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The Faithful Indians' Monument
The History of Renville County, Volume 2
Compiled by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge
In December, 1899, the Minnesota Valley Historical Society completed the erection of a monument in recognition and commemoration of the conduct and services of the Indians who were truly loyal and faithful to the whites during the great Sioux war of 1862. It is believed that this is the only structure of the kind ever erected in the United States up to that time. This society resolved to honor the memories and services of the truly loyal Indians by the erection of a monument in the country which was the scene of their good deeds and noble conduct. It was concluded to place this commemorative structure on the state's ground whereon the Birch Cooley monument, erected in 1894, stands. The state legislature, in the session of 1899, by a special act (Chap. 2, Laws of 1899), gave the required permission and the structure was completed in December of that year. The contractors were Honner, Hosken & Co., of the Redwood Granite Works, Redwood Falls, and the contract itself was most intelligently and artistically, as well as most faithfully, executed.
The structure is 52 feet in height and built wholly of granite from local quarries, the greater part coming from the granite quarries at Redwood Falls. An appropriate inscription tells its purpose. The surrounding ground has been furnished with substantial iron seats for the accommodation of visitors and the site is a most commanding one, giving a good view for miles up and down the Minnesota valley of the historic locality.
The society made three requirements for those whose names were to be cut in the granite die of the commemorative monument, making the list a roll of honor in all respects. 1. The subjects were to be full blooded Indians. 2. They were to have been truly loyal to the whites throughout the entire period of the outbreak, from its inception, on August 18, 1862, until the close of that year. 3. They were to have actually, by personal effort and in a practical manner, saved the life of at least one white person.
After careful and thorough investigation the society decided that the names of but six Indians, four men and two women, were, at that time, entitled to the distinction of a position in the monument's inscription. The claims of scores of others were presented, but in the society's opinion they did not meet the full requirements demanded. They either were not Indians of full blood, or they were not truly loyal throughout the war, or they did not directly save the life of a white person; indirect service could not be accepted. The names selected were these:
Am-pa-tu To-ki-cha (Other Day) known as John Other Day; Mah-za-koo-te-manne (Iron that Shoots Walking) known as Little Paul; To-wan-e-ta-ton (Face of the Village), known as Lorenzo Lawrence; A-nah-wang-manne (Walks Alongside), known as Simon; Mah-kah-ta He-i-ya-win (Traveling on the Ground), known as Mary Crooks, and Snahnah (Tinkling), later Mrs. Maggie Brass of Santee Agency, Neb. Shahnah's name was not, however, placed on the monument at that time. After her death her name was added to the others.
The story of the services rendered the whites by these noble Indians is told in full in a pamphlet by Major Return I. Holcombe, entitled "Monuments and Tablets of the Minnesota Valley Historical Society."
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