The Pioneer Memorial
I've lived in Sioux Falls for ten years now and I'm still learning about this city all the time.
Over the 4th of July weekend, a friend of mine mentioned watching fireworks from the The Pioneer Memorial and I had no idea what he was talking about. So, we drove to the monument.
It's kind of multiple memorials in one. It's one part The Pioneer Memorial and another part Amidon Affair memorial.
In case you are like me and have no idea where The Pioneer Memorial is, it is on a bluff by the prison. It's official address is 2402 North Dr, Sioux Falls, SD 57104. The monument was erected in 1991.
On the markers near the monument is the story of The Amidon Affair. (Honestly guys, stop and read these placards. There is so much history.)
According to the Official SD State Historical Society Markers website, The Amidon Affair is explained, “Near this spot, on August 25, 1862, Judge Joseph B. Amidon and his son William were killed by Indians while making hay on their claim which was a mile north of their cabin in Sioux Falls. When they failed to return home in the evening, Mrs. Amidon was alarmed and sought the help from the Dakota Cavalry detachment in the village. A search was to no avail, but the bodies were found in the morning. Joseph had died of a single bullet wound; William had been riddle with arrows. George B. Trumbo brought the bodies back to the village in a wagon. Sgt. Jesse Buel Watson, Company A, Dakota Cavalry, reported later, ‘We picked up the bodies and buried them in a cemetery…(on what is now)…North Duluth Avenue.’ In the opinion of John Renville and Joseph LaFramboise, veteran fur traders and plainsmen, the Amidons were slain by members of the band of the warrior White Lodge. He was under orders from Chief Little Crow, Indian leader in the ‘Dakota War’, to drive white settlers from the Sioux Valley. Pure chance placed the Amidons in the path of White Lodge’s scouting party. Two days later, orders came by courier from Governor William Jayne to abandon Sioux Falls and seek shelter at the Territorial Capitol at Yankton. Settlers and soldiers together hastily set out in a wagon train before sundown. Following the settlers’ flight to Yankton, Sioux Falls remained abandoned until the establishment of Fort Dakota by federal troops in 1865, when settlement resumed. 140 Joseph B. Amidon was born in Connecticut in 1801. He came to Sioux Falls from Saint Paul, Minnesota, with his wife Mabala, son William and daughter Eliza, sometime before 1860. He was appointed county probate judge, treasurer and a commissioner by the Territorial Legislature and Governor Jayne.”
Now, I understand where Amidon Street came from.