While poking around the museum this week we came across a three page letter written to the Pocahontas County Clerk by Elmer Starkey, dated November 30, 1944. The letter accompanied some Native American artifacts that Mr. Starkey was donating to the county. These artifacts, which included an axe head and moccasins from the Sioux tribe, are in our museum today and pictured in the photo. In the letter he reminisced about his younger years on a farm southwest of Ware.
"The arrowheads and the axe were found by myself on the shores of the little lake about six miles north of Laurens; but in Pocahontas county. The moccasins included were made at a late date by the Sioux at Pine Ridge, where I received them as a present sixteen years ago .
These items come down to us from a race that appears to be well nigh doomed to extinction; since there are so exceedingly few of the fullblood Siouxs left on the reservation now. The time of their passing, it appears, stretched to little more than the span of a single life-time. When Father and Mother took the three of us, myself and Francis Corban and Mary to the farm [in 1884], the indians had not long gone and neither had they gone far. "
I've looked at those moccasins and axe at the museum before and wondered about them. Artifacts are always more interesting when they're connected with a story and even better with a person. I'm glad we found this story.