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 Old Ephraim

Old Ephraim

Birth
Death 22 Aug 1923
Utah, USA
Burial Logan, Cache County, Utah, USA
Plot From Logan, Utah, Hwy 89 to trailhead Logan Canyon's Lodge Campground. Approx 6 miles to wash and grave monument.
Memorial ID 4027 · View Source
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Utah Folk Grizzly Bear. The legend of this rogue animal began after it was deemed the grizzly bear was extinct in the state of Utah eliminated by hunters both for sport and a nuisance. In the early part of the 1900's, this bear was already legendary because of his rampaging in a wide area between Utah and Idaho, especially the Cache Forest region of Utah. Dubbed with the moniker "Old Ephraim" after a P.T. Barnum story about a bear that terrorized a California town, he was the curse of ranchers and sheep farmers for killing livestock. Trappers and hunters pursuing him, spread tales of the immense size of the bear which grew to unbelievable proportions while possessing a cunning dexterity for escaping traps and gunshots after being struck by hunters. Even President Theodore Roosevelt, an avid hunter became aware and interested in hunting the animal but the exaggerated tales of his size swayed the President in ascertaining such a bear was all imagination. Frank Clark the claimant of bagging the bear was a sheepherder with Ward Clark Co. He rendered a colorful written tale of the bear and the epic final battle...I had hunted the bear relentlessly for over ten years. He was 10 feet tall with a weight of a half ton. After placing a trap near my camp, my sleep was interrupted by a huge roar. Upon determining Old Ephraim was caught by his front paw in the steel jaws of the trap and with a 25-35 cal. carbine in hand, I confronted the frenzied bear who was now on his hind legs commencing to charge. "I was able to unload six of my seven rounds but Old Ephraim continued to advance," said Clark. "I gave him the last bullet directly in the brain, just in time," he further uttered. The animal was skinned, the pelt kept and the remainder thrown in a fire in an attempt to incinerate. The mostly bone was then buried in a shallow excavation and marked with telltale stones. Clark regaled many eager listeners of his exploit. Souvenir hunters soon found the grave, vandalizing and taking what they wanted. Ultimately a scout troop finished the dissemination of the corpse and took the remaining skull selling it to the Smithsonian Institute. Their only interest was determining it was a grizzly as its researchers were of the belief the animal was extinct in the entire west. The scouts erected a handsome marker nearby in the bottom of a wash. The so called grave is at best a cenotaph or memorial to Old Ephraim. Legacy...Today, all that remains is the skull which is on display at Utah State University, Logan, in Merrill Library, Special Collections reading Room resting in a glass case. The Smithsonian Institute had determined the skull was that of a grizzly and based on skull measurements its realistic weight would be around 550 lbs. The age was estimated by slicing a fang and by counting the rings indicating the skull came from an animal less than 10 years of age. However, the bear received the distinction of being the last grizzly in Utah. Many books and periodicals have been penned. An interesting but highly embellished and exaggerated book, "Old Ephraim: Story of the Grizzly Bear Who Lived in the Cache National Forest" was published in 1953 by Frank Clark, the man who finally trapped and brought down this troublesome bear ending his life. The tale of hunter Clark with Ephraim and the famed hunting expedition is reenacted each year at the Cache Valley Festival of the American West. In a bit of trivia...The slayer of Old Ephraim, sheepherder Frank Clark died in 1960 and lies in Malad City Cemetery, in Malad, Idaho, his hometown.

Bio by: Donald Greyfield


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 20 Nov 1998
  • Find A Grave Memorial 4027
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Old Ephraim (unknown–22 Aug 1923), Find A Grave Memorial no. 4027, citing Cache National Forest Gravesite, Logan, Cache County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .