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Wayne Fanebust

Topics: American Old West, Black Hills, History, Native American, South Dakota, Veterans/Military History

Community: Sioux Falls

Program Types: Pre-recorded Program Video, Speakers Bureau | 605-496-8730

No Justice for Agnes
This book examines the tragic American experience of Agnes Polreis, an immigrant from Austria-Hungary who died on June 1, 1906 at the Sioux Falls Hospital, at the age of sixteen. Agnes had been employed as the live-in maid for Emma Kaufmann who was arrested and charged with murder after it was discovered that Agnes was buried with forty-nine wounds on her body. There were two trials amid scandalous newspaper coverage.

Chasing Frank and Jesse James
Fanebust reveals the improbable and amazing escape by the James boys, through southwestern Minnesota, Dakota Territory and Iowa, following the botched bank robbery at Northfield, Minnesota. The Younger brothers and other members of the gang were either shot or captured. Not so for the James brothers who were never apprehended. Special emphasis is given to the mythical story about Jesse James’ jump across Devil’s Gulch near Garretson, SD.

Outlaw Dakota
This book describes the criminal justice system in Dakota Territory as seen through the life and lens of Peter C. Shannon, the Chief Justice of the Dakota Supreme court from 1873 to 1882. Shannon presided over many noteworthy trials, some that received national attention, including the trail of Jack McCall for the murder of Wild Bill Hickok, a crime that took place in Deadwood in 1876.

Senator R. F. Pettigrew
This program is based on Fanebust’s biography of the senator, who along with his friend G. C. Moody, was chosen as one of the first two U. S. Senators when South Dakota was admitted to the Union in 1889. Prior to that, Pettigrew had been a frontiersman, a Sioux Falls builder and booster and a member of the territorial legislature. He acquired a reputation as one of the most controversial political figures in America, having served two terms in the U. S. Senate.