The 1862 Sioux Uprising, a result of unjust government treatment, claimed many Indian and non-Indian lives. Near this place on August 25, 1862, two of its victims, Judge Joseph B. Amidon and his son, William, were killed while making hay on their claim which was a mile north of their cabin in Sioux Falls. (Continued on other side)
Amidon was a County Probate Judge, Treasurer and Commissioner appointed by Governor Jayne and the Territorial Legislature. When he and William failed to return home at sundown, Mrs. Amidon became alarmed and sought help from the Dakota Calvalry detachment in the village. A search was to no avail, but their bodies were found in the morning. Joseph died of a single bullet wound, William was riddled with arrows.
George B. Trumbo brought their bodies back to the village. Later, Sgt. Jesse Buel Watson, Company A, Dakota Cavalry, reported, "we picked up the bodies and buried them in a cemetery...(on what is now)...North Duluth Avenue."
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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 was resumed.
Joseph B Amidon was born in Connecticut in 1801. He came to Sioux Falls from Saint Paul, Minnesota, with his wife Mahala, son William and daughter Eliza, sometime before 1860.