Rosebud Agency History

Sicangu Historical Timeline

Established in 1819 the Upper Missouri Agency was first responsible for any tribes along the Missouri River. In 1836 the agency became responsible for the Sioux, Ponca and Cheyenne people on the upper Missouri. In 1866 the agency was permanently located near Crow Creek on the Missouri in Dakota. Jurisdiction was restricted to the Lower Yanktonai and Sicangu living close by and the name was changed to Crow Creek Agency in 1874.

In 1846 the Upper Platte Agency was established to oversee the area of the upper Arkansas River and the upper Platte. In 1855 the agency became responsible for Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho and the Oglala and Sicangu Lakotas. The agency headquarters were located near Fort Laramie in eastern Wyoming and North Platte, Nebraska before they settled at the mouth of Whetstone Creek on the Missouri River. In 1869 the agency was renamed Whetstone and was primarily responsible for the people of Spotted Tail's band as well as other Sicangu, Oglala, and Miniconjou Lakotas. Oglalas under Red Cloud and others living near Fort Laramie not attached to another agency remained under this agency until 1871, when it was discontinued.

Succeeding the Upper Platte Agency in 1868, Whetstone Agency was primarily responsible for the Sicangu people in Spotted Tail's band. Whetstone Agency was located on the Missouri River where the free flowing whiskey trade caused Spotted Tail to insist upon relocating the Agency away from accessible river traffic. The Agency first located on the White River near the Nebraska-Dakota border, then moved to Beaver Creek in northwestern Nebraska. A year later, it was moved to the site of the old Ponca Agency on the Missouri River above Yankton. It finally located on Rosebud Creek, in 1878, near its junction with the south fork of the White River. By 1889 there were more than 5,000 Lakota people registered at Rosebud Agency.

Chief Milk (an Oglala) and his band were the first to settle on the Rosebud, making their home north of Bonesteel. Swift Bear followed and eventually settled south of Burke on Ponca Creek. Later Medicine Bull settled south of the White River; Good Voice established his band at Oak Creek; Quick Bear, Red Fish, and Red Leaf located in the Norris area, with Red Leaf later moving north of Burke. Other prominent headmen at Rosebud were He Dog, Two Strike, Hollow Horn Bear, Ring Thunder, Stranger Horse, and Yellow Hair.

Today the Rosebud Reservation is situated north of the Nebraska border in central South Dakota in Todd County. It has a land base of 882,416 acres.


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