Green Jacket

In the mid to late nineteenth century my great great grand father John Bennion (a Mormon polygamist) sent his two youngest wives to settle Rush Valley in western Utah. These two “sister wives” shared a small home dug into the side of a hill in what is now called Bennion Canyon. This was a hard life for two young women with several small children. One person who came to their aid was a local Goshute chieftain called Green Jacket. GJ invited the Bennions to move off of the hill side where they had dug in and into the juniper groves near the creek in the valley to the east. In 1929 my father’s grandfather Isreal Bennion built a house near where the young women had lived with the Indians and started a ranmch there that is still run by members of my family. The ranch has always been called Green Jacket. On more than a couple of occasions GJ had saved the lives of my family members. He was like a guardian angel to us. GJ was fond of attending the Mormon church services in nearby Vernon. On one occasion his gun which he almost always carried discharged in church killing the old man. He was buried on the hill overlooking the ranch.
Yesterday Lee and I drove out to Vernon for a family reunion and up to the ranch to visit GJ’s grave. It was a fine time. I brought with me a feather that had been used to fan my father as he was passing out of this life anf placed it in the tree where GJ is buried. It was was my way of bringing word or Owen’s death and burial to this place where my earliest memories with him had been.
When I was born in Salt Lake City my parents brought me home to Green Jacket into the little house there that my father had built just the year before. My earliest memories of this life were there at the place where my family has farmed or lived for five generations.
The stone marker that I and Alan Mitchell placed on Green Jacket’s grave a few years ago.
The wooden marker placed near the grave almost half a century ago by Salt Lake area boy scouts.
The view of the ranch and valley from the grave site.

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