Tripp County, South Dakota

Changes to State and Fed Hiways through Tripp Co.

Supply Road and Telegraph Line That Crossed Tripp County

Supply Road from Landing Creek on the Missouri River to the Rosebud.

Transportation of Supplies.

The Indians continue to manifest great interest in the hauling of supplies from Rosebud Landing to the agency, a distance of ninety-two miles. They prefer this business to any other in which they might engage, for various reasons. While it is more remunerative, there is in fact fully as much labor connected with it as in other pursuits. The difficulties which present themselves to those engaged in this occupation are manifold. The road to the landing is devoid of timber; the western portion through sand hills; the eastern, though comparatively level, yet the soil over which they pass is of such a nature as to render it impassable for some time after a rain. True, the compensation paid for their services is liberal, but when we take into consideration the difficulties to be surmounted, the natural conclusion arrived at is, they fairly earned it. I have, yet to record a single instance where this agency has sustained loss through the carelessness or neglect of an Indian freighter; I repeat my assertion of last year, "that the government has not erred in its judgment of their fitness and qualifications for such a trust."

The competition of the railroad to the Missouri River at or opposite American Crow Creek will, as I made known in the conference of March last, soon demand as a matter of economy and convenience a change of base for the receival of supplies. I would again recommend to your most favorable consideration a removal of the warehouses designed for the convenience of Rosebud and Pine Ridge Agencies to the point indicated as a railroad terminus, which will obviate delays and insure a prompt receipt of all our supplies without any of the hazards of navigation.

Telegraph Line.

The line between Rosebud and Pine Ridge Agencies was opened in May last and will be extended to Rosebud Landing so soon as all the material arrives, which will make the length erected by this agency over 132 miles. The poles to the latter place are in position, and but little labor will be required to string the wire. The line will be of great benefit by reason of speedy communication on matters relative to the transportation of supplies.

[Report of the Department of the Interior, [with Accompanying Documents], page 111, by United States Dept. of the Interior,1882; submitted by RM, Tripp County Historical Society]

Tripp County Historic Early Journeys, Trails and Routes

Jedediah Smith in 1823 was along the White River on his way to the Black Hills.

August 1848
Father Pierre De Smet, enroute overland from Bellevue, Nebraska to Fort Pierre…passed through the area of the northeast corner of Tripp County.

August 1855
Lt. Governor Warren, on a military survey, passed through the County near present-day Witten, enroute from Fort Pierre to Fort Kearney on the Platte River. An historic marker on Highway 18 is near the line of travel.

June 1857
Lt. Charles Anderson on a military survey passed along the Keyapaha River, enroute from Fort Laramie (Wyoming) to Fort Randall.

June 1859
Lt. Col. John Munro, commanding the 4th Artillery, passed along the Keyapaha River, enroute from Fort Laramie (Wyoming) to Fort Randall.

The famous Gordon Party passed along the Keyapaha westward on their way to the Black Hills, building their stockade near Custer.

Map showing the Sioux-Cheyenne Country (Atlas of American History- Map No. 143) traces the Deadwood - Yankton Freight Road, which passed through the southern part of Tripp County between Rosebud Agency and Fort Randall.

Supply Road from Landing Creek on the Missouri River to the Rosebud and Pine Ridge Agencies…passed north of Brandon Springs which was a state roadside park five miles east of Winner.

A U. S. Land Office Map shows a military road between Fort Randall and Fort Robinson (Nebraska)…passed along the Keyapaha River. The Winner Advocate (November 21, 1963) in an article by Lee Jorgensen speaks of this military road in the area of the Turtle Buttes.

Old Freight Road from Dallas to Lamro and Winner, wagon tracks can easily be seen crossing the Winner Golf Course, especially on the sixth fairway.

In the summer of 1910, the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad began extending its line from Colome, and on July 4, 1911, the first passenger train came into the new town.

The State Highway Commission Map of this year shows the following numbered state highways: 44-to Wood and White River (off 55). 55---to Presho. 50---east and west across County. This was the Black Hills Sioux Trail from Sioux City to Hot Springs. Its polemarkings were black, white and orange stripes. At this time only three kinds of roads existed: graveled, graded, and unimproved trails. The 1917 legislature had established the Dept. of Highways. In 1938 the first hard surface highway crossed the state Highway US 16.

[Compiled by the Rev. Eugene W. Szalay, November 11, 1968; submitted by RM, Tripp County Historical Society]

Red Cloud protests plans to abandon the supply road through Tripp Co

The govt wanted to abandon the supply road through Tripp Co but the Indians were the freighters on the route and the following talks about their objections.

Why Mr. Price's Locks Are Attractive To The Red Man.

The object of Red Cloud's visit to Washington has leaked out in spite of the chieftain's reticence. It appears that an expression has gained credence among the Sioux that there is a large-sized Ethiopian in the ligneous repository denominated the Indian Bureau. For some time the members of the tribe at Pine Ridge and Rosebud agencies have been receiving their supplies from Rosebud Landing, an intermediary point. Indians have been employed to the number of 2,000 or 2,500 in this transportation service, and have learned to like teaming as a means of livelihood.

Commissioner Price has either completed a contract or is understood to have one under favorable consideration to transfer the base of supplies further up the Missouri River, and the work of transporting them to a company, in which, by the way, he is said to be more or less directly interested. This is the action which Red Cloud has journeyed so far toward the rising sun to protest against. The great chief may have been imposed upon, but the story told in the above short summary of the alleged situation is what he has got firmly planted under his feather ornaments and black locks. Mr. Commissioner Price's scalp is understood to be what the Sioux wants above everything else.

The above is from the Washington Daily Post of recent date, and is a good illustration of the recklessness of the daily press of this country, when dealing with grave questions, involving the reputations and rights of officers in the Indian service, and the Indians. It is unsafe for any reader to believe any statement of any daily paper, until it is confirmed by some writer who investigates the facts with intelligent and honest carefulness. This we have tried to do in this case. We called on the Indian office for the facts, and give them, on the authority of the Commissioner and his staff of clerks. If we are misled, the fault is not ours. In response to our questions, we were officially informed that formerly supplies for Rosebud and Pine Ridge agencies were shipped to Rosebud Landing, on the Missouri River, and hauled by Indians from that point to the two agencies. That the freight charges from New York to Rosebud Lauding, was 96 cents per hundred pounds, and that the Indian teamsters were paid $2.00 per hundred pounds for hauling them to Pine Ridge, a distance of 200 miles, and $1.00 per one hundred pounds for hauling to Rosebud agency, a distance of 100 miles. That recently the Fremont, Elkhorn, and Missouri River Valley Railroad, has been completed to Thatcher Station, 100 miles from Pine Ridge, and 50 from Rosebud. That the freight charges from New York to Thatcher Station by this railroad company, averages $1.15 per one hundred pounds; and the Indians are paid $1.00 per one hundred pounds to Pine Ridge, and fifty cents to Rosebud, respectively, which is the same rate per mile as before for freighting. This change involves an increase of 19 cents per one hundred pounds to the transportation company, and a decrease of $1.00 to the Pine Ridge, and fifty cents to the Rosebud Indians for their services, or a net saving of 81 cents in the one case, and 31 in the other, amounting in the aggregate to from $12,000 to $15,000 a year.

On the hypothesis that these facts are true, we approve the action of the Commissioner in making the change. We like to see the Indians employed to do, and paid for all work about the agencies, which is necessary to be done, and they can do. But we are not so partial to the Indians as to desire that goods be landed as far away as possible from the agencies, simply to give them employment as freighters. There is plenty of other work for them to do, and they should be taught how to do it, and encouraged in it by being paid for it. Father Wilber's plan of requiring the Indians to pay for all rations and annuity goods in labor on their own farms is excellent.

Having given the Commissioner's version of this vexed question of freights, we deem it proper toalso give what Red Cloud has to say about it. This old chief, whose memory is excellent and whose veracity has never been questioned by any honest man, is quite out of patience with the action of the Commissioner in regard to changing the contract about freights. He says: The treaty of 1868 fixes Rosebud Landing as the legal point for the landing of supplies for Spotted Tail's people and his, and that it is an insult as well as a wrong to change this without consulting and securing the consent of the Sioux. Secondly, that although Thatcher Station is nearer to his people than Rosebud Landing, the road to it is much worse; and, besides which neither at Rosebud Landing nor on the road is there any "fire water" to be had. Thatcher is full of rum-holes, horse thieves, and gamblers, and he is afraid to let his young men go there to get the supplies. He claims, also, that the price paid the railroad company for putting their goods down at Thatcher is $1.35, instead of $1.15, (which reminds us that the chief clerk of the accounts division of the Indian Office told us that the price ranged from $1.15 to $1.35,) and that this increase of 39 cents per hundred pounds on the price of bringing their supplies from New York is taken from the Indians and given to the railroad company.

[Submitted by RM, Tripp County Historical Society]

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