Nineteen-year-old Alvah Unthank was one of a group of young men who left Newport, Wayne County, Indiana, for the goldfields of California in 1850. On June 23 the wagon train passed Register Cliff, south of Guernsey. There Alvah inscribed his name: A.H. UNTHANK 1850.
In the early evening hours on June 28 the party made camp here by the North Platte River on account of the sudden sickness of Alvah. On June 29 a family friend, Pusey Graves, wrote: "Lay by today to doctor and nurse Alvah. June 30 Alvah getting worse it's quite hopeless complaining none. July 1 Alvah rapidly sinking. July 2 in the early morning hours Alvah died." Cholera has taken its toll.
Graves wrote: "Alvah lay clam bore his suffering patiently and uttered not a murmer or groan. Bid his father to be of good cheer. His child has paid the great debt of nature. Procured a large neat headstone. Solomon Woody carved the inscription." At noon Tuesday, July 2, 1850, the solemn task of burial took place.