George Parago Sam, known to a lot of early Co-op members as "George the Indian", was part of the Northeastern Band of Shoshone Indians who lived in the Bear River area near Washakie, Utah. Washakie was named after Chief Washakie of the Shoshone tribe who played a significant part in Shoshone history.
In the 1860's, many white settlers in the Bear River area were sending complaints to Fort Douglas in Salt Lake City, of skirmishes back and forth between them and the Shoshone in the area. In 1863, the US Army sent soldiers to Bear River to respond to the complaints. They ended up massacring many Shoshone men, women and children in what has become known as the Bear River Massacre. George's father Pahragoosahd, was a survivor of the battles and one of the signers of the Box Elder Treaty signed in 1863 to end hostilities.
George was a grain farmer and a tribal leader for the Northeastern Shoshone. He spent a considerable amount of time working for the benefit of the Northwestern Shoshone and to maintain positive relations with other Shoshone groups and surrounding settlers.
George married a woman named Pompy-woritze and they had two children, Nookeyshem (1904 - 1916) and Rose (1906 - 1919). Both died young at 11 and 12 respectively.
In 1880, the LDS church established a Ward house in Washakie, Utah to serve Shoshone converts in the area as well as many of the white Mormon settlers. In 1931, Charles W. Kingston who was living in Idaho Falls felt impressed to go preach to the Native Americans at Washakie.
When Brother Charles spoke, many of the natives in the area heard his message, including George. Brother Charles spoke in English, but many of the Native American's in attendance approached him after the meeting telling him, they heard his message in their own language, and they believed his words to be inspired by God.
Years later in 1935, when men from the Co-op returned to Washakie on their way to Idaho for the Teton Trip, George was waiting for them saying he had been shown in a vision that men would arrive at a certain time and that if he waited for them, he would be able to join them.
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