Kettle, Black (Unknown - 1903)

Black Kettle to Be Given

Official Burial During Fair Sioux Indians Making Plans For Service September 15

Douglas Enterprise - August 30, 1938

Indians from the Sioux Reservation of South Dakota are making elaborate plans for the official burial of a member of their race here Thursday, September 15, the second day of the 30th annual Wyoming State Fair.

The body of Black Kettle, who was killed in 1903 on Lightning creek northeast of Douglas in a fight between the Indians and the Whites, will be raised from its resting place behind the Wyoming Pioneer association's cabin at the Fair Grounds, and given official rites.

In the 1903 battle Sheriff Miller of Weston county, Deputy Louis Falkenburg of Douglas and four Indians besides Black Kettle were killed. Indians surviving the battle were brought here, kept in jail for some time, but all were turned loose after officials found they could secure no confessions for the murder of the two Whites.

Several years ago several of the same Indians were here during Fair. At that time they discovered the skull of Black Kettle in the Pioneer cabin. Identity was made by finding a bullet hole through the head, where, the Indians remembered, Black Kettle had been shot. Informed that his remains were buried in back of the cabin, the Indians expressed their desire to hold a burial service for him. The Wyoming Pioneer association has completed all arrangements. Word has been received from Chief Martin Red Bear that Black Elk, an Indian 89 years old, will conduct the rites. Black Kettle's widow, in her 90's, is still living, but will be unable to be here for the service.

A large crowd is anticipated for the official burial, as not many have seen the ceremony held sacred by Paleface tribes.

The scaffold to hold the casket will consist of for poles six fee high, with each having a crotch at the top. They will be placed just back of the corners of the grave. One of the uprights will be painted red, another yellow, the third black and white and the fourth black. Two eight-foot poles, painted brown, will rest along the tops of the uprights, and six three-foot crossbars, also painted brown, will form the base for the casket to rest on. The casket is to be painted black. After the ceremony the remains will be lowered into the ground.

The State Fair has contracted for 30 Sioux Indians to appear in full costume each day of the Fair, and the Wyoming Pioneer association is taking care of plans for the burial. Rick Anthony of Douglas is building the structure to be placed over the grave.


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