormon converts from England, were found starving, freezing and dying by rescuers from Salt Lake City.
In 1862, Charlotte Dansie and her family sailed from England with hundreds of other Mormon converts, then gathered with others near Omaha to set out for Salt Lake—all while having a difficult pregnancy with her eighth child. Her descendants managed to relocate her grave in 1939 near Pacific Springs.
The main branch of the Oregon Trail crossed the Big Sandy River at present Farson, Wyo. State Highway 28 running southwest from Farson continues to parallel the route. Swales are often visible alongside the highway, sometimes to the right, sometimes to the left.
Their wagons lurching over sharp boulders up a steep grade, westbound emigrants found a particularly difficult stretch of trail about 40 miles east of South Pass. The late-starting Willie Company of Mormons pulling handcarts suffered terribly here in 1856. For many, the end of the journey was a grave.