8002 Wind Rock Lane, Harrison, AR 72601 


Volume 35  February 2008
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  Board Members  

Committee Chairs

  Phil Bolinger, President (479) 738-7060   Federal Stewardship: Ron Wright
  Bob Fancher, Secretary (417) 625-1014   Membership: Scott Fancher
  Pat Stroud, Treasurer (479) 738-2484  

Arkansas History: Diann Fancher

  Harley Fancher (870) 743-2385   Newsletter: Burr Fancher
  Burr Fancher (541) 926-3125   Carrollton Lodge: Scott Fancher
  Ron Wright (541) 410-7898   Interpretative plaques: Susan Fancher
  Susan Fancher (760) 931-6251  

Cemetery Marking: Jim Fletcher

      Library Collections: Burr Fancher
      Proxy Baptism: Harley Fancher


MMMF President Report

Phil Bolinger


  DEAR FAMILY AND FRIENDS: 2007 was a great year and we accomplished many of our goals. Our families who were lost at the meadows would be very proud of us for standing up against the Mormon Church, which after 150 years still denies them their rights of being honored and remembered to the fullest. This is a proven fact because at the September 11 ceremonies we descendants all expressed our wishes for NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARK DESIGNATION for the massacre site. This is now a no-brainer. Why does the LDS church continue to deny this? They could have had it happen within the week of September 11 if they wished it done. I wish I could look inside the hearts of the leaders of the LDS Church. First to make sure that they care, then to insert a little love, compassion and conscience to the many that must need it. So for now let us keep the faith and stay on course and good things will continue to come. Thanks and have a happy new year.


Get Well Soon


Two of our longtime MMMF members have undergone severe illnesses since our last newsletter. Jack Fancher of Carlsbad, California underwent heart surgery. Bill Hatch of Huntsville, Arkansas suffered from a stroke. Please keep Jack and Bill in your thoughts and prayers as they move through the recovery process.


Election of MMMF Board Member and Officers


Phil Bolinger was elected for a second Board term in an earlier ballot by the membership.  Board members asked Phil to continue his role as President throughout 2008 to provide continuity of efforts toward achieving National Landmark Designation for the Mountain Meadows site. Bob Fancher was designated as Secretary and Pat Stroud as Treasurer for 2008.


Burr Fancher’s board term ends this year. Have some new and enriched blood on tap for nominations in September.  It is also time to rotate to a new newsletter editor in order to broaden the perspectives of the readers.


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2008 Meeting Place & Dates


MMMF had tentatively planned to hold our annual meeting in Prescott, Arizona in September and to dedicate a library collection at the Sharlot Museum in that city. We have waited three months for a decision from their library board as to whether they choose to house our special collection of massacre related materials.  The Sharlot is definitely lacking in enthusiasm for our collection as evidenced by refusal to respond to our inquiries about their board decision on the matter. Without a collection, there seems little reason to meet in Arizona.


The LDS contingent is visiting Arkansas in late March to discuss National Landmark Designation for the Meadows and the upper grave sites. That meeting may lead to joint activities with MMA and MMMD in September. Since those groups plan to meet in Arkansas, our Foundation Board believes that we should be on hand.  Many folks are requesting another wagon train event which can be accommodated in Arkansas. President Phil Bolinger informed me that tentative plans are to hold the annual Foundation meeting in Carrollton on September 11-13.  Phil refers to a tentative date because he is waiting to analyze the outcomes of the LDS Church visit in late March.


In addition to meetings and wagon train activities, Diann Fancher will host a teacher workshop to meet the history inservice requirement that teachers must complete.  Teachers will be provided with lesson plans and sets of materials for bringing the Mountain Meadows massacre story into Arkansas classrooms.  Diann has been conducting highly successful teacher workshops with statewide attendance. A teacher inservice connected to our meeting should promote the educational goals of our Foundation.


A specific outline of places to go and sights to see will be set forth in the next newsletter in late May. Meanwhile, motel information and meeting facilities will be finalized. Our President believes we should promote both Harrison and Eureka Springs as places to stay during the Foundation activities. Eureka Springs is 29 miles distant but offers an abundance of sights and fun places to go. It is a smaller version of Branson.



Library Collection in Independence, Missouri

(Report by Secretary Bob Fancher)


Doc Fancher and I have made arrangements for the dedication of an MMMF library at the Mattes Library, Oregon-California Trails Association, Independence, Missouri, at 7:00 pm, May 21. Doc has ordered books and they have arrived along with notebooks that he put together.


I verified the date with the library yesterday. Our plan is to drive up from Joplin on the 21st, attend the dedication, spend the night in Independence, and tour several historical places Thursday morning. I hope this meets the board's approval and that you can attend.


There are several things to see in the area. Mormon sights: Haun's Mill (nothing much there now), Adam-Ondi-Ahman, Far West, and the temple of the Community of Christ (formerly the Reformed LDS). The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library is there, but I haven't visited it. There is a large mall which maybe I shouldn't mention. Kansas City is next door west. Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions.


Newsletter Editor Note: We encourage members to attend the dedication of the OCTA library collection. This is our opportunity to move the MMM story into the history of western expansion. We will place 110 books, notebooks, DVDs, and CDs plus 53 full-page photos in the Oregon-California Trails Library. Our group will spend the night of May 21 at the Best Western Truman Inn at 4048 S. Lynn Court, Exit 12 off Interstate 70 at Independence. The contact number for the Truman Inn is (816) 254-0100.


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Joint Request for National Landmark Designation


The three descendant organizations signed a joint request to the LDS Church asking for their help in acquiring National Landmark Designation for the Mountain Meadows grave sites.  The letter was signed by Terry Fancher (MMA), Patty Norris (MMMD) and Phil Bolinger (MMMF).


I have just been informed that Terry Fancher hand delivered the requests for MMA and MMMF. Patty Norris submitted the request for MMMD as a separate deal. The LDS Church has not responded or acknowledged receipt of that request. The death of their President has probably left their hierarchy in a state of flux.

Terry Fancher Update on Meeting with Elder Jensen (Friday, December 14, 2007)

Besides meeting with Elder Jensen, Tom and Patsy Lamb, Cody Craynor, Clark Hirschi, and Barbara Brown were in attendance. I delivered the letters from MMA and MMMF. Elder Jensen had already received the MMMD letter. I asked how the new book was coming. I was told the galley’s had been approved, and that it was at the printer in preparation for it coming out in June 2008.

There was discussion about protection of the land in the valley of the Mountain Meadows Massacre. It was noted that Mountain Meadows Estates was being developed by Ence (a St. George developer) and no relation to Elder Lee Ence. The Church is doing what they can to protect the valley from development encroachment.

Elder Jensen was sensitive to the letters we had provided and acknowledged that the Church will take the lead on the issue of National Historical Landmark Status. He noted the importance of having a single letter from the three organizations. He indicated that at some point in the near future efforts would be made to provide information on how the process might take place. He also indicated the Church had been working on drawings, to be presented to the three organizations, on concepts for the northern grave sites.

LDS Dignitaries Will Visit Arkansas

Elder Marlin Jensen, Rick Turley and Barbara Brown will make a goodwill tour to Arkansas on March 27-30. They have asked for a meeting with MMA, MMMD and MMMF representatives at the old Carrollton Lodge. Rick Turley will be showcasing the new LDS book on Mountain Meadows. Barbara Brown was the editor of their book. Elder Jensen is the gatekeeper to the First Presidency of the LDS Church. Let us hope that they bring good news on our request for National Landmark designation of Mountain Meadows.



New Media Related to Mountain Meadows


September Dawn is now available on DVD at Wal-Mart stores, Amazon and many other places. The DVD shows movie trailers that feature Phil Bolinger, Harley Fancher, Bob Fancher, Scott Fancher, Patti Norris, Cheri Baker Walker and others.  Our members are to be congratulated for a job well done in front of the cameras. The September Dawn book is also available on Amazon.


White Flag is a very good read. It was written by Wayne Capurro and is available on Amazon. It is written from the perspective of the two brothers who were returning to Utah from San Bernardino when they encountered the last surviving scout at Vegas Spring and convinced him that he needed to accompany them back to Utah. When they overtook Ira Hatch’s group, the scout was killed and the wagon train papers were confiscated.

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When Salt Lake City Calls is a 2007 book by Rocky Hulse. All Foundation members should read this book in order to understand the complexities of the LDS Church and the challenge facing our bid for federal stewardship. Rocky is a member of our Foundation and very supportive of our efforts.  I urge members to read the views of this man who knows the LDS Church so well.


House of Mourning by Dr. Shannon Novak can be pre-ordered on Amazon. It is scheduled for delivery later this month. Shannon Novak has been an MMMF member for several years and in attendance at all major activities.


Destroying Angels by Chuck Larsen will be on the market in the near future. Chuck attended our 2007 meeting in Cedar City and previewed his book with the group. He gave out complimentary copies of a “Retrospective of the Mountain Meadows Massacre” which was well researched and written.  His book can be pre-ordered for April delivery.


Innocent Blood by Will Bagley will be coming out later this summer. It will be based on research documents and serve as a follow-up on “Blood of the Prophets.”


Massacre at Mountain Meadows by Rick Turley & Associates is available on pre-order on Amazon. It is the LDS Church version that has been five years in the making. It is supposed to portray the victims and Paiutes in a more favorable light than has been in past LDS Church history.


Logan Hebner is writing a book on the Paiute perspective of the massacre. It will be interesting to read this book by one of the Paiute’s most loyal advocates. I do not know the title of Logan’s book.

Photos of 150th Commemoration of the Mountain Meadows Massacre:  Photos are available from Hampson Photography, 601 W. Ridge Ave. Harrison, AR 72601.  (870)-365-0909 Mr. Hampson submitted the following detail about professional photos made in Utah. Communication is directed at MMA, MMMF, MMMD and the LDS Church:

“I have completed CD-20 which is a 500 plus slide show of the 5 days of photography in SW Utah, September 7-11th 2007. Out of 1,400 images, I have narrowed them down to about 520 various views in this presentation.  I attended and photographed all but one of the 15 events scheduled. The 6 PM - MMMD Dinner Meeting at Best Western - Abbey Inn conflicted with another 6 PM event that I did get a chance to document.

Many of the images are identified by names, directions and events. Locations have also been titled as well as the numerous aerial photos taken of the Mountain Meadow. Area maps are included in the presentation.  Some of the individuals are identified by name. However, I was unable to identify others. If you can identify some of the folks in attendance, please do so and I will include their identification on future copies of the CD-20.

CD-20 is about 526 MB and created with Photoshop CS2 and Pictures to EXE. It will play on a PC, but not a Mac. The photographs have been resized from the original high resolution. The automatic cycle on the images is five seconds and contains background music. CD-20 is copyrighted, secured and the images can not be reproduced. It sells for $20.00 post paid USPS. I will accept personal checks, postal money orders or cash.

CD-50 is 545 MB and it is a self-controlled image presentation. It has the same images as CD-20 but there are no titles or names on the reproducible images. Reproduction will allow high quality up to 11x14, but images may only be used for personal enjoyment. Professional reproduction, advertising, websites, books, magazines or other publications must be provided by Hampson Photography. CD-50 sells for $50.00 post paid USPS. We will accept personal checks, postal money orders or cash. With CD-50 I will include CD-20 and CD-50f. CD-50f is a file folder that contains all of the images and can be taken to Walgreens or Walmarts to make personal copies for your self.

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If you have any questions, feel free to call me. If you communicate by email, be sure to put in the Subject box: MMM or my spam filter may block your email.  I sincerely hope you enjoy the photography. And I thank many of you for making my efforts productive and somewhat complete.”

Mitt Romney and Parley Pratt


Presidential aspirant Mitt Romney has some very illustrious ancestors. Parley P. Pratt was the paternal grandfather of Mitt Romney's paternal grandmother, Anna Amelia Pratt (1876-1926).  Anna Amelia Pratt's father Helaman (b. 1846) was one of four children of Parley P. Pratt's plural marriage union with this fourth wife, Mary Wood, born June 18, 1818, in GlasgowScotland.


The murder of Parley Pratt in Alma, Arkansas by an irate husband is often quoted as justification for the Mountain Meadows massacre.


Note: I suppose this relationship to Pratt explains the lack of response to my question to Romney campaign headquarters. My question was “if you are elected President, will you support National Monument status for Mountain Meadows?” I never received an answer before TV news announced that Mitt had dropped from the race. It would have been interesting to hear his take on the issue.



Excerpt from St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis, Missouri, July, 1893




The St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran a lengthy article on a reunion of surviving children in 1893 that was being organized by Polk Fancher of Carroll County. Polk Fancher's efforts in organizing a reunion for the 1857 massacre survivors seems to have been brought to fruition by James Lynch, one of the heroes of their 1859 rescue in Utah. The following news item appeared in the New York Times of Oct. 10, 1893: "A reunion of the survivors of the Mountain Meadow massacre is to take place here [at Harrison, Ark.] this week. James Lynch of Washington, represents the survivors in a suit against the United States, and he reached Harrison a day or two ago. The massacre occurred in September, 1857, and only fifteen children escaped death, ten of whom are now living, five of them in Boone County.  Capt. Lynch says the Mormon Church has been sued for $256,000, and that the case is likely soon to be settled in favor of the plaintiffs. The wagon train had $70,000 in money, and $26,000 in cattle, besides household effects.  Capt. Lynch was in the United States Army and assisted at the rescue. He has since devoted almost his entire attention to the survivors."


Newsletter Editor Note: This is the first documentation of a suit against the Mormon Church that I have encountered. Malinda Cameron Scott Thurston sued the U.S. Government for reparations but lost after 30 years of court cases. I find the Post-Dispatch article to be quite interesting. The entire article is too lengthy to be included in a newsletter but will be provided upon request.


Arkansas History Project



 Diann Fancher is the recipient of The Arkansas Gifted and Talented Education Curriculum Award for her curriculum unit on the Mountain Meadows massacre. The purpose of the award is to highlight the importance of differentiated curriculum and to recognize outstanding curriculum units.  All schools in Arkansas compete for this award.

The curriculum units are evaluated by clarity of goals and objectives, alignment with curriculum components, evidence of effectiveness, learning activities, nature of differentiation, ease of use, opportunities for talent development, student products and assignments, and resources and instructional strategies.

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 A $500.00 award will be made to the school district. Diann will receive an award plaque and present the unit to the curriculum conference. The award was presented at the AGATE 2008 State Conference at the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock on February 21, 2008. Diann is to be congratulated for her untiring efforts to return the story to Arkansas History classrooms. Editor Note: Harley Fancher certainly married well!

Theme for 2008 Annual Meeting
Since the Foundation has many positive activities that relate to information dissemination and returning the story to the history classrooms, let’s make education our theme for the annual meeting in September.  Diann Fancher has agreed to spearhead a teacher workshop on Mountain Meadows for teachers to fulfill their required hours of history teacher inservice. Such a workshop can fit nicely into the activities of September 11-13 at Carrollton. If any member enjoys creating slogans, please submit one that focuses our 2008 meeting toward education. Other projects such as library collections, grave marking, curriculum materials development and interpretation of the massacre are definitely education related.   


Thoughts for the Future

Burr Fancher


The Mountain Meadows massacre story is being returned to history classrooms in Arkansas after 50 years of silence. Interest in the story peaks in the Northwest Arkansas counties where the emigrant families lived before heading west. Captain Alexander Fancher lived on the south edge of Gentry in Benton County. The Camerons, Millers, Tackitts and Jones lived in Johnson County. The Dunlaps lived in Johnson and Madison Counties before moving to Marion County. The MMM story is alive and well in Benton, Boone, Carroll, Johnson, Madison, Marion and Newton Counties.  The Mountain Meadows Monument Foundation should consider placing library resources in each county so that students can access research materials without having to be transported long distances.


I propose that MMMF place special collections of 25-30 select items in Historical Societies in Benton, Carroll, Madison, Johnson, Marion and Newton Counties.  Major collections of 100+ items will be maintained and updated at Boone County Heritage Center, Tulare Historical Society, University of Utah, Paiute Indian Center, Butler Research Center, and Oregon-California Trails Library.  Six major collections should be sufficient for access by dedicated researchers.  The smaller collections in county historical societies could be primary resources for educating young people on history related to their home counties.


A few years ago Ada and I visited the graves of Captain James Lynch and survivor Sarah Dunlap Lynch in Hampton, Calhoun County, Arkansas.  The historical society was in rock throwing distance across the street from the graves of two legendary figures from the massacre.  When I asked for local information about the Captain and Sarah, they directed me to a peach basket on the floor. It contained next to nothing about the massacre. By luck I encountered a local surveyor in nearby Woodberry who showed me the location of the store and living quarters of Captain and his young bride. I was appalled that such interesting figures received so little attention at the historical society of Calhoun County. They did seem eager to acquire information about the massacre but didn’t know where to find it.


If the membership thinks the idea of expanding our library collections has merit, it can be sequenced into a five year plan. Volunteers are welcome to become involved in this project to educate students on the history of Mountain Meadows. Let me know what you think and if you would like to lend a hand. With the recent focus on teacher inservice we must assure that teachers have lesson plan materials available.  Without such materials the massacre story will disappear from history books and classrooms once more.

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