Sergeant Floyd's Monument
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member MNSearchers
N 42° 27.769 W 096° 22.688
14T E 715563 N 4704495
Quick Description: Floyd's grave remained a landmark on the Missouri River. The American artist George Catlin painted Floyd's Bluff, with the cedar marker still in place. The following year Prince Maximillian von Wied, the Prussian explorer and man of science, noted that someone had renewed the cedar post after prairie fires damaged it.
Location: Iowa, United States
Date Posted: 7/10/2006 10:04:20 AM
Waymark Code: WMGZE
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member GPX Navigators
Views: 103

Long Description:
In 1848 a man named William Thompson built a cabin on the bluff near Floyd's grave, and the following year a French Canadian trader for the American Fur Company settled at the mouth of the Big Sioux River. In 1854 a surveyor for the U.S. government laid out a town between the Big Sioux and Floyd's River, a logical place for a settlement, inasmuch as it had long been a favored fording place, campsite and gathering point of the Yankton Sioux and other Indian tribes. In only four more years the new town gained official identity with a post office, and saw the first steamboat arrive from St. Louis.

Floodwaters undermined the bluff early in the spring of 1857, and part of the grave slid toward the river. Local citizens who were aware of the significance of the site, quickly recovered all but a few bones, and on May 28, 1857, those remains were buried for the third time, with appropriate military and religious ceremonies, 200 yards east of the original site. New wooden markers were erected, but over the next four decades they were steadily whittled away by souvenir hunters, and grazing cattle obliterated all other evidence of the gravesite.

In 1893 Floyd's long-lost journal came to light, and the publication of it served to revive public interest in the site.2 On August 20, 1895, the sergeant's remains were interred for the third time, beneath a three-by-seven-foot marble slab, and plans were begun to erect a permanent monument to his memory.

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