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WILLIAM ALLEN ADEN
*VICTIM OF THE 1857 MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE*
 


William Allen Aden was the son of Dr. Sidney Bennett Aden and Delilah H. Brown, born abt. 1838 in Henry County, Tennessee. His parents resided in Paris, Henry County, Tennessee for more than fifty years.  He is considered to be the earliest victim of the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre in Utah, although he did not die during the seige or in the Massacre itself that took place on 11 September 1857.  He had traveled overland with another train earlier in the year. He spent some time in Salt Lake City, and in Provo, Utah. He left Provo, by the southern route, hoping to catch up with a party of emigrants, headed for California, that was about 50 miles ahead of him. It is believed he joined the group of Arkansas Emigrant Trains near Parowan, Iron County, Utah. Looking for stray cattle outside of the Mountain Meadows with another emigrant, William A. Aden was on horseback when he was approached by Mormons William Stewart and Joel White near Leach's Spring on Monday, 7 September 1857. Mormon 2nd Lt. William C. Stewart asked to borrow the tin cup on Aden's saddle to get a drink of water, and just as Aden was about to comply, Stewart shot him through the head.  William Allen Aden was killed instantly. Dodging bullets, the other emigrant was said to have made it back to the encampment at Mountain Meadows.

Becoming alarmed when he had not heard from his son, William Allen Aden's father began to make inquiries. On 27 May 1859 Dr. Sidney B. Aden offered a $1000 reward for information, believing at that time that his son might have been murdered, or taken prisoner, by Indians. He described his son as having blue eyes, fair skin, and dark, curly hair. As a assurance of payment of the reward, a letter to Utah Governor Cummings from Tennessee Governor Harris was part of the reward notice that was circulated. Seventeen years after the Massacre, his father still held out some lingering hope that his son might still be alive, even though he had "long since felt convinced" that he was one of the victims of the Mountain Meadows Massacre. (At that time the Mormons placed the blame for the Massacre solely on the Paiute Indians.) On 14 December 1874 Dr. Aden's letter, and a copy of the original reward, was published in the Salt Lake Tribune. Dr. Aden said he had received letters from Utah Governor Cummings and Brigham Young "which induced me to believe he was murdered". He had been informed by the Postmaster of Provo City that his son had left Provo around 1 October 1857, which would have been several weeks after the Massacre. The discrepancy in dates made Dr. Aden still hold out some hope that his son might still be alive, and "possibly held in captivity by the Indians".

William Allen Aden was an accomplished artist, and a musician and poet, who died when he was only nineteen years old.

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

WILLIAM ALLEN ADEN, 19

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 victims. In some cases this list will differ from the names that were inscribed on the 1990 Monument on Dan Sill Hill.

Leave virtual flowers ~
MMA FIND A GRAVE MEMORIAL FOR WILLIAM ALLEN ADEN


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