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Your Link to the Past

Your Link to the Past

Micheaux, Oscar

Oscar Micheaux was an African American novelist and filmmaker. Over the course of his life, his travels took him from Southern Illinois to the West, South America, and Europe. His work and art also brought him to live in Sioux City in the West 7th Street neighborhood. Today he is recognized as a pioneering filmmaker, but also as a man ahead of his time.


oscarmicheaux1Micheaux was born in Metropolis, Illinois on 2 January 1884 to a family of farmers. At a young age he helped his family as a farm hand. While he was still a teenager he left his family to work in car manufacturing plant in Carbondale, Illinois. After many jobs that did not satisfy his desire to create art, Micheaux decided to homestead in South Dakota. Part of his decision to move west was his belief that the only independent future for the Black man laid on the Western Frontier.


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Peirce, John

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Rice, Sergeant John R.


Sergeant RiceIn August 1951 Sioux City became embroiled in a bitter controversy that erupted when officials at Memorial Park Cemetery refused to bury Sergeant John R. Rice, a decorated World War II veteran and Korean War casualty, because of his Native American ancestry. The event provoked public outrage both locally and nationally and eventually required the personal intervention of President Harry Truman. The treatment of Rice tarnished Sioux City's reputation with the stigma of racism and left a wound between the city and local Native American groups for the next fifty years. However, it also created the opportunity for reconciliation between the two sides five decades later and the long overdue redemption of Sergeant Rice and his family.

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Peters, Edwin

Edwin Peters (1836-1917) was an early Sioux City promoter, developer and speculator.Edwin Peters (1836-1917) was an early Sioux City promoter, developer and speculator. He is perhaps best known for developing and promoting the area of the city known as Morningside.

Peters was born on a farm in Pennsylvania October 23, 1836. He graduated from the National Law School of Poughkeepsie, New York when he was just 21 years of age. After a move to Niagara Falls, he spent a year with the law office of A. P. Floyd. Then, in 1861, President Lincoln appointed Peters to the position of deputy United States Marshall. Later, he was commissioned Deputy Collector of Customs at Niagara Falls. While in Niagara Falls, Peters married Sarah Scott and also developed a growing interest in insurance and real estate.


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Safford, Mary Augusta

marysafford2Mary Augusta Safford was a very important woman in the Unitarian Church. Throughout her life she was instrumental in the establishment and growth of Unitarian churches across the American West in the late nineteenth century. She was the central figure in a group of women Unitarian Ministers called the “Iowa Sisterhood” that founded congregations in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. In Sioux City she ministered at the First Unitarian Church from 1885 to 1899.

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