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“My Year Among the Sioux” by Ruth (Thomas) Burns

 Unprocessed — Box: 06600 C
Identifier: H2018-011

Content Description

The collection consists of a photocopied, thirty-page, typed manuscript written by Ruth (Thomas) Burns. Ruth Thomas was born October 25, 1882 at Arlington Heights (IL) to Elias and Ruth Thomas. Ruth’s parents taught school for one year, in 1891, at the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation at Fort Bennett. Her parents taught at the school for three years. Ruth’s older sister Ella was also there for a time. Ruth married Jesse Burns on April 25, 1911. She spent most of her life living in Huron (S.D.). The manuscript titled, “My Year Among the Sioux,” is believed to have been written in the 1950s as the author makes a reference to “…more than sixty years have gone by in the interim…” Ruth would have been roughly nine years old. The reminiscence includes Ruth’s trip to the Fort Bennett area, stories about her father, Native American interactions, the school, Spotted Tail, agency cattle, the Thomas’ home, school staff, plants and animals, cowboys, homesteaders, Paul Prairie Chicken and Fish Gut. The manuscript includes a number of footnotes written by the author, providing further details. Several references are made to specific Native Americans. The manuscript includes derogatory remarks concerning Native Americans.

Acquisition Type


Restrictions Apply



  • Event: 1891
  • ca. 1950s



0.1 Cubic Feet