Near Fort Pierre, South Dakota, an important discovery occurred on February 16, 1913. Fort Pierre was an important area during the 1800s as it was located on the Missouri River. Fort Pierre is the birthplace of deceased rodeo star and legend Casey Tibbs. However, Fort Pierre has additional historical notoriety. On February 16, 1913, a plate was discovered that had been left behind by the French-Canadian brothers Francois and Louis De La Verendrye; they left the plate there to claim the region for France. Three friends, Hattie Foster, George O'Reilly, and Ethel Parrish were merely playing when they uprooted the significant plate. Once uprooted, it was tossed aside until the youngsters quit playing. They initially thought they would scrap it for the money. Luckily, word traveled quickly, and the importance of the find became evident.
Backstory and Context
Hunhoff, Bernie. "Verendrye Plate." South Dakota Magazine. March/April 1989. http://southdakotamagazine.com/verendrye-plate.
"Verendrye Plate." City of Fort Pierre. Accessed November 30, 2013.
Photo: South Dakota Historical Society