Chief Red Fox Featured at the Denver Postcard & Paper Show in May

By Carol Mobley
 Chief Red Fox, Tokála Luta, was born June 11, 1870 on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Dakota Territory.  He was the nephew of Crazy Horse and was considered an authority on the Little Bighorn massacre, because he witnessed it!  He participated in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and was in over 107 silent films.
 Red Fox graduated from Carlisle Indian School in 1889 and attended two years of college at the University of Wisconsin. He was in the Navy and served during the Boxer Rebellion in China.  He was discharged from the Navy in 1902.
 Just before his 100th birthday, he was interviewed by Woody Palmer of the Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph.  In the interview, Chief Red Fox talked about many of the things he witnessed over his life, included first hand experiences of Little Bighorn.  The article appears in the Sunday April 5, 1970 issue of the Gazette Telegraph.  Here are some of the interesting things said in the interview between Woody Palmer and Chief Red Fox.
 “Custer was never a hero to the Sioux.  It was for this reason that he and his entire force was annihilated.  He was called Drunken Face and Women Killer.”  A series of events, among them broken treaties, and banned hunting forced the Sioux from their native lands.  It was while they were camped at Little Bighorn that they surrounded Custer and his troops.  “The men who died there were led to die by a jealous and selfish officer.  My people know of Custer these things which are not said in history…”
 Up until the interview in 1970, Chief Red Fox knew almost every Indian Commissioner.  When asked about Louis Bruce, the acting Commissioner from 1969-1973, he said, “He is a dairy farmer.  He doesn’t know about Indians.  I don’t know how he got that job.  He only knows about udders…”
 Chief Red Fox was also an author.  McGraw-Hill published “The Memoirs of Chief Red Fox” in 1971.  Sections of the book had been plagiarized and it didn’t seem to bother his popularity as he appeared in many interviews following the release of his book.
For many years he worked in public relations with Wilson Certified Foods, Inc and the Safeway Stores.  The one image is his promotional photograph that was taken next to a food display.
 He died in Corpus Christi, Texas on March 1, 1976 at the age of 105.  One of his quotes is a fitting finish, “Do the best with what you have today – don’t worry about tomorrow for it may never get here and forget about yesterday, it is gone forever.”
Along with the newspaper article, was a postcard sized promotional card that he signed on the back and a color promotional photograph next to a food display.  Treasures of history will be available for you to see and purchase at the Denver Postcard & Paper Show on May 24-25 at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds in Aurora, Colorado.  This year’s event will be held in conjunction with the Rocky Mountain Stamp Show.  Both events are free to the public.  Dealer spaces still available.  For more information, contact Carol Mobley at 720-308-1516 or

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