Wila Wakpala/Butte Creek History

This information was taken from the following sources: Lakota Archives and Historical Research Center Rosebud Sioux Tribe Sites Project, Prepared with a FY 93 Historic Preservation Fund Grant from the National Park Service, 1995; Bennett-Mellette-Todd Counties, SD County Wide Directory: 15th Anniversary Issue, Larchwood, IA: County-Wide Directory L.L.C.; Trails and Forts: History of Exploration and Settlement by Milo Koskan, 2005; Map accompanying the Rosebud Indian Reservation Annual Report, 1885.

Churches: Our Lady of Good Council Catholic Church.

Buildings: White Thunder dance hall was a round log building called "Round Hall." It was located on the creek southwest of Wood. There was also a Day School. In 1906 a postoffice was established in Wood which continues to serve the community.

Families: Thin Elk, Stands, White Eagle, White Wing, and Jordan. In 1885 the following families were living along White Thunder Creek: Louis Roubideau, Dress him, Stranger Horse, Peter Peno, Greenwood, Joe Bad Hand, War Bonnet, Crazy Hawk, Good Eagle, White Wash, Good Cane, White Bear, Ice, Eagle Horn, Blue Tomahawk, Yearling Horse, Crooked Leg, Red Antelope, Bear Paints Dirt, Iron Shooter, Cook, Brave Eagle, Long Cat, Button, Red Hill, Jos. Jackson, Jack Horn, Jas. McLean, Jas. DuBray, Ben Beauvais, O.L. Giroux, A. DuBray, and Jos. Garneaux. The following lived nearby on Estes Creek: W. F. Schmidt, Charles Schmidt, Louis Moran, Lost His Things, Leon Menard, Robert Dyer, and S. F. Estes.

Issue Station: Located south of Wood.

Location: Butte Creek, a tributary of Oak Creek which meanders along the eastern edge of Mellette County, runs west until it reaches Wood, SD then it angles south into Todd County. In 1885 Butte Creek was located in Farm District No. IV.

Origins: This community was originally called Wakinya Ska/White Thunder after the creek with the same name. White Thunder Creek was named after a prominent Sicangu leader whose band camped along the creek. It was also called Fishtown before becoming Butte Creek. The old Jordan Ranch (Orchard Ranch) was south of Wood.


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