Sturgis in Meade County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Charles Nolin, Pony Mail Carrier
Charles "Red" Nolin, pony mail carrier on the Sidney-Deadwood trail, was ambushed, killed, and scalped here by Indians on August 19, 1876.
On this evening, Nolin stopped by Alkali Creek, where the National Cemetery is now located. Here a party of the "Hay Camp" now in Rapid City, were spending the night before hauling their hay on to Deadwood. Among those in the train were Jesse Brown, T.W. Leedy, Mrs. William O’Brien, Judge H.C. Ash, and Mr. and Mrs. Reason Rupe.
Nolin was urged to stay over night because Indian war cries had been heard in the vicinity. He insisted on leaving as he had promised his mother in Nebraska that this would be his last ride.
The next morning his lifeless body was found here. His horse had been killed and the mail scattered.
The freighters dug a shallow grave with their hay forks and covered the remains with rocks. The pile is still in evidence. In 1880 the remains were moved to the Bear Butte Cemetery.
Deadman Creek here and Deadman Mountain behind to the southwest were named for the tragedy that befell that 24-year old carrier.
Location. 44° 24.126′ N, 103° 30.532′ W. Marker is in Sturgis, South Dakota, in Meade County. Marker is on Junction Avenue north of Harmon Street, on the right when traveling north. Marker is located adjacent to the Nolin Monument, marking the site where Charles Nolin died. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 949 Harmon Street, Sturgis SD 57785, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within 16 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Civilian Conservation Corps Camps (approx. 1½ miles away); Bear Butte (Mato Paha) Indian Camp (approx. 1½ miles away); Bear Butte (approx. 3½ miles away); Camp J.G. Sturgis / Scooptown (approx. 6.7 miles away); Civilian Conservation Corps Camp (approx. 10.6 miles away); Multiple Purpose Management in Action (approx. 14.8 miles away); a different marker also named Civilian Conservation Corps Camp (approx. 15.2 miles away).
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1. Mail carriers work hard to deliver mail.
John S. McClintock quoted a conversation he had with a pony mail carrier who he believed to be Nolin: "Under sage and other brush all through the long days," said Charles Nolin. "It's wearing me out and I am tired of the job." A mail line was established between Cheyenne, Wyo. and Sydney, Neb. on the Union Pacific Railroad in early 1876. H. G. Rockfellow was the proprietor and the mail was carried on ponies. It is likely that Charles (Submitted on December 15, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. The Charles Nolin Monument and Film - Sturgis, 1932.
On May 30, 1932, a monument to Nolin was dedicated on the spot where his body was found. Two surviving members of the party that met Nolin on his last ride attended the event. In addition to the momument, a dramatic re-enactment of the Nolin incident was produced in the form of a silent film. (Submitted on December 15, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
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Credits. This page was last revised on December 28, 2017. This page originally submitted on December 15, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 136 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on December 15, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 7. submitted on December 18, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.