During the Black Hawk War, on November 26, 1865, Ute Chief Tamaritz’s band of around twelve warriors raided the thinly populated settlement of Circleville—ill-prepared to defend itself—killing four citizens.
Believing that Paiutes had aligned with the Utes, regional militia officers decided to question “All straggling Indians in the vicinity.” After a skirmish between two local Paiutes and militia men near Fort Sanford, settlers received word that two Paiutes had shot a member of the Utah Militia, and the area’s military commander advised Circleville and Panguitch residents to disarm the Paiutes encamped near those settlements.
Circleville residents met and decided to convince the local band of Paiutes to come into town to hear a letter read by the local bishop. The men who complied were disarmed and placed under guard, and the women and children were held in a cellar.
What happened next is not clear. One recorded account states that two young Paiute men attempted an escape amid gunfire, one successfully; it was then decided to put all the captives to death. The settlers buried the bodies of their victims in a mass grave. Several young Paiute children thought too young to bear witness were spared and adopted by local families. Soon after the incident, Circleville was abandoned.
In 1874, Circleville was re-settled by another group of settlers.
On April 22, 2016, Representatives of the Town of Circleville, Paiute Tribe of Utah, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Utah Division of State History, and Utah Westerners dedicated this monument. The monument was paid for by numerous caring organizations and individuals.