Location: Winneshiek County IA

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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