Klaudt Indian Memorial Foundation


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It was troublesome times on the Dakota Plains. The Sioux Indians were in constant conflict with the White Settlers and the U.S. Cavalry. The time was 1876. The U.S. Government had sent a young General by the name of Custer to face the troublesome Sioux Indians. In needing some expertise, General Custer solicited the use of some Indian Scouts from the same region. One of these scouts was an Arikara Indian lad by the name of Little Soldier.

Little Soldier was named Little Soldier because of his small stature and penchant for wearing U.S. Military garb, survived the Battle of “The Little Big Horn.”

In 1874, two years prior to the Custer conflict, a young Arikara Indian Maiden named Wilena Perkins was born near the village of Like A Fish Hook, North Dakota.

In God’s timing of events, two years later and the same year of the Custer conflict in 1876, a Dr. Hall, from New York, came to Fort Berthold Indian Reservation and began his missionary ministry on the Reservation in the Nishu Area of North Dakota.

The young Indian Maiden, Wilena Perkins, accepted Christ and was later married to the Indian Scout, Little Soldier’s son Clarence Little Soldier. They named their first child, Lillian “White Corn” Little Soldier.

About the same time of the Custer conflict, a young Russian German had fled the Russian Turkish war and settled in South Dakota. This young Russian German immigrant, by the name of Gottlieb Klaudt married Katherina Becker and moved to Beulah, North Dakota on the South side of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. Born to these homesteaders was a son by the name of Reinhold Klaudt. Reinhold was converted to Christ on this same Reservation about the same time as Lillian Little Soldier.

Reinhold Klaudt and Lillian Little Soldier met during these revival services and were married September 13, 1929. This young couple was ordained into the ministry through the efforts of the Church of God and in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s attended the Church of God Bible Training School in Sevierville, Tennessee.

From this humble beginning began the ministry of The Klaudt Indian Family. Born to Reinhold and Lillian were five children whom were added to their singing and preaching ministry as they grew in stature, Vernon, Ramona, Melvin, Raymond and Kenneth. The Klaudt Indian Family traveled for over 50 years ministering in song before they retired from full time singing in the early 1980’s.

Mom Klaudt passed away after a short illness in March of 2001 and Dad Klaudt passed away within days of feeling ill four months later in July of 2001. Both lived to be in their mid-nineties and even on their death beds exhorted the message of Christ.

Mom and Dad Klaudt, who were not able to attain a high level of education, believed that education was a necessary fact of life. The Klaudt Children now have a passion to pass this message of song and word on to other deserving and needy youth, in honor of their parents, through a scholarship program.

Mom Klaudt was inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame in 2004