HARRISVILLE, Utah — A city in northern Utah has announced plans to re-erect a monument to honor a Native American chief of the Northwestern Shoshone tribe who was killed more than 170 years ago.
The city of Harrisville partnered with the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation and the Weber County Heritage Foundation to dedicate the historical marker at the site where Chief Terikee was killed in 1850, the Standard-Examiner reported Monday.
There are conflicting reports of how and why the killing happened, but members of the partnership hope residents in the region will be inspired to research more about local history and think critically about it. Harrisville is about 40 miles north of Salt Lake City, near Ogden.
Weber County Heritage Foundation President Kattie Stewart said another marker that was placed at the site in 2010 was damaged. It will be replaced with the new monument on May 1.
The event will be open to the public and feature an official Shoshone blessing upon the land, remarks from former Northwestern Shoshone Chair Darren Parry and a descendant of Urban Stewart — the man who is said to have killed Terikee.
Foundation Executive Director Katie Nelson said the killing was a “major historical event” in northern Utah’s history.
She said Chief Terikee, who was known for being a friend to early white settlers of Weber County, was shot by Stewart after the chief met with Lorin Farr, a Mormon pioneer and the first mayor of Ogden.
The Shoshone demanded that Stewart, who allegedly fled, be turned over or they would seek retribution — igniting a complicated relationship between the tribe and the region’s earliest Western colonizers.
Nelson said the exact details of the incident are still disputed, with some people saying Stewart accidentally shot Terikee in the cornfield thinking he was an animal and others saying Terikee was stealing Stewart’s corn.
Despite the conflicting accounts, Parry said the new monument and ceremony is aimed at promoting peace and healing.
“I hope it prompts people to ask questions,” he said. “Monuments are usually erected by the victors, but there is always another side to the story.”