Burial on the Trail
Death on the trail did not allow for the fineries of the funerals back home. Emigrants made do with materials available. Black would adorn the clothes of mourners, and care would be taken to provide the best funeral possible. The most travelers could provide was often just a shallow trench beside the trail and no coffin for the deceased.
Many emigrants worried about the lack of propriety of a simple grave on the windswept prairie and vowed to return and provide a “proper” resting place.
Few of the thousands of emigrant graves have been located. The wind and snow soon obliterated any evidence of them. Markers disappeared, and in some cases, wild animals scavenged the graves. Stories of family members later returning to search for a loved one’s final resting place are common, but the searches were usually fruitless.
This historic marker is located on a walking path loop on Highway 28 just west of Farson, stopping here you can see all these markers:
- Continuing the Journey West
- Pilot Butte & “Graves” of the Unknown Emigrants
- Emigrant/Indian Relations
- First Transcontinental Telegraph
- Pilot Butte
- Death on the Trail
- “Graves” of the Unknown Emigrants
- Burial on the Trail