History of Holy Cross Church Pine Ridge, SD


Holy Cross Church, Pine Ridge

The first Episcopal Services in Pine Ridge were held on the Sunday after St. Bartholomew's Day in 1879 by Bishop William Hobart Hare, assisted by the Rev. William J. Cleveland. There were five communicants and the offering was $1.35. This service was conducted in the English language. The Episcopal Mission was called "Red Cloud Mission" and was so named, until changed to "Holy Cross Mission" on the day of the Bishop's Visitation, on the Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday, 1880.

The first Baptism in the mission was the Baptism of Francis Addison Corbusier, the child of Dr. and Mrs. William H. Corbusier, on New Year's Day 1879 at Camp Sheridan, Nebraska, by the Rev. John Robinson, Deacon. Little Francis was born May 15, 1877, at Fort Macon, North Carolina! Witnesses to this historic baptism were Capt. Monahan, and the child's parents.

The first Confirmation Services were on July 4. 1880, the sixth Sunday after Trinity. by Bishop William Hobart Hare.

The names of those confirmed were: George Sword, Antoine Mar- shall, Susan Richard, Ellen Tasinatowin, Eliza Morrison, James Williamson, Mary William- son. The first marriage was the wedding of Charles P. .Jordan and Wikila, on May 28, 1878, at the forks of the White River, by the Rev. John Robinson. Witnesses to the marriage were Benjamin Tibbets and George Knox.

The first recorded burial was of Josephine Palmier, age 6, on July 14, 1879, at Pine Ridge. Cause of death was typhoid fever. Rev. John Robinson officiated at this burial, also.

The first service after the building of the new church was on the Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany, 1881. It was held in the English language, there were seven communicants, and the offering was $3.50. Rev. P. C. Wolcott conducted this service,having been named Priest in Charge of the Mission on Decem- ber 12, 1880.

All of the above information is taken from Volume 1, Of- fica1 Register, Pine Ridge Mission of the Episcopal Church. This volume is a little red book, only 5" x 71/2, and written in long-hand by the various ministers in charge. It lists all events at the mission from 1878 to 1881.

The Church of the Holy Cross at Pine Ridge is the mother church of the Episcopal Mission on this reservation. This building was erected in 1924, and is the third Holy Cross Church building. The first was a little log house, replaced in the late '80's with a good sized frame building, which was moved in 1924 to Oglala and now serves the congregation of St. John's Chapel, near the No.6 Day School. This second building incidentally, was used as an emergency hospital after the Wounded Knee Massacre, and many of the wounded were brought here for emerger..cy treatment, from the Battle Site at Wounded Knee. It was moved to Oglala in 1924 in two sections, and put back together again there!

President Calvin Coolidge visited Holy Cross in 1927 when he summered in the the Black Hills and a fine large photograph was taken of him, in front of the present building, together with the Bishops, Clergy and delegates attending the Niobrara Convocation which convened at Pine Ridge during the summer of 1927!




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