Indian History of
Winneshiek County, Iowa
In the preparation of this article it has been the compiler's aim to make the
work as complete and correct as possible. Diligent search has been made for
information, and considerable pains have been taken to give the people of
Winneshiek county, a reliable account of the Indians who once inhabited this
section of the country. The writer has discovered that a number of erroneous
statements in regard to these Indians have unfortunately found their way into
print. In such instances every effort has been made to procure accurate
In gathering the data here assembled the writer has had the kind assistance
of the Wisconsin Historical Society, the Iowa Library Commission, and the United
States Ethnological Bureau. Thanks are also due to Oliver Lamere (a first cousin
of Angel De Cora), who has made diligent search for desired information among
members of his tribe on their reservation in Nebraska; Geo. W. Kingsley, Angel
De Cora, Little Winneshiek, and Antoine Grignon (all of whom are Winnebago
Indians, except the last, who is part Winnebago and part Sioux); Dr. Eben D.
Pierce; Roger C. Mackenstadt; Chas. H. Saunders, and H. J. Goddard. Read more...
1. Peace pipe presented by Old Gray Headed Decorah to Maj. Zachary Taylor
2. Chief Winneshiek's pipe (after suggestion furnished by Oliver Lamere)
3. Winnebago courting flute, known on the frontier as a deerskin flute
All of the above have responded in a most gratifying manner
to requests for information, some of them taking the trouble to prepare long
communications,. which have been indispensable in the preparation of the
following article and which the writer cherishes as among his most valued
possessions. All quotations credited to them in this article have been taken
from letters received by the writer since December, 1912.
In regard to Angel De Cora, a summary of her career is Oven in the body of the
article, where the main facts abort Antoine Grignon's life will also be found.
That the reader may form a proper conception of the value of the information
imparted by other individuals mentioned above (and all this has a bearing on the
trustworthiness of the article), the following statements are appended.
"During the month of August, 1911, there came to Madison from the Nebraska
reservation two Winnebago Indians, Mr. Oliver Lamere and Mr. John Rave. Both men
were in the employ of Dr. Paul Radin of the American Bureau of Ethnology, who
for several years past has been conducting researches among their tribe for the
government. They remained in Wisconsin until the first weeks in September. Both
were Indians of exceptional intelligence. Mr. Lamere is a grandson of Alexander
Lamere, one of the group of early Lake Koshkonong furtraders, and a grandson of
Oliver Armel, an early Madison furtrader. Mr. Lamere [Oliver] acted as Dr.
Radin's assistant and interpreter." From an article in "The Wisconsin
Archeologist," 1911, by Charles E. Brown, secretary and curator of The Wisconsin
Archeological Society, and chief of The State (Wis.) Historical Museum, Madison,
"George Kingsley a member of the Wisconsin Branch of the Winnebago Tribe of
Indians, I consider to be the best authority on these matters."-L. M. Compton,
Superintendent of Tomah School (United States Indian Service), Wisconsin.
Dr. Eben D. Pierce is a member of the state (Wis.) and county (Trempealeau)
Historical Societies. He has written a biography of Antoine Grignon, a short
history of the Winnebago Indians, and has contributed several articles on the
history of that section.
Roger C. Mackenstadt, now at the Uintah and Ouray Indian Agency, Utah, was
formerly chief clerk at the Winnebago reservation in Nebraska.
Chas. H. Saunders is a white man who has lived with the Indians most of the time
(since he was thirteen years old). He married into the Waukon family of
Winnebago Indians, whose language he speaks fluently. He was raised at Lansing,
Ia., and was for a number of years a resident of Wisconsin. He now resides in
H. J. Goddard of Fort Atkinson has been a resident of Winneshiek county since
1849. Mr. Goddard has willingly placed at the disposal of the writer his
well-stored memory of early recollections. He is a Civil War veteran and is thus
especially competent to speak with authority in regard to military matters
connected with the fort.
Other old settlers have also responded cheerfully to requests for information.
In most instances their names appear in the article. The writer acknowledges a
debt of gratitude to them all.
The following authorities have been consulted
History of Winneshiek and Allamakee Counties. W. h. Alexander, 1882.
Atlas of Winneshiek County. Anderson & Goodwin, 905.
The Making of Iowa. Henry Sabin, LL. D., 1900.
History of Iowa, v. 1. G. F. Gue, 1903.
The Red Men of Iowa. A. R. Fulton, 1882.
The Indian, The Northwest. C. & N. W. Ry., 1901.
North Americans of Yesterday. F. S. Dellenbaugh.
Handbook of American Indians. B. of A. E., 1911.
Smithsonian Report, 1885.
Annals of Iowa.a
The Wisconsin Archeologist.b
Charles Philip Hexom. June 18, 1913.
Notes About the Book:
Source: History of Winneshiek and Allamakee Counties Iowa, by W. E. Alexander,
Sioux City, Iowa, Western Publishing company, 1882
Online Publication: The manuscript was scanned and then ocr'd. Minimal editing
has been done, and readers can and should expect some errors in the textual