Winter Quarters

The old voluntary missionary was excited when I told him I had a relative buried in the Winter Quarters cemetery, my fourth great grandfather, George Eddins. I didn’t know too much about him other than what I’d been able to piece together from his daughter, Jessie’s oral history at the Daughter of the Utah Pioneers’ Museum in Salt Lake. George died of scurvy on April 26, 1847 of scurvy. He was only 38. The elder walked me over to the memorial to show me approximately where he was buried, grave number 143. All of the grave locations have been extrapolated from extant sextant’s records using the location of the one remaining pioneer tombstone. The elder said he was in the process of making placards with each pioneer’s name so that visiting families can place them in the approximate locations to take photos, but he’d only finished with the Cs so it would be a while yet before he got to my ancestor. Over six hundred people died here, many infants, as their families waited to go west. Causes of death included dropsy, croup, consumption, inf. bowels (?), scurvy, and bilious fever.

Jessie, my third great grandmother, did not die, but she was left in the camp, essentially orphaned. One of her brothers drowned in the Missouri. Her step-mother went back to England. Her brother and older sister went to Salt Lake in 1848 as part of the Willard Richards Company. Jessie Ann finally came, through the Perpetual Immigration Fund, as part of the Edward Hunter Company in 1850. She was only eleven years old when she walked across the plains.


Turns out I have a few other relatives buried here as well, though none direct relatives. There are several members of the Bullock family buried at Winter Quarters and Mary Minvera Snow, the 10 month-old daughter of Erastus Snow, is also interred here.


Getting some family information from the volunteer historian in the visitor’s center, thought it would be interesting to try to see the famed Bullock’s Grove. It was established by Benjamin K. Bullock, a fourth great grandfather, as a place to grow wood for wagons and raise oxen in advance of the westward migration. We obtained directions to Hyde Park. According to reports, Bullock’s Grove existed a mile or so north of Hyde Park. Fortunately, Hyde Park has a placard as it is the location where the council of the twelve met after Brigham Young’s return from Salt Lake to anoint him the next president of the church. Well, I’m pleased to report the area hasn’t changed much: rolling green dells lined with trees, just as I’d always imagined it.

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