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ALEXANDER FANCHER

*Victim of the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre*
 


Captain Alexander Fancher was the son of Issac Fancher and Anne Tully, born abt. 1813 in Overton County, Tennessee. The Fanchers descended from English Puritan stock, who had immigrated to the New Haven (Connecticut) Colony in 1643, while the Tullys were of Irish descent. Alexander Fancher's father, Isaac Fancher, fought in the War of 1812 in Capt. William H. McClellan's Kentucky Company of the U.S. 7th Infantry Regiment, and the ball that wounded his hand during the battle of New Orleans was never removed. Alexander's father was the first settler of the Muddy Point Settlement, that today is called Pleasant Grove, and located in southwestern Coles County, Illinois. One of 7 known children, Alexander Fancher spent his formative years in the wilderness of Illinois. On 12 May 1836 he married Elizabeth (Eliza) Ingram, the daughter of William and Mary Ingram, in Coles County. For a few years after their marriage, they resided in Clay County, Illinois. After the death of his father, Isaac, Alexander Fancher and his family went to Miller County, Missouri for a few years before settling in Piney Township in Carroll County, Arkansas to be in closer proximity to his paternal uncle Colonel James Fancher. In Arkansas he became known as "Piney Alex" because of the location of his land along Piney Creek in Piney Township, in the present town of Metalton. Alexander Fancher served in the Carroll County Militia during the 1849 Tutt-Everett War, an event that grew out of a feud between two powerful families in Marion County.

Alexander Fancher had made one documented trip to San Diego County, California with his family, and his brother John Fancher and his family, in the spring of 1850 and is believed to have made another trip to California around 1853. Planning to return to his homestead farm in Piney Township once again, Captain Alexander Fancher and his family began, what was probably their third trip to California, sometime after 10 April 1857, when he was in Fayetteville to sell the final parcel of his Benton County property. He sold all of his Benton County property before his departure, but did not sell his Carroll County 40 acre homestead. He was the leader of "The Fancher Train" that departed from Benton County, Arkansas independently and met up with the other elements of the Arkansas Emigrant Trains near Salt Lake, in the Utah Territory. He is said to have had 4 large wagons, a carriage or two for the ladies, oxen, mules, horses, and was driving approximately 200 head of cattle, which were raised on the 200 acres of land he had purchased in Benton County, Arkansas in 1854 for that purpose. In business with his brother John Fancher (who had moved to California in 1850 and established a cattle ranch in Tulare County), and financed by his wealthy uncle James Fancher in Arkansas, who also was a cattleman, Alexander's role was delivering the cattle to his brother John to be sold for profit in the lucrative California market.

Alexander Fancher is believed to have died in one of the earlier attacks, and he may be one of the ten men killed during the five-day siege that the Arkansas Emigrants buried somewhere within the circled wagons of the encampment (located west of the 1999 Monument in the valley.) Alexander's wife Elizabeth (Ingram) Fancher, and seven of their nine children (Hampton, William, Mary, Thomas, Martha, Margaret A, and Sarah G.) died in the Mountain Meadows Massacre on 11 September 1857. Alexander's two youngest children, Christopher "Kit" Carson Fancher, born abt. 1853 and Tryphenia D. Fancher, born 10 November 1855, survived the Massacre and were returned to Arkansas in 1859 to be raised by Alexander's Uncle James Fancher's son Hampton Bynum and his wife Eliza Olin (McKennon) Fancher.

Captain Alexander Fancher's first cousin, Robert Fancher, also died in the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Robert Fancher was not traveling with "The Fancher Train", he had departed from Carroll County, Arkansas with "The Baker Train", under the leadership of Captain John Twitty Baker.

2008 A.C. Wallner for the Mountain Meadows Association. All rights reserved

 
Inscription:

IN MEMORIAM
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

ALEXANDER FANCHER, 45


Please note that the names of the victims of the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre that appear here are those who we have personally researched and verified as actual victims. In some cases this list will differ from the names that were inscribed on the 1990 Monument on Dan Sill Hill.

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- MMA FIND A GRAVE MEMORIAL
               FOR CAPTAIN ALEXANDER FANCHER
 


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