Mountain Meadows Massacre Assassins

Mountain Meadows Site

In this beautiful valley occurred one of the most horrific and controversial massacres in U.S. history, drawing by H. Steinegger, Pacific Art Co, 1877.

Though several participants had a hand in the tragedy of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, this list comprises those who were the primary participants and/or assassins from a historical perspective. In actuality, there were more than 50 men who took part in the massacre, none of whom were ever disciplined by the Mormon Church. And of the primary participants, only John D. Lee ever stood trial, which would be 18 years after the tragedy. He was convicted and executed in 1876.

For our article about that tragic day, September 11, 1857, see Mountain Meadows Massacre.

Primary Assassins and their Roles: 

George W. Adair – Private, Fifth Platoon, Company I, Iron County Militia. Allegedly boasted about the murders.

William H. Dame – Colonel and regimental commander of the Tenth Regiment and first mayor of Parowan, Utah.

Isaac C. Haight – Commander in charge of the Second Battalion in Cedar City, mayor of Cedar City, and Parowan stake president. He ordered the massacre.

Jacob Hamblin – Owned the property where the massacre occurred but was not present. Any involvement is disputed.

Ira Hatch – Mormon Indian Specialist who organized the Paiutes.

John M. Higbee – Major in the Iron County Militia, first counselor to Isaac Haight, and the man who ordered the killing to begin.

Iron County Militia – A branch of the Nauvoo Legion, an estimated 50-100 members of the Iron County group participated in the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

Nephi Johnson – A 2nd lieutenant in Company D of the Iron County Militia, Johnson led the killing of the women and children.

Samuel Jukes – Private, Second Platoon, Company F, Iron County Militia, indicted in the massacre.

Philip Klingensmith – Bishop of Cedar City, Utah.

Mountain Meadows Massacre, T.B.H. Stenhouse, 1873

Mountain Meadows Massacre, T.B.H. Stenhouse, 1873

John D. Lee – Prominent leader in the massacre, Lee was the only one punished for the tragedy.

Paiute Indians – Participated in the attack, but Mormon Militiamen killed most pioneers.

George A. Smith – First Counselor in the First Presidency to church president Brigham Young at the time of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, it is not known as to whether Smith had prior knowledge of the attack that took place upon the Fancher-Baker wagon train.

William C. Stewart – Second Lieutenant in the Iron County Militia, indicted in the massacre.

David Tullis – A private in the Iron County Militia, his participation is disputed.

Daniel H. Wells – Commander-in-Chief of the territorial militia, the Nauvoo Legion, is not known as to whether Wells had prior knowledge of the attack at Mountain Meadows.

Elliot Willden – Private, Fourth Platoon, Company F, Iron County Militia, indicted in the massacre.

The following individuals have also been cited in various sources as having been involved in the massacre:

Ira Allen
Benjamin Arthur
Ira Allen
Benjamin Arthur
William Bateman
Thomas Cartwright
John W. Clark
Joseph Clews
Ezra Curtis
Labez Durfey
William Edwards
Columbus Freeman
Oscar Hamblin
George Hawley
Richard Harrison

Charles Hopkins
John Humphreys
George Hunter
Swen Jacobs
John Jacobs
Samuel Knight
Dudley Leavitt
Alexander Loveridge
James Matthews
John Magnum
Daniel McFarland
John McFarland
Samuel McMurdy
Harrison Pearce
James Pearce

Samuel Pollock
Carl Shirts
William Slade, Sr.
William Slade, Jr.
George Spencer
Anthony Stratton
William Taite
John Ure
John Weston
Joel White
Samuel White
Alexander Wilden
Robert Wiley
John Willis
William Young

Old Mountain Meadows Marker

Old Mountain Meadows Marker

Three more men that cannot be ignored were those at the top of the hierarchy — Brigham Young, governor and prophet, his Counselor, George A. Smith, and General Daniel H. Wells, Commander of the Nauvoo Legion.

Whether they were directly involved, had knowledge of the plans, or were ignorant of the attack until after the fact, ultimate responsibility and accountability resides at the top of the chain of command. At the very least, these men were heavily involved in the cover-up of this atrocity.

2 thoughts on “Mountain Meadows Massacre Assassins”

  1. My Chaney ancestors were Carroll County neighbors of Alexander and Eliza Ingrum Fancher and their seven beautiful children, ages 7 to 19 when they were murdered by a cult still headquartered in Utah. A future prophet of the cult was with Brigham Young when he later desecrated the site and blasphemed the Lord. Young is recorded as saying “Vengeance is mine and I have had a little,” mocking Deuteronomy 32:35 and Romans 12:19, which was engraved on a large cross that Young ordered torn down. Without doubt, Young is now at the business end of those God-breathed words.

  2. This is a great website. You have done lots of research and I appreciate the time and effort you have devoted to this horrible event. Your website is also well organized and user friendly. Thanks again for a job well done.

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