DAILY STATESMAN – BOISE, IDAHO
ONE SCALP TAKEN
Feature of the Bloody Nez Perce War
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.
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.
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.
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.
whites opened fire on the redskins and the latter sped away like the
wind on their ponies.
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.
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.
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.
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.