Early W. Murray Co. MN Hist., pages 70-71        
Indian Massacre Monument

        Monument, erected by the State of Minnesota, which commemorates the massacre of 14 white settlers during the Indian uprising of 1862. The monument, which overlooks Lake Shetek and Smith Lake, is located two miles from Slaughter Slough where the fighting took place.


The Lake Shetek Massacre of August 20th, 1862

        The first actual settlement of Murray County took place in the year 1859, when a body of hardy pioneers settled on the north and east shores of Lake Shetek. Three families came in the first year and by 1862, the settlement contained twelve families and six young men who were busy making new homes and attending to the farm work.

        On the 29th of August, 1862, the Indian outbreak burst with terrific fury in western Minnesota and Lean Bear and White Lodge with their bands, numbering about a hundred Indians and squaws, started raiding the Lake Shetek settlement.

The first place visited that morning was the A. Meyers home at the head of the lake. They rode into the yard and ordered the Meyers family to leave at once. The Meyers left with what clothes they had on. The second place to be visited that morning was the P. Hurd home. Mr. Hurd was not at home. They ordered Mrs. Hurd to leave. The Indians then shot John Voight, the hired man.

        The third place visited was the Andrew Koch (Cook) home. Mr. Koch was killed. Mrs. Koch escaped and, frantic with fear, started wading down the edge of the lake to warn the other settlers. One of the young men, Charley Hatch, heard or saw the trouble, so he got on a horse and started down the lake shore and warned every settler of the impending danger. The first family warned was the Eastlick family, who hurried to the Smith cabin. They saw the Smiths running from their home to the Wright cabin. The Eastlicks and the Smiths reached the Wright cabin at the same time. The settlers were gathering here. Wright was not at home, but Mrs. Wright, a true pioneer woman, was busy arming the men and women, punching holes in the clay between the logs for loopholes, bringing in water and preparing for a siege. A team of horses was also brought into the cabin. Mrs. Koch then arrived, followed shortly by Tommy Ireland and William Duley, almost exhausted. They said their wives and children had become so tired that they were forced to hide in the woods.

        In the Wright yard was the wily, treacherous Sioux chief, Pawn, a "friend" of the whites. He went back with Duly and Ireland and helped bring in their families.


Previous Page Next Page
Table of Contents Index of Names