Monument to Hugh Glass - Mauled by Grizzly, Left to Die
Shadehill, South Dakota
In 1823, Hugh Glass was part of an expedition traveling through the plains near what is now the town of Lemmon. He was attacked by a grizzly bear, which slashed him from head to foot. While the rest of the party moved on, young Jim Bridger was left to tend to Glass. Instead, he took Glass's gun and gear and left him to die.
When Glass came out of his coma, he was alone on a desolate plain, with maggots eating the rot in his back. His leg was broken, so he had to crawl 200 miles to Fort Kiowa and safety. Fever and infection took their toll and frequently rendered him unconscious. The trip took more than two months.
Glass eventually caught up with Bridger, but compassionately let him live. Bridger went on to become one of the top mountain men, trappers, and scouts in the U.S. -- a famous name in the Old West. Glass remained a nobody, and Fate rewarded his kindness by having him killed in an Indian ambush a few years later.
A lonely monument marks the spot where Glass was attacked, standing at the end of a winding, unpaved road on a bluff near Shadehill, south of Lemmon, overlooking a man-made lake. The open grave that Bridger had dug for Glass was said to still be visible before water covered it in 1951.