JUNE 16, 1894


Remarkable Feature of the Bloody Nez Perce War

A remarkable feature of the Nez Perce Indian war in North Idaho, in which so many citizens lost their lives, and so much property was destroyed by the bloodthirsty savages, was that but one scalp was taken.  The Nez Perces, for some reason, did not, as is the custom in Indian warfare, remove the topknots from their victims and the whites followed the same practice with but one exception.

The squaws, evidently more thirsty for gore than their dusky brothers, mutilated bodies of dead and wounded whites by the score, but they removed no scalps.

The story of the taking of this solitary scalp is told by Frank A. Fenn, chief clerk of the state land department, who was an active participant in the Nez Perce war.

“Cash” Day, George M. Shearer and four or five other Indian fighters, went out on a scouting expedition.  They had stopped near what is now known as Grangeville, when a small band of Indians suddenly hove in sight.

The whites opened fire on the redskins and the latter sped away like the wind on their ponies.

The bullet of one of the scouts found its mark, however, and a red was seen to pitch forward and fall to the ground, lying there as if dead.

Shearer went up to the Indian and stooped over to peer into his face to ascertain if life was extinct, when the Indian suddenly caught him around the neck, and, with a tiger-like bound, regained his feet, at the same time drawing his knife.

Quick as a flash Shearer clubbed his rifle and dealt the savage a crushing blow on the head.  With a moan the Indian sank to the ground and was speedily dispatched.  There had been considerable fun poked at the scouts, and, for fear the boys at camp would discredit their story of the killing, they took the fallen warrior’s scalp.

The gory trophy was taken to Mt. Idaho and placed on exhibition in L.P. Brown’s hotel where it hung for a long time, an object of terror to all “tender footers,” whom the boys never failed to fill with hair raising Indian stories.





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