Chief Walkara and the Walker War
Chief Walkara and the Walker WarChief Walkara and the Walker War
Chief Walkara was one of the greatest Indian chiefs in Utah history. He was feared and reveared by many. Although he was not born of the great chiefs he became a great chief of the Ute Indians because he was a wise and powerful leader. He was a friend and foe to the Mormon pioneers and led his people to war against them. Unfortunately the Indians of Utah did not keep the same records as the pioneers did, which makes it more difficult to get both sides of the story. The purpose of this paper is to present the facts of the war and the famous chief and let the reader form their own opinion of the famous Indian chief.
There is no exact date of birth for Chief Walkara, but some sources say he was born between the years of 1808 and 1815 in the a Timpoanogos village on the Spanish Fork River. Walkara was born of Ute heritage to a man who was the head of a divided Ute clan, and to a woman who was one of many of the Ute leaders’ wives. One explorer wrote that Walkara had thirty brothers of which four were from the same mother; his brothers were Arapeen, San Pitch, Ammon and Tabinaw (Tabby). There is no information on the number of sisters he had, however knowing there were thirty brothers there must have been some sisters mixed in there somewhere.
After meeting Walker, Thomas L. Kane wrote about his appearance and personality,
‘… a fine figure of a man, in the prime of life. He excels in various manly exercises, is a crack shot, a rough rider, and a great judge of horse flesh. He is besides very clever, in our sense of the word. He is a peculiarly eloquent master of the graceful alphabet of pantomime, which stranger tribes employ to communicate with one another. He has picked up some English, and is familiar with Spanish and several Indian tongues. He rather affects the fine gentleman. When it is his pleasure to extend his riding excursions into Mexico, to inflict or threatened...