Smithsonian Institution Logo Gavins Point Dam—Lewis & Clark Lake
Geology, Paleontology, Archeology, History
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Erected 1908
Born Sept. 13, 1800. Died Jan. 11, 1847
A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints

Knight was one of a party of Mormons that spent the winter of 1846-47 on the Niobrara River not far from modern Niobrara, Nebraska. A group of 65 families left Kanesville, Iowa, in the summer of 1846, bound for the West. The party followed the Platte valley to the vicinity of Columbus, or Genoa, Nebraska. Here they contracted to harvest a grain crop planted by federal agents. With the undertaking completed and the season advancing, it was apparent that they could not proceed farther with safety. A band of Ponca guided them to a suitable campsite near the mouth of the Niobrara River, where winter quarters were established. During the prolonged course of the cold winter, Newell Knight and sixteen others, mostly women and children, died of pneumonia. Many years later, the family of Knight, and others, discovered the old camp, but the graves could not be found. Subsequently, the monument was erected on the site by Knight's sons and daughters.

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Last Updated: 08-Sep-2008