“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Gering in Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

Pierre Papin Grave

Pierre Papin grave Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Gary McClenahan, May 3, 2009
1. Pierre Papin grave Marker
Inscription.  Pierre Didier Papin

P. D. Papin was a trusted and valued employee of the American Fur Company and its successors for over thirty years. He was born March 7, 1798, In St. Louis. The Papins were a prominent French merchant family in that city.

Papin joined "the Company" in the early 1820s and worked with its Upper Missouri Outfit headquartered in present-day South Dakota. Papin established his own trading company in 1829 but was soon bought out by the American Fur Company, which then rehired him. By 1842 Papin had moved to Fort John (popularly known as Fort Laramie) on the Laramie River and in 1845 became chief agent at that post. Meanwhile, the company had reorganized as Pierre Chouteau Jr. & Co., but operations remained essentially unchanged.

On June 15, 1846, Papin was met by Francis Parkman on the Platte River in Nebraska while enroute to St. Louis with a load of fur.

"The boats, eleven in number, deep-laden with the skins, hugged close to the shore....Papin sat in the middle of one of the boats, upon the canvas that protected the cargo. He was a stout robust fellow, with a little gray eye, that had a pecularly

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sly twinkle....I shook hands with the bourgeois, and delivered the letter then the boats swung around into the stream and floated away."

Upon arrival in St. Louis the company granted Papin a partnership. In 1848 while in St. Louis he refused to return to Laramie and was succeeded at that post by Andrew Drips. However by 1851 Papin was back on the frontier and still with "the Company".

In 1849 Fort Laramie was purchased by the U.S. Army and Drips established a company trading post here in Helvas Canyon. Papin was at this post with the company's Fort John Outfit when he died in May 1853. He was buried here, his grave marked by a large cedar cross. Papin was survived by his wife, Catherine, and four children. There were twenty-six grandchildren.

Research by William A. Goff, Kansas City, Mo.
Signing and Funding by Oregon-California Trails Association
This is a part of your American heritage. Honor it, protect it, preserve it for your children.
Erected 1991 by Oregon-California Trails Association.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ExplorationIndustry & Commerce. A significant historical month for this entry is May 1853.
Location. 41° 44.12′ N, 103° 41.881′ W. Marker is near Gering, Nebraska, in Scotts Bluff County. Marker is at the

Pierre Papin grave Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Gary McClenahan, 2000
2. Pierre Papin grave Marker
intersection of County Road 20 and Peaceful Valley Road & County road 20, on the left when traveling south on County Road 20. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Gering NE 69341, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Portal to the West (approx. 6.1 miles away); Robidoux Trading Post (approx. 6.2 miles away); The Platte River Road (approx. 6.3 miles away); A Sea of Grass (approx. 6.4 miles away); Scott's Bluff Pony Express Station (approx. 6˝ miles away); Choices (approx. 6˝ miles away); A Transportation Corridor (approx. 6˝ miles away); Oregon Trail (approx. 6.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gering.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 20, 2019. It was originally submitted on May 17, 2019, by Gary McClenahan of Gering, Nebraska. This page has been viewed 383 times since then and 64 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 17, 2019, by Gary McClenahan of Gering, Nebraska. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 10, 2023