CIRCLEVILLE, Utah (ABC4 Utah) Dozens of American Indians massacred by Mormon settlers in the 19th Century were honored as a monument was dedicated in Circleville Friday.
It is known as the greatest atrocity committed against Native Americans in Utah history. The massacre 150 years ago is not well known, but a new memorial aims to change that.
An estimated 30 men, women and children from the Paiute Koosharem band had their throats slit by Mormon settlers concerned the band posed a threat during the Black Hawk War.
“They were lost. They were taken so quickly. They thought they were going there for a certain purpose and then they ended up losing their lives. They should be remembered,” Ganaver Timican said, Paiute Tribe member.
“Nobody wants to talk about it. Nobody wants to tell something that was so horrific,” Toni Pickyavit said, member of the Piaute Tribe.
Along with the Division of State History, members of the Paiute Tribe partnered with the LDS church to erect the monument. Richard Turley Jr. works with the church history department. He was on vacation when he learned that his ancestors participated in the massacre.
“It was a very, very emotional experience for me. It’s one that I experienced in silence while on an airplane. But then I resolved even more at that moment that we needed a monument in Circleville,” Turley said.
The mass grave has not yet been discovered. Paiute Tribe Members tell me they hope to bless that area when it’s found.