Saturday, November 26, 2011

Yellow Medicine

Surgeon, Jared Waldo Daniels, 1855
An excerpt from the “REMINISCENCES” of Jared Waldo Daniels
Transcribed from the family's copy of the original document
& edited by Dr. Daniels’ great, great grandson,
S. T. Casebeer

In 1858 this place was an Indian Agency where the Sisseton and Wahpeton received their annuities at such times in the year as the government saw fit to send them to the Agent, regardless of the time specified in the treaty.  It consisted of three log buildings, one for the farmer and a boarding house, one for the blacksmith, and one for the blacksmith shop.  Three buildings were located on the banks of the Yellow Medicine River, about two miles from its junction with the Minnesota.  A horseshoe shaped piece of bottomland surrounded by high bluffs formed the background for this picturesque place.  Ten acres was the extent of the enclosure, which was not quite large enough for the camping ground of Northern Indians.  On the opposite side of the river was located the trading posts which consisted of three log buildings on a plot of land backed by high bluffs covered with timber.
   To this beautiful valley I was introduced by farmer Robertson, on the first day of May, 1855.  It was a beautiful sight at the time as the groves of plumb trees that skirted the timber on either side of the road passing down the bluff, were in full blossom, and the trees just putting on their spring attire. I was taken to the blacksmiths’ house and told that this was to be my quarters.  The house was 12 by 18 feet, log, and as neat and tidy on the inside as woman’s hands could make it. I was to board with the family, which consisted of man and wife with a child about three years of age, and sleep in the attic.  Here I spent most of my time for a year, and I cannot say that any part of the time passed unpleasantly, for Mr. Ford and his good wife were well informed, and had had much experience with the Indians.  Mrs. Ford could speak the Dakota language as well as a native.  This was the only white family at the Agency.  The farmer had a mixed blood for a wife who was educated in Canada.  She was a pleasant woman, and very interesting in giving her reminiscences of life among the Dakotas.  The farmer boarded the men employed, twelve at this time, and his wife, assisted by an Indian woman, did the cooking.  See more at

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