Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Mormon Massacre of Arkansawers at Mountain Meadows in September 1857--Make that Massacre of my Cousins

 I started just to check if any of my Coker cousins were among those massacred. I added items as I went down the Google list but stopped after checking only three surnames of the victims. Coker Cousins of mine murdered: were they Ornery People? I may continue this with other names from the victims list.

The History of Boone County Arkansas (1998) contains an account of the Mountain Meadows Massacre a good deal more raw than you see on some Internet sites today:

On September 11, 1857 . . . about 120 pioneer emigrants, most of whom were from northwestern Arkansas, were brutally murdered in a mountain valley in southwestern Utah, in an affair called the Mountain Meadows Massacre. The event was one of the most horrible in American history. . . . . Many of those who were killed at Mountain Meadows had been pioneer settlers of what is now Boone County. The number included the Bakers, who had lived south of Harrison and whose family is still represented in Boone County today. . . .

I just put the name of the 27 year old "George W. Baker" on Google along with Coker, the family name of my pioneer north-central Arkansas ancestors, and got this:

Solomon and William’s first cousin, William “Prairie Bill” Coker married Alexander Fancher’s first cousin, Arminta Fancher, thus making them distantly related by marriage.

Here is a comment by Erin Green in 2009: "I have just learned about this event as I was digging for my family heritage. I am related directly to Charity Ann Porter through my father's grandmother Mamie Bertha Porter. I have also noticed that Charity, her husband Edward Coker, and their 2 children were not listed as victims (which I know for sure they were).

Mtn-meadows-assoc com - Mountain Meadows Association lists one Coker--

dat16.html#9|COKER|Nancy Jane /Coker/|ABT. 1805||||

This is an astonishing kinship chart of the victims at Mountain Meadows Massacre:
I got all this on one screen of Google after typing in one name from the list of those massacred.
This is after changing Baker to Francher: 
Arminta Francher Coker

Submitted by: Lynn-Marie Fancher (
Caretaker Old Fancher Cemetery KNA
"Colonel James Fancher Homestead Cemetery"
Dividing Line With regard to Arminta Fancher Coker . . .
She was the daughter of Col James Fancher and his wife, Elizabeth Carlock Fancher. His middle name was not Alexander. James Fancher he had a brother Alexander Fancher who died in the Capps area between 1844 and 1846. That Alexander Fancher lost two sons at Mountain Meadows
Col James Fancher had another brother, Isaac Fancher, who's son was the Captain Alexander Fancher that led the ill-fated wagon train into Mountain Meadows Utah. There is no Captain Charles (Charley) Fancher associated with the MMM. That is an error that came out of Utah that has been perpetuated from old accounts. Newer books have the names correct.
Ariminta Fancher Coker died in 1848, from complications of childbirth. She had four children, all of whom were raised by James Fancher and wife Elizabeth, Ariminta's parents. Ariminta Coker's husband,"Prairie Bill" Coker, ran off with two Indian women, which made the conservative Fancher's pretty unhappy. Ariminta Coker and her older sister Asenath Fancher Morris are buried in the "Old Fancher Cemetery" in Osage at the foot of Sarah Journegain (Jarnigan) Fancher's grave. They are in unmarked graves, but well known by family members to be there. Very recently, someone from the Alexander Fancher family put a marker up for Alexander over the graves of these two ladies. It is unclear at present how that will be resolved, but Alexander Fancher, the brother, is not buried in that cemetery at all. He is presumed to be in the Capps area with his wife and oldest son.
Interestingly, the baby that was born in 1848 was named George M. Dallas Coker. He was named this by Elizabeth Carlock Fancher who had lost her own last baby the year before (1847) named George M Dallas Fancher. He only lived to be 10 months old. So the name was recycled for Arminta's baby.
The children did grow up to know their father and in later years, enjoyed his company.

Now I typed in "Jones":
Rewriting History: the inscription on the monument--attacked by women from outer space? attacked but not slaughtered?:

In the valley below between September 7 and 11, 1857, a company of more than 120 Arkansas emigrants led by Capt. John T. Baker And Capt. Alexander Fancher was attacked while en route to California. This event is known in history as the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

What else if I type in Solomon R. Wood?
Richard Wilson (1830?-1857) - From Marion County, Arkansas, Wilson was believed to have been born between 1830 and 1834. He was married to Elizabeth Coker Wilson and the two had one son named John William, who was less than a year old when Wilson joined the California-bound wagon train. Traveling alone, family history indicates that he was headed to the California goldmines, but instead, was killed at the massacre.

William Edward Wood (1831-1857) - Born in Arkansas to George Washington Wood and Nancy Jane Coker, Wood was married to Manerva Jane Hudson about 1850. The couple had one small child and Nancy Jane was pregnant with the second when he joined the wagon train along with his brother Solomon and brother-in-law, Charles Stallcup, who were thought to have been hired on to help care for the large cattle herd that was accompanying the wagon train. Their plans were to check out the prospects in California, and perhaps later bring back their wives. Instead all three men were killed and when William's wife heard about the massacre, she miscarried her second child.

Solomon R. Wood (1937-1857) - Born in Arkansas to George Washington Wood and Nancy Jane Coker, Solomon was the brother of William Edward Wood, and brother-in-law of  Charles Stallcup. Records indicate that he was not married. The three men were thought to have been hired on to help care for the large cattle herd that was accompanying the wagon train. All three men were killed in the massacre.

All that from typing in three names from the Boone County history. This many of my good cousins slaughtered in Utah. Stories no one told me.

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ARBOONE-L Archives
Archiver > ARBOONE > 2002-12 > 1038782648

From: Mysty McPherson <>
Subject: Re: [ARBOONE] ELI CAMPBELL BELLER/Mountain Meadows Massacre?
Date: Sun, 01 Dec 2002 16:44:08 -0600
References: <>

Ah, I think I see where some of this confusion problem comes from. Carroll
Co (before Boone Co was created from it in 1869) had a Sugar Loaf Township
right across the county boundary from the Sugar Loaf Township in Marion Co.
Back then the Sugar Loaf Creek and West Sugar Loaf Creek areas were within
Marion Co. boundaries. And, there are genealogical errors galore in
"History of Marion Co" by Earl Berry. Earl recognized this and, before his
death, asked the Historic Genealogical Society of Marion Co to correct those
errors and expand the genealogical data. Thus: "Genealogies of Marion Co
Families 1811-1900" pub 1997 and "Genealogies of Marion Co Families
1811-1900, A Supplement" which is "under construction."

Marion Co 1850 census - Sugar Loaf Township.
# 160-161 George Wood 45 TN.
Jane 40 TN
Dice 22 AR.
Winney 20 AR.
William 19 AR.
Hannah 18 AR.
Elizabeth 16 AR.
Jane 15 AR.
Solomon R 13 AR.
Malinda 11 AR.
George W 9 AR.
John Hardin 7 AR.
Nancy C 6 AR.
Sally Ann 4 AR.
Martha 3 AR.
Bellinda/Belbrada 1 AR.

Marion Co 1860 census - Sugar Loaf Township.
# 931 George W Wood 54 TN.
Nancy 49 TN.
Elizabeth 24 AR.
G W 18 AR.
John H 17 AR.
Sarah A 13 AR.
Martha 12 AR.
Edward 9 AR.
Charity 7 AR.
John W E 4 AR.

The surname Sneed is not found in the Marion Co census for 1850 nor 1860.

The following data are from "Genealogies of Marion Co Families 1811-1900, A
Supplement" [not published].

Mary Jane Coker (daughter of William "Buck" & Mollie [Lee] Coker) b Knox Co
TN 1806 d Carroll Co AR 1878 bu Sneed Cemetery at Osage m July 1824 Charles
Sneed (son of William & Kezziah [Graham] Sneed) b KY 1807 d Carroll Co AR

William Edward Wood (son of George Washington & Nancy Jane [Coker] Wood) b
AR Terr 1831 d UT 1857 m MCAR ca 1850 Manerva Jane Hudson (daughter of Jesse
& Matilda [Everett] Hudson) b Georges Creek AR Terr 1832 d Calf Creek,
McCulloch Co TX 1918. Manerva m/2 MCAR Joel Baker Northcott.

Solomon R Wood (son of George Washington & Nancy Jane [Coker] Wood) b MCAR
1837 d UT 1857. Never married.

Solomon M Wood (son of William "Dancin' Bill" & Hannah [Austin] Wood) b TN
1818 d MCAR 1851 bu Patton Cemetery MCAR m Martha "Patsy" Magness (daughter
of James W & Narcissa [Barnett] Magness) b SC 1817 d Boone Co AR aft 1880.
Patsy is a widow in Blythe Township 1860. She is living with her son, James
B Wood, in Harrison Township, Boone Co AR 1880.

The only child of Solomon M & Martha "Patsy" (Magness) Wood is James B Wood
b MCAR 1839 m Nannie ___ b AR 1846. In Harrison Township, Boone Co. AR
1870, 1880.

William Sylvester "Southfoot Bill" Wood (son of Thomas D & Elizabeth
[Talbert] Coker) b AR Terr 1823 d TX 1891 m Melinda Coker (daughter of
William & Sara [Greene] Coker) b AR Terr 1825 d TX 1901. Three of their
children were:

Thomas Benton Wood b MCAR 1847 m/1 Louisa C Dobbs (daughter of Jonathan &
Elizabeth [Snelson] Dobbs); m/2 Indian Terr 1895 Roxie ___. In Blythe
Township MCAR 1889. To Indian Terr 1893.

Sylvester V Wood b MCAR 1848 m prob TX Sarah McCullough. To Indian Terr
1893. Settled Mason Co TX where he was elected Judge in the early 1900s.

James Irwin Wood b MCAR 1850 d Scipio, Pittsburgh Co OK 1918 m MCAR Cynthia
A Dobbs (daughter of Jonathan & Elizabeth [Snelson] Dobbs). To Indian Terr
1893. Treasurer of Pittsburgh Co OK for 5 years. Elected Mayor of
McAllister OK 1915.

This should help some in sorting out who was and was not with the Fancher
Train; thus, who was and was not slaughtered at Mountain Meadow. Oh, yes.
Winney Wood's husband, Charlie Stallcup, was slaughtered, but she and the
children weren't with him. Let me know if I can supply any further MCAR
info for you. Be glad to do what I can.

----- Original Message -----
From: "LM Fancher" <>
To: "Mysty McPherson" <>
Sent: Sunday, December 01, 2002 1:51 PM
Subject: RE: [ARBOONE] ELI CAMPBELL BELLER/Mountain Meadows Massacre?

> Mysty,
> Please review the 1860 Census for Sugar Loaf Tnshp again. I do not find
> Wood family listed. I do find Nancy Jane Coker, niece of Nancy Coker Wood
> and my ggg grandmother, Jane Coker Sneed. You might want to double check
> you birth date for Nancy Coker Wood. She is often confused with Jane.
> There is a picture of Jane Coker Sneed in the Carroll Co. Museum.
> The Woods I have being killed at the MMM were listed in Earl Berry's
> of Marion County. They include Nancy Coker Wood and her sons William (34)
> and Solomon (38). Solomon's wife's name was Martha and their sons James
> (18) and John H. (ll) Williams' wife was Malinda (34) and their children
> Thomas Benton (10) Sylvester (9) and James Irvine Wood (8). This
> information is also accounted for in William Wise's book on the Massacre
> Mountain Meadows. There were suppose to be two other Wood families along
> the trip, but I haven't come across documentation or reports for that yet.
> Two of her sons married Dixon girls and I have been trying to track them
> can't find them.
> Milum Rush on the Train had a brother named Alanson who married Alexander
> Fancher and Jane Johnson's daughter Mary giving a further connection to
> train. I have been researching the Millers associated with the train.
> There is strong circumstancial evidence that Hugh Miller, the progenitor
> the Millers who died on the train, was the brother of John Emberson
> husband of Patsy Fancher, aunt to Captain Alexander Fancher. I believe
> sorting out these clues will give us better insight into who some of the
> missing victims might be. Anyway, I keep trying..
> Lynn-Marie Fancher

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