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General Sibley Ceremony


A large ceremony was conducted near Tower City, North Dakota on this day in 1927. The ceremony was part of a commemoration honoring General Henry Hastings Sibley. The dedication of a bronze tablet marking the spot where General Sibley and his men camped during the United States Dakota War of 1862 served as the highlight of the ceremony.

The Dacotah chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, stationed in Fargo, selected the site to lay the commemoration tablet. The Daughters held the ceremony to mark the historic site in accordance with the National Daughters of the American Revolution guidelines. Local patriotic organizations helped the Daughters plan and organize the event, which included a picnic lunch, singing, music, several speakers, and the dedication of the plaque. General Sibley, in addition to being the first governor of Minnesota, endured a remarkable military and political career on the Northeastern Plains. After the massacre at Acton, Minnesota, Sibley was charged by the United States Government with finding and returning the assailants, many of whom had fled to North Dakota. Later on, Sibley became instrumental in many of the treaties that the government made with several Plains Indian groups.

General Sibley, along with 6,400 men, stopped near Tower City to camp for the night on a return trip to Fort Snelling from Bismarck. The boulder that organizers placed the bronze tablet on was taken from the farm of B. L. Burnham from Wheatland, North Dakota. Mr. Burnham’s father was a member of the Sibley expedition that traveled across the state sixty-four years earlier. Eight additional sons and daughters of Sibley’s soldiers attended the event. Honorable Smith Stimmel, a former member of President Abraham Lincoln’s bodyguard, gave the invocation for the dedication ceremony. Later, children of the Daughters of the American Revolution scattered flowers around the stone and bronze marker, and along the trail that Sibley’s men had marched down over sixty years before.

-Jayme L. Job


Fargo Forum and Daily Tribune (Morning ed.). August 7, 1927: p. 7.