Utter Disaster historical marker.

Utter Disaster

Field review by the editors.

Murphy, Idaho

Elijah P. Utter led a wagon train of 44 emigrants along the Oregon Trail. It was a horrific road trip. Between early September and late October 1860, 34 of the 44 would die, including Elijah and his entire family. They were killed by Indians, or escaped and then succumbed to exposure and starvation. Some of the surviving ten made it by eating the bodies of the dead wagon train children.

The large "Utter Disaster" sign that marks the starting point of the settler's ordeal actually puts a spin on it, claiming that between 25 and 30 Indians were killed as well, although that seems highly unlikely.

The sign admits that, "No other Oregon Trail wagon train suffered greater losses."

Utter Disaster

Address:
Hwy 78, Murphy, ID
Directions:
The parking pull-off and sign are on the north side of Hwy 78, either 12 miles west of Grand View or 18.5 miles east of Murphy. Just west of the intersection of Weese Rd.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Big Idaho Potato HotelBig Idaho Potato Hotel, Orchard, ID - 23 mi.
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In the region:
Old Idaho Penitentiary, Boise, ID - 38 mi.

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