Historical Details

Sheriff Miller and the Indians

Courtesy of Converse County Herald, 11/05/1903

Scrap With Indians

Our annual trouble with Indians for violating the state game laws has occurred again and this time it proved more serious than ever before. Late Saturday night Steve Franklin came to Lusk and said Sheriff Miller of Newcastle with 12 men undertook to arrest 24 Indians on the head of Beaver Dams for killing antelope, but that the Indians resisted arrest and a battle with Winchester rifles followed. In the fight Sheriff Miller was wounded and L. Falkenberg, a trapper, was killed. Dr. Brownrigg was sent at once to the scene of the trouble, but the wounded sheriff died about an hour after he was shot.

Early Sunday morning a posse of eight men left town to reinforce the crowd that was supposed to he holding the Indians, but when they arrived it was found that the red skins had stealthily taken flight during the night. Four Indians named Chief Smith, Black Kettle, Gray Bear and a boy 15 years old were killed in the battle which ensued and they were rolled in their blankets and planted under 'steen inches of earth on the field of battle. An Indian wagon was still on the ground and it contained Chief Smith's wife with a bullet wound in her left shoulder and three squaws nursing her. The wound is serious and it is not thought she will recover.

After the fight the Indians split up into small bands and started for the reservation, some going in one direction and some in another. By the time officers and posses arrived there no Indians were left and a pursuit for the escaped ones was begun, but without success, the Indians having got too much of a start for the posses to overtake them. Probably ere this the Indians have reached the reservation, and it now remains to be seen whether or not the government will allow them to be arrested, brought back to Wyoming and stand trial for violating the state's game laws and resisting arrest from our officers.

Since the above was put in type the lndians that escaped were captured about 20 miles east of Edgement, South Dakota, by a posse of Indian police, who heard of the trouble here and came out to meet the Indians, who were heading for the Pine Ridge reservation. Sheriff McDermott passed through Lusk this morning with the Indians and they will be given a trial at Douglas.

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