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Rebecca Winters

Grave of Rebecca Winters
Born Rebecca Burdick Winters
January 16, 1799(1799-01-16)
Canajoharie, New York, U.S.
Died August 15, 1852 (aged 53)
near Scottsbluff, Nebraska, U.S.
Religion Latter-day Saint
Spouse(s) Hiram Winters
Children Oscar Winters
Alonzo Winters
Hiram Adelbert Winters
Rebecca Winters
Helen Melissa Winters
Parents Gideon Burdick
Catharina Schmidt

Rebecca Burdick Winters (January 16, 1799 – August 15, 1852) was a Mormon pioneer who with her family left the eastern United States to emigrate to Utah with other Latter-day Saints. In August 1852, en route to Utah, she died of cholera near present day Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Her grave, located in the Rebecca Winters Memorial Park, has become a popular landmark along the Mormon Trail and is a Nebraska State Landmark.[1]

Contents

Biography

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Origins

Rebecca Burdick was born January 16, 1799, to parents Gideon Burdick and Catharina Schmidt, in Canajoharie, New York. In 1806, Catharina died; Rebecca was only seven years old at this time. Rebecca's father, Gideon, then married Jane Ripley Brown, and when Rebecca was 18 the family relocated to Athens County, Ohio. Here she met Hiram Winters and they were married in 1824. Eventually the two were introduced to Mormonism and joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and then moved their family to Kirtland, Ohio to gather with other Saints.[2]

When living in Kirtland, Rebecca and Hiram were caretakers of the Kirtland Temple.[3]

The Trek West

After leaving Kirtland, the Winters family briefly stayed in Nauvoo, Illinois before leaving with the James C. Snow Company in late June 1852. On August 13 of that year, while near Chimney Rock, Rebecca became sick and the illness continued to get worse until August 15 when she died due to cholera. Following her death, William Reynolds, a family friend, carved her name and age into a tire iron and buried it to mark the grave's location.[4]

Grave site and relocation

After the completion of the Union Pacific Railroad, Mormon pioneers stopped traveling by foot and Rebecca's grave was all but forgotten. Farmers in the Scottsbluff area knew about the grave, but it was not until the end of the 20th Century that Rebecca's grave became a tourist attraction. Then when the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad ran a line through the Platte Valley, they rerouted the tracks from their original plan to avoid disturbing the grave. For almost 100 years, thousands visited the grave site, and in 1995, the Burlington Northern Railroad decided to relocate the grave for the safety of visitors due to its proximity to the railroad tracks. In September 1995, her body was exhumed and relocated a little further away from the tracks. In June 1996, hundreds of Rebecca's descendants gathered for the dedication of the Rebecca Winters Memorial Park.

References

  1. ^ http://visitscottsbluff.com/attractions/rebecca-winters-grave
  2. ^ Olsen, Beth R. Among the Remnant who Lingered Micro Dynamics Electronic Publishing, Inc., Orem, Utah, 1997.
  3. ^ Olsen, Beth R. Among the Remnant who Lingered Pg. 33, Micro Dynamics Electronic Publishing, Inc., Orem, Utah, 1997.
  4. ^ Olsen, Beth R. Among the Remnant who Lingered Pg. 77-78, Micro Dynamics Electronic Publishing, Inc., Orem, Utah, 1997.

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