Henry Whipple St. Clair and wife Amelda (Amelia) Jones
Rev. Henry Whipple St. Clair (b. 1870 near Faribault, Minnesota - d. 12/29/1957) was born on a small reservation near Faribault, Minnesota. In his youth he fished, learned to use a bow and arrow for hunting, harvested wild rice, and collected maple sap and made maple sugar. After his father, George, died Henry finished school at Shattuck's and eventually moved to Lower Sioux with his mother in 1887. His mother Esther Walker (Red Bird Woman) and grandmother Tahanpawastewin Mary Faribault St. Clair (Woman Who Wears Good Moccasins) lived in a big brick house that formerly served as an Inn in the Morton area. Henry studied for the ministry and was ordained as a Deacon by Bishop Whipple at Birch Coulee on June 25, 1899. Henry became a priest on June 12, 1904 at St. Cornelia's and lived with his family in the rectory there for many years. But since Rev. St. Clair had little authority and was overseen by the missionary lady at St. Cornelia he eventually left that congregation. Henry took his family to South Dakota where he served churches in Sisseton, Browns Valley, Veblen & Waubay for about 10 years. He completed his years in the ministry at Granite Falls. He also served as a chaplain during WWI. Rev. St. Clair experienced a lot of prejudice from non-Indian members of the clergy during his years in the ministry but he remained committed to his service in the church throughout his career.
Amelda or Amelia Jones (b. about 1870 - d. ) Almeda was born in South Dakota and attended school in Indiana. She married Henry Whipple St. Clair November 2, 1898 and they had 13 children. She accompanied her husband on sick calls over the years and also served as a midwife. The family moved between various MN communities, lived for awhile in Mendota where Almeda was a lace maker, and then moved to Morton where Almeda became Assistant to Miss Salisbury at the Lace School in 1905. Amelda's role in the lace making activity at Morton is documented in several historic images. The women there made lace bedspreads for about ten years. It was observed that most of the lace makers were elderly.
See 1905 Census data for Amelia St Clair. Census ID# 4939014.
Henry Whipple St. Clair, Jr.
George St. Clair (b. about 1848 - d. June 1881)
George St. Clair was of mixed Dakota and French ancestry. His great grandfather was named Pinichon (aka Poni-Shue) and married the daughter of a Dakota chief named Takukokipesni (Fears Nothing). They had two daughters, Mazatankzewin (Big Iron Woman) Ellen Pinichon Faribault and Tahanpawastewin (Woman Who Wears Good Moccasins) Mary Faribault. Tahanpawastewin married Wakandikago Job St. Clair. Their first child was George St. Clair. Before going into the ministry George laid railroad tracks and became a brakeman. Rev. George St. Clair attended Seabury Divinity School, helped translate the first Episcopal prayer books and many hymns into Sioux, and was ordained as a deacon of the Episcopal Church on December 26, 1874. George St. Clair married a Dakota woman, Esther Walker (Red Bird) and their first child was Henry Whipple St. Clair.
Gift to Rev. Henry Whipple St. Clair from Evangeline Whipple, December 25, 1904.
What more can I hope for you dear friend, than that your ministry may be patterned after that of the great spiritual father in God whose name you hear!-He said we must be able, out of the depths of our own personal experience to show in its fullness the power of the Gospel Jesus Christ. The only way to make men believe is to believe one's self. It is not the theory of a religion nor its philosophy which conquers hearts; it is the Christ life, the Christ love which overcomes the world. The world may doubt an historical Christ and scoff at a historical church but the living Christ who dwells in the heart of his children, sending them on errands of mercy speaking through them and healing the broken of heart, none can gainsay nor deny." With affectionate regard Your friend and Bishop's Wife, Evangeline Whipple. December 25th 1904.
Rev. Henry Whipple St. Clair and Family papers 1909-1956, typescript by Mrs. Max Eller, P894 Vol. 2, Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society.