Amidon Affair
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member MNSearchers
N 43° 34.472 W 096° 42.697
14T E 684777 N 4827163
Quick Description: The murder of Judge J.B. Amidon and his son.
Location: South Dakota, United States
Date Posted: 4/23/2006 9:12:34 PM
Waymark Code: WMB62
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member MNSearchers
Views: 25

Long Description:
In August 1862 the Indian uprising began again, and horrible massacres on the frontier of Minnesota were perpetrated. The news did not reach the Falls until some time afterward, but on the 25th of August an event occurred, which caused consternation among the settlers. This was the murder of Judge J.B. Amidon and his son. They left their home in Sioux Falls City early in the morning, to cut some hay on their land about a mile north, taking their dinners with them. When night came and they did not return, Mrs. Amidon became alarmed and notified the soldiers, who, fearing the worst, at once started in search of them. Not until the next morning was their search rewarded and their worst fears realized. They were found in a cornfield, adjacent to the hayfield, Judge Amidon, lying on his face, with a bullet hole through his back, and the son farther back in the cornfield, his body covered with arrows. It was evident that the judge had died instantly, but the boy had survived long enough to draw a number of arrows from his body. While the soldiers were searching for the murderers a number of Indians appeared on the bluff with the evident intention of attacking the village, but on the return of the soldiers, they fled and escaped in the timber along the river.
Marker Name: The Amidon Affair

Marker Type: City

Marker Text:
#537 The Amidon Affair “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. 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.” Erected: 1991 Location: Minnehaha County, East of the Penitentiary on North Park Drive


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