In 1862 John W., William, Robert and Joseph Berry with their families, were called to help colonize the St. George area. In the spring of 1866, Joseph and Robert Berry with Isabelle Hales Berry, the latter’s wife, were returning from a trip to Salt Lake City. They stopped at Kanarraville and while there the two-year-old baby girl of Robert and Isabelle died. The Berrys resumed their journey, traveling in a light wagon, camping for noon, April 2, 1866, at Short Creek, where they were attacked by Piutes, who it is claimed had been following them from Corn Creek in Millard County.
Their dead bodies were found several days later by John and William Berry. The details of the tragedy will never be known. It appears that they attempted to escape by running their horses across the country and finding they could not do so, fought desperately for their lives, but in vain. One dead Indian was found nearby. Joseph was found lying face down in the wagon box; his leg had been bandaged, no doubt, while they were fleeing as fast as they cold from the Indians. Isabelle had been shot through the head with a six-shooter and was lying on the ground, while Robert’s body was astride the wagon tongue with the head leaning into the wagon. The Indians said afterward that Robert was a “heap brave fighter.”
Robert and Joseph were large men, tall of stature. The burial of these pioneers took place at Grafton, Utah. In Church Chronology it is recorded that this massacre occurred four miles from Maxfield’s Ranch on Short Creek, Kane County, Utah. There is a small knoll between Short Creek and Kane Beds which marks the place and is called Berry Knoll. When President Young heard of this outrage on the part of the Indians, he sent word to Cedar City for the men of that place to form a company of militia and go to Berryville and escort the people back to Dixie. The late John Parry of Cedar City was a member of that escort, and furnished the writer much of the information for this sketch.(*)