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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Billings in Yellowstone County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Yellowstone Kelly's Grave

Black Otter Trail Historic District

 
 
Yellowstone Kelly's Grave Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 16, 2020
1. Yellowstone Kelly's Grave Marker
Inscription.  To the monotonous beat of muffled drums, Luther Sage “Yellowstone” Kelly’s funeral cortege wound its way through downtown Billings on June 26, 1929. A second procession along the rimrocks to the grave site followed strict military protocol. Veterans of earlier wars, state officials, a firing squad, and a horse with reverse boots led the way. A horse-drawn wagon carried the flag-draped casket of the man who symbolized to many the ideal frontiersman. Born in Geneva, New York on July 27, 1849, Kelly spent his earliest career in Montana, where he proved himself as a hunter, trapper, and explorer. Admired as literate, courteous, and of fine character, he was also a distinguished veteran of both the Civil War and the Philippine-American War. Kelly could have been buried at Arlington National Cemetery. However, as the end drew near, he wrote, “My body will rest better in Montana.” After his death in California on December 17, 1928, at age 79, his remains were sent to Montana where the Billings Commercial Club built a fitting memorial. This monument overlooking the Yellowstone Valley marks Kelly’s grave.
 
Erected by
Yellowstone Kelly's Grave Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 16, 2020
2. Yellowstone Kelly's Grave Marker
The marker is the distance, just to the left of the flagpole.
Montana Historical Society.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Cemeteries & Burial Sites.
 
Location. 45° 47.884′ N, 108° 29.329′ W. Marker is in Billings, Montana, in Yellowstone County. Marker is on Chief Black Otter Trail near East Airpot Road, on the right when traveling east. The marker is located at the Yellowstone Kelly Interpretive Site. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Billings MT 59101, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Surely this spot was meant for Yellowstone Kelley (here, next to this marker); Luther Sage "Yellowstone" Kelly (a few steps from this marker); Who was Luther Sage "Yellowstone" Kelly? (within shouting distance of this marker); The Nomadic Experience (within shouting distance of this marker); Where the River Meets the Rims (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Enjoying Our Parks (approx. 0.2 miles away); Skeleton Cliff (approx. ¼ mile away); Boothill Cemetery (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Billings.
 
Yellowstone Kelly's Grave image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 16, 2020
3. Yellowstone Kelly's Grave
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 14, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 14, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 35 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 14, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Mar. 5, 2021