Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Cedar City in Iron County, Utah — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Ellen (Nellie) Purcell Unthank

 
 
Ellen (Nellie) Purcell Unthank Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, August 29, 2012
1. Ellen (Nellie) Purcell Unthank Marker
Inscription.  Ellen (Nellie) Purcell was born November 6, 1846 in Tintwhistle, England. At 9 she, with her parents and sister Margaret (Maggie), 14, began the trek from Iowa to Salt Lake Valley in 1856 with the Edward Martin Handcart Company.
Early snows overtook the company, both Nellie's parents died on the trail. Nellie's feet were frozen.
On arrival in Salt Lake Valley, she was strapped to a board. No anesthetics were available. Both her legs were amputated just below the knee with a butcher's knife and carpenter's saw.
For the rest of her life she moved about on the painful stubs of her legs.
At 24 in Cedar City she became the plural wife of William Unthank. His income was small.
Beginning as a wife in a one-room log house with a dirt floor, she kept her home spotless. Nellie took in washing, she knitted stockings to sell. She gave birth to 6 children. Her Bishop and Relief Society occasionally brought food to her family. To even the score, once a year she and her children cleaned the meeting house throughout.
Nellie died at 68 in Cedar City -- A noble representative of the rank and file of Mormon Pioneers.
 
Erected
Ellen (Nellie) Purcell Unthank image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, August 29, 2012
2. Ellen (Nellie) Purcell Unthank
Jerry Anderson, Sculptor life size statue
1991 by The National Society of the Sons of Utah Pioneers.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Women. In addition, it is included in the Sons of Utah Pioneers series list.
 
Location. 37° 40.464′ N, 113° 4.126′ W. Marker is in Cedar City, Utah, in Iron County. Marker is on West 200 South 0.1 miles west of South 300 West, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cedar City UT 84720, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Founding of Southern Utah University (approx. 0.3 miles away); Cedar City Founder (approx. half a mile away); Richard Harrison (approx. half a mile away); Cedar City Tabernacle (approx. half a mile away); Pioneer Stockman (approx. half a mile away); Ward Hall (approx. half a mile away); The Social Hall (approx. 0.6 miles away); Cedar City Railroad Depot (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cedar City.
 
Ellen (Nellie) Purcell Unthank Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, August 29, 2012
3. Ellen (Nellie) Purcell Unthank Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 18, 2018. It was originally submitted on September 15, 2012, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 671 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 15, 2012, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement
Sep. 23, 2020