Professional anthropologist and amateur historian Lilah Morton Pengra investigated the tale of two suspected horse thieves who were shot and killed by a four-man posse near Hermosa, South Dakota in July, 1882.
Starting with memories passed down through area families, a potential grave site, and clues in the 1976 "Our Yesterdays" local history book, Pengra pursued the facts in "dusty documents and fuzzy microfilm." Black Hills newspapers in July, 1882 printed "melodramatic stories" with conflicting information, but Pengra persevered, and tracked down as many official documents and gossipy news articles and interviews as she could find, though none, of course, from the two suspected horse thieves.
In this booklet, Pengra has laid out the story in three parts: The Theft, The Chase, and The Aftermath.
The booklet is illustrated with photographs of some of the people involved in the incident and subsequent legal matters, scans of newspaper clippings, a map with labels marking places of interest in the unfolding event, as well as an introduction, a Cast of Characters in order of appearance, and a bibliography of sources.
The cover drawing was done by HAHA volunteer artist Cathy Dahl, representing the horses involved in the story: a two-year-old light sorrel Percheron mare and a four-year-old roan Percheron stallion.
To purchase a copy of this booklet, see our storefront pages or contact us to find out when copies may be available during an event.
$7.00 in person $9.00 by first class mail (prices include sales tax)
Note: Lilah Pengra is researching and writing a number of smaller local-history booklets for HAHA, that we're making available as they are published, in a stapled paper version. We intend to collect them into a bound version at a later date.