Timpanogos Chief Sowiette

Chief Sowiette was a brother to Timpanogos leaders Walkara, Tabby, Ammon, Sanpitch, Arapeen, and Grospeen. Sowiette lived in the southern part of Utah, known today as Sanpete county, named after Chief Sanpitch, the father of Black Hawk. His birthplace is unknown and it appears he died circa 1867 as he doesn't appear in any historical accounts after 1866.

Sowiette Park in Provo, Utah, is named in his honor, as well as a statue carved in wood bears his name. Sowiette Park houses several of the cabins that were part of Fort Utah, as well as a thousand or so items that once belonged to early Mormon colonists are housed in the Sons & Daughters of Utah Museum.

Sowiette was the eldest of the brothers and an advocate for peace. When the Mormons came to Utah in 1847, Sowiette admonished his brothers not to fight them.

Sowiette was a signor of the Spanish Fork Treaty. The brothers disareed with signing the treaty and opposed doing so. However, Sowiette was, and it appears Sowiette convinced his brothers to sign. But whether he fully understood the terms of the treaty is questionable.

Brigham Young is seen making the usual bribes to entice the Timpanogos to sign saying, "San pitch Sow e ett Tabby and all of you I want you to understand what I say to you I am looking for your welfare if you do not sell your land to the government they will take it whether you are willing to sell it or not this is the way they have done in California and Oregon if you go to Uintah they will build you houses make you a farm give you cows oxen clothing blankets and many other things you will want and then the treaty that colonel Irish has here gives you the privilege of coming back here on a visit you can fish hunt pick berries dig roots and we..."

Sowiette replied, "I am the father of you all. I have always been a friend of the Americans Mr. Young he has never thrown away my friendship for the Americans. Superintendent Irish that is what everybody says of you. After awhile Brigham and the Mormons came here I saw him and he was my son my friend when I met Young we talked and understood each other. Me and my children the Utah's and Brigham and his children. When some of my children stole horses and acted bad did I break my friendship? No never. I do not want to see it. I am old my heart is very weak now but it is good."

hough the Timpanogos brothers signed the treaty, Mormon church leader Brigham Young never kept his promises. Congress never ratified the Spanish Fork Treaty as it bore the signature of Brigham Young. Still, the Mormons took hundreds of thousands of square miles of land and forced the Timpanogos onto the Uinta Valley Reservation, where nearly 500 died from starvation during the first winter. A year later, Sanpitch was murdered by Mormon Dolf Bennett.

See Timpanogos Biography