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Four brothers – Wesley, Samuel, James, and Steven Hill – headed to California with their families in April 1852 from their home in Missouri. Altogether, the families included 62 persons. Two members of the party died along the Platte. Henry Hill, another member of the party, is buried near Torrington.
Here on Ham’s Fork Plateau, Nancy Hill died of cholera on July 5, 1852. She was 20 yearsNancy Hill Grave old and the second eldest of six children of Wesley and Elizabeth Hill. As some sixty members of the family gathered to bury the young woman, a light snow covered the landscape. Nancy’s uncle wrote: "She was in good health on Sunday evening, taken unwell that knight worst in the morning and a corps at nine o’clock at knight."
This grave has always excited much interest because of the romantic legend associated with it. Said to have been "a goddess of a girl," Nancy reportedly had a loyal suitor who remained behind after her death to mourn her passing. In the 53 years that followed, it is said that he returned to the site at least three times to tend her grave. Her relative, Stephen Jackson, says: "We like to think her grave was so well preserved because she was so well loved."
Unfortunately, great confusion continues to surround the location of the grave. The headstone on the site is clearly not the original as it gives both a wrong date for Nancy’s death and is also wrong about her age. It is believed that well-meaning ranchers placed the marker at a later Nancy Hill Gravedate and simply did not know the correct facts. Moreover, a recently discovered diary suggests that the grave marked as Hill’s is not, in fact, her grave. Nevertheless, it is clear that the romantic legend of Nancy Hill is largely responsible for the endurance of a grave marked in her memory.

Ownership
Public (BLM)

Directions
Lincoln County, Wyoming. T23N/R117W.
These graves can be accessed with 4WD as long as the roads are reasonably dry. Inquire locally (Kemmerer) for more information about road conditions. From Kemmerer, drive north on U.S. 189. At the township of Frontier, veer left on Wyoming 233 and drive north for approximately 3˝ miles. Just before Hams Fork Bridge, make a sharp left turn onto a county gravel road. Drive approximately 11 miles northwest to the intersection with the Sublette Cutoff. Drive west to the grave. The Nancy Hill grave is about ˝ mile west of the Alfred Corum grave.

National Park Service Comprehensive Management Plan
The site has been fenced and marked by the Oregon-California Trails Association. There is no known threat to this site. It is not listed on the National Register.

Additional Information
Duffin, Reg. "Here Lies Nancy Hill?" Overland Journal 1:1 (July 1983), 4-13.
Duffin, Reg. "The Nancy Hill Story: The Final Chapter" Overland Journal 4:4 (Fall 1986), 56-64.

 

 

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