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Your Link to the Past

Your Link to the Past

Henderson, Gertrude Brown

gertrudehenderson1Gertrude Brown Henderson was a curator at the Sioux City Public Museum, but more than that, she was a historian and writer of early Sioux City history. Her stories about the first decades of the region’s history surely inspired many future amateur historians to further their own studies in Sioux City’s past.

Gertrude was born on 25 August 1883 in Indianola, Iowa to Oswell Chase and Jennie Hamilton Brown. Because her father was an early pioneer of Indianola, he likely inspired her to pursue history. Gertrude’s love of knowledge took her Simpson College where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science degree in 1904. 

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Kucinski, Leo

kuckinski-conductor"Lets make music together." Leo Kucinski (1904-1998), long time Sioux City conductor, educator and musician often spoke those words in his efforts to bring the best possible music to the people of Sioux City. In his long career, he exposed thousands of school children to the finest music, nurtured a little orchestra into a superb symphony and brought extraordinary music to the community of Sioux City.

Leo Kucinski was born in Warsaw Poland on June 28, 1904. He was the oldest of eight children and the son of a pattern maker for steel companies. He started to study the violin at the Warsaw Conservatory of Music at the age of six. He studied with Edward Idzikowsk until his father decided there would be greater opportunities in the United States for his talented son. 

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Leonais, Rosalie Menard

The First Bride's Grave monument was built in 1938 by the Woodbury County Pioneer Club near the grave of Rosalie Menard Leonnais. The Pioneers Club called her the "first bride" because she was believed to be the first bride of a non-Native American in the area that would become Sioux City.

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Leonais, Joseph


Joseph LeonaisJoseph Leonais was born in the province of Quebec, Canada in 1818. His parents were French and lived on a small farm. When Joe turned eighteen, he left home and moved to Mackinac Island on Lake Michigan. He got a job as a fur trapper.

Because many people were moving to the area, Joe decided to head west. As Bruguier had also done, Joe got a job working for the American Fur Company. He traveled up the Missouri River to Dakota Territory where he would trap furs all winter. In the spring the company would gather all the trappers' furs together and send them down the Missouri River to St. Louis. Only the most trusted employees were given this job. Joe was one of the men that made this trip many times. The men would float down the Missouri through the plains of Dakota to the tree lined bluffs of Iowa. Many times the men would camp below a bluff that had a small wooden cross that marked the grave of Sergeant Floyd from the Lewis and Clark expedition.

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Martin, T. S. Family

SC28.PE.Martin Thomas S.01Thomas Samuel Martin was born in Galena, IL to James and Margaret Leary Martin. He came to Sioux City in 1868 and started working at George W. Felt’s grocery store, located near Pearl and 4th Street. By 1875, he had saved up $450 and went to Akron, IA. There he purchased and operated a dry goods store called Kennedy & Reed. He soon came back to Sioux City and worked at H. D. Booge & Company, first as a clerk and later as a traveling salesman. During the gold rush, he traveled to Deadwood, South Dakota and opened the T. S. Martin’s Grocery Store there from 1877 to 1879. In 1880, he came back to Sioux City permanently and opened the T.S. Martin & Company dry goods store. In this latest venture, he was joined by George Westcott, and later by his brother, James P. Martin.

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