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Near Granite Falls in Yellow Medicine County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Upper (Or Yellow Medicine) Sioux Agency

 
 
Upper (Or Yellow Medicine) Sioux Agency Marker image. Click for full size.
By Connor Olson, July 21, 2020
1. Upper (Or Yellow Medicine) Sioux Agency Marker
Inscription.  By the treaties of 1851 and 1858 the lands of the once mighty Sioux were reduced to shoestring reservations along the southern bank of the Minnesota River. The Sisseton and Wahpeton bands of Upper Sioux held the land from Lake Traverse to the Yellow Medicine River.

The Upper, or Yellow Medicine, Agency was established to serve as the government’s headquarters for distributing annuity payments to the Sisseton and Wahpeton. It was also the center where schools were set up and where government employees attempted to teach the Indians to farm. The agency site, selected in July, 1854, by Agent Robert C. Murphy, was near the missions of Dr. Thomas S. Williamson and the Reverend Steven T. Riggs.

Like the Lower Agency thirty miles downriver, the Upper boosted sturdy homes for his physician, carpenter, farm superintendent, blacksmith, and other employees; a two story brick warehouse and agent’s residence; a school; stables; a brick kiln; and a jail. Nearby were for traders’ stores and at least 100 houses for farmer Indians.

Here at the Upper Agency, in August 1862, the initial rumblings of the Sioux Uprising were heard. The annuity payments

Upper (Or Yellow Medicine) Sioux Agency Marker image. Click for full size.
By Connor Olson, July 21, 2020
2. Upper (Or Yellow Medicine) Sioux Agency Marker
were late, and the Sioux were starving and restless. Although there was food in the warehouse, the Indian Agent at first refused to distribute it until the annuity money arrived. When the Indians threatened a fight, the agent yielded, and the situation temporarily quieted down.

Later that month the Sioux Uprising broke out, and the Indians looted and burned the Upper Agency. A leader of the peaceful faction of the Upper Sioux, John Other Day, led many whites from the agency to safety.
 
Erected 1966 by Minnesota Historical Society.
 
Topics. This memorial is listed in these topic lists: Native AmericansWars, US Indian.
 
Location. 44° 44.036′ N, 95° 27.095′ W. Marker is near Granite Falls, Minnesota, in Yellow Medicine County. Memorial can be reached from Minnesota Route 67. Located at Upper Sioux Agency State Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5908 MN-67, Granite Falls MN 56241, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Annuity Center/Warehouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Upper Sioux Agency (within shouting distance of this marker); Employee Duplexes No. 1 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Employee Duplex No. 2 (about 500 feet away); The Manual Labor School

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(about 500 feet away); Agency Homes (approx. 0.2 miles away); Yellow Medicine City (approx. ¼ mile away); Mazomani (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Granite Falls.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 7, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 7, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 48 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 7, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 7, 2021