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Marker placed at Fancher grave site
September 11, 2007
Tom Morris at grave site of Christopher Carson 'Kit' Fancher
Tom Morris of Bentonville places flowers on a marker installed Monday at the believed grave site of Christopher Carson "Kit" Fancher, a survivor of the Mountain Meadows Massacre. (Staff Photo/James L. White)
Special to the Times
OSAGE - The Fancher-Seitz Cemetery Memorial Society, in honor of the 150th memorial services for the victims of the 1857 massacre at Mountain Meadows Utah, has donated the replacement marker for the grave of Christopher Carson "Kit" Fancher at the Old Fancher Cemetery, now known as the Fancher-Seitz Cemetery. A memorial presentation was held Monday, Sept. 10 with Tom Morris of Bentonville officiating.
Kit Fancher was one of the 17 surviving children of the Mountain Meadows Massacre. He and his younger sister, Tryphenia, were the children of Captain Alexander Fancher and his wife, Eliza Ingram Fancher.
Kit was born in Piney Township at the Alexander Fancher Farm in1852 after the return of his family from their first trip to California. Kit's former home is now the location of the town of Metalton.
Upon Kit's return to Arkansas in 1859, his Uncle James Fancher, along with his three sons Hamp, Tom and Polk with son-in-law James Wick Kenner, retrieved the two children from a point on the road near Carrollton and immediately returned to Osage for a private family reunion. Kit and Tryphenia eventually became the wards of their older cousin Hampton Bynum Fancher.
Growing up, Kit became an able cattleman and horseman on his great uncle Jim's farm. Kit and his best friend and cousin, Spencer Jarnigan Morris (also an orphan) had a wild adventure together when, in 1865 they escaped Carroll County to Hill County, Texas, with the James Fancher clan to wait out the Civil War. The James Fancher farm was one of many in Carroll County that was nearly destroyed in the war.
Kit had become a much beloved member of the James Fancher family. He was well educated with his cousins, and a well-respected member of the Presbyterian church. At age 21, before his death, he had become a member of the Osage Masonic Lodge No. 66, later known as the Ashley Lodge.
Kit and his cousin, Spencer, had both fallen in love with one of the beautiful Smith girls down the road at Conner. Rachael Jane Smith was the daughter of Joseph Smith and Ingabor Poteet Smith. Joseph had traveled to California in 1853 with Capt. Fancher and both came back wealthy men from the gold mines.
According to family history, there had been much courting going on in 1873, but cousin Spencer won the girl. Kit, distraught and unable to cope with another loss, took his own life that year. His adopted mother Eliza McKinnon Fancher, his aunts Elizabeth Sneed Fancher and Easter Delina Morris Sneed held vigil at his bedside until he passed.
He was buried in the Old Fancher Cemetery near his great-grandmother. Exactly where in the cemetery is lost to history now, but the new grave marker was placed in close proximity as a memorial to this courageous young man, who died too young.
The Old Fancher Cemetery (Fancher-Seitz) is located on the original James Fancher Farm in Osage on the road to Delmar. The cemetery is owned by the direct descendants of James & Elizabeth (Carlock) Fancher.
Tom Morris and his cousin, Lynn-Marie Fancher of Milwaukie, Ore., and Holiday Island, both great-great-great-grandchildren of James Fancher, are caretakers of the cemetery. Special recognition goes to J.K. Fancher of Harrison and Geraldine Fancher Dixon of Portland, Ore., for their continued support and significant donations to the cemetery fund over the years.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Information about the Fancher-Seitz Cemetery and other projects planned there can be obtained from Tom Morris or Lynn-Marie Fancher via e-mail at or on their Web site at
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