Historical Details

Indians Call On Mrs. Magoon in 1886

Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 10/29/1886

Although the war-like Sioux and Cheyenne Indians had left the territory now situated in Niobrara County in 1877, it was many years before the marauding bands of red men had been entirely driven from their favorite hunting ground and safely confined in the reservation provided for them by the United States government.

In the Lusk Herald of October 29, 1886, we find an account of a band of these marauders paying a visit to Mrs. Jim Magoon at the Magoon ranch, 14 miles north of Lusk on Young Woman Creek.

The story recounts that about a dozen of these Indians surrounded the Magoon ranch house and when they learned that Mrs. Magoon was alone and unarmed, they entered the house. One of the Indians, apparently the leader of the band, grabbed a butcher knife from the table, and by flourishing it in the air and letting out a few blood-curdling warhoops, scared Mrs. Magoon very badly. The gang then proceeded to ransack the house, and finding some ham and a hind quarter of venison, compelled Mrs. Magoon to cook them a meal. After partaking greedily of the food set before them, they started to saunter away. One of them grabbed up a saddle which lay outside, and cinched it on his pony, offering Mrs. Magoon 50 cents for it, which she very promptly refused. He then threw her two dollars, mounted his pony and all rode away, greatly to the relief of Mrs. Magoon.

Commenting editorially on the incident, the editor of The Herald said:

"The editor feels too strongly on the subject of allowing these public vagrants to overrun our territory to venture a comment on this incident-which is only one of a thousand-of their deviltry while out on their semi-occasional grand, lawless, begging thieving, hunting, beef-killing picnics."

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