Title: The Death of a Wild West Indian

Periodical: Sheffield Evening Telegraph and Star

Date: August 25, 1891

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The news of the death of Paul Star Eagle, a prominent member of Buffalo Bill's band of Sioux Indians, caused much consternation yesterday at the Wild West encampment at Nottingham. From the day of the accident unceasing inquiries as to the sufferer's condition were regularly made by his brother Indians and the management, and on all hands the hope was entertained that he would speedily recover and be in a position to rejoin the exhibition. Unfortunately, these expectations have not been realised. On Saturday lockjaw set in, and it was seen that the only hope of saving life was to have the leg amputated. This operation was performed on Saturday evening, but the lockjaw becoming worse the Indian sank and died early on Monday morning. Mr. G. C. Crager, the Sioux interpreter, came over to witness the operation, and remained with the patient until his death. The Indian frequently expressed his gratification at the kindly treatment he had received from the surgeons and nurses, who had done all in their power to render his hard lot as comfortable as circumstances would allow. He died holding Mr. Crager's hand, and murmuring, "Jesus, Jesus." Information of the sad event was at once telegraphed to Nottingham, to Buffalo Bill and Mr. Nate Salsbury, who were considerably upset on the receipt of the news. Col. Cody has since been quite prostrated, and was unable to come over to Sheffield to make the necessary arrangements. He is extremely grateful to Mr. Arthur Jackson, Mr. W. F. Favell, Mr. G. H. Shaw, and the resident medical staff at the Infirmary for the care and solicitude they bestowed upon their Indian charge, and intends presenting a marble bust of himself to the Infirmary as a token of his indebtedness to them. Major J. M. Burke, the general manager of the show; Mr. Wm. Langan, supply agent; Mr. Crager, Mr. J. Shangrau, an interpreter; Chiefs "Kicking Bear," "Black Heart," and "Lone Bull," and a young brave named "Bull Stands Behind," cousin to the deceased came over to Sheffield to attend the inquest and remove the body. The Indians, particularly "Bull Stands Behind," displayed much emotion on seeing the dead body of their comrade.

The inquest was held this morning at the infirmary, before Mr. D. Wightman, coroner. In addition to those already named, Mr. B. Folsom, American Consul in Sheffield, was present.

Mr. G. C. Crager, the interpreter, was the first witness. He said he had known the deceased about six months. He was a Sioux Indian, and came to this country with Buffalo Bill's Exhibition [?] months ago. Witness did not actually see the accident on August 14, but saw deceased directly afterwards, and came with him to the Infirmary half-an-hour later. According to what Paul Star Eagle told him, and from what he saw himself, he came to the conclusion that the Indian's horse slipped and slid on its fore foot as the Indians were galloping out of the arena. The animal's belly scraped the ground, and the rider's foot being between the two, caused the ankle to become dislocated.


Mr. Hugh Rhodes, house surgeon at the Infirmary said he saw deceased on his admission to the Infirmary. He was suffering from a compound dislocation of the right ankle. On Saturday [?] lockjaw setting in, it was decided to amputate [?] leg, that being the only means of saving life. [?] operation was successfully performed, but the lockjaw, far from diminishing, became worse, and resulted in the man's death on Monday.

The Coroner remarked that, as there was [?] one present who witnessed the accident, the jury would have to return their verdict on Mr. Crager's evidence.

The jury agreed, and signed a verdict of ["ac] cidentally killed."

Mr. Crager took the opportunity to here re [?] that, as the representative of Colonel Cody, he was authorised to say how grateful the Colonel was to the Infirmary people for what they had done to t [?] deceased. They were all thoroughly satisfied with the treatment he had received. Wherever they went they would carry with them a grateful remembrance of the Sheffield Infirmary. During his sixteen years' travels, Mr. Crager said he had never met with such kindness and seen such devotion to a stranger as at the Infirmary. Had the Colonel been able he would have come himself to thank them.

The Coroner said he was pleased to hear Mr. Crager so express himself. Sheffielders were proud of their Infirmary, and would be pleased to hear such commendation from strangers.

Mr. Folsom said he, too, was perfectly satisfied with the treatment the deceased had received.

After the inquest, the remains—enclosed in a stout coffin—were placed in a hearse and driven off to the Midland Station en route for New Brompton, where they will be interred in a plot of land belonging to Buffalo Bill, and which already contains the remains of an Indian, who died in London during the Jubilee year. The three chiefs and the deceased's relative rode in the first carriage, with M. Shangrau, the interpreter; the remainder of the party following in other carriages. Arrived at the station, the coffin was placed in a specially-hired van attached to the 11.35 London train. It was the intention of Buffalo Bill to meet the train at Nottingham with his cowboy band and all the members of the Wild West, to enable them to have a farewell look at the features of their departed comrade, while the band played the "Requiem." The coffin was then to be taken on to Brompton, and interred in the presence of Major Burke, Mr. Crager, and the deceased Indian's relative.

Note: Portion of right margin is missing; missing text is inferred where possible.

Title: The Death of a Wild West Indian

Periodical: Sheffield Evening Telegraph and Star

Source: McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West , MS6.377.027.03 (Crager Scrapbook)

Date: August 25, 1891

Topics: Lakota Performers

Keywords: Accidents American Indians Bands (Music) Burial Foot--Amputation Funeral rites and ceremonies Horses Medical care Sioux Nation Surgeons Surgery Tetanus Translators

People: Burke, John M., 1842-1917 Kicking Bear, 1853-1904 Salsbury, Nathan, 1846-1902

Places: Brompton Cemetery (London, England) Brompton (London, England) London (England) Nottingham (England) Sheffield (England)

Sponsor: This project is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Geraldine W. & Robert J. Dellenback Foundation.

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