We surely have to keep history alive

Mr. Juni talks about his family's experience in 1862 and after.

Audio Chapters

DL: What about the Lower Sioux Agency, have you been there?

FJ: I've been there, yes.

DL: Any thoughts about that? It's were the store house is.

FJ: Yes, and we had relatives that moved from this area into the Morton area after the conflict, actually, so we had relatives close by. I don't know if we had an opinion about it, but it needs to be maintained. It needs to be an entity and preserved so we don't forget where we came from. I hope it's important for the Dakota to maintain that, to keep history alive. We surely have to keep history alive. Because that's who we are, that's where we came from. We can't let that die.

FJ: The family of Frank Senior who was my great-grandmother’s father-in-law, was wiped out. A couple of the sons were away at the time, and survived. To get revenge they followed the Dakota -- the story is pretty well documented -- after the Dakota were pushed out, so to speak. They followed some of the Dakota into South Dakota and I hear even as far as Wyoming. The sons were going get revenge; they were going to show the Indians; they were going to do what the Indians had done to their father and their mother and sisters. They never killed any Indians. That farm was no longer owned by our family. We own it now because our son bought it but it was owned by another settler. That would not have been sold if it had not been for the Dakota War because the people that were supposed to live there and farm it were gone.

FH: The one that wrote the book Held in Captivity was my grandpa's half-brother. Apparently he and our family got along with the Native Americans. Yet I don't know why the cannonballs were in the log cabin and the arrowheads and things, but that might have happened when our family was gone. I don’t think the Indians had cannons -- so they had to be fired by a battery or some defense force of some kind.

DL: This book that was written, was that by Benjamin Juni?

FJ: Benedict. After Frank Massopust died my grandfather Benedict--they used a lot of the same names -- married the widow with the farm, Ernestine. And that's my grandmother. So Benedict and Ernestine were my great-grandparents. Benedict’s first wife was killed. So they both lost their spouses. He had Benedict Junior, the one that wrote Held in Captivity. And my Grandpa Herman Juni’s middle name is Benedict. Herman Benedict Juni. So they kept those old names alive for generations. Back in those days it was common for many families to have half-brothers and half-sisters because life expectancy wasn't long; wives died in childbirth, and men needed sons to operate the farm and to make a living. So they all remarried and had kids. Many, many families lived around here.

Oral History- Interview | Narrator Frederick Juni Interviewer Deborah Locke made in New Ulm, Milford Township, MN | Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Citation: Minnesota Historical Society. U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. We surely have to keep history alive July 22, 2024. http://www.usdakotawar.org/node/1058

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