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Image provided by: South Dakota State Historical Society – State Archives
Newspaper Page Text
John R. Brennan. the year 1847 in Ireland there was born one who was destined to play an important part in the development of the Black Hills Country of South Dakota. This was John R. Brennan who came to the United States a few years later and who grew up to manhood, lived his life and accomplished his life's purpose in this section. He first came to the Black Hills country from Denver in 1875 and was the sole remaining member of the party that founded Rapid City on February 20, 1876. Casting his lot with this com munity he lived there many years as proprietor of tne American House and later on of the Harney Hotel which he built. He always took a prominent part In the affairs of the community and State and became one of the best known citizens of his city. In December 1881 he was married to Miss Jennie Leedy of Rapid City who survives him. Three children, one of whom died in infancy sprung from this union. The other two, Paul Brennan and Mrs. F. Web Hill are residents of Rapid City. Mr. Brennan is also survived by one brother James Brennan of Rapid City and one sister, Mrs. Margaret Finnegan of Lancaster, "Wisconsin. From November 1, 1900 to June 31st, 1917 he was United States Indian Agent and Superintendent of the Pine Ridge Agency, serving in this capacity for nearly seventeen years. Though his health was poor and caused him a great deal of suffering he proved his ability as and executive and an administrator by the excellence of his work in this reservation where he Jeft a record of accom plishment to be proud of. Early in his term as Indian Agent he underwent an operation to correct digestive troubles in the stomach and as a result of this gained relief in a measure from his ill health. During the past summer the old trouble had again developed and for the purpose of seeking relief he went to Battle Creek, Michigan where he submitted to another operation, from which he recovered so far that he had left the hospital but a second operation became necessary and the shock to his system together with his age proved too great. He passed away at the Battle Creek Sanitarium on Sun day, November 2nd having reached the age of seventy-two years. The funeral was held from the home of his daughter Mrs. Hill, in Rapid City, Friday, November 7th, at 2 o'clock in the after noon. Seldom has Rapid City turned out in such numbers to 16.