Salt Creek Canyon massacre

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Salt Creek Canyon, photographed in 1872.

On June 4, 1858, four Danish immigrants were ambushed and killed by Indians in Salt Creek Canyon, a winding canyon east of Nephi, Utah. This event became known as the Salt Creek Canyon massacre.


In early June, 1858, Danish immigrants Jens Jorgensen,[1] his pregnant wife Jens Terklesen,[2] (given name as Hedevig in the Fountain Green Massacre wiki) Christian I. Kjerulf, and John Ericksen were journeying, unarmed, to settle with other Scandinavian immigrants at the Mormon colony in the Sanpete Valley. The group was traveling with an ox team hitched to a wagon and another ox hitched to a handcart. On the afternoon of June 4, they came within a mile and a half of the canyon's opening into the Sanpete Valley, when some Indians emerged from hiding places and attacked them.


Two of the men were killed and burned with their wagon. Another was killed after running about 50 yards (46 m). The pregnant woman was killed near the wagon, with a tomahawk,[2] which received special note from historians.[3] The victims' bodies were brought to Ephraim for burial.


Ericksen, who had been walking some distance ahead of the others, escaped unharmed and made it to Ephraim around dark. The ox attached to the handcart, frightened by the attack, fled back to Nephi.[2]


Monument on the Salt Creek Canyon Massacre, in Salt Creek Canyon along SR-132

A Daughters of Utah Pioneers monument (number 11), located on SR-132 ]] between Nephi and Fountain Green, Utah, marks the site of the massacre.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Due to Danish Patronymics and possibly other factors converting Danish names to English, he is also known as Jens Jergensen.
  2. ^ a b c "Salt Creek Canyon Massacre". Jensen Family Genealogy. Retrieved May 16, 2007. 
  3. ^ "Killed by the Indians at Salt Creek Canyon". Sorensen Family History Organization. Retrieved May 29, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Utah History: Markers and Monuments: Salt Creek Canyon Massacre". Retrieved May 16, 2007. 

Coordinates: 39°42′12.48″N 111°42′23.60″W / 39.7034667°N 111.7065556°W / 39.7034667; -111.7065556