Utter Van Ornum Massacre 1860

The year is 1860, the date September 9th. Between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. a small wagon train of 8 wagons were attacked by Indians in what is now western Idaho. Over the next few days and many miles, the Indians continued to attack the wagon train. Finally, the emigrants tried to flee on foot, leaving all behind in hopes that this would stop the attacks. But it did not! Many were killed at this time and others fled down the river.

Over a 40-day period of time, these people did what they could to survive, but they were starving to death. Some resorted to cannibalism. One family (the Van Ornums) and 3 other men separated from the others and tried to make it on their own. They made it past Farewell Bend, Oregon a few miles, but then were attacked again by Indians. All were killed except 4 young children who were taken into captivity. Over the 40 days only 16 out of 44 individuals survived and were rescued by soldiers from Fort Walla Walla.

An uncle to the captured children searched for them for many years. Only two of the children survived captivity; one of the two died shortly after the rescue.

The burial site is halfway between Farewell Bend, Oregon and Huntington, Oregon on Hwy. 30.  For more information visit these sites:




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