Frank North

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For the American football coach, see Frank North (American football).
Frank Joshua North
Major Frank North.jpeg
Born 1840
New York City, New York County, New York United States
Died 1885
Columbus, Platte County, Nebraska
Buried at Columbus Cemetery, Columbus, Platte County, Nebraska, United States
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1865-1877 (USA)
Rank Union army 1st lt rank insignia.jpg First Lieutenant (USA)
Union army cpt rank insignia.jpg Captain (USA)
Union army maj rank insignia.jpg Major (USA)
Commands held Pawnee Scouts
Other work Politician

Frank Joshua North, 1840-1885, was an American interpreter, United States Army officer and politician. He is most well known for organizing and leading the Pawnee Scouts from 1865 to 1877.

Early life[edit]

Frank Joshua North was born on March 10, 1840, in New York City, New York County, New York, United States. In 1856, at the age of 16, he moved to Nebraska and worked as a transporter, moving goods between Omaha, Nebraska and Fort Kearny. During this time, North made contact with the Pawnee Indians, befriended them and learned the Pawnee language. In 1860, North was working as a clerk and interpreter at the Pawnee Agency trading post in Genoa, Nebraska.


In 1864, General Samuel R. Curtis approached Frank North to have him organize a company of Pawnee scouts. In 1865, North organized and commanded the Pawnee Scouts. He was appointed the rank of First Lieutenant and then Captain. While commanding the Pawnee Scouts, Captain Frank North fought in the Crazy Woman's Fork battle, Battle of Powder River and the Battle of Tongue River, all of which took place in the August of 1865 in Dakota Territory. On July 11, 1869, Frank North fought with his scouts at the Battle of Summit Springs in Colorado. After the battle, North claimed to have shot and killed the Cheyenne chief Tall Bull. Frank North was promoted to the rank of Major and mustered out of the Army.

Later life[edit]

Frank North served one term in the Nebraska State Legislature from 1871 to 1872. He was then a partner with William F. Cody in a cattle ranch in western Nebraska on the Dismal River. In the 1880's, North was the Indian manager in Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show. Frank Joshua North died on March 15, 1885, in Columbus, Platte County, Nebraska.[1][2]


  1. ^ Frank J. North, Pawnee scout commander and pioneer by Ruby Esther Wilson
  2. ^ Frank Joshua North, 1840-1885, Nebraska State Historical Society