Rebecca’s body was wrapped in a few sheets before being placed on top of the wood. Finally, the Winters concealed her body with more wooden planks on top– constructing almost a coffin-like container.
William Reynolds, a family friend of Rebecca’s, was also present when she was laid to rest. He decided to bend a wagon wheel into the shape of a headstone in her honor before inscribing her name and age: “Rebecca Winters, Age 50.” Then, the Winters family continued on with their travels.
It was not until decades later when a railroad began running through that region of Nebraska, that surveyors actually stumbled upon the wagon wheel grave marker. They realized that a Mormon pioneer had been buried there and soon marked the area with a stone monument. In addition to the monument, a fence was later built around the grave, too.
And interestingly, after being rediscovered nearly a century earlier, visitors flocked in masses to see Rebecca’s grave during the 1990s. In fact, the resting place had so many visitors that the railroad even began to worry about their safety– since the grave was located quite close to train tracks.
So, after getting permission from Rebecca’s descendants, her grave was ultimately moved to a different spot located away from the tracks. And she is now honored within a small memorial park that is tucked away among the sprawling fields of Nebraska.
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