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Posthumous Profile – Leland Oxnam

by Jennifer Jones
Reading Time: 2 minutes

On the 16th of May 1941, l4-year-old Leland W. Oxnam and two of his friends decided to pack lunches and hike to Waterfall Canyon in Ogden. They set out around 9:30 am and made their way up the trail through the steep and rocky terrain.

While the views they saw of Ogden in 1941 were certainly much different from the picture I took recently, they still undoubtedly were amazing. From this viewpoint, the whole city of Ogden can be seen sprawled out below, you can even see a little of the Great Salt Lake.  The terrain was rugged, but they were young, in good shape, and had the invincibility of youth on their side.

Once the boys arrived at the waterfall, Leland decided to try climbing the side of the mountain. While the rocks look stable, it doesn’t take much to loosen some of them. Leland managed to make it about 100 feet up the cliff when one of the rocks he stepped on slipped out from underneath him and Leland was unable to regain his balance.

He fell to his death at the bottom of the waterfall. His two friends immediately went for help, and found some workers near the bottom of the trail. They returned to see if they could help Leland, but he was already gone.

Leland Wayne Oxnam was buried in the Ogden City Cemetery on May 18th, 1941.

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