Location: Allamakee County IA

Waukon Decorah Exhumed

When the remains were first exhumed in 1859, the skull had black hair; this assertion is corroborated in a statement made by R. F. Gibson, January 27, 1913, to the writer of this article. Mr. Gibson was one of a committee of three appointed to take charge of the remains. Waukon Decorah was at this time living in Minnesota with his people; this fact has been established beyond question. It is stated in Alexander’s history that even prominent participants in the first exhumation of the alleged remains of Decorah were confused with doubts, by rumors, current at the time, to the effect that Decorah was still living. He died at the Blue Earth agency, southern Minnesota, in 1868, and was buried there. Mr. Lamere says, “He was about ninety-three years old when he died, and it is said that his hair was as white as it could be.” This is practically conclusive proof that the death of Waukon Decorah did not occur here, and that his remains are not buried in the Court House Square. Little Decorah was the oldest son of Old Gray-headed Decorah. His Winnebago name is given as “Maw-hee-coo-shaynaw-zhe-kaw,” which Mr. Kingsley interprets as “The pillar that reaches the clouds.” The following treaties were signed by Little Decorah: November 1, 1837, Washington, D. C., as “Ma-hee-koo-shay-nuz-he-kah, (Young Decori) ;” October 13,1846, Washington, as “Maw-hee-ko-shay-naw-zhee-kaw;” February 27,...

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Fort Atkinson

In 1840 the Winnebago Indians were removed to their new home on the Neutral Ground. In order to protect them from the incursions of their neighbors, among whom were the Sauk and Fox tribes, as well as from intrusions of the whites, and in turn to prevent them from trespassing beyond the limits of the reservation, soldiers were stationed among them. A detachment of the 5th Infantry (Company F) under command of Captain Isaac Lynde left Fort Crawford, with a complement of eighty-two officers and enlisted men, and went into camp, May 31, 1840, in the neighborhood of Spring...

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Genealogy and History of the Decorah Family

Hopokoekau, or “Glory of the Morning,” also known as the Queen of the Winnebagoes, was the mother of a celebrated line of chiefs, all of whom, well known to border history, bore in some form the name Decorah. Her Indian name is also given as Wa-ho-po-e-kau. She was the daughter of one of the principal Winnebago chiefs. There is no record of the date of her birth or death. She became the wife of Sabrevoir De Carrie, who probably came to Wisconsin with the French army, in which he was an officer, in 1728. He resigned his commission in 1729, and became a fur-trader among the Winnebagoes, subsequently marrying “Glory of the Morning.” He was adopted into her clan and highly honored. After seven or eight years, during which time two sons and a daughter were born to him, he left her, taking with him the daughter. The (,queen refused to go with her husband, and remained in her home with her two sons. “The result is to-day that one-half or two-thirds of the Winnebago tribe have more or less of the Decorah blood in their veins.” 1Statement by Geo. W. Kingsley. Through the intervening generations there has been no other mixture of Caucasian blood, so that the Decorahs of to-day are probably as nearly full-bloods as any Indians in any part of the country. De Carrie returned to...

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More Decorah Family Members

It was while Major Zachary Taylor was located at Prairie du Chien that he received from Old Gray-headed Decorah a peace pipe now in the State Historical Museum at Madison, Wis. This calumet is a fine specimen, the head is of catlinite inlaid with lead polished to look like silver. The stem, or wooden handle, is about three feet long, rather rudely carved. Mrs. J. H. Kinzie described 1Wau-Bun,” pg. 89. him as “The most noble, dignified, and venerable of his own or indeed of any other tribe. His fine Roman countenance, rendered still more striking by his bald head, with one solitary tuft of long silvery hair neatly tied and falling back on his shoulders; his perfectly neat, appropriate dress, almost without ornament, and his courteous manner, never laid aside, under any circumstances, all combined to give him the highest place in the consideration of all who knew him.” Mrs. Kinzie further states: 2Same reference as above, pg. 484. “The noble Old Day-kau-ray came one day from the Barribault to apprise us of the state of his village. More than forty of his people, he said, had now been for many days without food, save bark and roots. My husband accompanied him to the commanding officer to tell his story, and ascertain if any amount of food could be obtained from that quarter. The result was the promise...

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Decorah Family Line

In 1832, One-eyed Decorah married two wives and went to live on the Black river, Wis. He had at least one son, Spoon Decorah. Chas. H. Saunders says. “One-eyed Decorah has one daughter, Mrs. Hester Lowery, still living in Wisconsin. Her Indian name is No-jin-win-ka. She is between eighty-five and ninety years old.” One-eyed Decorah was living in Iowa between I840 and 1848, as Moses Paquette, who went to the Presbyterian school at the Turkey river, says that he saw him while was at school, and Decorah was then an old man. Big Canoe disliked to leave their Iowa reservation. Geo. W. Kingsley says: “One-eyed Decorah or Big Canoe, after being driver around by the United States Government from the Turkey river reservation, Iowa, to Long Prairie in northern Minnesota then back to Blue Earth, southern Minnesota, his family brought the old chief back to his native home and stamping grounds in Wisconsin. He requested his children not to bury him, but instead, to place him on top of the round in a sitting position, and so it was done.” He lived for a number of years with his tribe on Decorah’s Prairie, Wis., which is named after him; there is also a bluff called Decorah’s Peak back from the Prairie which was also named after him. George Gale states: “The One-eyed De Carry, who is now [about 1864]...

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Biography of Charles F. Hemenway

A prominent and active figure in the business life of Moline, Illinois, has been, and still is, Mr. Charles F. Hemenway, the well known dealer in real estate and loans. Mr. Hemenway was born November 1, 1846, at Grand de Tour, Illinois. His father’s name was Luke E. Hemenway (to whom a special article is devoted in this book), who married Jane E. Marsh, at Grand de Tour, June 23, 1842. The Hemenways are direct descendants of Ralph Hemenway and Elizabeth Hewes, who were married at Roxbury, Massachusetts, July 5, 1634. Their grandson, Daniel Hemenway, was a delegate to the convention that framed the Constitution of Massachusetts. He was Treasurer for the Patentees of the Town of Shoreham, Vermont, in the year 1873. From him is descended the subject of this sketch. Mr. Hemenway received a common school education in the Schools of Grand de Tour and Moline, finishing at the latter place at the age of fourteen. He left home at the age of fifteen, to accept a position in the post office at Lansing, Iowa, November 15, 1861. On August 13, 1862, he enlisted in Company B, Twenty-seventh Iowa Infantry, Volunteers, at the age of fifteen years, and was honorably discharged at Vicksburg, Mississippi, June 6, 1865, with the rank of Corporal. Mr. Hemenway served with his company during the campaign in Northern Mississippi, being present at...

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