r By LaRon Taylor
The Mt. Nebo Chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers, along with their wives, enjoyed a wonderful dinner meeting this past month. The dinner was excellent, and it was followed by a presentation on Blackhawk.
Our own Ron Zeeman related his personal involvement in the Blackhawk grave memorial. It all began with some local miners exhuming Blackhawk’s grave and then displaying his remains at the Spanish Fork Coop. From there, his remains were sent to the Assembly Hall museum on Temple Square and on display for some time.
The body was removed and presumed lost for many years. Ron remembered seeing Blackhawks remains there on display as a little boy and inquired if Blackhawks remains were still in the possession of the church, but was told they didn’t know of his whereabouts. Some years later, a local Boy Scout who was working on his Eagle Project asked Ron where his research left off and with that information and a call found Blackhawk’s remains.
Because of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, Ron contacted the Ute reservation and received approval from the Mountain Family (Blackhawk’s relatives through his brother, Mountain) to memorialize Blackhawk. He was given a proper reburial in a wooden casket that George Brinkerhoff ¬(another of our chapter members) built for that purpose. The memorial is located in Spring Lake, Utah near the shore of that lake.
Ron also displayed a rubber mold he had made of Blackhawk’s skull before his remains were re-buried. With modern forensic technology, it is possible to sculpt and recreate a close resemblance of what Blackhawk might have looked like.
The meetings are held monthly (usually on the fourth Thursday) and those wishing to join the organization no longer have to be direct descendants from Pioneers. Anyone interested in joining this organization can find more information by calling Dan Howlett at 801-224-5885.