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Leann Way - Herdboy Lane

In remembrance of Brigham Heber Bingham (1841-1935) and all the herd boys at Bingham’s Fort

Brigham Heber Bingham
Brigham Heber Bingham

While settlers lived in the fort from 1853-1856, herds of cattle were grazed outside of the fort to the west and northwest, and herd boys were the caretakers and guardians of these cattle. The history of Brigham Heber Bingham, tenth child of Erastus and Lucinda Bingham, leaves this account of his experience as “herd boy” in the Fort when he was about thirteen years old:

“The herd boys worked three weeks at a time, and then they would have two weeks off. While Brigham Heber was in his laying off time a band of Indians, several hundred in number, camped within a mile of the Fort. The Indians would take the dinners away from the herd boys and drag them around by the hair of their heads and frighten them with threats of death. At the end of his two-week layoff he was reluctant to herd again.

William Payne and Nathaniel Leavitt were captains the day his turn came to take the cattle to the herd grounds near the present town of Plain City. The captains went to hunt some lost cattle which had strayed away the day before and left him alone with the herd. He saw an Indian riding toward him as fast as he could. He felt the Indians intended to run over him so he jumped to one side as the Indian passed, and he struck his horse over the head with a club. The horse jumped to one side and almost threw the Indian off, but he held on to the mane and pulled himself back on the horse.

The Indian turned around and came back, and when the Indian saw that Brigham Heber was preparing to strike the horse again, the Indian stopped and asked for a biscuit. Brigham Heber gave the Indian about one third of his dinner and the Indian insisted on more. He refused to give the Indian more and said he would be eating the rest of it himself. The Indian looked him in the eye for a few minutes and then rode away.” [1]

Brigham Heber received his education at home and at the little school house at Bingham’s Fort. On the 16th of December 1861 he married Angelina Thresia Aldous. They lived in Bingham’s Fort for several years after their marriage and two of their children were born there.


[1] - Norman F. Bingham, Lillian B. Belnap and Lester S. Scoville, Sketch of the Life of Erastus Bingham and Family, 1950s, p.61,62.

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