North Dakota Archives - StoryCorps

A Native American Railroad Worker on His Complex Relationship with His Work

This is a story about the railroad — and it comes to us from Barnie Botone in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Botone (above right) is descended from Guipago, a Kiowa leader. In 1875, along with dozens of other Native American leaders, Guipago was taken by train and imprisoned by the U.S. Army.

Almost a century later, Botone himself went to work on the railroad. He was 22 years old at the time. At StoryCorps, he remembers the day he told his grandmother about getting the job.


Top Photo: Gordon Williams and Barnie Botone at StoryCorps in Bismarck, North Dakota. By Camila Kerwin for StoryCorps.
Bottom Photo: Gúipä’go (Lone Wolf), head chief of the Kiowa tribe in 1872. Photographer: Alexander Gardner. Courtesy Wikimedia.

Originally aired December 14, 2018, on NPR’s Morning Edition.