Officials Consider Design for Proposed Parley P. Pratt Monument

To Mark Grave—The proposed monument to Elder Parley P. Pratt will be erected near Van Buren, Arkansas, where the early apostle was murdered and buried May 13, 1857.

A proposed design for the monument to be erected at the grave of Parley P. Pratt, a member of the original Quorum of the Twelve, is now before Church officials and family officers for consideration.  The small cemetery in which the body of Elder Pratt has lain in an unmarked grave since his assassination May 13, 1857 was purchased in 1949 by Elder John D. Giles, and is located near Van Buren, Arkansas.

Tentative plans are to build the monument of light Vermont granite.  The overall height is to be seven foot.  Two fluted columns on each side of the inscription add to the attractiveness of the design, but at the same time preserve its strength and simplicity.

A special inscription panel near the base is planned to carry two verses of the hymn written by Elder Pratt, “The Morning Breaks, The Shadows Flee.”  Words of the inscription are planned to be incised in the granite by the sand blast process.

The monument design was prepared by Jones Brothers of Borse, Vermont, builders of the monuments at Hill Cumorah and at the birthplace of Pres. Brigham Young in Whitingham, Vermont, erected last year; Utah representatives are Elias Morris and Sons Company.

In addition to placing the monument, which will cost approximately $2000, it is planned to fence and landscape the area and to open a road to the highway.  Some natural growth, trees now growing on the plot, are to be utilized in the beautification plans.  Other graves in the small cemetery will be marked if they can be located.  Only one headstone now remains.

The cemetery, which for many years has been part of a field and more recently a pasture, is located about 12 miles northeast of Van Buren, Ark., and approximately three miles from Alma, the nearest community at present.  At the time of the martyrdom a hamlet known as Fine Springs used the place as a burial ground.  No burials have been made for many years.

Present plans are to have the monument completed and ready for erection and unveiling next spring.

Parker Pratt Robison, a grandson, is chairman of the finance committee acting for the Pratt family, and Mrs. Una Pratt Giles as secretary.

[Deseret News, Dec. 13, 1950]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Aug. 2006]

Return to Parley P. Pratt’s Grave