Mniska (White Water) Church


By: Orson R. Long Crow

Located just inside the northeastern boundaries of Tripp County is the Mniska Presbyterian Church and Cemetery. The church was founded around 1896 and is located on forty acres of land situated in the “Bull Creek District.” The church is included with many other Presbyterian churches under the direction of the Dakota Presbytery.

The church moved onto a new foundation and renovated inside, including electricity, many years ago by members of the congregation.

Power lines leading to the church were removed by the Rural Electric Association, some time ago. Services have not been held in the church for more than a decade.

At one time there was a large congregation and services conducted every Sunday. Church socials, Lent services, Easter, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas were always observed by the church.

The original parsonage was lost in a fire during the early 1970’s and was replaced by a house donated by the Long Crow family.

The cemetery is maintained by family members of the church. The fence and gate was moved in September of 2006 making it larger. Memorial Day is still observed at the cemetery by family members. Members of the Colome American Legion faithfully attend and perform military services.

Across the Bull Creek to the north of the Mniska Church is the old cemetery which was used by the Catholic Church and Episcopal Church. It is said that the name of the cemetery was “Our Lady of Sorrows.” Buried in the cemetery is Chief Medicine Bull, leader of a Lower Brule band of Indians that settled along the Bull Creek. This was also the site of a Government Day School.

Some family names from Bull Creek are:
Shields, Fool Hawk, Red Horse, Useful Heart, Collins, Gary, Crooked Foot, Carries the Eagle, His Law, Hawk Track, Surrounded, La Pointe, Black Bird, Ponka, Jones, Butt, Dognation, Blackstone, Ducks, Poordog, Littletail, Crazybull, Crow, Blackcloud, Yellowhoop, Medicinebear, Whitebird, Firethunder, Gould, Littlebull, Owleagle, Hair, Bull, Webster, Quinn, Firecloud, Eaglestar, Goodeagle, Black Smith, Charging Elk, King, Logan, and Long Crow.

Picture and information courtesy of the
Tripp County Historical Society Archives