St. Francis Community History

This information was taken from the following resources cited below: Crusading Along Sioux Trails: A History of the Catholic Indian Missions of South Dakota by Sister Mary Claudia Duratschek, OSB, Ph.D. and Photo Album: St. Francis Mission School and Community, 1886-1976 by Rosebud Educational Society, 1976. Trails and Forts: History of Exploration and Settlement by Milo Koskan, 2005.

Churches: St. Francis Mission was founded by Catholic Missionaries in 1885. A church was finished in 1901 that was the second largest in South Dakota. (Album)

Buildings: The first Mission school building was a 45x90 foot frame building begun in 1885. Ten years later in 1895 a new school building was constructed to house 170 pupils. (Crusading) Early buildings included: Weston Store and home, a nurses station, S.P. Valandra & Son's Talo Tipi (Meat Market), The "Lakota Store" of the St. Francis Cooperative Assn. (Album). A postoffice was established in Sec. 32, T37N, R30W in 1908. In 1917 the postoffice was moved to Sec. 29.

Families: Owl Feather War Bonnet's camp.

Twelve families moved into the St. Francis public housing low-rent project: Kay Farmer, Isabelle Bear Shield, Spencer Young, Mary Jane Gabriel, George Haukaas, Lloyd One Star, Joyce Shaw, Opal White Eyes, Isaac Bear Shield, Virginia Black Elk, Bernice Guerue and Albert McCloskey. (Rosebud Sioux Herald, March 14, 1966)

Issue Station:

Location: About 8 miles southwest of Rosebud Agency and about 15 miles north of the Nebraska state line.

Newspaper: The Sioux Chieftain was published monthly at St. Francis Mission in the 1930s.

Origins: Owl Feather War Bonnet's camp of about 40 lodges lived on this site prior to the coming of the Catholic Church.


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