Obituary - Daniel H. Masters    


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"Pioneer Resident Dies Suddenly. While attending the Junior play at the St. Charles high school Friday night, Dan Masters, 70, died of heart failure. The high school auditorium was crowded and it was thought that he had fainted and was carried to one of the class rooms, only to find that he was dead.

He was a soldier stationed at the old Fort Randall and was engaged under General Custer in several expeditions to subdue and punish renegade Indians. After the abandonment of the fort and his discharge from the army, he settled on a homestead in the Randall valley, and when Gregory county was organized he was selected as its first register of deeds. His wife died a number of years ago. A daughter resides at Cherokee, Ia. He made his home for the last six years with Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Lingo, near St. Charles."

There is no date or newspaper identification on the clipping, but I'd say it was in a Gregory County, South Dakota paper, possibly the Gregory Advocate. has a source, "South Dakota Death Index, 1905-1955", that puts Daniel H. Masters' death at April 8, 1932. The certificate is number 142044, page 480.

According to another source, "U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914", Daniel H. Masters enlisted for 5 years in the 21st Infantry Regiment of the Regular Army in 1883 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and in 1888 re-enlisted for another 5 years in the same regiment at Fort Sidney, Nebraska. He was discharged at Fort Sidney in 1893 as a Sergeant. The enlistment records have his birthplace as Mt. Carroll, Illinois.

Daniel was married to Mary Ann Moran, the daughter of another soldier who had served for years in the 17th U.S. Infantry in Dakota Territory. Their first surviving child was born in February 1897, so their marriage was probably in 1896 or earlier. Records of Fort Randall, Dakota Territory (in what is now Gregory County, South Dakota) show elements of the 21st U.S. Infantry were there from 1891 until its abandonment in 1892. Perhaps that is where the couple met.

The couple had a homestead in the Randall Valley of Gregory County, South Dakota, near old Fort Randall, and later the family moved to Lake Andes, Charles Mix County, South Dakota, on the other side of the Missouri River. It seems the couple eventually separated, perhaps by 1927. The 1930 U.S. Census has Dan's father born in the Irish Free State, and his mother born in Scotland.

--Tom Fitzsimmons