Palo Alto Co, Iowa USGenWeb Project

Emmetsburg Democrat, Thursday, Dec. 20, 1928

Names of Pioneers Who Petitioned For Protection From the Indians


When Northern Border Brigade Was Organized and Stationed at Estherville in 1862.  J.P. Crowley Was Last Survivor of Historic Brigade.

   To the Honorable Members of the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Iowa:
   We, the undersigned inhabitants of Emmet county, residing on this frontier of our state find, by several years experience, that we are subject to the great inconvenience in consequence of Indian excitement and the difficulties arising therefrom together with the butcheries that have been committed by merciless savages with a country composing the native elements of a rich and magnificent country, a fertile soil, pure water, good timber and all the things combined to make it a country in which to look for the cultivation of the soil and the raising of stock and from manufacturing.  The settlement and advancement of this northwestern country has been kept back during the last five years since the depredations committed at Spirit Lake by the Indians in the spring of 1857.  The Indians have been committing depredations every year during the above specified time, stealing horses, destroying property, which has often caused a panic among the inhabitants and we have been led to suppose that the same savage scenes of bloodshed might again be re-enacted until the present time when we find that peaceable citizens residing on the Des Moines river 30 miles above this point have been butchered in the most inhuman manner and found horribly mutilated by a savage foe who stops not at the destruction of man but buries the hatchet in the brain of defenseless women and dashes out the brains of innocent children against the nearest log as in the case above mentioned.  A company of citizens from this place repaired to the scene of bloodshed and returned making the following report:
   First found a man shot through the left lung apparently with a musket ball. 
   Second, a woman shot through the left breast and breast cut off, two gashes in the face with other things too horrible to mention.
   Third, a woman shot through the body and three children, a girl nine years old, shot through the body, a girl five years old shot through the body and in the thighs with buckshot, also knocked on the head, a boy three years old whose head had been smashed against a log.  The father was absent at the time; returning, he found the above mentioned members of his family dead; also two children whose heads had been apparently been knocked against the stove.  One of the children has since died from the effects of his wounds.
   Fourth, a man shot through the heart.
   Fifth, found a boy wounded in the head by a ball.
   Sixth, a man shot through the heart and in the head.
   The first intimations we had of this massacre was from information obtained from a boy who escaped and came down to the first settlement below on the river who had been shot in the arm by the Indians.  There are still four or five missing who are supposed to be dead or taken prisoners.  There was found to be one general destruction of household property, aside from money and other valuables which were taken by the savages.  Several wagons were taken and stock driven off.  Now, from the best and most reliable information we are able to obtain, we are led to conclude that the Indians have arisen in force, probably led on by those master villians of the Southern Confederacy, for the express purpose of butchering the inhabitants and calling the attention of the government in this direction.  Many, we are not prepared to state the exact number, have already been slain on the Minnesota river and vicinity.  As soon as the news of the butchery of the settlement above, the inhabitants all fled and came down here, leaving their property save their stock, which they drove, and a portion of their household goods.  They are thrown upon this settlement without the means of sustenance and there being no more here then is needed for the sustenance of the inhabitants who reside here.  A state of things in itself deplorable but which may be averted by stationing a sufficient force there for protection.  In view of these facts, it appears to us that active and the most vigorous measures are required at once in order that the savages may be driven back and the panic which is fast assuming a stampede, may at once be stopped by the adoption of those measures which alone will lead to confidence and security.  It has now become an established fact that unless this northwestern portion of our state is amply secured in life and property, it will soon become depopulated and the country will go back to its wild state and will be left for the savage to roam over unmolested, thereby defeating the ends for which we struggle against, the privations incident to frontier life and our endeavors to make for ourselves homes and improve this portion of our fair state and avert one of the first objects of every state, namely, its expansion and advancement.
   We hereby memorialize your honorable body to establish a military post at this point with such fortifications as is thought best and that a sufficient force be stationed here for ample protection.  We are disposed to do all in our power to assist the state in its endeavors to protect citizens.  We are busily engaged fortifying as best we can under the circumstances.  We have also ourselves into a company for protection and have petitioned the govenor to be accepted in the service of the state as Company A, Estherville Guards.
   Estherville, Emmet county, Iowa, August 30, A. D., 1862.
   Jeremiah Crowley, Thos. Maher, Patrick Maher, William Maher, Miles Mahan, Edward Mahan, Lott Laughlin, Martin Laughlin, Michael Crowley, James Maher, Martin Coonan, Patrick Lynch, John Pendergast, Samuel McCellan, Thomas Dawson, Patrick Jackman, John M. Mulroney, Keran Mulroney, Patrick Lauglin, Thomas A. Tobin, Patrick Mulroney, William Carter, William Powers, Thomas Campbell, Daniel Ditch, James Hickey, Michael Hickey, Welden Coates, Joseph T. Mulroney, R. F.Carter, Michael Collins, James White, John McCormick, Jr., Thomas McCormick.
   Joseph McCormick, John McCormick, John Goff, Gaylord Graves, Howard Graves, C. Willis Jarvis, Ruel Fisher, Otto Schaef, Byron Davis, Jep Overdaly, Lester Clark, A. Jenkins, I. Weehead.
   Alexander Mackay, Jared Palmer, Geo. W. Palmer, R. E. Ridley, Elbridge White, Judah Phillips, J. R. Hopkins, Daniel Baker, Agro Estabrooks, F. Gilbert, Lewis Paulsen.
   Wm. Humphrey, D. N. Hoyt, Jas. Jarvis, Howard Graves, Samuel Shotwell, Edward Donahue, Patrick Conlon, Edwin Conlon, Ole Haglin, Hogan Gilbert, Peter Baker, James Palmer, Ira Camfield, R. P. Rieley.
   Stephen Mucke, Frank Jenkins, Wm. McCaully, James Ryan, Wm. Webster, Charles Sleichborett, Stephen Sleichborett, Christian Sleichborett, D. S. Perkins, L. Hosington.
   A. Munson, Christopher Tomson, Burr Oleson, Wm. Burrson, John Swinson, Ole Peterson, Lewis Oleson, John Oleson, Engbert Oleson, Thomas Halverson, Ole Estherson, Ole Togerson, Henry Olson.
   Knude Nelson, Edward Helverson, Henry Keith, David Slawson, Milen Sharp, Perry Nowlan, John Svens, Wm. Svens, Henry Jarvis, Wm. Jarvis, Wm. Struders, Rotherick Harris, James B. Graves, Selah Cooke, Chas. Burdick, Adolphus Dart, Henry Jenkins, Morgan Jenkins, John Jenkins, and A. A. Ellis.

Submitted by Kathleen Frailey Puls

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