Pioneer Life in the Black Hills
by Sarah Elizabeth Taylor
Published by Willow Glen Publishing – KWE Publishing provided editing
In 2011, Betsy Quinn took it upon herself to finish a project first started by her great-grandmother in the 1920’s: publish a memoir chronicling the struggles and adventures of growing up in the Black Hills of South Dakota during the turn of the nineteenth century. The undertaking was no small feat. Indeed, the manuscript had become something like a family legend. Sarah Elizabeth Taylor, fondly remembered as “Sadie,” had initially tried to publish her 400-page handwritten autobiographical work in 1945, but was denied. Sixty-three years later, Betsy rediscovered several large boxes full of newspaper clippings, photographs, and, scattered throughout without any organization, the incredible tales of Sadie’s childhood.
From surviving Indian raids to running the nation’s largest gold mine, Sadie retells the true stories of those who lived in Lead and Deadwood, South Dakota in those early pioneer days. Real encounters with legendary figures like Wild Bill Hickok, Susan B. Anthony, and Calamity Jane bring her memories to life. Sadie invites her readers to see and experience this most critical and fascinating period of American history from her own eyes–the eyes of a sickly but strong willed young girl who learned to survive, overcome, and love such a wild country.
Seven years of transcribing, editing, and research had produced not only a compelling narrative, but a wellspring of unique and verified historical accounts. Betsy has gone to great lengths to fact-check Sadie’s names, dates, and events. The final result is deeply personal and remarkably accurate. This work is as much an autobiography as it is an anthology of pioneer life in the Dakota territory. Come and relive these spectacular adventures yourself!