Fort Hale (1)

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Fort Hale (1) (1870-1884) - A U.S. Army fort first established in 1870 as Post at Lower Brule Indian Agency on the right (west) bank of the Missouri River near present day Chamberlain in Brule County, South Dakota (then the Dakota Territory.) Moved about 15 miles upstream opposite the mouth of Crow Creek in Lyman County. Named Fort Hale on 30 Dec 1878 after Captain Owen Hale, 7th U.S. Cavalry who was killed at the Battle of Bear Paw on 30 Sep 1877. Abandoned in 1884. Also known as Fort Lower Brule.


Established by Captain George W. Hill, 22nd U.S. Infantry on 8 Jun 1870 on the east bank of the Missouri River near present-day Chamberlain in Brule County, South Dakota. Moved 15 miles upstream 24 Jul 1870 with the Indian Agency to a point opposite the mouth of Crow Creek on the west bank of the Missouri River in present-day Lyman County.

With the end of the threat of hostilities, Fort Hale was officially abandoned on 20 May 1884. The main garrison had departed 19 May 1884 on the steamer, Terry, with their commissary store for Chamberlain where they boarded a train for their new station. Left behind was a detachment of 10 enlisted men commanded by 2nd Lt. H. D. Reed to close up the fort's affairs. The detachment turned the fort over to the Indian Agent at the reservation on 7 Jul 1884 and departed the next day.

Many of the buildings were sold to local citizens and the officer's quarters became the Taft Hotel in Chamberlain at Main and King Streets. The Taft Hotel operated until 1962 and the building was moved next to I-90 at exit 263 in 1989. The building was destroyed by fire in 1990.

Current Status

Hart maintains that the last vestiges of the site were washed away by a 1952 flood.

Location: On the Missouri River 20 miles North of Chamberlain in Lyman County, South Dakota. Map point is from the GNIS coordinates and may not be accurate.

Maps & Images

Lat: 43.9758255 Long: -99.3642704

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 1,457'



Visited: 17 Jul 2020 Area

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