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Yellow Hawk

Sans Arc


Here are the best known portraits of Yellow Hawk, who was one of the Sans Arc intancan that visited Washington in 1867.

Yellow Hawk
Yellow Hawk by Antonio Z. Shindler, 1867 (SIRIS)

Yellow Hawk
Yellow Hawk by Antonio Z. Shindler, 1867 (SIRIS)

Yellow Hawk
Yellow Hawk by Antonio Z. Shindler, 1869 (SIRIS)

Henri has sent me this picture of a pipebag, which is in a museum in Belgium. To me it looks exactly like the one hold by Yellow Hawk. I don't know if it belongs to him, because Spotted Horse (in another delegation portrait of 1867)  holds the same pipebag as well:

Pipe Bag

Here are photographs of Yellow Hawks wife Julia and their son. Kingsley said in the Sans Arc-thread that Julia was the daughter of Deloria (Des Lauriers, a frenchman) and a Dakota woman.

Donovin Sprague states in "Cheyenne River Sioux" that Julia was "a white woman rescued as a baby from a destroyed village by the Yellow Hawk family and raised by them." Later she married Yellow Hawk.

Julia Yellow Hawk
Julia Yellow Hawk

Solomon Yellow Hawk, 1909
Solomon Yellow Hawk, 1909

I assume that Solomon Yellowo Hawk is the one called Yellow Hawk II in the Sans-Arc-thread, who lead the progressive faction of the Sans Arc after Yellow Hawk's death in 1970.

South Dakota's "Ziebach County, History of the Prairie", published in 1982 by the Ziebach County Historical Society, Dupree, SD:

quotes from Ruth Yellow Hawk Thunder Hoop

"My father, Solomon Yellow Hawk (1847-1930), and his brother, Steven Yellow Hawk (1842-1909), are the only two sons of my grandmother, Wasicuwin or Julia Deloria Yellow Hawk (1826-1917). Her father was a Frenchman. Julia had a sister and one or two brothers. Deloria, one of the brothers, has a grandson who is now a minister, Vine Deloria, an Episcopal."

In 1882, the Des Lauriers built Fort Tecumseh on the west bank of the Missouri, a mile south of the later Fort Pierre, for the Columbia Fur Company.

In 1843, Julia Deloria "married a full-blood Indian of the Itazipco band: Yellow Hawk. My grandfather had three wives, but the third one had no children that I know of. Both my father and his brother were converted into Christian life and left all the old ways."

By the late 1870's both Stephen and Solomon Yellow Hawk had become assistants to Reverend Thomas L. Riggs at Oahe.

After 1876, settlers swarmed into Peoria Bottom (near Fort Sully on the Missouri), telling the Indians they must leave that area, which the Indian people had considered theirs for two generations. With T. L. Riggs, and at (later Governor) Mellette's suggestion, Stephen or his brother, Solomon, Yellow Hawk and Spotted Bear went before the court in Bon Homme and applied for citizenship. Then, at the land office in Springfield, they filed claims for land on Peoria Bottom. Their entries were accepted in 1879. Nineteen other Indians also made homestead entries there. There had been no precedent of an Indian filing a claim.


"In the old days back, my father had two wives. One from their community. The other wife he left with his two sons, he said, because he had to, as he wanted to be a Christian, although it was heart-breaking because he loved his sons. Their mother was from Fort Thompson, Kangi Okute. This happened way back before I existed, but I have been told."

Elizabeth Saul returned to Crow Creek with her sons, John Saul (b. 1878) and Thomas Saul (b. 1876).

"He [Solomon] married Wipehan/Woman Hair (d. 1881) in a Christian way. Their girl was Eunice, the one I followed to school. The other is Alien (1868-1943). He went to school at Santee Normal Training School in Nebraska and another name was given him: Alien West.'' His Indian name had been Mate Hoksila.

Alien West married Nancy Winona (1873-1964), the daughter of John and Elizabeth Cloud. Alien and Nancy were married in 1893 and their children were: Collies Jewett West; Benjamin; Jessie O. (married Sophia LaBlanc); Eugenia (Mrs. George Runs After); Hazel; Fred; Mamie (Mrs. Joe Yellow Head); Phillip; Rebecca; Melissa(Mrs. Robert Annis); Rueben;
Estella (Mrs. Jack Claymore); and Francis W. West.

"About two or three years after Alien and Eunice's mother died in 1881, my mother, Josephine, and father, Solomon, were united in marriage in a Christian way.

"Josephine/Isabelle Shouts/Yells (1852-1929) was the daughter of Abel (d. 1896) and Nancy/Yells/Towanke Waste Win (1817-1903) Rattler.''

"Then I came along and my sisters followed one by one." Ruth (1887- 1972; Mrs. Harry Thunder Hoop); Elizabeth (b. 1890: Meter); and Bessie (b. 1892: Mrs. Leon Veo or Vieus).

"It was at Oahe, South Dakota on May 25, 1887, the day I was born. It must be a beautiful day with all the wildflowers in bloom, with chokecherries, plums, currants, sweetpeas, bluebells, all in bloom that sent out sweet fragrance all over the air with the sweet smell of soil shooting up long blades of green grass and meadowlarks, brownthrush, crow, making all the noises to beat the band while the others warble sweet melodies, it must be this kind of a day as it always was."

"My grandma told me my father came riding bareback and said, 'Mother, come now. Ina wana hiyu we.' Well, I didn't know what was going on while I was growing in the crib, but far back as I can remember, we lived in a shingle-roofed log house at the foot of the northeast side of Oahe where I was born. I remember too that we lived in a huge hewed cottonwood log house, that the army had left and given to both my father and uncle. We lived there in winter time and in summer time we would move away to Bad River up the creek some twenty miles, where my father built a log house. We had a garden and fields. My father would go trapping for wolves and coyotes or chop up wood for sale. We would take it to Fort Pierre."

"My father was a Congregational minister among his own people."

"My uncle, Steven Yellowhawk, used to move to a parsonage for the summer. My father, Solomon Yellowhawk, would take all our livestock along with Grandma's, branded TSBY.''

Stephen Yellowhawk died in 1909. Solomon Yellowhawk's allotment was near La Plant, adjacent to the land bought by the railroad in 1910 for the town of La Plant. Solomon sold his adjacent land to Fred LaPlante, an Indian and a trader at Cheyenne River Agency, in 1914.

Solomon lived with his wife, Isabelle, in La Plant until her death in 1929, and then he lived with one of his daughters. He died in 1930.

(See also "My Life at Oahe", "Congregational Minister" by Ruth Yellow
Hawk Thunder Hoop.)

SOLOMON YELLOW HAWK by Ruth Thunder Hoop

It must be around 1889 or 1890, my father, Solomon Yellowhawk, was a policeman. There was the Indian Agency at Fort Bennett, South Dakota.

I also remember there was an army of soldiers; there were buildings where they stayed. I can still hear the bugle call that sounded and the many guns fired. We used to camp there. For some reason it seemed a long time to me. Across from Fort Bennett on the other side of the Missouri toward the east, was Fort Sully.

There was the Fort Bennett Boy's School, and there was the St. John's Girl's School on the northeast side of the Agency.

This Agency was the Fort Bennett Agency. In later years it was moved to the place up the Missouri where it has been, but now it is moved to Eagle Butte.

Well, talking about Fort Bennett, I recall one time, it must have been a ration day, as I saw the women and men standing in rows along the house. It was a cold day. As I was playing, running around, I saw big snow flakes falling. I dressed so warm I didn't feel the cold.

Afterwards I found out it was in January. My mother had been busy there with the others. Finally she came and called me, so I followed her along unti we came to one of the police quarters. There a woman came forward and met mother and took us inside. She was her cousin.

As I remember, we were sitting there, mother and the woman talking, when a man came inside and shook hands. Then he said, "Takoja", meaning grandchild, to one. There has been a war over there, pointing south, killing all the children, women, and men. The soldiers have done it. So I jumped up crying, holding onto mother's dress. I was so scared. This was the massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890, December 30. I well remember that man who came and told about the battle, Shaving Kajipa.

After that, the Indians were all scattered. People from Standing Rock found their way to this part of the country after Sitting Bull was killed. This is what I heard from the old people that knew what happened at the time. Now, that was the time as a police or a scout, my father was appointed by the agent to load up provisions in a spring wagon and team and to go and try to find where there might be some Indians hiding away and starving. Well, he said as he was going away far off on the prairie, he saw one little tipi. People came outside. He whipped the horses and went as fast as he could go, fearing they might get away from him, but when he stopped, they all came to him. Women and the children crying for want of food. There was one thing he told and laughed was that they tried to talk English to him because he looked like a wasicu (white person). Father spoke to them. So they were glad to get what he provided for them and he told them to get back where they came from.


After his first two wives died, Stephen Yellow Hawk married Martha Whirlwind in 1883. Their children were Lucy Creek and Matthew Yellow Hawk (1886-1956). Martha died in 1892 and Stephen married Nancy Cook in 1895. Their five children were: Marion; Mildred (d. 1917); Joseph Yellow Hawk; David (d. 1898); and Jessie Yellow Hawk (d.1896).

Matthew Yellow Hawk was married to Carrie Bear Eagle of upper Cheyenne River. Carrie died after one son was born, Bertran Isadore Yellow Hawk (1912-1966).

Bert Yellowhawk was married to Anne Elk Head of Green Grass community. Out of that union three children were born: Goldie Ann (b. 1934); Gerald (b. 1936); and Carrie (b.1940).
Goldie was married to Earl Beare, an ordained minister of the gospel. They pastored a church on the Rosebud until his death in 1974. They have two children: Richard (b. 1960), and Frances Ann.

Carrie Elizabeth is married to Jim Willcuts, a Rosebud Sioux, now living in Los Angeles. They have three children: Michael, Kathy and Crystal.

Gerald Yellowhawk entered the ministry early in life, surrending his life at age 18 to a full-time service in church work. He spent 4 years in a Bible College, training for the task that lay ahead. He spent 5 years in Pierre, as an assistant pastor.

Gerald married Johanna Pierce, an Iroquois from Syracuse, New York. Together they have pastored in Pierre and Eagle Butte. They have traveled extensively in the interest of Christian work throughout the United States and Canada. In 1966, Gerald was ordained as an Elder of the Dakota Conference of the Wesleyan Methodist Church. Their children are James (b. 1958), Diane and Debra, twins born in 1962. Jim graduated from college in Indiana in 1981.

Another photo of Solomon Yellow Hawk:

Solomon Yellow Hawk
Solomon Yellow Hawk

— Dietmar Schulte-Möhring

It's nice to see information about my great-grandfather. Especially reading quotes from Grandma Ruth. My mother was Marcella Elizabeth Veo Granados, her mother was Bessie Yellow Hawk, her grandfather was Solomon Yellow Hawk.

— mabelbeth

This is my g-g-great grandfather. My grandmother was Melissa West Annis, daughter of Allen West, son of Solomon Yellow Hawk. This is an interesting site, I've done extensive research about my family. The pipe bag does look similiar and may, in fact, be the same used for the photos. However, at the time pictures like this were taken, many of the photographers had bought pipe bags and things of that nature to use as "props." The idea being to make the Native people being photographed look "authentically" Native. I have original copies of all these photos. It was nice to see them here though.

— Intancanwin



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