The father of Chief Joseph was known as old Joseph or Joseph the elder. When he died in 1871, he had a traditional burial at the forks of the Lostine and Wallowa Rivers, In 1886 his grave was desecrated by local property owners and his skull was removed as a souvenir. In 1926, the remains of the elder Chief Joseph were reburied. His grave is marked by a tall stone marker bearing the legend, "To The Memory of Old Chief Joseph, Died 1870." The cemetery, a national historic landmark, is a sacred place for the Nez Perce people.
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