Near Rexburg in Madison County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)
Jenny Leigh Pioneer Cemetery
Jenny Leigh, an Eastern Shoshone Indian of Chief Washakie's People, was born in 1849. She first married a French-Canadian trapper, who was later killed and despoiled of his furs by an Indian in Jackson Hole Country.
She later married Richard "Beaver Dick" Leigh, who was the first permanent Caucasian resident of Upper Snake River Valley. This was the first wedding ceremony with a trapper marrying an Indian that was performed according to the laws in this region. They were married by a minister. Six children were born to this union.
Jenny and their children went with Beaver Dick on his hunting trips, After Beaver Dick shot his game, Jenny and her children would take the Indian ponies and bring home the meat. She was inoffensive, hardworking, efficient, and dutiful. Her ability to tan hides, cure meat, make and pitch wickiups, cook meals, and perform all manner of labor make Beaver Dick's life comfortable. She protected and humored him; she tenderly care for their children. She often assisted the early Mormon pioneers, showing them where to pick wild berries and hunt for small game.
Jenny and their children
An Indian, named Humpty, died near Market Lake, leaving his squaw and child affected with his illness. Ignorant of their true condition (small pox), these two spread a path of desolation among the trappers of the Upper Snake River Valley.
On December 10, 1876, the diseased Indians exposed the entire Leigh family. Jenny and all six children died, The firstborn (sic, newborn?) child died on December 17, 1876. The other five children from December 14 through December 18, 1876.
Beaver Dick converted his cabin into a burial ground. Because the ground was frozen, he removed the floorboards and buried their bodies in the dirt. This is the actual site of the cabin. Jenny Lake in Jackson Hole, Wyoming is named in honor of Jenny Leigh.
Erected 2012 by Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Jenny Leigh Camp. (Marker Number 585.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Disasters. In addition, it is included in the Daughters of Utah Pioneers series list. A significant historical date for this entry is December 14, 1876.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Rexburg ID 83440, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. North Fork Ferry (approx. 1.2 miles away); Beaver Dick (approx. 1.2 miles away); Burton (approx. 3.2 miles away); Menan Buttes (approx. 4 miles away); Rexburg Public Square (approx. 5 miles away); Porter Park (approx. 5 miles away); Pioneers of Plano (approx. 5.2 miles away); Brigham Young University - Idaho (approx. 5.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rexburg.
More about this marker. Take Idaho Highway 33 from Rexburg heading west. After passing the BYU-Idaho Experimental Farm (on the right) and South 5500 West (on the left), turn right onto the unnamed dirt road. Head north making a couple of bends and going through a couple of cattle gates; closing them behind you. Turn left a the T, and you should arrive at the cemetery.
Regarding Jenny Leigh Pioneer Cemetery. President Roosevelt's tour of Yellowstone took place much later, he was 18 at the time of Jenny Leigh's death.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 31, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 6, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 669 times since then and 274 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 6, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.