Wowinape Historical Marker

Thomas <i>Wowinape</i> Wakeman
    Wowinape (a.k.a. Thomas Wakeman) was born in 1846 on the Lower Sioux Reservation until the U.S. - Dakota war, when he fled with his father, Chief Little Crow.  When they returned in 1863 his father was murdered and Wowinape was taken to prison until his pardon by Abraham Lincoln in 1864 along with 120 other warriors, upon which he converted to Christianity and changed his name to Thomas Wakeman.  The men that were not pardoned were hung at Mankato in the largest mass execution in U.S. history.
    Inspired by the men from the Young Men's Christian Association that had taken care of him in prison, Wakeman founded the first Native YMCA in 1879.  The Sioux YMCA still exists to this day across the entire Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation, over 5,000 square miles.
    After catching Tuberculosis he decided to return to his childhood home near Redwood Falls and at the age of 40 he died and was buried in the Redwood Falls Cemetery.

Redwood Falls Cemetery, N. Swain St., Redwood Falls, MN 56283