HARRISVILLE, Utah (ABC4) – After over 17 decades of pain, guilt, and the urge for revenge, two groups are coming together in peace and solidarity.
In conjunction with Harrisville City, the Weber County Heritage Foundation, and the Northwestern Band of Shoshone, a dedication ceremony is taking place to honor the legacy of Chief Terikee.
Chief Terikee was a beloved Native American who was killed while standing in a cornfield located in present day Harrisville.
According to the Weber County Heritage Foundation, back in 1850, three years after the pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley, settlers began building homes, schools, and businesses in the Harrisville area. During this time, the Shoshones Tribe were known to be residing near the big bend of Weber River, totaling up to 150 warriors.
Then on September 16, Chief Terikee paid a visit to Lorin Farr, the first mayor of Ogden, to discuss his plans for hunting and maintaining harvest. After meeting with the mayor, the chief then came across Urban Stewart’s farm on Four Mile Creek.
According to the Weber County Heritage Foundation, as the chief passed by, some of his ponies had wandered into the settler’s unfenced cornfield.
Officials say as the chief attempted to drive the ponies out, Urban Stewart heard rustling out in his garden and began firing shots, thus killing Terikee.
Once the tribe caught word of the shooting, many became enraged and were determined to seek revenge. As soon as Stewart heard the band was dead set on capturing him, he fled the area. But Stewart fleeing the area only caused more tension between the groups.
According to the Weber County Heritage Foundation, as the war between the western settlers and the Native Americans raged on, the tribe retaliated by killing a transient employee of Farr’s Mill and declared to destroy the Weber County settlement.
The bloody quest grew hungrier for justice, and authorities from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stepped in by sending 150 men to help secure the Weber colony. This forced the Shoshone tribe to retreat further north along with the dead body of their beloved Chief Terikee.
Now on May 1, 2021 — more than 150 years later — both parties come together to dedicate a monument to the chief, advocating for reflection, healing, and restoration.
As community members gather in peace to heal, a blessing is given by Shoshone Elder Darren Parry and remarks are shared by the current descendent of Stewart.
Officials say the monument first was erected back in 2010, but is being re-dedicated to educate the community and to reflect on Utah’s history.