There really was an "Indian Annie," and there really was an "Indian Jannie." They were two Indian orphans who became fascinating women in the early histories of two northern Utah towns.
However, because of their similar names and backgrounds, the details of their lives have at times been interchanged and confused.Indian Annie was a prominent part of Farmington's history, while Indian Jannie played a role in Cache Valley's beginnings and also the history of Hooper, Weber County.
Both women are buried in their respective city cemeteries, though Jannie's grave lacks a proper marker.
The focal point over the confusion of the two Indians involves their similar orphan origins: They were survivors of Indian-U.S. military battles.
Jannie - Jane Hull Riley - lost her family in the famous Bear River Massacre of Jan. 29, 1863. By one report, she was one of two surviving female children on the battlefield, located 12 miles north of Franklin, Idaho.
As many as 368 Shoshones may have been killed in that one-sided Bear River battle with U.S. Army troops. (Indian casualties vary considerably, according to different reports.)
Jannie was found after the battle by William G. Hull, the main non-military observer of the fight, and taken to the home of his parents, Thomas and Mary Benson Hull, in Cache Valley.
The other child, about 9 months old, was badly injured with eight wounds and died shortly after the battle.
Jannie - or Pasoats, her Indian name - carried six scars from the battle.
Two other young survivors, both boys, were adopted by area families, but one died at age 4 and the other around age 20, with little known about them.
Jannie feared Indians for a long time, but she eventually helped settlers avoid various Indian confrontations and problems.
When her foster mother died in 1876, she went to live with the William G. Hull family in Hooper. There she met and married George Heber Riley. The couple had 10 children. Jannie died in 1910 at age 51.
Meanwhile, Annie - Ida Ann Rice Wilcox - was not a survivor of the Bear River Masacre, despite some historical reports to the contrary. She was orphaned at about 7 months old in a separate and obscure Indian battle fought in the summer of 1863 - the same year as the Bear River Massacre - in the Salmon River Valley of Idaho.
Details on that Bannock Indian-U.S. Army battle are sketchy, but the bodies of many Indians - including women and children - were found in the area.
Annie was found crying and clinging to her dead mother's body by freight hauler William Rose and a companion a few days after that battle.
Rose took Annie to the Leonard G. Rice home in Farmington, where Mrs. Rice instantly fell in love with the child. Eventually, the Rices gave Rose a pony in exchange for the Indian orphan.
Annie helped her new family by working for neighbors. Her needlework, wreath-making and singing talents and her kindness and cheerfulness were her trademarks.
She married Jonathan Wilcox and homesteaded some 200 acres in what is now known as Little Valley, on the hillside above south Farmington. They grew strawberries, raspberries and many fruit and walnut trees on the property and had fish ponds.
Annie had eight children. She's portrayed as one of Farmington's greatest women in city history books. Annie died of pneumonia in 1922, at about age 59.