DAYS 25-28 ......................................................................................................................................................... FROM LEES FERRY TO NEARLY TO CEDAR RIDGE

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Who Was Charles Harris? - Junction (Day 12)

Charles Harris
September 13, 1884 - Marysville to Junction (Charles Harris Ranch)*
Day 12 of 44 - (Week 2)
Marysville to Junction = 12 Miles (Total Miles = 251 Miles)
Total Trip Average Miles Per Day = 20.9: Average Miles Per Day - Week 2 = 21.7
*the Charles Harris ranch may be  about 2 miles Northwest of present day Junction
September 12 - 14, 1884
September 14 - 15, 1884

Original Journal Entry
"Saturday Sep. 13 hitched up late in the morning drove 12 miles to Charles Harris' Ranch and layed over Saturday afternoon and Sunday." (apparently he wrote this entry on Sunday)

Final Journal Entry
"Saturday Sep. 13 drove 12 miles to Charles Harris' Ranch, rested in afternoon."

Notes on Journal Entry:  A slight format change was made in the journal.  The day of the week was written.  Charles would eventually write the day and date on one line in the journal.

This is the shortest entry in his journal recording the trip so far. I wish he had just given a few more details, but not many people even keep a journal let alone one that provides  a day by day account.   For that I am very grateful.  He must have written this entry on Sunday as he mentions Sunday (the day after) in the original Saturday journal entry.  They needed time to rest as they had been making good mileage everyday, and as we shall see, their daughter, Anna M, was probably ill.  This was recorded the next day.  When I drove 12 miles from Marysvale, I saw no evidence of the ranch which was mentioned in the journal entry.

signpost 167 - 12 miles from Marysvale
near the Charles Harris ranch ?
near signpost 167 - 12 miles from Marysvale
near the Charles Harris ranch ?

I wondered where the Charles Harris ranch could be.   There were no signs to show me.  About one mile further, I noticed a small gated graveyard.  I got out of the car to check the tombstones.  Would you believe?  There was the grave of Charles Harris!  I never expected to find his grave at least in a small graveyard. This was my best day so far on the trail!

Click findagrave.com memorial
Charles Harris Grave

Obituary of Charles Harris

 Further research (click further research and go to page 24) revealed "Since this remote ranch was on the main road for settlers bound for Southern Utah and Arizona, they were often host to travelers, including the prominent, the ordinary, and the drifters  Otherwise they were isolated forty miles from the nearest stake organization and over ten miles from a school.  The Harris family lived here from 1877 to 1887.  Their children were largely without formal religious or school training only what they could receive at home in this period."  More will be said of Charles Harris in the next post.  Today we are just getting the Anderson family settled at the ranch.  To me the source of this information shown below  is interesting.

Charles Harris was the Great Grandfather
of Dallin Harris Oaks.  Martin Harris was
the Uncle of Charles Harris.
The father of Charles Harris was Emer Harris, the brother of Martin Harris. Emer received from his brother Martin Harris what is said to be the first bound copy of The Book of Mormon.  Emer died in November 1868.  He had not seen his brother Martin for over 30 years.  Martin Harris arrived in Salt Lake City nine months after Emer's death  More information on the Harris family can be found in 50 Pioneers (Click 50 Pioneers- see pgs. 20-23).

possible location near the Harris ranch ?
of old Hwy 89

Jacque Dalton and her grandson

But where was the ranch?  The graveyard was about a mile North of Junction and the 12 mile marker (from Marysvale) about two miles North.  I spoke with Jacque Dalton of Junction who told me that  the town was previously in the middle  of the Piute Reservoir Northwest of Junction. She also said her ancestors ran the Palmer House in Fayette.  Perhaps they were there when the Anderson family arrived (Day 8).  It's a small world.  Since the Harris family lived on the main road as the travelers stayed there, the ranch could have been near the town and the Piute Reservoir.    
Service station on old Hwy 89 just west of present day Junction.
At one time travelers stopped here.

Junction (Piute) when first settled was known as City Creek. It is named after the point where US-89and U-153 meet. The junction of the East Fork of the Sevier ...

According to the Journal, it was 12 miles from Marysvale to the Charles Harris Ranch.  According to local residents in 1884, the town of "Junction" sat in the middle of Piute Reservoir.  The Harris family probably lived on the main road and near the "town,"  It was about 12 miles to the Piute Reservoir (and 15 to Junction) from Marysvale so this could be the correct mileage.

The final journal entry was one sentence
It is surprising the resources available to
fill in what wasn't said.  It is an adventure
as well.

Tomorrow we will get better acquainted with Charles Harris.  The Andersons would finally have a day to rest.  Two travelers going from Arizona to Utah would also be at the Harris ranch


  1. A trip that truly has it all, enjoy some of the best beaches, cities, small towns, nature, and more on this vibrant all-around adventure that your family will remember forever.

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  2. so interesting. If we lived in Utah, we would go with you!!

  3. So glad you decided to stop at the little cemetery. I love old cemeteries.