Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pioneer Story: Burial Ceremony of Chief Tabby’s Son


Located in the upper corner of the Heber City Cemetery stands an old pine tree. If trees could talk, this pine tree would tell of heartache and grief dating back to the pioneer days.

2013-07-17 14.33.29This is the grave of Tom Tabby, son of Chief Tabby. The plaque at the grave reads:

One day of 1867, Chief Tabby came into Provo River valley after the Indian Peace Treaty with his dead son in his arms. As he rode up on his horse, Joseph Stacy Murdock, the Mormon presiding Bishop, recognized Chief Tabby. After a brief greeting, Chief Tabby said that he was holding his own dead son, who was killed in an accident while hunting. The Chief knew that Joseph was the religious leader among his people, so he asked that Joseph bury his son in the way of the Mormons. With a feeling of great sorrow for his friend, Joseph conducted a Christian funeral service and buried Tom Tabby under a beautiful pine tree, which had been planted several years before by John H. Murdock in the Heber Cemetery.

When the final prayer was said, Chief Tabby said “My son has been buried in the white man’s custom; now he will be buried in the Indian fashion.” A rick of cedar logs was then laid upon the new grave and the boy’s favorite pony was led up to it, where it’s throat was cut and the animal was laid upon the pile and the logs were set on fire.

As the embers slowly died, Chief Tabby got on his horse and rode into the mountains of Heber with his braves.

2013-07-17 14.33.37


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