Utah’s First Emigrant Graves
In August 1846, the first emigrants to take the Hastings Cutoff to California arrived in the Tooele Valley. They left two of their number behind. John Hargrave, traveling with the Harlan-Young Party, died of pneumonia on August 11 and was buried the next day. The Donner-Reed Party reached the valley two weeks later. On August 26, a member of their company. Luke Halloran, died of consumption and was buried “at the side of an emigrant who had died in the advance company.”
Historians have suggested present-day Grantsville or Lake Point as the site of these graves. Though the exact location may never be known, this panel commemorates John Hargrave and Luke Halloran, the first emigrants buried in Utah soil.
This historic marker is located at the Donner-Reed Memorial Museum at 90 N Cooley Street in Grantsville, Utah and was erected in the sesquicentennial year of the Hastings Cutoff, an alternate route of the California National Historic Trail by Tooele County Historical Society and Utah Crossroads Oregon-California Trails Association on August 11, 1996.