The Pioneer Memorial Museum ~ Council Wagon

This wagon served as Brigham’s council chamber, speaking platform, and home on the historic trip from Nauvoo, Illinois to the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847.

“When John W. Young made the trip to Moencopie Indian Village in Northern Arizona, he drove the very same wagon in which his father, Brigham Young, was riding when he first viewed Salt Lake Valley and uttered the prophetic works, “THIS IS THE PLACE.” John W. later drove this wagon to Apache Co., and abandoned it at the Windmill Ranch, belonging to Ammon Tenney, about twenty-five miles northeast of St. Johns, considering it as an old worn out wagon.

During my first year in St. Johns, 1880, I learned of the whereabouts and history of this wagon and that it was in danger of being dismantled and carried away by passing Indians. I hired a man to go out with a team of oxen and bring this wagon to St. Johns. We built a shed for it on the tithing lot where it was stored.

In 1897, the year of the Golden Jubilee of the Church, a call was sent out for all pioneer relics to be sent to the church headquarters. I notified them that this old historic wagon was in St. Johns, Arizona. The committee sent $10.00 to cover the cost of crating the wagon, and Elijah M. Freeman, one of the first pioneers, hauled it over to the Railroad at Navajo Station from where it was shipped to Salt Lake City. For many years it was in the Museum of Relics at the Utah State Capitol. It is now in the ‘Pioneer Memorial Museum’ in Salt Lake City, Utah.”


The Daughters of Utah Pioneers maintain numerous satellite museums around the state of Utah and beyond. Click here for a list of other DUP (satellite) Museums.

A Glimpse of the Pioneer Memorial Museum

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