Iron Cannon Ball
William Chase Harrison was born in London, England on September 29, 1852. He was the son of William Harrison and Esther Porter Harrison. His mother died when he was just nine months old.
In January of 1856, he sailed on the ship Caravan with his father and two sisters and 454 other Saints for America.
They lived in several places while trying to earn enough to get to Zion.
One day his father went into town to get some food, but he came running home saying, “Hannah here comes the last boat of the season. It leaves at 6 o’clock for Omaha. You Pack a few things while I go see the captain.”
The captain said, “Yes sir, you can go, not for money, but for work; I am short of men. But no women or children can go on this boat because we carry the Union Flag. The enemy is trailing us, and we may go down any minute.”
Just how Mr. Harrison managed to get the family on the ship, no one ever knew. But they all got to go and they took with them very few supplies.
On the ship, Mr. Harrison and his son was talking to one of the engineers and William was standing nearby. As the ship rounded a bend a shot was fired from an unknown source. The cannon ball, 5 1/2 pounds in weight, hit tearing off part of the door jam and the piston of the propelling arm of the engine. The cannon ball fell into the engine pit, where William Harrison found it. He kept it and brought it across the plains to Utah.
He later settled in Payson, where he died in January of 1936.
The cannon ball was donated to the D.U.P. Museum and is on display at the Payson City Center. Call to schedule your tour (801) 465-2469.
This Cannon Ball was collected by William Chase Harrison and carried accross the plains to Payson, Utah in the late 1800’s.