West and then South of Fort Pierre
Situated on a hill overlooking the town of Ft Pierre and the Missouri River is historic Cedar Hill Cemetery. The cemetery is more than just a historic landmark. It offers visitors an opportunity to enjoy the view of the Missouri River and a bustling community from a bird’s-eye view.
Location: Section 4, SE corner of the NW 1/4 and SW corner of NE 1/4 of Township 4 Range 31 East of the Black Hills Meridian in Stanley County, SD
Directions: From City of Fort Pierre, for a total of about 4 miles, take US 83 west one block on W 2nd then right on N 2nd, follow road uphill about 1 mile, turn left on Cedar Hill Road, follow road to cemetery gate (end of road) about 2 miles
History: On May 27, 1894 this area was surveyed and laid into a cemetery plat by F. W. Pettigrew.
Cedar Hill is the final resting place of some local colorful personalities including outlaws, fur traders, military veterans of Civil War, WWI and WWII, prospectors, Native American residents, suffragettes, murder victims, and a great many children who succumbed to multiple epidemics, and historic leaders.
Originally the cemetery was divided into Protestant and Catholic sides, and there are different sections including an area called Boot Hill where there are graves of the unknown. The original name was Union Cemetery probably because of the influence of the Civil War. After an addition of city land was made, the name was changed in 1933 to Cedar Hill, in reference to the abundance of cedar trees naturally growing.
Burial Space: This cemetery has space available to accommodate cremated remains.
Sexton: For many years the Sexton, an unofficial title of the Cedar Hill Cemetery was Bill Morgan. He lived in the town of Ft Pierre and would walk with pick and shovel to dig the grave at the cemetery and walk back. It was just part of the job to walk that far. The book Bill Morgan maintained of burials has been in the keeping of Donna Slaathaug of rural Fort Pierre for years, ever since her Uncle Bud, Richard K. Gould, passed it on to her.
Please remember, Cedar Hill Cemetery is sacred place and should be treated with respect. Please take only photographs and leave nothing but memories.
Another resource is the Stanley County Register of Deeds. You may contact her at 605-223-7786.
Some of the colorful characters buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery:
HOVART, Mike "Dago", died 10 Oct 1925, also known as Michael Hill-Howat
In 1924, three men tried to rob the Ft Pierre National Bank and one of those robbers was “Dago Mike” who was shot by a citizen and died in the getaway. His body was dumped by the other robbers in a washout across the Cheyenne River and when found by the posse it was brought back to Ft Pierre and buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery in an unmarked grave by the County. BBlock 187 Lot 4 Grave 2
DUNN, Michael, born 23 Oct 1845, died 25 Nov 1921, age 76, GAR Vet Ohio Vol Co F 82nd Reg. He was a Civil War veteran and freighter to Deadwood. Block 152 N Lot 12 Grave 7
FIRST HAWK, Paul, born 1860, died 25 Jul 1939, age 79,
also known as "Prairie Chicken". Block 150 Lot 2 Grave 8
FROST, William Billy, age 82. He was a member of the 1875 gold prospecting party that was ordered out of the Black Hills. Block 99 S Lot 1 Grave 6
HARVEY, Family perished in an accident 3 Sep 1920. Block 121 Lot 4 Graves 5,6,6A,6B
HAUGE, Lars Rev, born 27 Apr 1837, died 25 Dec 1922, age
Reverend Hauge, born in Denmark, was a veteran of the American Civil War. Block 7 Lot 1 Grave 6
JEFFRIES, Florence (Sutton), born 2 Sep 1854, died 27 Mar 1925, age 70, Mrs. Johnston Jeffries She was a leading advocate of Women’s suffrage who represented to local women’s group on the state and national level. Block 13 Lot 1 Grave 7
LABIDEE, Leo E., born 2 Nov 1893, died 24 May 1919, age 26, Vet s/o Henry & Zoa. He was a Private in a medical unit during World War I. Block 152 Lot 9 Grave 3
MARION, Hormidas O., born 1853, died 21 Feb 1937, age 83. The Vegetable Man for Ft Pierre started a truck farm and orchard on Marion’s Island in the 1880’s. He grew vegetables for the Ft Pierre and Pierre communities for almost 40 years. His garden/orchard was where Perkins, My Place, and AmericInn are located today. Block 154 Lot 8 Grave 7
MATHIESON, George D., born 1847, died 1916, GAR Vet Co B Dakota Cav Civil War. He was a member of the SD Cavalry. Block 5 Lot 1 Grave 1
OLSEN, Capt. John. After transporting mail by boat
between Pierre and Ft Pierre, he established a ferry line which was used
until the highway bridge was built to link the two towns in 1926. Block 103 Lot 1 Grave 8
RHOADES, William, died 2 Dec 1931, age 80. Was a mule driver for the Federal Government. Block 89 Lot 1 Grave 7
SENECHAL, Edmond E., born 4 Mar 1852, died 6 Apr 1946, age 94. He was a Missouri River boatman. Block 152 Lot 4 Grave 7&6
WANDELL, Joseph, born 11 Nov 1821, died 23 Jun 1919, age
He was a fur trader and a scout for Gen Sully and Gen Harney.
Block 104 Lot 2 Grave 4
A biographical list, a plat map, and other information can be found in a separate booklet. The booklet of graves and historical information is available at the Verendrye Museum and Ft Pierre Information Center.
The Register of Deeds is also a resource. Contact at the Stanley County Courthouse.