|Birth: ||Apr. 21, 1828|
|Death: ||Mar. 2, 1900|
An Indiana native and Minnesota pioneer, she was the wife of William J. Duley, Sr. They were married in Indiana on April 25, 1848.
Together they had a total of 8 children:
Ellen (b. 1849)
Emiley (b. 1850)
William (b. 1852)
Emma (b. 1854)
Jefferson (b. 1856)
Isabella (b. 1858)
Rachael (b. 1860)
Francis (b. 1862)
As a mother, Laura endured great loss. Only two of her children, Emma and Jefferson, lived to adulthood. In 1850, her daughter Emiley drowned in the Mississippi River. Tragically, her daughter Ellen also drowned in the Mississippi River just three years later. Rachael, born in April 1860, died of unknown causes in June, 1860.
After William and Laura married, they moved to Jackson County, Iowa where William had bought some land. They lived there from 1848 to the mid 1850's. By 1856, the family had relocated to Winona County, Minnesota. Then in 1861, they settled at Lake Shetek in Murray County, Minnesota. The settlement included about a dozen other families.
On August 20, 1862, Dakota Indians came to the settlement, which wasn't unusual. But what the families did not know was that two days before, the US-Dakota War had erupted. The news had not yet spread to the isolated settlement. Most Dakota people opposed the war and did not support it. But the small number of Dakota Indians who came and attacked the settlers were hostile. On this terrible day, Laura Duley witnessed the killings of her son Willie, her daughter Isabella, and many of her friends and neighbors. She was taken captive by Chief White Lodge's band of Indians, along with her children Jefferson, Emma, and Francis. A neighbor, Julia Wright, and four other children were also taken captive.
For several weeks, the captives were forced to walk across the Midwestern plains until they reached the Missouri River at a place near Standing Rock, in what is now North Dakota. Laura was pregnant during this time and had a miscarriage due to repeated assaults by Indian men. She was sold or traded for goods at least four different times. In October, her infant child, Francis, died.
A Lakota woman, Matilda Galpin (Eagle Woman That All Look At) and her husband, Charles Galpin, were instrumental in rescuing the captives. Galpin was in charge of Indian trade along the Missouri River. When he and his wife were traveling by boat down the river, they discovered the captives. On November 3, Galpin docked his boat at Fort LaFramboise and told trader Frank LaFramboise about the captives. A rescue party was organized, consisting of 10 friendly Teton Lakota who opposed the war. They were called "Fool Soldiers" due to the high risk of a rescue mission. However, the Lakota successfully negotiated with White Lodge, trading their own horses, weapons, food, and blankets for the release of the captives. They shared their blankets and moccasins with the women and carried their children, helping them to leave the area quickly.
The friendly Lakota, led by Martin Charger, brought the women and children to Fort LaFramboise, which they reached on November 23. Three days later, they left in wagons for Fort Randall, arriving there on November 30. For three weeks, they were cared for by Mrs. Galpin and Maj. John Patte's wife, a Dakota woman. On December 22, the captives rode in an Army ambulance to the Yankton Agency, arriving there on New Year's Eve. Laura was soon reunited with her husband, who all this time had believed his entire family had been killed.
The surviving members of the family lived near Mankato in Blue Earth County, Minnesota until the mid-1870's. They farmed during this time on 80 acres of land. In 1870, their livestock included 2 horses, 2 mules, and 2 pigs. They produced 145 bushels of Indian corn, 80 bushes of Irish potatoes, 250 pounds of butter, and 10 tons of hay.
In the mid 1870's, the family moved to Colbert in Saints County, Alabama, where William worked as a millwright. In 1890, Laura and William left their home in Alabama and moved to Tacoma, Washington, where their son Jefferson lived and worked as Chief of Police.
Laura and her husband spent their remaining years near Tacoma. Her husband preceded her in death in 1898. She was laid to rest at his side on March 4, 1900.
1890 Eleventh Census of the U. S., Special Schedule, Surviving Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Widows; Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington.
Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934; Record for William J. Duley.
Iowa State Census Collection, 1849, Ancestry.com
Michno, Gregory and Michno, Susan. "A Fate Worse Than Death: Indian Captivities in the West, 1830-1885.
Schulz, Duane. "Over the Earth I Come: The Great Sioux Uprising of 1862."
Ubl, Elroy E. "The Matter Lies Deeper," published by Elroy E. Ubl, New Ulm, Minnesota.
U. S. Federal Census, 1850, Iowa, Jackson Co., Tete Des Morts; Ancestry.com
U. S. Federal Census, 1870, Minnesota, Blue Earth Co., Mankato, Ancestry.com
U. S. Federal Census, 1880, Alabama, Saints,
Walters, John. Marker photos, confirmation of death date, burial date, and birth of Laura Duley (Pierce County, Washington Death Report), residence research for William J. Duley family.
Washington State and Territorial Census, 1857-1892, Ancestry.com.
William J. Duley (1819 - 1898)
William J. Duley (1852 - 1862)*
Jefferson M Duley (1856 - 1937)*
Isabella Duley (1858 - 1862)*
Wife of Wm J. Duley
Born Apr 24, 1828
Died Mar 2, 1900
As a wife devoted, As a mother affectionate, As a friend ever kind and true.
Plot: Lot 5, Row 1, Plots 7,8
Created by: Cindy K. Coffin
Record added: Oct 11, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 59962127