This seemed to tell the story of a massacre, probably by Indians, during which an immigrating family was killed, and their wagon destroyed. But there was more to the story. One of the gravesites was marked, pinning down the date of the massacre and giving the name of one of the victims.
The poplar marker had likely been cut from the family’s wagon. Because it faced east, and leaned slightly in that direction, the elements had not done its worst to the marker. It read, “H.S. Webb, August 13, ’52.” No markers were in evidence near the other graves. Speculation was that someone who knew Mr. Webb came along shortly after the massacre and buried he and his family.
But there was something else on the marker that piqued the interest of some in Twin Falls. Someone had carved three arching chain links into the wood. That symbol, connoting the motto, one word per link, of Friendship, Love, and Truth, is the symbol of the Odd Fellows. One of the tenants of the Odd Fellows fraternal organization is an ethic of reciprocity. Think Golden Rule. Some of the Twin Falls Odd Fellows apparently determined that what they would like for themselves if killed and buried where they fell, would be to have someone move their body to a dignified cemetery where a proper stone marker could be placed. In any case, that’s what they did, disinterring Mr. Webb and moving him to the Twin Falls Cemetery.
Upon digging up the fallen immigrant they discovered he had been buried in a three-foot hole. The upper half of his body was covered with barrel staves before dirt was added. Lava rocks had been placed over the grave to prevent it from being disturbed by wild animals.
From the bones the Odd Fellows determined that Webb was a large and powerfully built man about six feet tall and near 45 years of age when he was killed. From his jaw alone someone determined that he was probably “a determined and aggressive man.”
On August 29, 1909, just five years after the city was formed, the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs of Twin Fall Lodge 23 held a service in their hall, as well as a graveside service for H.S. Webb. One could only speculate whether or not the pioneer would have been pleased with his brothers for moving him away from the spot where his family is still buried.