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قراءة كتاب Some Pioneers and Pilgrims on the Prairies of Dakota Or, From the Ox Team to the Aeroplane

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Some Pioneers and Pilgrims on the Prairies of Dakota
Or, From the Ox Team to the Aeroplane

Some Pioneers and Pilgrims on the Prairies of Dakota Or, From the Ox Team to the Aeroplane

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
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THE OLD SOD SHANTY ON THE CLAIM, NEAR ARMOUR, S. DAK.


An interesting story is told of the long extended Indian pow-wows and the fiery harangues on the part of the chiefs before they finally relinquished their ancient camping ground and the graves of their fathers on the present site of Yankton. The government had made tempting offers in the way of regular rations of food, blankets and many other commodities, not to speak of money and large reservations of land to be guaranteed for the exclusive possession of the tribe. These immediate benefits and creature comforts made a powerful appeal to the common crowd among the Indians. This faction was led by Chief Struck by the Ree, who was friendly to the Whites. The other chiefs, however, many of whom were shrewd and able men and thought with their heads rather than, as the crowd did, with their stomachs, keenly realized what the little act of signing this treaty involved. They saw that it meant that when they should fold their tepees and journey westward this time they could never return. They knew that it meant the final abandonment of their immemorial hunting grounds and the beautiful camping site of Yankton with the graves of their fathers, to the pale faces who would come in like a flood and once in they could no more be turned back than the tides of the sea. In many and prolonged councils these chiefs, such as Smutty Bear and Mad Bull, had pressed upon their people these and other considerations against the signing of the White man's treacherous papers. With burning words of appeal, now to this motive now to that, with stinging rebuke of those who would so lightly sell out their birthright and ancestral heritage, as well as that of their children and the unborn generations to come, they spoke with an eloquence which seemed for the time to stir and elevate even the craven spirits of those who had favored the treaty. But just at this point, when it looked as tho the treaty would be rejected and the Indians would stay where they were, a government boat carrying large supplies of food and other desirable commodities whistled down the river. The word was soon passed that these treasures would be taken up the river some thirty miles to their new home near the present site of Springfield, and be distributed to the Indians in case they would now vacate and carry out the treaty. The temptation was too great. All the oratory was forgotten in the prospect of food, clothing and glittering spangles. There was no more argument. The tepees with strange and significant rapidity and universality began to come down and get loaded. The travaux, loaded with the whole household belongings and also in some cases with children, began to move silently but surely toward the West, heading for the rendezvous appointed by the steam boat people. Deserted by their people, the chiefs, realizing that they were face to face with an irresistible tide and were fighting a hopeless fight, followed their people with sad and bitter spirits as they all trekked toward the setting sun, never more to return to the rich valley and far-flung prairies of the lower Missouri. Before the vanquished and vanishing Indian had gotten out of sight over the hills the eager White man was moving in.







CHAPTER IIToC

The Second Coming of the Norsemen to America


It is now quite generally conceded that Leif Erikson and his party, as also other adventurous spirits of Iceland and Norway, visited these shores half a thousand years before Columbus. The second coming of the Norsemen, or the immigration to America from Norway in any considerable numbers, began about 1840. Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and the Dakotas, about in the order named, came to receive this large influx of the hardy Norsemen. Wherever they went they took their full share, and more, of helping to build the railroads, fell the forests, subdue the prairies and build a Christian civilization.

The first settlement of considerable size in South Dakota was, as far as we can learn, made in 1860, between the James river and Gayville. Other settlers followed in the succeeding years, spreading out over the bottom and later up on the prairie to the north. Among those who came to the vicinity of Yankton in the decade of 1860-70 we would mention the following: Ole Odland, '62; Ole C. Pederson, '66; Lars Hanson, '66; O.L. Hanson, '67; Ole Pederson, '67; Nec. Hanson, '68; Lars Bergsvenson, '68; Andrew Simonson, '68; J.M. Johnson (Irene),'68; Ole Bjerke, '69; Ole Lien (Volin), formerly of Brule, Union County, '68, with his sons Charles and Edward Lien; Jorgen Bruget; Christian Marendahl, '67; Nels Brekke, '67; Peder Engen; Gunder Olson, '68; Haldo Saether, '69; Sivert Nysether also came about this time.

Iver Bjerke and Mark Johnson appear to be the first native born children of the Scandinavian immigrants in this part of the country, both being born in '69. However, Ole Jelley of Clay County holds the honor of being, not only the first child born of Norse parents in the state, but of being, as far as is known, the first male white child born in South Dakota. He was born March 2, 1860.

Others who came in this period were Ole Skaane, '69; C. Freng, '69; J.T. Nedved, '68; G. Gulbranson, '69; P.J. Freng, '69; Halvor Aune, '69.

In the next decade, 1870-80, we find these well known names: I.S. Fagerhaug (Irene), '70; O. Kjelseth and two sons, George and C.J. Kjelseth, '70; Ole Lee (Aune), '70; O.P. Olsen, '70; A.O. Saugstad, '70; O.J. Anderson (Irene), '70; H. Hoxeng with his sons Thore and Jens, '70; P.J. Nyberg, '72; J.J. Nissen, '72; John Aaseth, '72; Peter Carlson, '72; the Bagstad brothers, Iver, Mathias and Emil; and Hans Helgerson, '74; John Gjevik and Lars Aaen, '75.

The settlement in Clay Creek was begun a little earlier than Turkey Creek, or about '69. Among those who first broke the virgin sod there were O. Skaane, O. Gustad, H. Hagen, and his son Albert, the latter also sharing the honor with B.B. Haugan of breaking the first furrow of the sod in Mayfield Township. Then there were Benjamin Anderson, Peter Olaus, R. Olsen, A.O. Saugstad and Fredrik Aune.

It was at the beginning of this decade, 1870-80, that the settlement of the Turkey Creek Valley was begun by I. Fagerhaug, S. Hinseth, Halvor Hinseth (1870); and Ole Solem; Jens Eggen to the south, and John Rye to the north end of the valley.

We are aware that this list of early settlers is far from complete. No complete list could be made at this time, as many of them are long since gone and forgotten. We hope, however, that this is fairly comprehensive, and should we meet with enough favor to warrant another edition of this memorial, then, by the help of some of our readers, we may be able to gather up some of the missing names which ought to be included. In such an edition there should also be a record of the children, boys and girls, of these first settlers. This would be of more interest and value in the years to come, as a matter of reference, than we can now realize. To be able to prove by the records that we came from one of the "old families" of first settlers may be an object a hundred years from now.

On the adventures, hardships, struggles and triumphs of these first Norse settlers on the Missouri bottom we cannot dwell, nor do we have much available material, as there are not many left now to tell the story. There were Indians as in the Massacre of '62, when Judge Amiden and his son were killed near Sioux Falls.

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