Old Ephraim: The Legendary Grizzly of the Bear River Range: Old Ephraim’s Skull

Array ( [0] => SCA student intern )

Old Ephraim’s Skull

The Boy Scouts who retrieved Old Ephraim’s skull, ca. 1923Pictured are Ezra Cardon, Alma Burgoyne, Harold Rosengreen, Lester Dunford, Fred Hodgson, Henry Daines, Herbert May, and Horace Bunce.  
(USU Special Collections & Archives, Logan Boy Scout Troop 5 photograph albumP0364, Box 1, Sheet 15)

Old Ephraim’s skull, or what’s left of it, completed a long and complicated journey to reach USU’s Special Collections & Archives. Portions of the upper skull are missing, perhaps because, as the legend claims, Frank Clark fired the last shot into the bear’s head, shattering the bone. He also burned the carcass before burying it, further damaging the skull. A few months after the bear’s demise, Clark told the story to Logan Boy Scout troop #5. Afterward, the Scouts decided to dig up Old Ephraim’s remains and retrieve the bear’s head. After drying out the skull, they sent it to the Smithsonian, which confirmed that it was that of a grizzly and gave the Scouts a check for $25.[1] In 1966, Cache Valley Boy Scouts erected a granite monument at the old gravesite to commemorate Old Ephraim’s death.

The Monument

Photographs of the Monument and Gravesite

Ephraim’s Return

[1] Newell J. Crookston, The Story of Old Ephraim (Logan, UT: 1959), 13–15, 979.2524 C882, General Book Collection, Utah State University Special Collections & Archives, Logan, UT: accessed July 12, 2019, http://digital.lib.usu.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/Ephraim/id/110/rec/21.
[2] Peggy Boss, “Smithsonian gives in: Old Ephraim returns after 60 year in Washington,” Student Life, (Utah State University, Logan, UT), May 02, 1978, accessed July 12, 2019, http://digital.lib.usu.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/Ephraim/id/70/rec/43.