O.K. I finally obtained a copy of Wallace Stegner's "The Gathering of Zion The Story of the Mormon Trail" and found my memory had let me down as far as the spelling is concerned.
On page 174, Mr. Stegner writes: "Their journey began ominously when Jacob Weatherby and two others, driving back to Winter Quarters on an errand, were attacked by Omahas intent on robbing them. Weatherby, shot throught the body, was brought back to the Liberty Pole camp and died there in Charles Rich's tent on June 21..."
Linda Smith sent me internet links where I was able to read references to this incident from journals of people who were there at the time (1847).
Now, the question remains. Does anyone have any more information about Jacob Weatherby?
In one journal I read:
"Terrible tragedy struck this day. Alfred Lambson and Jacob Weatherby were driving a team of oxen back toward Winter Quarters as couriers when three Indians arose from the grass and halted the wagon. Another brother and two sisters were also in the wagon. Brother Weatherby negotiated with the Indians to let them pass, but the Indians, who were armed, cocked their guns. The two brethren grabbed the guns and their was a struggle. The third Indian, about 15 feet away, fired at Brother Weatherly, severely wounding him. The Indians ran away. Bishop Newel K. Whitney and Alpheus Cutler soon came by and took Brother Weatherby to Elkhorn River about seven miles ahead.
Charles C. Rich stayed at the Elkhorn with his company to wait for the arrival of the artillery from Winter Quarters. At dusk, Newel K. Whitney and Alpheus Cutler brought in the wounded Jacob Weatherby, who was taken into the Rich tent. Sarah Rich wrote: "We all could see that he wouldn't live, so we fixed him a bed in our tent and did all we could to ease his pain. He suffered awful pain through the night."
In another journal entry we read:
"Jacob Weatherby, a teamster in George B. Wallace's Fifty, started back to Winter Quarters as a messenger from the camp. He was accompanied by Alfred B. Lambson and two women, Almira Johnson and Nancy Chamberlain, in an ox team. At a point eight miles from the Elkhorn, three naked Indians rose from the grass, walked up to the wagon and pointed their muskets at the travelers. Weatherby and Lambson jumped out of the wagon and closed in on two of the Indians. While they were grappling, the third Indian shot Weatherby in the back, the ball tearing through his hip into his abdomen. The Indians fled. Weatherby died a few hours later."
From this it appears that neither of the females were with Jacob, so I am guessing he was single.
Jacob Weatherby holds the ominous distinction of being the first victim to "hostiles" in this westward migration.
I cannot help but wonder where he came from and wonder who are his parents, brothers, and sisters? Anyone have any ideas?
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