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Manuscripts - ND Oral History Collection - 10157 - Sioux County

Sioux County

Region 3
1 Mrs. May Hinton, Selfridge 0866A & B
2 Mr. Si Umber and Mr. Henry Arndt, Selfridge 0867A & B
3 Mr. Jim Gayton and Mr. and Mrs. Henry Gayton, Selfridge 0869A & B
4 Mr. Albert Cerney, Selfridge 0870A & B
5 Mrs. Jack (Clara) Ramey, Fort Yates 0871A & B
6 Mrs. Bernice Henderson, Solen 0872A & B
7 Mrs. Gladys Zahn, Fort Yates 0873A & B
7a Frank Zahn (copy of an old tape recording), Fort Yates
8 Judge William L. Gipp, Fort Yates 0875A & B
9 Mr. Leo Cadotte, Fort Yates 0876A & B
10 Mr. Bert Gwyther, Cannonball 0878A & B
11 Mr. Charles Goodreaux, Rural Shields 0879A & B
12 Mr. and Mrs. Forrest Otis, Bismarck 0881A & B

Tape #1 Mrs. May Hinton (Selfridge)(Nelson County)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Her college education; Her father’s newspapers in Nelson County; Social life and celebrations in Aneta, ND; Family life
152 – Support for the NPL in the Lakota area
166 – Her father’s newspaper business; Family history
236 – Nationalities and early settlers in the Aneta area; Family history; Her teaching jobs in North Dakota
452 – Teaching in Lignite; North Dakota in the 1920’s
568 – Her husband; Her family
592 – Hard times in Shields and the friendliness of the town; The 1930’s; Contemporary Selfridge
722 – Side Two
736 – Teaching in Shields during the late 1930’s
775 – White relations with Indians in Shields
815 – Memories of Frank Fiske and other old timers
960 – Changes she has seen in Indian culture; Indian schools; Mistreatment of Indians by the US Government regarding land allotments; Sioux County in general
073 – Her husband’s family history
124 – First impressions of Shields
148 – WPA projects in Shields; white-Indian relations and intermarriage; The 1930’s
226 – Obtaining telephone service; Delivering mail and groceries by airplane; Improving area roads
290 – Teaching school and serving as Sioux County Superintendent of Schools
444 – End of tape

Tape #2 Mr. Si Umber and Mr. Henry Arndt (Selfridge)
000 – Introduction
020 – Their family histories and homesteads near Shields, North Dakota; Arndt’s purchase of land and cattle from Ott Black; Recollections of Mustache Maud
119 – Early cowboys in the Sioux County area
157 – White relations with Indians in the early 1900’s
190 – Grazing cattle on open range; Bad snowstorms
220 – Arndt’s family history and homestead; His schooling
253 – Umber’s family history; Work at his uncle’s livery stable; The blind pig in Shields; Poker games and colorful characters in early Shields; Businesses in early Shields
377 – Cattle breeds in the area; Sheep ranchers; Stores in early Shields
441 – Early settlers in the Dog Tooth Creek area
483 – First post offices in the Sioux-Grant County area; Traveling to Mandan to purchase supplies
582 – The flu epidemic of 1918
620 – Hard times in the early 1900’s on homesteads and ranches; Anecdotes about various families; Anecdote about sleeping in a livery stable; Recollections of a Negro family
857 – Comments on white-Indian relations
888 – Failure of the Shields Bank
930 – Side Two
950 – Observations on modern society and New Deal Programs
205 – Their children
220 – Making a living during the 1930’s
260 – Comments on the American Indian Movement
272 – End of tape

Tape #3 Jim Gayton and Mr. and Mrs. Henry Gayton
000 – Introduction
020 – Story of his father’s trip west
037 – His mother’s Sioux background and father’s employment at Fort Rice
059 – His father’s wood yard at Glen Avon bottom
079 – Story of why his father moved his wood yard
104 – Father’s woodcutting operation
121 – Family moves to Horsehead Bottom or Gayton’s Landing
139 – Gaytons take cattle across Missouri
156 – Steamboat recollections; Captain Massey’s bullet wound
187 – Gaytons get thirty-two sections in Sioux County
211 – Murder of Andy Marsh’s wife; Father’s work arrangement with men; Cost of staple foods
250 – Trading policy with Indians
260 – Identifying and taking possession of family land; Living quarters for family
288 – Government food supplies for Indians
301 – Indians get food, presents, citizenship, and taxes
337 – More on family history; Parent’s deaths; Family divides up cattle; Sell cattle in drought
425 – Jim’s railroad and farming experiences; Weather conditions
447 – Hunting experiences; Father’s buffalo stories
528 – Horse stories
584 – Wild horses; Horse and cattle rustling; Ott Black; Moustache Maude; Disease testing in horses
694 – Homesteaders come to Sioux County; Big farming operations on prairie; Present leasing practices
781 – Bismarck-Winona Stageline; Route and drivers; Early Bismarck
945 – Steamboats on Missouri River; I.P. Baker; Wool Warehouse
995 – Weather and Missouri River; Coyotes; Weather changes by animal behavior
030 – Recent bad storm; Cattle losses
076 – Jim’s first marriage; Second marriage
124 – Railroading; Digging up graves at Fort Yates
180 – Frank Fiske; Fiske family; Mrs. Henry Gayton reading about Fort Dilts Expedition
247 – People around area in earlier days; Sitting Bull; Francis Zahn
318 – Baseball recollections from area; Joe Day – Pitcher
404 – Rodeos and fairs in region; Mrs. Henry Gayton reading about baseball team; More on team
498 – 30’s; Hoppers and dust; Thistles and hay; Cottonseed cake
586 – WPA work; Making it through the 30’s
713 – Ground water in area; Move on WPA work
782 – Churches; Early family feud
850 – End of tape

Tape #4 Mr. Albert Cerney (Selfridge)
000 – Introduction
020 – Immigration to Sioux County from Czechoslovakia in 1911; His work on a farm in Oliver County before coming to Sioux County in 1915
146 – His farm north of Selfridge; Building his shack and barn; Working on the Sid Parkin Ranches; The stockyards at Chadwick
316 – His first impressions of North Dakota
330 – Early settlers north of Selfridge; Distance between homes
387 – Advertising for a wife; His marriage and wife’s family history
438 – Recollections of Ott Black, Mustache Maud, and “Turkey Track” Bill
520 – Large ranches in the area
561 – White relations with Indians
584 – Learning to speak English; Social life and entertainment; The Shields Rodeo
628 – Good and poor crop and hay years from 1915-1961
725 – Moving to a farm southwest of Selfridge in 1923; His children
732 – Side Two
732 – Making a living during the 1930’s; Selling cream in Selfridge
796 – Cost of lumber and building materials in the 1920’s; His farm; Finding hired help
840 – Towns where he bought supplies
865 – Reflections on life in Sioux County; Sources of income on his farm
922 – Reading material he got in the early 1900’s; His support for the Farmer’s Union
960 – General conversation
016 – Sources of fuel for cook stoves; Local coal veins; Ease of finding good drinking water
089 – Gardening and preserving food
097 – His first car, a Model T, in 1924
130 – Threshing; Farming with horses until 1945
208 – Getting flour from a mill in South Dakota; Sources of income on his farm – Turkeys, hogs, chickens, butchering cattle and hogs
330 – Obtaining electricity and telephone in recent years
373 – Land use from 1920 – 1940 on his farm
461 – End of tape
Comment:  This is probably the only interview we have with and immigrant from Czechoslovakia

Tape #5 Mrs. Jack (Clara) Ramey (Fort Yates)
000 – Introduction
020 – Her schooling at Fort Yates Catholic School
032 – Her work on the Parkin Ranch at Cannonball; The Parkin log house; Mr. and Mrs. Parkin and Lucille Van Solen; Operation of the Parkin Ranch; The Galpin family
230 – Her family; Her father; Mr. Bill Zahn, and his marriage to her mother
308 – The Catholic School in Fort Yates
335 – Her father’s stories about Custer, Major Reno, and the army; His experiences at Little Big Horn Battle
462 – Her parent’s family history
488 – John Grass; Indian stories for children
602 – Her ancestors at Wounded Knee Massacre
630 – Her father’s friendship with Sitting Bull
690 – Her father’s tour with Buffalo Bill’s show in 1893 and 1895; Sitting Bull’s death; Red Tomahawk
800 – Indian family relationships
817 – Chief Gall; Warriors her father knew
910 – Obtaining Government rations; Preparing food; hard times
949 – Side Two
970 – Her father’s religious beliefs; Her childhood
005 – Her husband and her eight children; Cooking at a wood camp stove
047 – Her husband’s work for ranches in the area; Hard work and hard times; Learning to cook rationed food
132 – Her marriage; Delivering her own children and working as a midwife; Naming twins she delivered after twins in an ancient Indian myth; Roots and other natural substances Indians used for medicine
395 – Making pemmican
513 – Indian religion and Christianity compared; Catholic missionaries; Sitting Bull’s position as Medicine Mann not War Chief
651 – Wild vegetables and berries Indians cooked
902 – End of tape
Comment:  Clara Ramey is a remarkable woman with an excellent memory.  The entire interview is informative and fascinating.  Fan noise in the background makes the first portion of this interview slightly difficult to understand without a headphone.

Tape #6 Mrs. Bernice Henderson (Solen)(Emmons County)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Her parent’s homestead in Emmons County; Her father’s service in the army at Fort Yates; Stories her father told Sitting Bull
140 – Stories about Winona, North Dakota and colorful characters in the area; Mustache Maude and Ott Black
192 – Early Solen; Her husband’s family history
236 – Her education at a rural school in Emmons County; Her grandfather’s immigration from Germany
315 – Family history
342 – Early settlers in Emmons County near the Missouri River
403 – Their cattle ranch southwest of Solen; Her children
473 – White relations with Indians in the area formerly and now; Land ownership in Sioux County
730 – Beginning of REA and telephone service in Sioux County
735 – Side Two
750 – Their aggressiveness in ranching and joining organizations; Their Congregational Church in Solen
780 – Ease of finding good drinking water; Entertaining in her house
812 – Raising cattle during the 1930’s; Selling their ranch to the Federal Government in 1958; Raising sheep
860 – Threshing
876 – Renting pasture land on the Standing Rock Reservation; Riding fence; Branding cattle; Indian cowboys; Some general conversation on her recent life
002 – Nationalities in Sioux County; Dancing to Lawrence Welk; Social life and churches
043 – Sociability of people formerly and presently; Her relationship with Indian people now
142 – Her service on local government bodies
189 – Mustache Maud and Ott Black; Horse and cattle rustlers
380 – Her admiration for William Guy and Mrs. Guy
461 – End of tape
Comment:  The most informative portions of this tape concern her father.

Tape #7 Mrs. Gladys Zahn (Fort Yates)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Her father’s law practice in Fargo and his involvement in the NPL
116 – Her college education
165 – Her teaching jobs in Minnesota and her first husband
219 – Her work teaching in the Indian Service in South Dakota and at Bismarck
360 – Frank Zahn’s ability at music and sketching
450 – Teaching in Bismarck and at Fort Yates; Her courtship and marriage to Frank Zahn; First impression of Fort Yates; Family history
687 – Frank Zahn’s musical education; Jim Thorpe’s wedding; Frank Zahn’s family history; William Zahn and Sitting Bull
882 – Teaching in the Indian Service; Treatment of students; Students
926 – Side Two
050 – Frank Zahn’s first marriage; His family history and his life in general; His service as a Judge on Standing Rock Reservation
196 – Poor food at the Indian School in Bismarck; Teaching and working in the School at Fort Yates; Administrative corruption and the closing of the school
590 – Her opinion of how Indians should have been treated by the government and school teachers
707 – Frank Zahn’s mental anguish as a Judge in criminal cases involving Indians
828 – Teaching in Indian schools
857 – End of tape
Comment:  Mrs. Zahn’s interview contains excellent information about the management and operation of Indian schools in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Accounts of her husband, Frank Zahn, are also very detailed and instructive.

Tape #8
Judge William L. Gipp (Fort Yates)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; His grandfather’s (William Zahn) service with Custer
052 – The Catholic Mission School at Fort Yates; Being raised as a white man and as an Indian
071 – Bill Zahn’s wood yard; Ferry boats across the Missouri at Fort Yates
090 – Early record players; Life of the Indians in the early 1900’s; Their pride; Role of men and women in Sioux culture; Getting permits to leave the reservation; Loss of self-sufficiency and Indian pride; Opposite values in Indian and white culture
198 – Indian family relationships
230 – The woman’s role as head of domestic affairs; Care of children by the extended family
291 – Difficulty of transforming from Indian to white Culture; Indian emphasis on giving
333 – Tribes on the Standing Rock Reservation; The Seven Council Fires of The Dakota; The Tribal Circle
384 – Loss of Indian male’s pride
424 – Failure of The Dawes Act; The Sioux Benefits Program; Cattle raising programs; Methods of drying and preserving meat; Origin of scalping
550 – French fur traders his grandmother remembered; Frank Zahn
594 – Injustice of white treatment of Indians; Broken treaties
624 – Creation of Standing Rock Reservation; Indian stories about Sitting Bull; His rank with chiefs and diplomatic ability
691 – His education and vocational instruction at the Catholic School in Fort Yates; The Light Plant at the school; Punishment at the school; The Catholic Church at Fort Yates; Compulsory church attendance; Interpreters; Military atmosphere at the school
926 – Side Two
043 – Recollections of Indian Agents; Their competence and their pet programs for the Indian people
094 – His opinion of recent programs for Indians; His service on the North Dakota Parole Board
136 – Operations and jurisdiction of the Tribal Council and Tribal Court; his terms as Judge on the Tribal Court; Suggestions for changes in the court system
411 – The Wheeler-Howard Act of 1934 and its effect on Tribal Government; Problems of governing the reservation; Hiring employees for the reservation
518 – Land ownership on the reservation; Complex heirships
579 – Changes in policy toward reservation Indians; New programs
644 – Growth of female dominance and loss of male’s traditional role during reservation life; Adaptation of Indian youth to white society and culture
772 – The 1930’s on the reservation; Hunting wild game for food
836 – Family history
861 – End of Tape A
000 – Family history
027 – Hospitality of Sioux Indians to whites
057 – William Zahn’s service in the army; His stories about Mayor Reno and Custer
087 – Traditional Indian food; Wild vegetables and berries
220 – Loss of bottom land due to Oahe Reservoir; Hunting and fishing rights on the reservation; Usher Burdick’s work to get compensation for flooded land on the reservation; Moving people out of the river bottoms
368 – Usher Burdick’s friendship with the Sioux Indians
415 – Ration days on the reservation; Obtaining beef and flour in the early 1900’s; Origin of fry bread
480 – Reservation delegations to Congress in the early 1900’s and now; The tradition of giving gifts; Hospitality
699 – End of tape
Comment:  Judge Gipp offers some unique insights into the development of tribal government and courts.  His statements on the psychological and cultural effects of reservation life and schools are valuable.

Tape #9 Mr. Leo Cadotte (Fort Yates)
000 – Introduction
020 – Ancient Sioux history; His knowledge of Sioux history; Lengthy account of Sioux tribes, culture, migrations, and society prior to reservation life; Sioux oral history tradition; Establishment of Standing Rock Indian Agency; Family history; Commercialization of Indian history
306 – Indian respect for nature; Hospitality; Child rearing; Living with nature; Sharing food and resources with others
414 – Sioux migration routes; Pollution of air and water
458 – Mission schools on the reservation; Indian religion; Origin of scalping
541 – Origin of place names in the United States from Indian words
634- Congregation of the Sioux Nation in present-day Nebraska prior to the 1880’s; Indian use of gold in the Black Hills, a sacred area
705 – End of Tape A
000 – Ancient Sioux ceremonies, sacred areas, and religion; Emphasis on humility and sharing
034 – The ancient tribal circle; Governing the tribes and the authority of different chiefs in the tribe; Hunting buffalo; Care of the poor and needy in the tribe; Family responsibilities and duties in Sioux society; Family relationships; Care of children; Honoring generous individuals; The hardness of Indian culture
160 – Tribes on the Standing Rock Reservation area in the 1800’s; Organization of the tribal circle and origin of tribal and band names
263 – First use of horses by Sioux; Migration routes of the Indians nearly identical to bird migration routes; Indian religion and knowledge of the supernatural
367 – Honoring people for generosity; The symbolic meaning of bestowing an eagle feather to a man
428 – Mission schools; Vocational instruction; Education for children today; His belief that North Dakota will have a population boom
580 – Healthy life of Indians prior to contact with whites; Natural medicines – herbs and plants
679 – Preserving Sioux languages; The Sioux oral history traditions; Natural medicines and natural food as the key to good health
848 – Traditional Indian food
905 – The flu epidemic of 1918
931 – Side Two
959 – Account of James McLaughlin; General comments on administering and governing a reservation and dealing with people
030 – Comment about Sitting Bull and Chiefs in genera; Qualities needed in a leader; The need for a chief to have the respect and admiration of the people; The people’s role in decision-making; Selection and removing chiefs and tribal leaders
302 – Family history; John Gras; Black Moon; Indian leaders he knew; Artifacts he owns
420 – Archaeological excavations in the area
466 – Getting citizenship in 1924; The ceremony
539 – The 1930’s on the reservation; CCC; Projects; Problems of running businesses on the reservation
604 – Happiness of the Indian people in the early 1900’s; Increased social problems today; Difficulty of adjusting to white culture
788 – Loss of male pride during reservation life; Cattle raising on reservation
818 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. Cadotte is well informed about Sioux history.  The interview contains much second hand information he picked up from his grandparents.  His observations on Indian and white culture and the difficulty of unifying the two are valuable.

Tape #10 Mr. Bert Gwyther (Cannonball)(Grant County and Morton County)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; His mother’s family in the Black Hill’s gold rush; Trains crossing the Missouri River ice prior to building of the bridge at Bismarck
100 – The trail from Mandan to the Black Hills; The army trail from Bismarck to Fort Yates; Army hunting parties
145 – Raising cattle in the late 1800’s; Danger of being on foot around a cattle herd
195 – Family history; Why his father settled in North Dakota
250 – Fort McKeen and the settlement near it; Account of a soldier named Cadell and his service under Custer; His parent’s home across the Missouri River from Fort Rice and their move to Fort Rice in 1884
374 – Railroad line from Mandan to Mott which ran through their land; Origin of Gwyther, North Dakota – present day Fort Rice
458 – A huge prairie fire west of the Missouri River about 1887 which burned what remained of Forth Rice; Account of a cattle rustler named Kelly who lived in the ruins of the Fort
686 – The post office in his parent’s home before Fort Rice town existed
726 – Homestead rights and “squatting” on land; His father’s cattle ranch; Wintering cattle; Making hay; Harsh winters; Driving cattle to Mandan stockyards; Butchering cattle
937 – Side Two
974 – Riding the cattle train to Chicago; Traveling to a Minnesota doctor to get an operation for a hernia; His health
092 – Steamboats on the Missouri; Shipping wheat on the boats
183 – His brother’s lumberyard in Fort Rice; Businesses and businessmen in early Fort Rice
260 – End of open range in the area; The Parkin Ranch near Cannonball in the late 1800’s; other ranches in Sioux County
463- Raising and selling horses
509 – Sheep ranchers and cattlemen in the area; Early cattle buyers
605 – The Cannonball Ranch; A halfway stopover for stages from Fort Yates to Mandan; Early Cannonball; High School Parkin
669 – Wintering horses on open range
696 – Early Glencoe; Hardships of homesteading; Prices for grain and manufactured items in the early 1900’s; Making cornmeal and cracked wheat cereal
795 – Making a living during the 1930’s; Bank failures
868 – End of interview
Comment:  This is a valuable interview.  Mr. Gwyther’s recollections of early Fort Rice – originally named Gwyther – and of cattle ranching in the area are particularly informative.

Tape #11 Mr. Charles Goodreaux
000 – Introduction
020 – Grandfather moves to Standing Rock; Family history; Father’s ranch; Turkey Track Bill; Turkey Track Bill’s murder charge
188 – Ott Black; Moustache Maude; Wild horses in Sioux County; Working for the government rounding up horses; ZT, L7, and Triangle 7 ranches
280 – Winter camps; Line riders and Wolfers on early ranches; Grey wolves; Hunting wolves
367 – Dad works for Medicine Hat Ranch in Canada; Family’s allotment on reservation
434 – Making hay in early days; Dad elected first Sheriff in Corson County, South Dakota; Bare fisted prize fights in Emmons County
532 – Cattle rustling; Montana law for cattle rustlers; Ott Black as cattle rustler
626 – More on family ranch; Family rides into town on first train; Early Shields; Shields Enterprise; More on father’s background
788 – Early Shields businessmen
805 – Tape goes bad – continued on next cassette
020 – Herding cows in Highland Acres area of Bismarck; Driving the horse drawn school bus for Indian Government School in Bismarck; The milking operation; Catholicism in Indian School
080 – Making a living on father’s land allotment; Picture talk
115 – First airplane Charles saw; First car ride; Traveling before roads were built; Fences and open range
179 – Sid Parkins’ Ranch; Lease prices for Indian land
205 – Homesteaders come to reservation; Opinion of homesteading on reservations; Size of reservation; white man ownership of Indian land
257 – 30’s on the reservation; Cattle slaughtering and burying; Area doctors
415 – Happier days in the 20’s; Taking care of his mother; Mother tied to a bed in a home; Decline of family
555 – Horse stories; Rodeos; Powwows
689 – End of interview

Tape #12 Mr. and Mrs. Forrest Otis
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history (South Dakota)
030 – Background of his coming to Fort Yates and working in the trading store in 1926; Purchase of his store in Cannonball
098 – Reasons he was attracted to the reservation; Indian celebrations; Fairs and rodeos
135 – His childhood in South Dakota
147 – His work with Chautauqua shows in North Dakota in the 1920’s
312 – Description of Fort Yates during the 1920’s; Life for Indians on the reservation in the 1920’s; Tent homes; Learning to speak Sioux; His relations with and opinion of the Indian people; Their honesty
410 – Items sold in Hatch’s store at Fort Yates; The electrical generating plant in Fort Yates; Gas lamps and wind chargers
469 – The stage (truck) from Fort Yates to McLaughlin; Social life and entertainment; Early radios
499 – Relations between Indians and whites on the reservation and at parties
528 – Superintendents and government policy toward the Indians; Indian schools in Fort Yates; Regulation of individual payments to Indians by government officials
615 – His honesty in dealing with Indian people; The trust Indian people had in his honesty; Government policy toward Indians; Sources of income for the Indian people
758 – Changes in Indian life through adaptation of children to white culture; Happiness of the Indian people formerly and now
951 – Side Two
953 – Traditional food of the Sioux people; Pemmican and flat bread; Wild vegetables and berries
030 – Recollections of old Indian people he knew in the 1920’s and 1930’s; Dislike of Indian Agency personnel by the older Indians
133 – Survival of old Indian customs in the 1920’s and 1930’s; Marriages, burials, and special ceremonies
162 – Efforts to Christianize the Sioux; Tolerance of ancient Indian beliefs by Catholic priests
190 – Schools in Fort Yates; Discipline of the children; Churches in Fort Yates
247 – Recollections of old cowboys and other old timers; Indian and white paying in silver dollars at his store
325 – Recollections of Frank Zahn and Frank Fisk; Summer picnics and baseball games; Anecdotes about “characters” in the Cannonball area
440 – Slight powers of the tribal council and tribal court compared to that of the superintendent
463 – Intermarriage of Indians and whites; Anecdotes about various married couples
548 – Their marriage; Life on the reservation during the 1930’s; The isolation of Fort Yates in the winter; Poor roads
654 – Alcoholism among Indians and whites
685 – Giving credit and collecting bills at his store; Honesty of the Indian people; Changes in the standard of living on the reservation; Good relations they had with their Indian customers
911 – End of interview
Comment:  This interview is very informative on the subject of running a trading store on the Standing Rock Reservation from 1926 to 1964.  Anecdotes about various people are entertaining and informative.

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