Major Howard Egan Family Foundation

Sailor Rope Maker Captain in Nauvoo Legion Bodyguard to Joseph Smith Mormon Battalion Envoy Captain of the 9th 10 of the original 1847 Pioneer Vanguard Company Gold Rush Trading Post Owner Trail Blazer Cattle Drover Major in Utah War Pony Express Rider & Superintendent of Line from Salt Lake to California Stage Station Owner Friend & Missionary to Indians Salt Lake City Policeman Bodyguard to Brigham Young
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Egan Experiences: “Father’s Indian Doctor”

Egan Experiences: “Father’s Indian Doctor”


While Father was out west on the mail line one hot spring-like day before the snow had melted, he had his eyes burned so bad that he was completely blinded and could not stand the least bit of light, and although he kept them bandaged with dead tea leaves, they did not seem to get any better.

After a couple of days of misery, two Indians came to the station where he was. One of them asked one of the men, Egan sick?” The man said, “Yes, eye sick. No see. Snow no good.”  “Me see Egan.”

image002The man told Father that there was an Indian there that wanted to see him. “Well, let him come in.” He did so. The Buck came up close to Father and said, “Big sick?” Father said, pointing to his eyes, “Eyes big sick; you savey fix them.” He had hardly got the words out of his mouth when the Indian jumped and caught Father’s head in both hands, and at the same time pushing the bandage out of the way, placed his mouth over one eye and set to sucking with all his strength.

Father said he thought the buck would suck his eve out, if not his brains too. He tried his best to push the Indian off, but he only stayed and sucked the faster. But just be­fore Father had made up his mind to choke him off, the Indian stepped back a little and spit up as much or more than a tablespoonful of blood. After a little rest he said, “Fix more?” Father said, “Fix little, eye big sick.” “Alright, little fix.” But when he got fastened to the other eye he worked just as hard as before, with the same result, Father trying to push him off, but no go, he was after the blood and he would not let go till he got it.

After about one hour the buck said, “A little more fix eye?” Father said as his eyes felt to be considerable better, he thought he could stand a small dose of the same medicine, and told the fellow, “Fix little bit.” Well, he did, but with just about the same force. When he got through he said, “Big Chief see all right two days,” which proved true. In two days after the operation Father joined the pack train and went to Salt Lake, his eyes perfectly cured of snow blindness. He says he would sooner stand the Indian treatment than to suffer any length of time without it. There was no pain after the dose, but plenty and very severe before.

SOURCE:  Major Howard Egan events, told by his son, Howard R. Egan. Pioneering the West, pg. 216.


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