EARLY HISTORY OF
Holy Cross Church, Pine Ridge
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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!