Wynn Cemetery

This cemetery is located in the Fine Springs community about one-half mile off Highway 71 and one-fourth mile north of highway 282. The cemetery is named after the Wynn family who owned it.

A large monument stands in this cemetery to the memory of the Mormon Apostle, Parley Parker Pratt. Pratt became one of the church’s twelve apostles in 1835. In 1847, he joined the Mormon migration to Utah, where in 1849, he helped draw up the constitution of the state of Deseret.

In 1854 Pratt held a revival in San Francisco. One of his converts was a Mrs. Hector McLean. She invited the Apostle into her home. Her husband did not like Pratt nor the new religion she had adopted. There was trouble between the man and wife and McLean left, taking the children with him back to New Orleans, his old home, and they lived with his wife’s parents. Mrs. McLean went to New Orleans to get the children but failed so she then went to Salt Lake City, Utah, where Pratt was.

In 1856, Mrs. McLean went back to New Orleans, got the children and fled to Texas. McLean traced her down but she had left for Fort Gibson, Cherokee Nation, to meet Pratt. It was here that McLean caught up with his wife and Pratt. He had them arrested charging that Mrs. McLean was still his wife and charging Pratt with larceny, in stealing the clothing on the children when kidnapped.

They were brought to Van Buren to Federal Court. A short hearing was held on May 12, 1857, before Commissioner John Ogden (later Judge Ogden). Eleanor McLean took full responsibility and Pratt was freed but because of threats made by McLean, Pratt spent that night in jail for protection. The next morning, wearing a bullet proof vest, Pratt rode north out of Van Buren on horseback. McLean followed and caught up with Pratt in what is now the Fine Springs community. He emptied his pistol at Pratt but to no avail. He then rode up by his side and plunged a knife into the neck-shoulder region of Pratt’s body. This happened in front of Zealey Wynn’s Blacksmith shop in front of two witnesses. Pratt was carried to the Wynn home nearby where he died a few hours later from the wounds.

William Steward, who lived north of the Wynn’s (Lancaster) heard of the assassination of Parley Parker Pratt. He had been a boyhood friend of Pratt’s in Oswego, N.Y. Steward built a coffin of walnut and had it hauled to the Wynn home by wagon and saw to it that his friend had a Christian burial. He was laid to rest in a small cemetery on the Wynn farm. McLean escaped and was never heard of again.

For many years, relatives and members of the Mormon church searched for Pratt’s grave. While attending a national newspaper convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, Hugh Park mentioned to some of the men there who were members of the Mormon church that the grave of Parley Parker Pratt should be marked. This stirred up considerable interest and some of the officials of the Mormon church contacted Mr. Park in regard to this. Ruie Ann Park located some elderly people in Crawford County who remembered where the grave was located. Mrs. Park took the two persons and with some Mormon officials to the spot where the grave was located. A large monument was erected by the Mormon church at his gravesite. The marker reads:

Parley Parker Pratt
Born April 12, 1807, Burlington, New York
Died May 13, 1857, near Alma, Arkansas
Member of the Council of the Twelve Apostles of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The Morning Breaks, the shadows flee
Lo! Zion’s standard is unfurled
The dawning of a brighter day
Majestic rises on the world
The clouds of error disappear
Before the days of truth divine
The glory, bursting from afar
Wide o’er the nations soon will shine.

Parley P. Pratt


From: “History in Headstone”, Crawford County, Arkansas. Compiled by Susan Stevenson Swinburn and Doris Stevenson West. Press: Argus Printers, Van Buren, Arkansas, Arkansas Historical Series, Number 16, November 1970. A complete listing of all marked graves in known cemeteries of Crawford County, Arkansas.


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