William Jackson[1]

Male 1856 - Bef 1900  (43 years)


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  • Name William Jackson 
    Born 27 Aug 1856  Fort Benton, Dakota Territory Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died Bef 1900  Montana Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I104812  Alger
    Last Modified 9 Feb 2020 

    Father Thomas Andrew Jackson,   b. Abt 1815, , , Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1876  (Age ~ 61 years) 
    Mother Amelia Munro,   b. Abt 1830-1840,   d. Aft 1920  (Age ~ 81 years) 
    Married Abt 1855 
    Family ID F40478  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Susan,   b. Abt 1860,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married Abt 1880 
    Children 
     1. William Jackson,   b. 1881-1882,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. Thomas Jackson,   b. 1885-1886,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 31 Jul 2015 
    Family ID F40481  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Mary White Antelope,   b. Abt 1870,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married Abt 1888 
    Children 
     1. Thomas James Jackson,   b. Abt 1887,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. Amelia Jackson,   b. Abt 1889,   d. Yes, date unknown
     3. Hugh William Jackson,   b. 1892, Montana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     4. Margareta Jackson,   b. 28 Dec 1893,   d. 10 Oct 1943  (Age 49 years)
     5. Annie Jackson,   b. Abt 1896,   d. Yes, date unknown
     6. Julia Jackson,   b. Abt 1898,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 31 Jul 2015 
    Family ID F40482  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Undated census on Blackfeet Reservation (probably after 1900) The following children of William Jackson are living together: Thomas Jackson #1 Head of house Thomas Jackson #2 1/2 Brother Mildred Jackson 1/2 sister Hugh (William) J. 1/2 Brother Maggie Jackson 1/2 sister Annie Jackson 1/2 sister

      BIO:WILLIAM JACKSON - "SIKSIKA'IKOAN" BLACKFOOT MAN

      BIO:In the spring of 1896 Walter McClintock went into northwestern Montana as a member of a Government expedition appointed by President Cleveland to advise the Secretary of the Interior on US Forest Reserve policy. McClintock went as photographer and to help in the forest surveys. They had two guides: an Indian scout of the Blackfeet tribe, William Jackson, and Jack Monroe, a white man who was married into the tribe. When the survey was completed McClintock went with William Jackson across the Glacier Park area to his home on the Blackfeet Reservation. In his book OLD INDIAN TRAILS (Houton Mifflin Co., 1923) he writes about his time with Jackson and the Blackfeet:

      TBL:"My guide was near middle age. He had a swarthy complexion, black hair and high cheek bones of an Indian; but he did not look like a full blood. He was tall and slender, with an impressive manner; fluent of speach and polite and suave. His father was a white man named Jackson, an early pioneer, a Rocky Mountain Hunter and trapper, his mother an Indian woman. The son was called Billy Jackson by white men and Siksika'i-koan (Blackfoot Man) by the Indians.
      He was an unusual Half-breed as he raised himself above the popular prejudice against half-breeds. He was liked and respected by both white men and Indians. Honest and industrious, generous and kind, he was always ready to help any who came to his ranch. He stood high in the councils of the Blackfoot tribe; and served honorably as scout for Generals Custer, Miles and Reno in the Indian wars.
      The scout was a good guide in the wilderness; on him I could depend. He knew the trails of the plains and mountains and handled with skill the wild Indian horses. Self-reliant in time of danger, he had the quiet manliness and courage that knew no fear; a keen sense of humor and a wonderful knowledge of nature. On the trail he was cheerful; he never disputed, found fault or cursed. He was courteous and had the quiet manners of a gentleman. At night by the camp-fire Siksika'i-koan told about his life. Most of his youth was spent north of the Line (49th parallel) among the Cree Indians in Canada. In those early days on the plains he was daring and reckless, and suffered permanent injuries. In 1874 he was scout for General Custer on his expedition to the Black Hills of Dakota, and went with him against the Souix. He served under General Miles and General Terry, and the Government of the Northwest Territories in the Riel Rebellion.
      On the day when General Custer and his battalion of the Seventh Cavalry were cut to pieces by the Souix, Siksika'i-koan was with Reno's command. With fifteen scouts he made a stand and tried to stop the Indians. In that charge all but two of those brave scouts were killed. Bloody Knife and Siksika'i-koan alone were left. Then Bloody Knife shook hands and said "This is the last day I shall ever fight." He rushed among the enemy, killed two and was slain himself. Jackson escaped and lay in the river close to the bank. After two days and nights of terrible exposure and without food, he made his way with two white soldiers to Reno's command on the bluffs above the river. In the night he led them past the Souix sentinels through his knowledge of the Sioux language. (This incident is referred to in the Report of General W.T. Sherman, Secy of War, 1876, p.33.)

      BIO:HIS EARLY LIFE AT FORT BENTON

      BIO:William Jackson narrated the story of his early life and the Custer campaign with the Souix to Shultz who told the story in his book: "William Jackson Indian Scout."

      BIO:William Jackson was born at Fort Benton, the American Fur Company Post on the Missouri River on August 27, 1856, the second son of Amelia Munro and Thomas Jackson. There, in the time of Factor Andrew Dawson, Thomas Jackson, who had entered the employ of the American Fur Comapny in 1835, was the post tailor. He spent all of his time within the fort and had no interest in hunting, fishing or the rugged outdoor life. He was the son of an old Virginia family and was adament that his sons were taught to read and write proficiently.

      BIO:William, when given the opportunity, was an avid shadow of his grandfather, Hugh Munro, or Rising Wolf as he was commonly known to everyone, who was the fort "hunter." He was responsible for providing meat for all the fort needs, a complement of about forty persons and their families.William's uncles and Aunts, John, Francois, and Lizzie, also were helpers in the hunting and lived in the spacious quarters provided for the family. Both William and his older brother, Robert, had aspirations to be great hunters like Rising Wolf.

      BIO:Times were quiet in the Dakota Territory at this time. Buffalo and other game was plentiful on the plains. For the most part the Blackfeet and surrounding tribes were co-existing without conflict. The American Fur Company steamboats arrived regularly with supplies and trade goods, and left with loads of buffalo, beaver, wolf and other skins from the Indian trade.

      BIO:However, with the winter of 1863-4 came indications of change, and when the first steamboat arrived in the Spring it brought orders of great concern. Accusing the men of the American Fur Company of being Confederate sympathizers, and against the Union, the Washington authorities refused to renew the trading license of the company, and Mr. Dawson was ordered to dispose of Fort Benton as best he could. Dawson turned over the post to his two clerks Matthew Carroll and George Steell, loaned them money to continue the business, and left on his long journey to Scotland.

      BIO:Suddenly Thomas Jackson was unemployed. Rising Wolf was restless and unhappy with the new arrangements, and could only think how much he again yearned to be a "free trapper" and return to the mountains that he loved. Not only that, he wanted to take ALL of his family with him. For Christmas this year instead of the usual toys, games and story books sent out from the east, the boys each found in their packages a hunting outfit, complete with a brand-new cap-lock rifle!

      BIO:Rising Wolf and his extended family gathered their belongings, bought traps and needed supplies from the sutler, and loaded the assembled bundles onto the backs of their expanded herd of riding and pack horses,and, much to the delight of William and Robert, were soon off to the mountains.

      BIO;EARLY ADVENTURES WITH GRANDFATHER "RISING WOLF"

      BIO:They camped first at Two Medicine Lodge Lake at the edge of the mountains. They pitched their three buffalo cow leather lodges by the lake. Uncle John and his wife occupied one lodge, the grandparents, Uncle Francois and Aunt Lizzie the second, and the four Jacksons the third. The next day time was spent in completing the campsite, making a corral and marking the perimeter of their area. While Rising Wolf was thus occupied Robert and William wandered away looking for game. With their new rifles they were sure they could shoot an elk or deer. Suddenly a noise in the bush attracted Robert and he was sure it was a buffalo. Without a clear view he shot into the exposed dark hide and a tremendous roar and snarl exposed the "Buffalo" as actually a huge Grizzly Bear!

      BIO:Robert turned and ran as fast as he could for the camp. William, remembering the advice that it was better to stand and confront a bear, aimed and emptied his rifle into it. The shot only made the bear more irate and he angrily charged. William turned and ran, yelling every step of the way for his grandfather! Seeing that the bear was gaining fast, William sought refuge in a willow tree, too low and too late ! With one swipe of his big paw the grizzly ripped through his pant and raked the back of his leg, and was ready for a second assault when Rising Wolf killed the bear with his gun. Of course the boys were then subjected to long lectures on behavior, responsibility, and the finer points of hunting in general, and bear hunting in particular. Their independant activities were also drastically curtailed - after all, they were only 8 and 10 years old !

      BIO:Around the cheerful fire of Rising Wolf's lodge that night plans were made for the beaver trapping lines. It was agreed that John and Francois would trap down the river and it's forks, and Rising Wolf would take his son-in-law Thomas and teach him to set traps along the river above the head of Two Medicine Lodge Lake. Amelia was satisfied with this arrangement as that would leave William and Robert to guard the camp, herd the horses and help with chores. But William joined Robert in protesting vigorously that this was a totally unfair arrangement. They both were adament in wanting to join their grandfather in learning to trap. As mothers and grandmothers universally do, Amelia and Fox Woman protested that the boys were too young and it was unsafe for them so far from the camp. The argument was soon settled, however, when Aunt Lizzie calmly announced that, of course, the boys were to go with their grandfather and learn to trap. It was their right and legacy, and SHE needed no help in guarding the camp or herding the horses; she could do it very well herself. This was no idle boast as there was no braver woman than Lizzie. She had a good small-bore rifle and loved to hunt, and with it she had killed numerous deer, elk, antelope and buffalo.

      BIO:Not missing the opportunity to re-inforce his authority and the passing day's lesson in behavior, Rising Wolf agreed with that arrangement, but with the stipulation that the boys would take turns in going with him on the trap line. After all, he would have his hands full teaching two novices the finer points of beaver trapping and dressing hides; he did not need the added highjinks that too often occured when the two inventive boys got together with results similar to that of the morning past. William won the first turn by default as his grandfather announced that Robert would stay in the camp with the women the next day and take time to reflect further on the results of stinging the rear end of a real-bear !

      BIO:Up at dawn to turn the horses out to graze and saddle the riding ponies, William bolted his breakfast, too excited to sit by the morning fire. By sunrise he was on the trail to the the north side of the lake, following his father and grandfather and their accumulated traps and gear. They soon came onto a large beaver dam with numerous lodges and beaver swimming in the pond. Before they could even decide where to begin laying the traps, a large bull moose with velvet antlers came sloshing along the lake browsing among the water-weeds. Still needing meat for the camp, Rising Wolf invited Thomas to come with him to head off the moose and try for a good shot. Both he and William were astounded when Thomas said he would wait for them at the beaver dam as he did not want to kill the moose ! Without questioning this wonderful opportunity William scrambled to follow his grandfather around the end to creep quickly up to the top of the beaver dam. There along the river, still sploshing along and coming toward them was the great moose, not fifty yards away.

      BIO:As Rising Wolf raised his rife William tugged at his sleeve, and begged for the opportunity of the first shot. With the excitement of the hunt still sparkling in his eyes, Rising Wolf, in a great act of self-denial, allowed William to cock his rife and take the first shot. He fired, saw the moose flinch and turn to run for the protection of the timber, only to flounder awkwardly, stumble, and fall on the bank of the pond. In his eagerness to examine the fallen animal his grandfather had to remind him that a good hunter never moves until he has reloaded his rife. With trembling fingers he reloaded to his grandfather's satisfaction and then scrambled to the site of the kill. Almost unable to contain his excitement and elation at the size of the immense animal, he was pleased and gratified at Rising Wolf's praise of his accurate shooting and promise as a "hunter." He was equally amazed when his father arrived where they were preparing the moose for the pack horses and showed no enthusiasm at all over the kill ! For the first time he realized that his father found no pleasure in hunting and trapping and only saw it as hard and unpleasant work ! William struggled to understand his father's viewpoint, but could find no real appreciation of his feelings.

      BIO:Returning to the beaver pond and the main business of setting traps, William followed his grandfather in the intricate process of setting, baiting, scenting and staking traps at three sites. Then, hardly able to contain his excitement, with small corrections by Rising Wolf, he repeated the steps to set the remaining three traps on their side of the beaver pond. When they arrived back at the beginning of the line, there stood Thomas Jackson, out of sorts and wet to the knees, but still with his six beaver traps. Fretfully, he stated he really had no idea how to set the traps and asked Rising Wolf to show him.

      BIO:They arrived at camp at sundown with the horses heavily laden with prime moose meat, and William full of talk about the wonderful day he had enjoyed. The moose ribs broiled for supper were long remembered by him as the best tasting he had ever eaten!

      BIO:With his belly full of meat and his eyes too heavy to keep open, William was soon fast asleep under his own buffalo robe. Soon Robert was told to join him, and both boys missed the conference that involved the rest of the family around Rising Wolf's flickering fire. In the rising light of dawn they heard with astonishment their father's announcment at breakfast that he had decided to take on the responsibilities of camp guard and horse herder, and both boys were to go with their grandfather to trap. For once not questioning the reason behind this wonderful stroke of luck, both boys ran to assemble their rifles and supplies and raced to saddle the horses chosen for the day. They were also quite amazed to find Aunt Lizzie, clothed in blanket capote and leggings and complete with rife and gear, saddling her own mount in preparation to join them on the trap line ! Aunt Lizzie was full of surprises ! Was she really an experienced trapper? However, William had no doubt of her prowess with the beaver when she took him and rode up beside her father, declaring they as a team would catch more beaver pelts than the team comprised of the other three "men;" Robert and her two brothers, John and Francois. And, for William, all doubts about her experience and sincerity vanished when she even wagered her sorrel-pinto pony in a bet with John that her team would come out ahead ! BIO:They retraced their route to the beaver pond, passing the tracks of grown bears and cubs leading to the remains of the moose carcus where they had eaten during the night. Their horses danced and shied and were exceedingly nervous even after they passed to the beaver pond.

      BIO:When they reached the trap site the first two traps yielded nothing, and William felt the disappointment acutely. Had he been mistaken in the traps he set under his grandfather's guidance ? Then on to the third trap that had disappeared entirely ! Only when Rising Wolf showed him how to reach down underwater to retrieve the stake did he realize that his trap had caught a large beaver with a prime pelt ! Then on to the remaining traps with rising excitement with each one that held a beaver. There was the hard work of carefully skinning out the animals before they were loaded onto the horses.

      BIO:With the explanation that the beaver would be wary and the trapping poor at the pond until the bear had quit frequenting the moose kill, all the traps were gathered and they rode on up into the mountains to the second lake to find a new site to set the traps. It was dark before they returned to the camp, and Robert and the two men were even later coming in from their line as they had taken time to ride the lower area where they saw many buffalo, deer and elk. They had counted 13 bears seen during the ride; the most of them grizzly bears. They were all pleased with the multitude of game, and Rising Wolf was enthusiastic about the prospect of a great catch of fur for the season.

      BIO:The following day they rode back into camp with a total of fourteen prime beaver pelts and one otter, a great take for the day. And so it went for the next five days; riding out of camp with the rising sun, and returning at dusk with horses loaded with game and beaver skins ready for the willow stretchers. Then, on the sixth day, when Robert and the uncles returned to camp they were accompanied by Back-coming-in-sight and other chiefs of the Kootenai Indians, followed closely by 200 lodges of their people. Although it meant the end of their trapping, they were old friends and Rising Wolf welcomed them, preparing a feast. The following day they packed up the camp, loaded the horses, retrieved their traps and took up the trail to the north, making camp two days later at St. Mary's Lakes.

      BIO:The sun was setting when Rising Wolf led them through the timber to a large, weather-beaten cross set up on the shore of the lake, at the outlet. There he told them once again how, when he was guiding for Father LaComb, the first Jesuit priest who was appointed Missionary to the Saskatchewan country, the two had made camp at this point, set up the cross, the priest then kneeling beside it, and with prayer naming the two great bodies of water the St. Mary's Lakes. They all sat down to admire the peaceful surface of the lakes and the beautiful mountains and forest surrounding them. Trout breaking the surface to feed as dusk approached soon precipitated a discussion among the women about the dangers of the terrible "Underwater People" who inhabited the lakes, and who would seize those who ventured to swim in the waters and drag them down into the depths where they would never be seen again ! It was a fearsome tale, and doubly so when told with conviction by the grandmother, the aunts, and even re-inforced by the uncles, John and Francois, as the sky darkened and night fell. Their father had told them more than once that the tale was nonsence, and there were no such creatures, and there was nothing to fear as long as they knew how to swim. The boys were surprised that their grandfather had nothing to say on this occassion, made no contribution to the discussion, and seemed to sit quietly contemplating the beautiful surroundings with an extra twinkle in his bright blue eyes.

      BIO:With little else to occupy their minds after the evening chores, the tale of the dread water gods again became a subject for discussion between the boys. The warnings and admonitions of the women were raised and examined. Surely there could not be any such monsters...and yet.... Finally, feeling immeasurably superior due to his being two years older, Robert dared William to prove his bravery by going with him to swim in the lake ! In the darkness they sneaked away from the camp and made their way to the water. William, determined to prove he was as brave as his brother, stripped to the skin and plunged into the cold water, and soon they were swimming far out in the lake. Regaining the shore they were exhilarated by the combination of the exercise, the cold water, and their new-found feeling of invincibility as the result of the challange of confronting and conquering their fear. Their father was right - the tale was nonsence ! For good measure they swam out into the lake and back again, wriggled into their damp clothes, slipped into camp and the warm Jackson teepee, and soon after were snug under the warm buffalo robes of their bed. They had agreed that they would keep their little adventure a secret, as they were well aware of the reaction in camp if the women found they had rashly challenged the long-held belief in the Underwater People - even if with impunity !
      BIO:If they had not been so taken up with the excitement of their success, and with the need to seek the warmth of their bed and the lodge fire, perhaps they would have noticed their grandfather watching from the willows, or heard his chuckle after they passed by. There was not much that occurred in the camping area that eluded the sharp blue eyes of Rising Wolf ! And he obviously silently agreed with them that it was needless to worry the women with this successful little adventure.

      BIO:New trap lines were soon established on the streams leading down into the lake and the catch was plentiful. They averaged at least ten pelts a day for several weeks, until the take dwindled off to only three or four beaver each day. At that point the men all agreed that they would have more success higher up on the upper lake. They spent a day packing, gathering their scattered belongings and preparing for an early morning start to move the camp.

      BIO:They were gathered around the fire enjoying a side of freshly roasted moose when suddenly several of the horses in the corral began to snort, and the dogs to bark in alarm. The uncles grabbed their rifles and hurried out into the night, thinking perhaps it was a real-bear after the horses, or even a war party. William, Robert and their father all ran to their lodge to gather their guns, when out in the direction of the corral came the blast of a gun, followed by a shrill cry of pain, and someone shouting in a strange tongue. Assiniboins! An Assiniboin war party ! Finally finding both his powder horn and ball pouch in the darkness William grabbed his rife and raced back to the lodge where he could hear both the women and Rising Wolf calling them. His grandfather lost no time in urging the women out of the lodge with instructions to go together down to the ford in the river where they were to hide in the brush and wait until someone came for them. The guns were booming again out past the horse corral as the women hurried away in the darkness.

      BIO:"We must help John and Francois, and save the horses if possible," Rising Wolf urgently informed them as he hurried to lead the way. William was last in line, and soon sensed there was someone behind him ! Thinking it was an enemy he turned suddenly to fire his gun, and bumped right into Aunt Lizzie ! Cautioning him not to reveal her presence, she joined him on the path and they followed the men into the dark and the battle.

      BIO:The uncles had located the Indians at the horse corral where they were trying to untie the crossbars at the entry to drive the horses out. They fired and reloaded, locating the crowd of the enemy by the flash of guns. Two or more were hit or wounded and one of the horses lay dead of a stray shot. Hoping to drive them off before the Assiniboins were able to remove the cottonwood rails and scatter the horses into the care of their friends waiting beyond, they all fired again just as the horses and mounted riders stampeded out of the fence and into the night. Before they had finished reloading their rifles the whole herd had disappeared into the timber and they could hear the Assiniboin driving them toward Loud Roaring Creek.

      BIO: With reloaded rifles they began to run after the running horses, again with some hope of recovering at least a few of the animals. Thomas soon became winded and was left behind as the others struggled to gain on the fast disappearing animals. Eventually William also stopped to struggle to catch his breath, and realized he was close beside his grandfather. Where the others were he had no idea as they had become separated in the dark. They listened but now could hear no sound of the horses as they left the timber and brush and raced silently across the prairie grass. Suddenly there were shots from the direction of the camp, and lights flickering around the lodges. The Assiniboin were in the camp and firing into the lodges ! By now they were at least a mile from camp when they turned and began the long run back. The women ! Kit Fox Woman, Amelia and John's wife, Isabelle ! Had they left the ford and returned to the lodges ? Suddenly the fire blossomed into three towers of flame as the lodges caught fire and flared out of control, with the smell of scorching hides drifting on the smokey air. Running blindly to keep up, William ran right into Rising Wolf as he suddenly stopped. Grabbing William by the arm, he quickly told him they must turn and run to the ford and make sure the women were there as that was the closer way. Off they ran again and had gone nearly half way when, against the glowing fire, they could see five figures, loaded with bundles, coming toward them.

      BIO:Whispering together William and his grandfather agreed on a plan where they would lie quietly in the path and leap up and fire into the group when they were very close to them. Located in their hiding places they waited in stressed anticipation, when suddenly they again heard the thudding of hoofs as the horse herd seemed to be heading their way. The sound of hoofs grew as the herd approached until it was so close that they could hear the dew claws rattling and clicking, and suddenly recognized that this was no horse herd bearing down on them ! As the five enemy with their bundles turned and fled, William and Rising Wolf leaped up and ran to the opposite side of the path. Joining hands they ran and ran to escape to the fringes of the blindly stampeding buffalo herd, soon thinking they would never have the wind to outrun the charging beasts and they would surely be trampled to death. Then, suddenly, the buffalo were gone as quickly as they had appeared, and the two of them were left in the silence of the night with only the dust produced by the churning feet of the animals to mark their passing.

      BIO:After recovering from this narrow escape William and Rising Wolf continued on to the ford where they soon located the women, frightened and unhappy, but safe and sound. William soon assured his mother that he really was unharmed, but sadly had to admit that he had no idea what had happened to Robert after they became separated. Guns boomed again down near the mouth of Loud Roaring Creek to prove that some of the men were still out there fighting with the Assiniboin. William was eager to set out again with his grandfather, but was firmly detained by the worried women who, once having found him, were not willing to let him out of their sight again. Within a few minutes Thomas also found the group and was happily reunited with his wife. He also had no knowledge of Robert's whereabouts. He unhappily admitted that he had been wandering about in the dark for most of the night just trying to find some member of the family, and avoiding the hostile Indians. He fretfully complained that they had no business running about out there in the night shooting recklessly at sounds and moving shadows !

      BIO:At last, at about two in the morning, they heard the owl call nearby that signaled the arrival of more of the family, and John and Francois joined the group hiding in the bushes. They were both joyfully greeted, with relief that they had escaped harm through the long and eventful night. Unhappily, however, neither of them had seen either Robert or Lizzie since they began the run down toward Loud Roaring Creek.

      BIO:Not long after they were again settled to wait out the remainder of the night, they heard the splashing of large animals fording the creek. Thinking perhaps some of the enemy had overheard them in their hiding place, the men made ready their rifles to fire at the first indication of danger. They could see the faint outline of two riders when out of the darkness came the owl call that identified them as Lizzie and Robert. The family was safe and together at last !

      BIO:As the long night faded into dawn they all trecked slowly back to view the ravaged campsite. Where the lodges had stood were three piles of charred leather and lodge-pole ends, and scattered blackened remnants of cups and camping gear. The Assiniboin had stolen all the beaver traps, their cans of powder and sacks of balls, the bundled beaver pelts, and even the saddles and gear for the horses. They had then piled the marrow grease and fat dried meat on top of the pulled down lodges and set fire to it all.

      BIO:Rising Wolf reminded them that the family was fortunate to have escaped without even one casualty, mounted Fox Woman and Isabelle on the two horses, and led the way on the trail to the south. By sundown of the following day they arrived at their previous camp on the Two Medicine Lodges Lake where they had left the band of Kootenai. The Kootenai had broken camp, however, and gone down the river. By late afternoon of the following day the Kootenai were discovered camping at Little Badger Creek where they had obtained permission from the Peigans to hunt buffalo. The Munros were warmly welcomed, fed to excess, and made comfortable with gifts of lodges, clothing, camp gear, food and supplies and many horses. Three days later the family accompanied the Kootnai band to Bear River where they were safe, at last, with their own Piegan bands.

      BIO:After much discussion (in which Thomas refused to take part !) Hugh and his sons decided to go on to Fort Benton where they would obtain traps and supplies on credit, and then cross the Missouri and trap beaver along the streams of the Belt Mountains until the end of the season. Three days later they turned into the Fort Benton river bottom and found there surprising changes! A large log building was being put up just above the fort. There Carroll and Steell were planning to move their store so they could lease or sell the fort to the government.

      BIO:Rising Wolf was furious! "This is the beginning of the end for us," he stormed. "The whites will invade the country! They will build a town here, swarm all over the plains and our mountains! They will kill off our meat animals and trap out our fur animals! They will take the land and make beggers of all of us!!"

      BIO:Carroll, however was glad to see Hugh and his family. He offered to re-emply all of them, and urged them to move back into their old quarters at the fort. Upon hearing of their losses to the Assiniboin, he even offered to outfit them for another trapping expedition if they were set on returning to the mountains.

      BIO:"I've had all the trapping I want !" Thomas exclaimed. "Never again! Never again!"
      So Thomas lost no time in accepting Carroll's offer of his old position, and soon had all the Jackson family belongings back in place in his old rooms.

      BIO:Rising Wolf and the rest of the family agreed that they were not ready to give up their freedom, and soon had made arrangements for the necessary supplies to continue trapping. And William and Robert were bitterly disappointed at the prospect of being left behind at the fort to study their books, herd the horses, and do the never-ending chores for the women! As the day wore on the boys went first to grandparents, and then to uncles and aunts in their quest for support in convincing their father that they should be allowed to go with the family to trap. They were encouraged when they found even their mother was sympathetic in this request, but were warned to let the adults settle the matter at the proper time.

      BIO:Night came. The family had enjoyed the supper that Amelia had prepared with extra care, and Thomas was settled before the fire in his old favorite buffalo-hide-covered chair blissfully smoking his pipe. There could be no better time for the boys to make their request - and it was greeted with the explosion that they had feared! Finally, after many promises and much arbitration, Thomas gave his consent, and the boys joyfully ran to pack their rifles and gear.

      BIO:In the latter part of November Hugh and the family were back with six packs of beaver skins that they had trapped on the upper reaches of Deep Creek, the Judith, and the Mussellshell Rivers. They wintered in their old rooms at the fort, and in the spring were off again to trap. Late in the autumn they returned with all the beaver packs that the horses could carry. And so they passed the years, trapping in the mountains from early spring until late fall, and wintering at Fort Benton.

      BIO:Meanwhile great changes were occuring at Fort Benton. Soldiers were stationed at the old adobe fort, and one by one a line of new log buildings were erected above the big Carroll and Steell store. Soon there were other stores, a hotel, and several saloons, and small fur trader cabins along the waterfront. Just as Rising Wolf had predicted the area was being spoiled, settled, over-run with a horde of "newcomers," from poor traders to whiskey sellers, and even gold miners and prospectors.

      BIO:Hugh bitterly resented this "invasion," and began to talk about going north again to the Saskatchewan country where they would be free of all this wandering band of "pollution." Finally, in the spring of 1870, he decided he could take no more and began making plans for the trek north, and all the family were agreed to go with him. Thomas, however, stated he would never agree to go north into the "wilds," and was determined to go down the river to Fort Buford where his old trader friend, Charles Larpenteur, was sure to give him employment. Furthermore, Thomas was determined to keep his family together, and that his sons would NOT accompany Rising Wolf and the rest of the Munros to Canada ! This time no amount of pleading or bargaining could change his mind, and on a sunny day in early April the boys sadly watched as the grandparents and their aunts and uncles started on the long journey north.

      BIO:JOURNEY TO FORT BUFORD

      BIO:Thomas sold all his horses and loaded his family and their few remaining belongings on a bateau and set off down the Missouri River for Fort Buford.This excursion was not guaranteed to be a safe trip, as even at this time the war with the Souix, Cheyenne and Nez Perce was brewing, and there were many small war parties out and about the country and along the river. The journey proved to be an exciting time for William and Robert as they floated along, new sights and experiences appearing beyond nearly every bend in the river. They hunted for game to suppliment their provisions, stood watch at their hidden campsites on various small islands, and narrowly escaped a chase by hostile Souix. Eventually, just a few miles below the mouth of the Yellowstone River, they arrived at Fort Buford with the nearby buildings of the Northwest Company post and Larpenteur's trading post. There Thomas was warmly welcomed and offered immediate employment as Larpenteur had become crippled from a broken leg and was in desperate need of an experienced clerk.

      BIO:The days settled into the old routine of "book lessons" in the mornings but time in the afternoon to explore the surrounding area. By now Robert was 16 and William 14 years old and tired of "schooling" and ready for more adventure. They were soon well acqauinted with the soldiers at the fort as well as the Indian Scouts hired by the army, and spent many happy hours riding out with them to hunt and survey the surrounding area.

      BIO:WILLIAM AS AN INDIAN SCOUT

      BIO:When the annual steamboats enroute to Fort Benton arrived in the spring of 1873 they brought the news that the railroad then at Bismark whould be extending to the west, and would be hiring scouts to help in surveying the area. Army troops at Fort Buford, and the new Fort Abraham Lincoln near Bismark, were to act as escort for the railroad builders. Knowing that this was their great opportunity to get on with the army as Indian Scouts, William and Robert at last persuaded their father to sign his permission, and at the age of 17 and 19 they began their first enlistment. They were both to continue with the army for several years, scouting through the earlier skirmishes with war parties, surviving Custer's campaign against the Souix culminating in the Little Big Horn Massacre, and the final battles of the Indian wars.

      BIO:WILLIAM ON THE BLACKFOOT RESERVATION

      BIO:When the Piegan Indians were restricted to the designated reservation lands in Montana William eventually settled on a farm on the fringes of the future Glacier National Park with his wife, Susan, and two sons, William and Thomas. By 1886 William is married to Mary - also called "White Antelope" - a half-blood piegan woman, and by 1899 they have six children. William is last listed with his family on the 1900 Blackfoot Agency Census at age 40 (#1136). On the 1901 census Mary is listed as a widow (#946).

      BIO:Blackfoot Indian Census, National Archives Microfilms, MF#573849 & 573850, Salt Lake City LDS, 1995

      TBL: Name 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 1901 # 99 William Jackson Husb 38 39 39 39 40 40 -
      Mary Wife 20 22 25 28 29 26 Widow 27
      Thomas Son 8 10 11 12 13 14 15
      Amelia "Millie" Dau 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
      Hugh William Son 3 5 5 6 7 9 At school
      Margrata "Maggie" Dau 3 3 5 6 6 6
      Annie-Mary Dau 1 2 3 4 4
      Julia Dau 1 2 3

      TBL:After being a widow for about five years Mary married Sam Yellow Wolf.
      William had two sons who were commonly called Thomas Jackson. The mother of Thomas #1 was Susan (later m. James Houseman), William's first wife. He then married Mary (last name unknown) and had a son THOMAS JAMES JACKSON, who was commonly called Thomas #2.

      BIO:ARMY ENLISTMENT RECORDS FOR WILLIAM & ROBERT JACKSON

      BIO: United States Archive Records; U.S. Army Indian Scouts MF#1004661

      TBL:#182 Robert Jackson Age 19, Born Dakota Territory
      Eyes: Gray Hair: Black
      Comp: Dark Height: 5 ft 6 in.
      Enlisted June 24, 1874 @ Ft. A. Lincoln Disch: Dec 24, 1874 Ft Lincoln
      Dec 24, 1874 @ Ft. A. Lincoln June 24, 1875 Ft Lincoln
      Dec 24, 1875 @ Ft. A. Lincoln June 25, 1876 Ft Lincoln
      Mar 30, 1877 @ Tongue River June 30, 1877 Tongue R.
      On this enlistment he is listed as 21 years old; 5ft 8in Tall.

      TBL:#197 William Jackson Age 18, Born Montana Territory
      Eyes: Brown Hair: Black
      Comp: Dark Height: 5 ft 6 in.
      Enlisted: Dec 10, 1874 @ Ft.A. Lincoln Disch: June 10, 1875 @ Ft. Lincoln
      June 24, 1875 @ Ft.A. Lincoln Dec. 24, 1875 @ Ft. Lincoln
      Dec 25, 1875 @ Ft.A. Lincoln June 25, 1876 Camp L. Horn
      June 25, 1876 @ Camp Little Horn Dec. 25, 1876 @ Ft. Lincoln
      Mar 30, 1877 @ Camp Tongue River June 30, 1877 Camp T. River
      On this enlistment he is listed as 20 years old; 5ft 8 1/2 in Tall.

      Ref: Clan Munro files - Munro, Henry Dallas - GEDCOM file HMUNRO.GED dated 9
      Oct 1996

  • Sources 
    1. [S416] Clan Munro Database, Clan Munro Association, USA.


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