Filed Under Native Americans

Chief Sagwitch Timbimboo

In the mid- to late-1800s, when the Mormon pioneers came to the Utah territory they found the land its resources already occupied and used by various groups of Utes, Paiutes, Northwestern Shoshones, Goshutes, and Navajos. For Northwestern Shoshones, Cheif Sagwitch Timbimboo stood as a beacon for his people to follow during these early years of encounter, conflict, and negotiation.

Chief Sagwitch was born in 1822. As a boy, he honed his skills as a hunter and a speaker. He spent time with fur trappers and was well suited to be chief. Sagwitch was already a chief of the Northwestern Shoshone by the age of twenty-five when Mormons settlers came to the Utah territory. Sagwitch met the new leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Brigham Young, and welcomed him and the rest of the Mormons into the area.

Sagwitch became friends with Brigham Young and did what he could to keep the peace between the Shoshone and the Mormons/settlers. Tensions grew and in January of 1863, Colonel Conners of the U.S. Army took his men and attacked the Shoshone who had camped at the Bear River for winter. Chief Sagwitch’s group was among them and was one of the few survivors. Sagwitch sought help for his people from Brigham Young and found aid from the Mormon Church, which Sagwitch later joined in 1875.


Sagwitch Timbimboo
Sagwitch Timbimboo A photo of Chief Sagwitch and his wife. Source: From Find a Grave. "Chief Sagwitch Timbimboo," available at
Sagwitch Timbimboo Grave
Sagwitch Timbimboo Grave A photo of Chief Sagwitch Timbimboo’s tomb. Source: Douglass, Penny G.A., from Find A Grave. “Sagwitch Timbimboo,” available at


2400 N 8600 W Washakie, Utah | In field on Washakie Ranch, Mountain Rd., sign on fence


Spencer Thomas, Brigham Young University, “Chief Sagwitch Timbimboo,” Intermountain Histories, accessed July 22, 2024,