Franklin Wheeler Young was a Mormon pioneer leader who walked across the plains to the Salt Lake Valley in 1847 at age 8. He served a mission to the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) when he was just 17 years old. Then, at age 20, he became the youngest Bishop in LDS Church history. Young subsequently settled over a dozen towns from Idaho to southern Utah.
One of these settlements was the Junction, which later became Fruita (now in Capitol Reef National Park). At the Junction, Young pecked his initials into a boulder near his home and orchard. This 30,000 pound boulder wandered from Fruita in 1958 and found its way to California in 1978. This wandering boulder remained in place until amateur archaeologist and historian Ronald Bodtcher rediscovered it in 2010 and named it the Wandering Boulder of Capitol Reef. The boulder features Fremont Indian petroglyphs, Spanish markings and Mormon Pioneer graffiti, making the boulder interesting and valuable to archaeologists and historians.
The pioneer graffiti, along with a previously unpublished manuscript autobiography of Young, were an important part of the many documents, photographs and other material that Bodtcher relied upon in uncovering and reporting the true history of the founding of the Junction and the life story of Franklin Wheeler Young. Bodtcher has published the Young manuscript for the first time. His goal is to make Young's interesting and inspiring life story available to everyone.
Franklin Wheeler Young, Mormon Pioneer Settler Categories: