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Welcome to North Dakota Genealogy Trails


North Dakota Biographies
(We try and put bios in with their respective counties, so check those websites as well.
This webpage is for bios of Native Americans, early settlers prior to statehood, or for those individuals who were government figures, or had some impact on the rest of the state.)




Source for some of these Biographies is:
"The Arikara Narrative of The Campaign Against the Hostile Dakotas, June, 1876;
O. G. Libby, Editor, Bismarck, North Dakota, 1920"

These have been transcribed for Genealogy Trails by Cathy Ritter

Others were Transcribed by Brenda Shaffe and Kim Mohler


Biographies for James Coleman -- Goes Ahead -- Little Sioux -- One Feather -- - Red Star -- Red Bear
--
Soldier -- Strikes Two -- Running Wolf -- Young Hawk 
Hon. Joseph M. Devine,  -  Gov. Frederick B. Fancher.  -  Judge Alfred Delavan Thomas,  -  Judge Charles J. Fisk,


Soldier
Soldier was born in 1831. His people lived in Arikara village next to the timber on the Missouri River. The chief of the village was then Dog Chief. The other village was called the village of the Easterners. His village was across the coulee from this one. Both villages were on the west side of the Missouri River (Grand River villages). Soldier was born in a winter camp, late in the fall, on a day when the Arikara and the Yanktonnais fought. Some of their houses were still incomplete, not yet being covered with earth. The following spring One Feather was born on the journey to the Pawnee country. Both villages were on their way down to the Pawnees in late 1832. They remained with this tribe three winters. The land of the Pawnees was called the country of the Broad River. Soldier was then four years old and he remembers that on their return one camp was made late because there was snow on the ground.
On this journey he saw a party of white men. They had long yellow hair, wore mustaches, carried guns and bows and arrows, were dressed like Indians, and rode horses. They had fine blankets and different kinds of corn and the Arikara traded robes for corn. Some of the robes that the Arikara had for trade were decorated with the sign of the cross. He remembers that the white men gave very much more corn for these robes for they said the cross was a holy sign that should be used only at death. The Indians and whites held a council and the whites said many more of their king were coming to the Indian country and they would not let Arikara have their medicine but they would use it to kill their enemies. The traders told the Arikara that they were their friends and would not sell their medicine to the many whites who were coming in, for the settlers would distribute it and kill many Indians. These traders came from the south. Soldier remembers the camp caller going about among the tents repeating the words of the traders regarding their medicine. This took place in the Black Hills country, and he remembers seeing here a large upright stone. The Arikara pushed on toward the Missouri River and they met before leaving it, the war party that had left them and they had three prisoners, people who lived in grass houses beyond the Crow Indians and the Black Hills country. These prisoners were two women and one boy. One of the women was named by them the Grass House Women. The boy was called Yellow Bird, and the other woman, daughter of the first, later married a white man, a laborer. This white man had came up the Missouri River in a row boat and he took his wife back down the river with him.
Late in the fall the Arikara arrived at Painted Butte across the Yellowstone. Here they wintered and in the spring they returned to the Missouri and spent the summer hunting with the Hidatsa at the Five Villages. There were two Hidatsa villages on opposite sides of the Knife River, or as they called it, Branching Creek. In the fall of 1837 they left the Hidatsa and made a winter camp on the west side of the Missouri River near Washburn. Here they were attacked by the smallpox and many of them died. Soldier was living at this time with his parents at the Antelope, or Upper Village of the Mandans. The smallpox spread from the Arikara camp to this village of the Mandans and here both of his parents and his sister died of the disease. After this Soldier was taken to the lower or larger (Fort Clark) Mandan village by his grandmother, his mother's mother, Skunk Woman. Here he had the smallpox when he was just six years old. To escape the smallpox many of the Arikara and Mandans went up the river and a number of them died on the way and the bodies were left behind them on the trail.
At the Fort Clark Village Soldier lived twenty-four years. Near this village on a little creek there was a trading post. The Indians called the trader Big Knife, and Soldier remembers him as short, slender, and good looking. The same year the trader married an Arikara wife, Lucky Women, daughter of Star and sister of Son-of-Star. At this same place there was a white doctor and he vaccinated some of the Indians, among them Sitting Bear and all of his sisters (children of Son-of-Star), and Chief Woman, Young Hawks wife. Gerard was interpreter for the doctor. That same year, 1837, a steamboat was reported going up the river and it landed near the village. There were other white men here also.
Soldier married an Arikara woman when he was twenty years old, and their two children died long after at Fort Berthold of the smallpox. The trader, Big Knife, died at Fort Clark and was buried there: The next trader was Dawson, but the Indians called him Big Knife also. His son, Bear's Arm, and his daughter, Anne Snow, are both still living.
After Dawson, Gerard was the next trader at Fort Clark. A short distance up the river there was at this time an Hidatsa village. In 1838, the trading post was abandoned and the traders moved up to Fort Berthold. Soldier remembers that the cause of the abandonment of the Fort Clark trading post was a quarrel between the Dakotas and Gerard's clerk, and that the Arikara sided with the traders. Soldier saw the traders get on their loaded boats and go up river to Fort Berthold, and the same year the Arikara were invited by the Hidatsa to come up the river. For some time after this the Arikara had to go up to the post to get supplies and it was very inconvenient. Some time later the Arikara moved up the Missouri River and camped near Expansion. The next day they moved over to Fort Berthold. This was before the building of the two Arikara villages opposite Fort Berthold. White Shield led this band of Arikara and Soldier lived here in a round house until the village broke up.
He remembers seeing a miner's boat with some men, one woman, and two children come down the river. One of the men had a long beard and they all landed and made a fire on the bank and then went up to Gerard's store where they stayed for the night. This was the same year that the soldiers fought the Dakotas at Bismarck (Sibley's Expedition, 1863). Gerard told the Arikara that he tried to make the men in the boat stay six or seven days till the Dakotas got across and away from the Missouri River, but the leader of the whites, the man with the beard, said they would go right on. Afterwards the Arikara reported that they had heard shots down the river and they told Gerard. He sent Soldier and Howling Bear to go down the river and find the boat. He told them that the gold was in skin sacks in each end of the boat. "If you find the boat," he said, " look in the end, there is a little door, and there is the gold. If the Dakotas find the gold they will throw it away for they do not know what it is." Some of the other Arikara heard that Soldier was going and Red Bear ( not the present one ), Bull Head, and Bull Neck came in and said they were going too. One other Indian went also. They went down the west side of the river for they were afraid of the Dakotas. Gerard gave them a nugget of gold so they would know what to look for. He promised the two Arikara that if they found the gold, Howling Bear could have the best horse he had and Soldier could go to his store twice and pick up what he wanted.
When they crossed the Knife River they killed one of the herd of buffalo for food. Here they stayed all night. The next morning they started on foot and camped near the mouth of Heart River. Then they went toward the Missouri and saw many horse tracks. On the other side of the river they saw a small raft which the Dakotas had probably used in crossing. They put their clothing and guns on a raft and crossed by pushing and pulling it. On the other side they found many of the rafts used by the Dakotas. They left their clothes on the raft and took their guns. Soldier and the other Indian stayed behind. Presently they heard the others call that they had dead bodies on a sand-bar. The bodies were naked and looked white as paper. They lay about one and one-half miles upstream from where the Northern Pacific bridge now stands. The current ran on the west side and the bodies lay on the lower end of the long sand-bar with the slack water between them and the east bank. As Soldier came down the bank he saw holes in the river sand where the Dakotas had thrown up breast-works. One was large enough for four or five persons, the others would hold only one. Out on the sand-bar upstream from the dead bodies, he saw in the largest rifle pit an empty coffee-pot and something that showed yellow when the wind blew the sand up. He called Howling Bear, who had one of the gold nuggets Gerard had given them, and with this they concluded that they had found the gold, but Howling Bear said nothing, he simply gathered up the gold into the coffee-pot. Where they found the gold, the Dakotas had cut open the sacks and poured the gold out in a heap on the sand. Afterwards Howling Bear cleaned the gold by holding it in a shallow pan in the swift current of the river. After Howling Bear left the place, the other Indians came and dug and got a little in their own hands, but Howling Bear persuaded them to put it all in his sack. The Indians took turns in carrying the gold back to Fort Berthold. They put it all into one sack about twelve inches long and Soldier remembers that it weighed about as much as a sack of flour. All this gold they gave to Gerard as he was the only trader at the fort.
After gathering up the gold they all went over and looked at the bodies of the white men. They were slashed with knives but not scalped. There were nine or ten of them all thrown together and Soldier judged they had been dead about five days. They saw just the top of the tepee in the timber on the east bank of the river and heard afterwards that it contained the body of a Dakota killed in the fight with the white men.
Soldier was a member of various secret societies of his tribe, passing from one to the other as he grew older. Among them were the Crow Society, Foolish Dog Society, Black Mouth Society, and last of all the Buffalo Society, of which he is still a member. In 1904 he was made chief by the Arikara and he was presented with a chief's war skirt by Dog's Backbone, who had resigned. The later had received his chief's war shirt from the former chief, Soup. Bear's Teeth, Strikes Two, Standing Soldier, and Sitting Bear are the other Arikara chiefs who are entitled to wear these shirts.
While he was on a hunting trip about 1854, many Dakotas chased the party into the woods near Dickinson, on a creek running north. Many of the Arikara were killed and Soldier was shot clear through the upper chest on the right side. Many other Arikara were wounded and the ten who were killed were buried in the ground. With the party were also Mandans and Hidatsa and one trader, grandfather of Peter Beauchamp. The trader on this hunting trip had a wagon which he abandoned on the chase and the wheels were chopped to pieces by the Dakotas. Soldier was so badly wounded that he made part of the return trip on a travois.
Soldier's family : Grandfather, He Holds-the-Enemy-Back; father, Bear's Arm, born about 1767, died at Fort Clark, 1837; mother, Assiniboine Woman, born about 1787, died 1837; uncles, Many Bears and Angry Horse; brother, Good Day.



Strikes Two
Strikes Two was born in 1844 at Fort Clark Villages. His father was Arikara Chief and his mother was Young-Woman-Village. His father's father was Holding Medicine, and his mother's father was Old Elk. His father's mother was People-They-Know-Her, and his mother's mother was Old-Woman-Mist. His mother died of cholera (1851) and his father died at Fort Berthold in 1901.
They left Fort Clark in the fall of 1861 and wintered in two parties, one four miles from Bear's Belly and one just below William Fighting Bear's place in the bottom and farther up the stream. The lower camp was without a head, for all the chiefs were in the upper camp, where there were also some Mandans and some Hidatsa. Before the ice broke in the spring, all the Arikara moved down the river and built two villages across from Fort Berthold. In the fall of the same year they crossed the river and joined the Fort Berthold Village, after they had been attacked by the Dakotas, who camped near their village, to trade for corn. That winter they all camped at L'eau Qui Monte with a few Assiniboines. This was the year the Dakotas attacked Fort Berthold and were beaten off by Gerard and his white men, Pierre Garreau, Dawson's son, Hair-On-Upper-Lip, one mulatto, and the following Arikara, Hidatsa, and Mandans, who remained there without their families:
Arikara: Black Road, One-Horn-Wandering, Paint, White-Face-Bear, Young Fox, Bull Neck, Strikes Enemy, Rough Horn, Spotted Horse, Weasel Tail, He Hawk, Bull Head, Stabbed.
Hidatsa: Snake Cane, Hay Wolf, Hard Horn, Pan, Many Bears ( he took the news to L'eau Qui Monte), Pointed Knife.
Mandans: White Bear, Leggings, Bald-Headed Eagle, Bad Gun.
One day Many Bears and Strikes Enemy were trying to sneak up on a herd of antelope near the present graveyard at Fort Berthold. Strikes Enemy saw the Dakotas coming, and ran back without telling Many Bears, who escaped the Dakotas and gave the alarm to the camp at L'eau Qui Monte. The whole camp then moved back to Fort Berthold and remained the rest of the winter.
In 1872, Howling Bear, an Arikara and chief of scouts at Fort Lincoln, rode to Fort Berthold for recruits. He went to the lodge of Son-of-Star and told him what he wanted. The chief called a feast and Howling Bear made a speech for volunteers. Sitting Bull and Picketed offered themselves as leaders and Howling Bear left with these two Arikara to recruit at Fort Berthold and went to Fort Lincoln. The third was Lean Bear, and the other scouts were Strikes Two, Enemy Heart, Bull Neck, Four Rings, Elk Face, White Eagle, Skunk, Paint, Afraid-of-No-One, Pretty Crow, Elk Tongue, Wolf Looking, Buffalo, Bull-Walking-Through-Village, Bravest Man, Skunk Head.
This was in the fall, either in September or October. They went in bull-boats down to Fort Lincoln on the hill. They took in their boats corn balls, ears of corn, guns, and blankets. They hunted on the way down and the trip took three days. When they arrived they found that the Dakotas had attacked the fort four days before and had killed five Arikara. They were shown where their comrades had been killed for they had lain close together and the blood was dried and cracked in the sun. Red Bear and Paint had gone out on duty in the morning and the Dakotas had attacked them suddenly. Red Bear was overtaken and killed but Paint got back to the fort. Boy Chief then rushed out to avenge his father's death and was killed close to his body. The other Arikara killed were Crow Tail, Spotted Eagle, and Ree-Standing-among-the-Hidatsa.
When the scouts from Fort Berthold reported for duty their commander t they were to be examined the next day. Early the next morning they went out to look for the Dakotas. Red Wolf overtook Strikes Two and gave him his horse. Strikes Two rode out with a few others who had borrowed horses from the older scouts. The Dakotas meet them and killed Strikes Two horse and one of them dashed up and struck the horse. Then Strikes Two got behind some rocks and shot at the Dakotas. He was wounded in the right leg just above the knee by a bullet from a shell loaded by a Dakota. Standing Soldier (Young War Eagle) put him on his own horse and took him back to camp. Elk Tongue and Wolf Looking, two Arikara scouts, who were fighting on foot, were killed. When the white soldiers saw the Arikara fall back, they went out and drove off the Dakotas.
Strikes Two's wound was first cared for at camp by three Arikara women, Fighting (War) Woman, White Woman, wife of soldier, and the wife of Bear's Arm. War Woman took part in the fight at the fort after Red Bear was killed. She Lived by herself and she was the mother of Bull, companion of Red Star during the Custer campaign of 1876. She lived at the camp and did work among the soldiers. Her son, too young at first to scout, lived with her. Bear's Arm was her nephew. War Woman and White Basket Woman helped Strikes Two to cut the bullet out of his leg. The doctor advised that the leg be cut off but the other Arikara did not like this and they sent him home on horseback. All the new recruits went back with him. He had to camp on account of his wound and all winter he limped about on canes.
Strikes Two was married in 1876 after his return from service, and his wife is still living with him after thirty-six years. He did not reenlist as a scout. Chief Scab-on-Eye was one of the agents at Fort Berthold and the scouts afterward saw him on Powder River as an officer of the infantry.


Little Sioux
Little Sioux ( One Wolf, earlier name) , was born at Fort Clark, in 1857. His father was Small Brave, a Dakota, and his mother, Young Holy Woman, an Arikara. His grandfather, his mother's father, was Black Crow, and his grandmother was an Arikara. He remembers the white trader at Fort Clark, Going-on-side; he was a half-breed Pawnee. He was trading in opposition to F. F. Gerard and his trading post was a short distance north of the Fort Clark Villages. Little Sioux was four years old when the Arikara came up to Fort Berthold from Fort Clark in the fall of 1861, and the tribe wintered down the river from Heart Camp, four miles above the present home of Bear's Belly.
He was young when his father died, but old enough to work at the time of his mother's death. They both died at Fort Berthold, where they lived in a round house. His brother was Red Wolf (Red Brush) and his two sisters were Young-Calf-Woman and Young-Bird-Woman. He was married in 1874 at the age of eighteen to his first wife, Young-Big-Horn-Woman.
In 1875, both he and his brother enlisted at Fort Lincoln on the hill. After the Custer fight, his time expired and he went up the river on a steamboat as hunter with the Northern Pacific survey. There were at this time but a few soldiers at Fort Lincoln. The surveyors began work at the Yellowstone and they met the graders at Taylor, east of Dickinson. Little Sioux was gone all summer and was back by winter. He received for the season's work $160, besides board and lodging. There was one other Arikara hunter with him, Charging-up-the-Hill. The total number of animals he killed was one hundred five, mostly black-tailed deer. Among them was one buffalo, a few antelope, and five or six mountain sheep. Charging-up-the-Hill killed one hundred six. They brought the game in on pack-mules.
When these two hunters returned in the fall they went out again with a party of twelve white men who were getting deer to ship east. With the party were two hunters on hunters on horseback, and the rest carried the camp outfit in three sleds drawn by horses. They went up the Heart River from Madan and were gone three weeks. Little Sioux killed six deer and Charging-up-the-Hill killed nine. They received $25 a month for their work.
The next summer Little Sioux was mail carrier on the route from Fort Berthold to Fort Yates. On the trip he crossed the river by ferry at Fort Lincoln and stopped at Fort Rice. It took two days to make the entire trip, which included the regular stop at Fort Lincoln. He carried mail from 1878, received $25 per month, and rode his own pony. He received besides this, feed for his horse and drew regular rations from the government. He used to stop at Joseph Taylor's woodyard, for Taylor could talk Pawnee. Near Pretty Buttes lived Long Feet and his wife, and Little Sioux stopped there sometimes. A wood-chopper named George lived above Joseph Taylor's place, the Arikara called him Humped-Back.
In 1882 Stabbed was hunting in the Little Missouri Bad Lands with a party. He went out after dark to look after the horses and a Dakota shot him and ran off all the horses. At this time Little Sioux was at Fort Lincoln and saw white soldiers leave it. When he heard of his uncle's (Stabbed) death he went at once to Fort Berthold. The murder was reported to the agent at Fort Berthold, an old man called Soft Neck, and the Dakotas and the horses were finally located on the Rosebud in South Dakota. The next summer an equal number of horses were returned for at this time the government did not allow the Indians to make war on each other or to steal horses, The traders at Fort Berthold were called White-Man-Who-Talks-Sioux and Big Nose.


Young Hawk
Young Hawk was born in the spring of 1859 at the winter village of the Arikara just below Mannhaven. His father, Forked Horn, was a Custer scout and died in 1894. He was born about 1815. His mother, Red Corn- Silk-Woman, was born in 1835 and died in 1911. Her father was Wolf-Skin-Arrow-Sheath and her mother was named Eagle. Young Hawk's early name was Striped Horn, then Crazy Head; Young Hawk was his uncle's name. This uncle was a very brave man and when Young Hawk first enlisted at Fort Lincoln, his father had his name changed to Young Hawk. At the time Red Bear's father was killed, Young Hawk was present and fought. He was then only thirteen years old and he was not an enlisted scout, but his father was so proud of him that he named him Young Hawk. He was on the Black Hills Expedition with Custer.
On this trip Charley Reynolds and Bloody Knife were scouting the trail and the wagons got stuck at a high cut-bank where there were many trees. Custer asked whose fault it was and , Reynolds said "Bloody Knife's." Then Custer drew a revolver and shot at them several times, and they saved themselves by dodging behind trees. When Custer put up his pistol, Bloody Knife came to where he sat on his horse and said, " It is not a good thing you have done to me; if I had been possessed of madness, too, you would not see another day." Custer replied "My brother, it was the madness of a moment that made me do this, but it is gone now. Let us shake hands and be friends again." So Bloody Knife agreed and they shook hands.
On another occasion, during Custer's march from Fort Lincoln to the Yellowstone in 1876, Custer had ridden ahead with a scout in search of a trail. When the rest of the command reached a place where the roads forked, no one knew which way Custer had gone. Some one asked Custer's Negro servant, Isa, which road to take and he chose the fork in the road in the other direction from the one taken by Custer because it was a very good road. When Custer and his scout returned he found that the whole command had not halted but had taken the other road. Red Star was at some distance scouting among the hills, but as he rode into camp he saw Isa on his knees before Custer, who was cursing him furiously, while the darky was crying and begging for mercy. The next day as a punishment Isa had to go on foot all day.

Red Star
Red Star (Strikes the Bear ) was born in 1858 at Fort Clark. His father, also Red Star, was born at Fort Clark in 1828 and died at the same place in 1860 or early in 1861. His mother, Woman-Goes-Into-Every-House, was born at Fort Clark in 1831 and was killed with her five-year-old-daughter by the Dakotas at the Arikara village opposite Fort Berthold. When the Arikara village at Grand River was fired upon by soldiers using cannon in 1828, some of the Arikara went down to the Pawnees and some went up to the Mandan village at Fort Clark. The Family of Red Star's mother went north; her father's name was Man-That-Drives-Horses-Away. Red Star, who was born at the Cannon Ball village, the one the soldiers fired upon. His grandfather, White Geese, was son of Star, and the father of Big Star was Looking-for-Kettle. His older brother, Red Willow, about ten years older than Red Star, died when fifteen years old at Fort Berthold. His sister, Owl Woman, was eight years younger than Red Star. She died at Fort Berthold at the age of twelve. The three children went to their grandmother, Spotted-Corn-Stalk, and his father's sister, Omaha Woman, whose husband was Sweat or Little Bear.
Red Star began to look after his uncle's horses when he was about nine years of age. At night the horses were kept in the front part of the lodge, twenty-five or thirty of them, tied to the rail at the right or left of the door, and one-fourth the way around the circle of the house. The women cut grass or bark of young cottonwood limbs and twigs in May, June, and July to feed the horses in the lodge. Red Star slept on a scaffold of four poles built two feet from the ground. The bottom of the bed was made of round willow poles laid crosswise, interlaced lengthwise by three willows and the whole was firmly bound together with rawhide. He had a bear-skin robe under him and a buffalo robe for cover.
Red Star's government record began when he was eighteen years old. When Boy Chief and Goose brought up the letter from Fort Lincoln asking for two more scouts, Red Star went along to serve. In this group were Young Hawk, Running Wolf, Strikes-the-Lodge, Charging Bull, Little Brave, Stabbed, Howling Wolf, One Horn, One Feather, Bull-in-the-Water, Tall Bear, and Strikes Two.
At Fort Lincoln they found Bloody Knife, Soldier, Bob-tailed Bull, No Heart, Bear, Red Wolf, Buffalo, Curly Head, and Owl. Red Star got his outfit and took the oath like the rest. They camped near the soldiers. At Bismarck they saw a few little houses and some stores but he saw no soldiers, only the buildings where the soldiers had been. They crossed the river on a steamboat. He had never been on a boat before. Here orders were given them for a day and a night by an officer. Gerard was their interpreter. This officer in charge of the Arikara scouts was Peaked Face ( Lieutenant Varnum), and his orderlies were Bloody Knife and Bob-tailed Bull. They received their orders standing in line. Bloody Knife stood by Varnum at this time and Bob-tailed Bull stood in line with the rest of the scouts. Their first order was that a man who did not get up was to go without his breakfast. The scout who did not help the cook by getting water and wood when called upon was to go without meals. The scout who got drunk was punished by losing his horse and by being compelled to go on foot. Forked Horn and Black Fox volunteered to cook and the Indians chose them for that work. The cooks were not to go on scout. If the cook did not get up at call then someone else took his place. The guards called the cooks in the morning. As sentinels three of the scouts were detailed to go to the highest points as long as they were in camp but at night one of these sentinels was to come down and guard the horses and the other two remained at their post. Scouts on night duty did not come in until noon of the next day. All the scouts were inspected by an officer early each morning and anyone found asleep was compelled to go on foot during that day's march. Gerard told the scouts that they did not need to drill. Roll was called at night just before bed-time. On the march, the roll call was always taken on horseback, and Arikara were not satisfied until they learned the reason why.
Red Star was on police duty for three years, from 1898 to 1901. His name was changed from Strikes-the-Bear to Red Star at the advise of Big Star, after the Custer campaign. Paint was the name of the man who performed the ceremony of giving him his new name. Red Bear got his father's name at the same time. Part of the ceremony was the offering of sacrifices and gifts to Mother Corn and these were afterwards given to the singers in the sacred lodge.
One fall Red Star and Bear's Belly went out hunting bear. They tracked one bear to the river and across the sand up to a cut bank cave. They went to the entrance and looked in but could see nothing. Then Red Star took a stick and poked about and at last felt the bear but could not stir him. Bear's Belly went up the bank to the other entrance and seeing the bear's head shot at him. He sank out of sight and the two men crawled into the den about eight feet and began poking about to find whether the bear was dead or alive. At last they found him dead, and Bear's Belly and Red Star had hard work dragging the bear out of the cave for he was large and very heavy. Bear's Belly took the head and skin to use in a ceremonial dance. In order to use this skin he was compelled to drag it home by means of thongs fastened to his own flesh. Red Star cut two gashes in Bear's Belly back and fastened the rawhide thongs as is done in the sun dance. Red Star went on ahead after doing this for his companion and left him to drag the hide painfully the whole way home. When Red Star reached camp with the load of bear's fat he told the old men that Bear's Belly was dragging the hide and head into camp, and several of them went out to help him whenever his load got caught on the edges of the cut banks over which he had to drag it. They did not come into camp till the next day.
One day a bear's cub was brought into the Arikara village by a hunter. It tried to get milk from a woman but she did not know what it wanted and drove it away. Then at last a woman came into camp with a nursing boy and the cub went to her and pulled her dress with its claws, and she guessed what it wanted. She nursed him with the boy. The boy is now Yellow Bird. The bear grew up and was sold down the river on a boat.
A man rode first in a buffalo hunt and was first to fire at a buffalo while the other Indians waited for him. He buffalo turned quickly and charged and threw the man off his horse by catching him with his horns. The buffalo then turned and catching the man again tossed him in the air. The horse was standing close by waiting for the man to mount. The buffalo tried to gore the man but the horse sprang at him and caught him with his teeth near the ear and the two animals fought, the horse biting and striking with his fore feet. At last the buffalo got clear and killed the horse with his horns. The man was saved and they kept the head of the horse in the village because it was unusual for a horse to attack a buffalo to save his master.

Red Bear
Red Bear was born at Fort Clark in September, 1853. His father, Red Bear ( Red Man ), was killed in 1872 at the Fort Lincoln fight described by Strikes Two. He was born 1793 among the Pawnee. His mother, White Corn, was born in 1837 at Rock Village, a mile above the present town of Expansion on the Missouri River. His grandfather, Red Man's father, was Bear Above. His grandfather, White Corn's father, was a white man, a trader at Rock Village. His grandmother, Red Man's mother, was yellow and she died at Rock Village. His grandmother, White Corn's mother, was Pretty-Stalk-of-Corn, who died at Fort Berthold when it was still a village, about the breaking up time.
Red Bear's early name was Handsome Elk, given to him by Chief Owl, at his father's request so that he might live a long time and become famous. His father gave Chief Owl two large buffalo robes and a pile of dried meat. Then according to tribal ceremony the old man took the boy up on his own lodge in view of all the village when he was about six years old, and had the boy hold his scalp stick upon which hung an enemy's scalp. Then Chief Owl prayed to all the gods and last of all to the Great Spirit, that the boy might grow to be a good and brave man. He called to the boy to grow up a brave and get a scalp and fight for him, his godfather. Then he pressed the boys two feet together and down on the ground by taking hold of his ankles. Next he pressed his shoulders down, then his head with one hand, and finally he passed his hand upward from the boy's feet to his head, meaning for him to grow up a good man. Then he called upon all the people to witness that the boy was to be called Handsome Elk. The sun was near the horizon when the ceremony was completed, and the old man stood facing it. It was still and his voice carried far to all the listening village. This was a special ceremony performed only for the children of leading men.

Immediately after his father's death, Red Bear passed through the sun-dance torture in order to be his father's representative. He enlisted at Fort Stevenson in 1872 but returned home on account of sore eyes. His second enlistment was at Fort Lincoln, already described in the narrative. At Fort Stevenson there enlisted with him Yellow Horse, Red Chief, Little Soldier, and Little Brave. ;At the time of these enlistments the barracks at Fort Stevenson were just completed. He enlisted at his father's request, and his half-brother, Boy Chief, had already been taken to Fort Lincoln by his father.
He married Shell Woman in 1876. They were separated after two years. In 1883 he married Pretty Goods. They were separated also and he married one of Sitting Bear's wife's name, as at that time only one wife was permitted by government regulation. Sioux Woman was this wife's name and she died in 1890. Later in 1896, he married Julia Bull Neck. Red Bear was made judge of the Arikara by Agent Jermark in 1915. He visited Washington in 1910 with Enemy Heart. Alfred Bear was their interpreter. He got his pension in 1911, through the efforts of Congressman Hanna.

One Feather
One Feather was born in the land of the Pawnee, on the southern trip described by Soldier, in 1832, and remained in that country until he was five years old. He recalls that on the journey to Fort Clark by way of the Rosebud and Yellowstone rivers a bear came through their camp. A baby in her cradle lay in his path and he bit her. The child survived but she was known when she grew up as Broken or Crippled Child. She was killed by the Dakotas at the crossing of the Knife River near the present village of Hidatsa.
One Feather's father was Blue Bird, his mother, Young-White-Girl, and his grandmother, Young-Woman-Ahead. His father and mother both died of cholera at Fort Clark in the summer of 1851.
The Hidatsa and Mandans sent eight horses and a peace pipe to ask Arikara to come up to Fort Berthold, and they did so under the command of White Shield, Charging Bear, and White Horse. At the head of the Hidatsa delegation was Poor Wolf, and the Mandans were led by Crow's Heart (not the present one). They wintered at the Heart Camp and in spring they crossed over the Missouri and built two villages.
One Feather became a warrior at Fort Clark and went on his first war expedition under the command of Soldier. About this time he suffered an attack of smallpox. He enlisted at Fort Stevenson in the second contingent of scouts. He was at the Custer fight and crossed the Little Big Horn at the lower ford and made his way through the timber and reached Reno's camp by climbing the steep intervening ridge.
One Feather was married first in Fort Clark village, giving for his wife a mule and a dressed elk skin. She died of measles on the journey from Fort Clark. Later he married, at Fort Berthood, his second wife, a woman of mixed blood (Arikara and Dakota).

Running Wolf
Running Wolf was born at Fort Clark Village in the winter of 1856. His father was Gun-Pointing-to Breast, and his mother was Chief-Woman-Village. His mother's father was The-Only-Crow-Head. Both his parents had smallpox at Fort Clark in 1837. He just remembers the Dakota attack upon the two Arikara villages opposite Fort Berthold. He also remembers a fight between the Dakotas and Arikara in the timber near the Fort Berthold villages.
His first enlistment was in 1876, for a period of six months. This was all his service in the United States Army. His first fight with the Dakotas was at the present site of Kasmer, Mercer county. He was then eighteen years old. The grass was just coming up in the springtime when three hundred Dakotas came to the bank and offered to fight, and the whole village, even some of the women, went across. It had been a long time since the Dakotas had come. Five Arikara, Bear-Turning, Bear-Going-in Woods (wounded in U.S. service as scout), Little Crow, Standing Bear, and Black Shirt were killed. . Foolish (Alfred Chase's father), a Mandan, was killed also, but no Dakotas were killed.
Running Wolf was married at sixteen to Young-Red-Calf-Woman. The first winter after they scattered from Fort Berthold, his mother died. Murphy was agent there at the time. His father had died much earlier at Fort Berthold. He was a member of the War Dance Society, now exiting, before he was sixteen; at that time its head was Chief-White-Man.

Goes-Ahead, Crow Scout
Goes Ahead was born in 1852 on the Platte River, where the timber was very big. The Crows had smallpox and he was born in a party fleeing from this country on account of smallpox. His father's name was Many-Sisters. His mother was called Her-Door. His grandfather was White-Ear-Bear. At twelve he stole two horses during a raid to the Dakota country, near Forsyth. He was the first one to get back home. He fasted first at the age of twenty-two and celebrated his first sun-dance at the age of twenty-three, and carries the scars on his shoulders. His medicine was a coyote hide given him by his father-in-law. He once fought the Utes in the western country. He was never in Canada, but knew the country well south of the Black Hills.
He recalls that about 1873 a party of white men went through his country fighting with the Dakotas. They had pack horses, picks, and shovels. They were fine shots and killed many of the Dakotas and took scalps. They wore war-bonnets and they gave some to the Crows, who were friendly. Among the men were four called Yellow Mule, Crooked Nose, Big Nose, Liver Eater. The two first named talked Crow language very well and they were trappers and hunters in the Crow country.

James Coleman
In the year 1872 Wilson and Dickey were post traders at Fort Lincoln. Major Dickey of this firm was the man for whom Dickey County was named. Their store was located at the ferry landing and James Coleman and George Harmon were clerks. The bookkeeper was a man named Perkins. Jack Morrow of Omaha was interested in the store.
James Coleman and John Smith went up the river on the Far West. This was the boat which met the army at Powder River, and it was commanded by Captain Marsh. On the boat were Captain Baker, and Company B of the Sixth United States Infantry. General Terry and one orderly were on board also. When the expedition reached the Rosebud, Terry restored Custer to his command.
John Smith was appointed post trader for the expedition, for Custer knew and trusted him. He had been post trader at White Clay, South Dakota, and had made fifty thousand dollars there. Most of this sum was used to clear his brother at Yankton, who had killed a Negro in a quarrel. John Smith bought about a hundred mules and did work hauling at the new post at Fort Lincoln. The store was at the mouth of the coulee and the mules were kept on the north side in dugouts. Most of the goods were taken on at Fort Buford, where Joe Leighton and W. B. Jordon were post traders. At the close of navigation the goods were freighted to Glendive and Miles City (Fort Keogh).
At Powder River Coleman was put off for a few days to sell liquor. Just a shelter tent was provided for the goods with partitions of canned goods separating the men from the officers. Canteens were filled only on a order from the captain. They held three pints and the liquor was sold at $1 a pint. No gold was used at all and the currency was in denominations of twenty-five cents and upwards. They received the liquor in forty-five gallon barrels and the finer brands were in bottles packed in casks. When the army moved the traders followed, going by boat to the mouth of the Rosebud where they again sold liquor. Then they went back to the mouth of Tongue River, where Miles City is now, and Coleman has lived ever since.
Smith made over a hundred thousand dollars before he left Miles City. At Bozeman he had a liquor palace, but the murder of a gambler at a card game in his place ruined him. He was later in Yellowstone Park selling liquor to the soldiers, and he died a pauper in a Sisters' Hospital at Billings, Montana, in 1904 or 1905. His son, Raymond is in the Interior Department, Washington, D. C., and was called Buckshot. According to Coleman's report, the expedition netted forty thousand dollars from June to December, 1876.
After Custer's defeat, Coleman was on the boat with Terry at the mouth of the Little Big Horn, when Curly appeared on the east bank, a little above the mouth. He was lower than the boat. Curley held up his hand with a rag in it, and they waved him aboard. He wore a cloth about his head, a black shirt, a breech-clout, and moccasins. He came on board by the gang plank. Coleman saw Curly make one sign, the sleep sign, once. Then a crowd of officers and men cut off his view. George Morgan, a squaw man (he had a Crow wife), who had a woodyard near Muddy River, east of Buford on the Missouri River, translated Curly's signs and speech. He reported that Curly said he had crawled two miles wrapped in a Sioux blanket; that Custer's command was wiped out, and that Reno was in great danger. Terry s sent word to Gibbon and Coleman saw a big dust following this relief column. After a while the soldiers arrived with mule litters of the wounded. One mule was hitched in front and one behind. Coleman stayed at the camp at the mouth of the Little Big Horn and sold supplies.
Steve Coleman, a second cousin of James Coleman, was at Fort Randall in the United States army. He also carried mail from Yankton to the agency, and from Randall to Sully. He returned to Sioux City, Iowa, and recommended James Coleman for the position as watchman on boat the government boat Miner, under Captain Hawley. This was in 1868, when he was twenty years old.; his duties were to watch on the boat after it was tied up, and call the mate and steward. The government was then building the fort at Fort Stevenson and at Berthold there was a village and trading post, also an agent named Courtenay. On one trip he remembers seeing soldiers at Fort Buford and a post trader named A. C. Leighton. Coleman went as far as Fort Benton, and returned to Sioux City on the June rise, the trip having taken six weeks. He saw both Reno and Benteen at Fort Rice in 1876.


Hon. Joseph M. Devine, lieutenant-governor of North Dakota, was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, March 15, 1861, a son of Hugh E. and Jane (McMurray) Devine, the former a native of Ireland, the latter of Virginia.  His father was educated in Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, and became a professor of botany.  In 1830 he came to the United States with his parents and settled in Virginia.  His death occurred at Wheeling in 1885.  In his family were five sons, two of whom are now residents of North Dakota.

In West Virginia Joseph M. Devine grew to manhood, and was educated in the common and high schools of the city of Wheeling and afterward graduated in the classical course at the State University.  The following year he came to North Dakota and located in La Moure county, where he followed farming for one year and still owns land, to the cultivation and improvement of which he yet devotes a part of his time and attention.
In 1886 he was elected county superintendent of schools, and most acceptably filled that office for ten years.  He was made state lecturer for the schools in North Dakota in 1890 and still fills that position.  He was made chief clerk of the fourth session of the legislature; in 1896 was elected lieutenant-governor and re-elected in 1898.  He filled the office of governor from April, 1898, to January 1,1899, after the death of Governor Briggs.  His various official duties have been discharged in a most commendable and satisfactory manner and have gained for him the confidence and respect of all.
In 1896 he was elected one of the delegates to the republican national convention held at St. Louis, and was made one of the vice-presidents of that convention; also appointed one of the committee to notify the president of the action of the committee.
In 1897 he was made vice-president of the National Sound-Money League, which position is still held.  In this capacity he has written several articles upon finance, which were published and copied extensively in eastern papers.
His work in behalf of education in North Dakota has been potent and far reaching.  Much of the state’s general system of education is due to his untiring efforts.  In his capacity of state lecturer he has delivered many addresses on educational, literary and historical subjects, which have been received everywhere with popular approval and have been extensively commented upon, both in this state and others.
Since casting his first presidential ballot he has been an ardent supporter of the men and measures of the Republican party.  At the age of twenty-two he left North Dakota and, at the special request of the Republican state executive committee, stumped his native state in the interests of the presidential campaign of that year.  As a campaign speaker he is among the best in the west; his style been unusually clear, forceful and eloquent; his arguments always comprehensive and yet compact.  Truth, passion, conviction and good judgment are the qualities that have made his public utterances powerful and effective.  He believes what he says and his heart is always in his words.  As a lecturer on literary and historical subjects he is always in demand, and, perhaps, in this field appears at his best.  Instructive, interesting and entertaining, with a richness of illustration unsurpassed, and with a knowledge of the subject matter always full and complete and that evidences the hard student that he is.
Socially Mr. Devine is a thirty-second-degree Mason, a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the kingdom of Pythias.
[Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Brenda Shaffer]


Gov. Frederick B. Fancher.  In studying the lives and characters of prominent men we are naturally led to inquire into the secret of their success, and the motives that have prompted their action.  Success is oftener a matter of experience and sound judgment and thorough preparation for a life work than it is of genius, however bright.  When we trace the career of those whom the world acknowledges as successful and of those who stand highest in public esteem, we find that in almost every case they are those who have risen gradually by their own efforts, their diligence and perseverance.  These qualities are undoubtedly possessed in a large measure by the gentleman whose name introduces this sketch, and added to these is a devotion to principle that may well be termed the keynote of his character.

Governor Fancher was born in Orleans County, New York, April 2, 1852, a son of E. Tillotson and Julia A. (Kenyon) Fancher, also natives of that state, as was the grandfather, Richard Fancher, who spent his entire life there, engaged in agricultural pursuits.  The father followed farming and stock raising in New York until 1867, when he moved to Washtenaw County, Michigan, and made his home there until going to Washington, D.C., in 1880, where he now resides.  In his family were only two children.
Governor Fancher was reared on the home farm and was educated in the common schools and in the State Normal of Michigan.  In 1871 he went to Chicago, where he was engaged in fire underwriting until coming to North Dakota in 1881.  He took up a claim in Stutsman County, proved up the same and engaged in farming for some time, making a specialty of wheat.  He also managed farms for other parties.  In 1889 he organized the Alliance Hail Association, of which he was president for six years and was also president of the board of trustees of the North Dakota Hospital for the Insane for the same length of time. 
In 1874 Governor Fancher married Miss Florence S. Van Voorhies, a native of New Jersey, and a daughter of John J. Van Voorhies.  Socially our subject is a prominent Mason and a member of the Mystic Shrine.  Politically he has always affiliated with the Republican party, and has taken a very active and prominent part in public affairs, doing all in his power to insure the success of his party and advance its interest.  In 1889 he was elected to the constitutional convention of North Dakota, and made president of the same.  In 1892 he was nominated for insurance commissioner and was defeated, but in 1894 he was re-nominated and elected and re-elected in 1896.  Two years later he was the nominee of his party for governor and elected to that office, which he is now so creditably filling.  Never were the reins of government in more capable hands, for he is a progressive man, preeminently public-spirited, and all that pertains to the public welfare receives his hearty endorsement.
[Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Brenda Shaffer]


Judge Alfred Delavan Thomas, deceased.  That which records in perpetuity the names and the memory of great men, and secures to history the deeds that shape the course and policy of a state or nation, is a treasure valued by all who stand for purity and high attainments in the public service.  A life history of the late Judge Thomas will add luster to the brightest pages of the Dakotas, where the last twenty-three years of his life were spent, Fargo being his home from 1878 up to the time of his death, in 1896.

Judge Thomas was born in Walworth county, Wisconsin, August 11, 1837.  His parents were Salmon and Elizabeth (Stowell) Thomas, both native of New York, and his grandfather, George Thomas, was born in Connecticut.  Judge Thomas had two sisters and one brother --- the two sisters are now living.  In New York Salmon Thomas was a large land-owner, and in 1835 removed to Walworth county, Wisconsin, where his integrity and personal worth soon brought him into prominence.  He served in the legislature of that state in 1847 and 1848 and was recognized as one of the leading public men of the state.  He died in Walworth county September 27, 1887, and his wife died June 27, 1896.
Alfred D. Thomas grew to manhood in his native state, and received an unusually good primary education.  He graduated from the Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, in the class of 1861, and was soon after elected district attorney of his home county of Walworth, Wisconsin, serving for six years.  He began the study of law with Hon. Alanson H. Barnes, of Delavan, Wisconsin, and finished his preliminary studies in the office of Butler & Cottrell, of Milwaukee.  He devoted his entire attention to his profession as a lawyer, and being a great student, he continued after his graduation to pursue a course of self-education, and thus to equip his mind with these powers which afterward asserted themselves so effectively in the high duties he was called upon to discharge.
In February, 1877, Judge Thomas visited Dakota, intending to locate at Fargo, but accompanying Judge Barnes and other friends to the Black Hills, he there met Senator Hearst, who formed so favorable an impression of his acquirements and natural gifts that he offered him the position of regular attorney for the Homestake and other mining companies of California in which the Senator was interested.  In this capacity he was associated with, or pitted against, such men as Colonel Henry Thornton, of San Francisco; Judge W. H. Clagett, of Idaho; Judge William Fullerton, of New York; Judge William C. Kingsley, of Denver, and Judge Bennett, of Salt Lake City, and during the five years of his professional services to these companies he proved himself at least the peer of these brilliant lights of the profession in the west.  In 1883, he returned to Fargo and entered the practice of his profession there, but his fame as a lawyer and a man of integrity had reached far beyond the borders of his state, and in 1889 President Harrison appointed him United States district judge for the district of North Dakota.  His known ability and peculiar fitness to deal with the judicial questions and conditions of the west added greatly to his labors, and he was called in the federal courts at St. Paul, Topeka, Kansas City, Little Rock, Denver and various other points.  His zeal for the service of his country was only equaled by his capacity to perform the duties of his high station.
Judge Thomas was a man of genial nature, and his popularity was not a matter of wonder.  His warm-hearted manner, combined with high attainments and force of character, won him friends and admirers wherever he went.  While performing the stern duties of a federal judge, he was still a man of genuine sympathy, and while upholding the dignity of the law, mercy was ever made a substitute for severity where the latter quality was not absolutely essential in the administration of justice.  In his private life none could be purer, more sympathetic, more lovable; and in his face were registered the kindly, generous thoughts that sprang from the heart of a noble man.  This narrative is for all to read, but in its lines, as in the features of his sympathetic face, only those of the little circle encompassed by his best love can read the inexpressible depths and truths of his life story.  His death occurred August 8, 1896, within three days of his fifty-ninth birthday, surrounded by his family and friends, at his home in Fargo.  His remains were taken back to his old home, Delavan, Wisconsin, where they rest in Spring Grove cemetery.
Judge Thomas’ domestic life was a particularly happy one.  He was married to Miss Fannie E. Barnes, daughter of A. H. Barnes, who was for eight years associate judge of the territory of Dakota.  The marriage ceremony took place at Delavan, Wisconsin, in October, 1864.  Mrs. Thomas died November 5, 1898, in Fargo, where their two daughters, Mrs. Lulu Thomas Wear and Mrs. Dr. C. E. Wheeler, reside.  Their only son, Alfred B. Thomas, is a resident of Duluth, Minnesota.
[Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Brenda Shaffer]


Judge Charles J. Fisk, of the first judicial district of North Dakota, is one of the most prominent men of the state and although a young man, has gained the confidence of the people whom he serves. His career as a lawyer started in North Dakota and he has ever been among the earnest workers for the advancement of the state and his fellowmen.
Our subject was born in Whiteside county, Illinois, March 11, 1862, and is a son of Clark A. and Delia E. (Reynolds) Fisk, natives, respectively, of Pennsylvania and Vermont. His father was a farmer and removed from Pennsylvania to Illinois in 1836, where he took up government land and resided there until his death. Our subject has one brother, Frank E. Fisk, of Bottineau, North Dakota.
Charles F. Fisk was reared and educated in Illinois, and attended the Northern Illinois College of Fulton, after which he taught school and read law at Morrison, Illinois, in the office of Woodruff & Andrews. He came to North Dakota in 1886 and settled at Larimore, where he was admitted to the bar in 1886 and was associated with W.H. Fellows, deceased. He continued at Larimore until February 1, 1889, when he located in Grand Forks, and was associated with Judge Cochrane, Tracy R. Bangs and George A. Bangs, at different times. He was elected to the bench in 1896 and is now ably filling the office of judge of the first judicial district of North Dakota.
Judge Fisk was married, in 1886, to Miss Ida M. Myers, who is also a native of Illinois. Two daughters have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Fisk, as follows: Helen and Doris. Mr. Fisk is a member of the Masonic fraternity, the Elks, the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen of America. He has filled minor offices in his profession as city attorney, etc., and is widely known as a man of much influence for good in the community. He is a stanch Democrat and a firm believer in the idea of free silver. He stands high in his profession and is a young man who deserves success. On June 19, 1900, he was nominated for a second term by his own party and June 23d was placed in nomination for the same office by the Republican judicial convention.
[Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Kim Mohler]





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