SENATOR P. W. HITCHCOCK'S BANK NOTE
USED IN 1860
Phineas W. Hitchcock was United States
Senator from Nebraska from 1871 to 1877. He was the father
of our present Senator Gilbert M. Hitchcock. Senator P. W.
Hitchcock was one of the leading spirits in the pioneer
period of Nebraska history. He was the author and introducer
of the Timber Culture Act passed by Congress in 1874. His
name is forever associated with the great enterprises of the
empire builders of the trans-Missouri region.
SOME DISTINGUISHED OTOE CHIEFS
From Attorney Edwin R. McNeill, of Pawnee
Chongatonga, (now spelled Shunatona, by the Indian Office, which is not correct) or Big Horse was born about 1838. He was named after his grandfather, the head chief of the tribes who made a peace and friendship treaty in 1817. When Shunk-co-pe died he left two minor, sons -- Cha-doe-nah-ye, or Standing Buffalo, who afterwards took the name of James Arkeketa, Sr., and Chon-ga-tong-a, or Big Horse. Chongatonga was a brave and every war party gotten up he was always selected as a scout.
His activities in battles won for him the divine right to wear two eagle feathers upon his scalp, which was considered the highest honor that could be conferred upon a brave. As a brave he earned for himself a name among his people. His brother, who was older than he, was a chief and took the name of Arkeketa.
In those days it was the custom of the various Indian Agents to appoint as policemen of the agency the braves of the tribe, so when the Otoes settled down, he was appointed as a policeman. When part of the tribes under Chiefs Medicine Horse and White Horn left their former reservation in Nebraska and moved to the Indian Territory, Chongatonga came, because he had favored the proposition of moving to the lands set apart for all of the peaceful Indians.
When the rest of the tribes finally gave their consent, some of the chiefs were delegated to come and look over the land and choose their home. His brother, James Arkeketa, was one of those to come and, he returned with his brother to assist him.
He was a policeman up to the time of his death and for his efficiency and faithfulness to his duties he was appointed a chief of the tribes by the Indian Office and approved by the Interior Department on July 6, 1886. He took sick soon after he became a chief and died in the fall of 1887.
Richard William Shunatona (Chongatonga) was born upon the plains of western Nebraska, while the Otoes were on their annual fall hunt for buffaloes in 1876.
From the words of Shunk-co-pe, that the only chance for the red man was to go to school and learn to move the head, the hand, the feet, the body, and the tongue like the white man, and also from his own experience as a policeman, he saw, so he wanted his son to receive some education.
He sent him to the boarding school at Otoe and when he finished the grades he sent him to Chilocco Indian School, from which school he graduated in 1896.
After graduation he entered the government service as a clerk, but resigned on account of the race prejudice in the work.
He became a chief and was acknowledged as one of the leading men of the tribes. He knew the ways because he was raised in the council fires. He is the head of the buffalo clan and has represented a delegate to Washington several times and is now one of selected by the Superintendent to act as a Committee to transact all tribal business with the government.
He is married to a Pawnee and they have eight children who are being educated in the public schools of Pawnee, Okla. His children do not understand their Indian tongue.
He is of good royal blood from both sides and therefore he is one and belongs to the aristocratic families of the tribes. (Editor's Note) The treaty of peace and friendship between the United States and the Otoe tribe signed December 26, 1817 by William Clark, Auguste Choteau, Benjamin O'Fallon. Manuel Lisa, Joseph Laflesche (interpreter) and by Chongatonga (Big Horse) among the Otoe chiefs.
LETTER FROM INDIAN COMMISSIONER
of the Interior,
Ar-kee-kee-tah,Office Indian Affairs,
orMarch 20, 1854.
Stay By It.
Principal Chief of the Confederate Bands of
OTTOE and MISSOURI Indians
Having concluded the business which brought you here, I deem it my duty on your departure for your home, to express to you my approbation of your official conduct while here, and to commend the interest you have shown for theOttoe and Missouri people.
On your return to the Ottoes and Missourias, you will find many perplexities and difficulties; but by constant perseverance and a firm determination to do right at all times and under all circumstances, you will be sustained in all your efforts for the civilization of your people; and it may be allotted to you to yet see them in quite an advanced state of intellectual improvement, and each family confortably situated.
Enjoin on them habits of industry. Teach them to abhor idleness and the accompanying vices--such as gambling and the like.
Urge them to cease the use of ardent spirits, for intemperance, is their greatest enemy.
Encourage the young to go to school. And let all fear God and keep his commandments.
A great responsibility rests on you and the other Chiefs and I ardently hope you may all be found equal to any emergency that may arise in your country and among your people.
I cannot impress too strongly on you the necessity of at all times conducting yourself properly. Your example should be such as to inspire your people with confidence. Much depends on this. I confidently hope you will appreciate the deep responsibility that rests on you, and set an example of diligence, temperance, patience and kindness before your people.
I will often think of you when far, far away, and shall be anxious to hear the news from your country, hoping that it may always be good.
GEO. W. MANYPENNY.
The original of the above interesting historical document is now in the museum of the Nebraska State Historical Society. It is presented by Richard William Shunatona, representative of this Society to the Otoe tribe. Mr. Shunatona is very much interested in the work of this Society and especially in preservation of the history and traditions of the Otoe tribe. The story of his family on the opposite page of this magazine is an interesting contribution to this history.
EARLY HISTORY OF THE CREEK INDIANS
John R. Swanton is one of the most
painstaking students and attractive writers upon American Indians.
His latest book is bulletin 73 of the Bureau of American
Ethnology--just issued. The book gives a condensed story of the
Creek tribe from their first contact with white people. The tribe
was one of those encountered by the Spanish explorer, Ferdinand De
Soto, in 1539. They then lived in the Georgia region, had
well-built villages, cultivated fields and were fierce and
warlike. Ever since that time the Creeks have been among the
bravest of the southern tribes. General Jackson found them such in
his Indian campaigns.
For Nebraska readers Mr. Swanton's last volume has chief interest from its account of the Siouan tribes on the Atlantic coast. These tribes, related by blood and language to the Nebraska Otoe, Omaha, Ponca and Sioux tribes, have almost disappeared. They have been the subject of special stories by Mr. Mooney and the facts brought out by him go far to confirm the traditions of the Nebraska tribes that their ancestors journeyed a long distance from the east into the Mississippi valley and thence up the Missouri to home in this state.
A valuable feature of Mr. Swanton's look is a series of ten maps showing the location of the various southern tribes as described by the early white explorers and gradual migration westward to their present home in Oklahoma.
J. H. Sweet, editor of the Nebraska City
Daily Press, writes the following very interesting comment on the
custom of New Year's Carriers address. We hope other editors will
give their recollections and present practice:
I was very much interested in your article on "Carriers' Addresses' which appeared in a recent copy of "Nebraska History." You wonder why the custom did not survive.
The custom does survive in Nebraska City. Our carriers take out with them on each New Year's Day an "address' for their patrons. Usually the boys are rewarded. The "Address," however, is somewhat different from that which was in vogue in the early sixties and seventies and has more utilitarian purpose. It is usually a calendar or something of that sort.
I have tried to stop the custom, but I have found it almost impossible to do so. The carriers expect it and the patrons, good naturedly, have asked that it be continued. Personally, I have felt that the boys' monthly compensation should be sufficient, but, apparently, my opinion has not been affirmed by the higher court.
I wonder if these addresses are still given out by other newspaper, carriers--that is, in other portions of the state.
PORTRAIT OF WM. J. BRYAN
From Mrs. Josephine Hull, of Los Angeles,
California, the Historical Society recently received the gift of a
fine portrait of William J. Bryan, and this letter:
Yours received and was glad to know you received the picture of Wm. J. Bryan all right. In regard to how I came to make it was through request of Miss Butterfield, superintendent of the Art department of the Nebraska building at the Trans-Mississippi Exposition at Omaha, who came to my Studio and asked me to paint several life size portraits to be exhibited there, as the Nebraska Artists' donation, I being a resident of Nebraska at that time, 1898, and as my husband and I were great admirers of William J., we took it with us to California--but since his death, and my son's wife's death, am at present here with him.
The portraits were done in water color and India ink, and were of ex-senator Allen of Madison, Nebraska, Governor Holcomb, ex-Governor Dawes of Crete, Nebraska, and ex-Senator Allison of Iowa, which hung in the Governor's parlors during the Fair, except that of Governor Holcomb which they draped in flags and hung it on balcony, over fountain in center of main building, opposite entrance, and also selected my five, from the many and hung them over the speakers opening day. Should there be any other information, would a gladly give it.
AN ADDRESS BY HARDY W. CAMPBELL
At Alliance on February 15 deserves place in
the historical record. The subject of his address was "Summer
Tillage" and was a condensation of twenty-five years experiment
and experience west of the Missouri River. Mr. Campbell was not
the inventor, nor the discoverer, of what is called "Dry Farming."
He was and is its chief publicity agent and promoter. The plan in
its essential features was used in California, Utah, and other dry
regions many years before it was tried by Mr. Campbell in South
Dakota and brought to Nebraska by him in the early nineties. A
propaganda, organized by Mr. Campbell and others, had its chief
center of distribution in Lincoln, the home of Mr. Campbell for a
number of years. The vast literature upon dry farming, now filling
thousands of printed pages, started here. Looking back over thirty
years it can now be seen what a great movement then began. The
high plains of western Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado have become
the homes of thousands of successful farmers. The scientific
methods for crops on scant rainfall, and their limitations, are
now fairly well established. Successful crops cannot be grown in
the absence of water.
Hot winds like those of 1894 and little rainfall as in 1910 will reduce dry farming yields below the point of profit. But the average yield in average years may be doubled and trebled by the application of present dry farming methods. H. W. Campbell, as the largest contributor to the practice and the propaganda of this method, deserves high rank in the future history of Nebraska. His present residence is at Los Angeles where he is in the employ of the Southern Pacific Railroad. A daughter, Mrs. A. E. Yarter, lives at Alliance.
THE SIOUX-PAWNEE WAR.
Mr. S. C. Bassett a member of the Historical
Society board, and one of the most discriminating students of
Nebraska history, adds his personal recollection to the story of
the last battle field of the Sioux-Pawnee war in a recent
In the last Historical Society quarterly I have just been reading with much pleasure and interest every item of a historical nature, and especially "The Last Nebraska Battlefield of the Sioux-Pawnee War."
The Pawnee hunting expedition route in 1873, from the reservation to the hunting grounds, was up the Platte valley following the public highway which ran close beside the Union Pacific railroad. We were living on our homestead claim a mile distant from this highway. James Ogilvie, station agent at Gibbon, informed us that hundreds of Pawnee Indians were coming up the Platte valley going on an annual buffalo hunt on the divide between the Platte and Republican rivers. Train men reported that the Indians had camped the night before, at a point east of the present village of Shelton, and our family all went to the highway to see them pass by. It was about the middle of the forenoon when Indians first appeared. First were several hundred Indian men, mounted on ponies. Following were ponies dragging tepee poles on which were the camp equipage, these in charge of the women. Bringing up the rear were hundreds of loose ponies driven by the Indian boys and girls.
The procession was more than a mile in length and all our people were deeply interested. It was reported the Indians crossed the Platte near Plum Creek (now Lexington). The divide west of Ft. Kearny and south of the Platte was the last stand of buffalo in Nebraska and very many of our people had hunted the buffalo in that region.
We first learned of the Sioux-Pawnee battle when hundreds of Pawnees were hauled in box cars and on top of freight cars on the Union Pacific railroad from Plum Creek to a point near the reservation.
From P. M. Hannibal -- Howard County.
We came here from Wisconsin in 1871 when there was not a building in this county. About 200 Pawnee Indians camped on the Loup River within a mile of our Danish Colony that numbered only 20 persons and the Sioux were not far away and we were not sure but they might come any day. They never troubled us but they did threaten our friends in Valley County who took claims up there in 1872. The Sioux got so close that all the Danes up there left their claims to come down here to stay with us a while. But on their way down the North Loup they met a lot of soldiers going up with a gang of workers to build a fort! That settled the Sioux problem for them and for us! Later, Jeppe Smith become first postmaster of Ord. The post office was on his claim about four miles above where it is now. Peter Mortensen, late state treasurer, was the first school district treasurer there. I was the first teacher here, helping some other Danes to learn good English. I taught the first and second terms of school up there. Andersen, Mortensen and Smith were here before they went up there. We had many a good talk together--"In the days when we were pioneers--fifty years ago." We got our postoffice here in 1872. Before that our nearest postoffice was Grand Island with no roads or bridges. We forded the Loup with oxen and got over the sloughs and sand hills the best we could."In God we trust," was our motto and God helped us all the way.
LOGAN COUNTY--FIRST THINGS.
The Gandy Pioneer gives the following as
among the first happenings in the history of white men in Logan
county. Although possessing a fine body of rich, black, table land
and splendid water, the Logan county region was flanked by sand
hills and out of the beaten path of land seekers. It was not until
the middle eighties, after the construction of the Burlington road
across Custer county, that homesteaders settled in considerable
numbers in Logan. This record of the earliest settlement deserves
wider knowledge and additional detail. It would be quite worth
while to know something of the life of Thomas Kirby, the pioneer
hunter and trapper:
Thomas Kirby, hunter and trapper, in the summer of 1873, built the first house in Logan county. It was built on the north bank of the Loup River, three-quarters of a mile north of the town of Logan. This house was part dug and part made of cedar logs, there being a big grove of these in the canyon near by.
The canyons surrounding the Clark table were a favorite place for black tailed deer and wild horses ranged on the table land.
In the early days beaver were plenty, also a few otter. They did not bother to trap musk rats as there were plenty of the more valuable and larger fur bearing animals.
In 1876 Charlie Ewing, as part of a cattle company organized at Columbus, Nebraska, brought in a car load of Texas cattle and built a frame house on the north side of the Loup one mile east of Logan, on the land now known as the M. Laughler farm. This was the first frame house built in Logan County.
The Camp Fire girls of Sutton celebrated Arbor Day by planting a red cedar tree to mark the spot where the first white man lived at that place. The man was Luther French who homesteaded in 1870 and built a dug-out on the south bank of School Creek. A secret room was dug with the dugout where his children could hide from Indians when the father was away hunting. Underground rooms were common in the early period of settlement. At the old Fouse ranch on Beaver Creek, a station on the Nebraska City-Denver trail, there was a large underground stable capable of holding a hundred head of stock. This was constructed for defense against Indian attacks, although hostile Indian raids never quite reached the ranch. The "underground fort" at the Fouse ranch is one of the outstanding remembrances of the editor's childhood.
V. J. McGonigle of Jackson, Nebraska, is writing a most interesting series of letters in the Dakota City Herald upon the early white history of that region. Mr. McGonigle is a new member of the Historical Society and promises important help in preserving historical material in that region.
A letter from Abraham Lincoln to Judge Reavis of Falls City, father of Congressman Frank Reavis, dated November 5, 1855, is one of the documents treasured in the Reavis family. An extract from the letter reads "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than anything else."
In the soldiers' plat in the San Diego cemetery, I recently came across a grave marked with one of the regulation marble markers, such as are furnished by the government for soldiers, and also with a granite Monument. The marker bears this inscription:
The monument bears the following inscription:
San Diego, Cal.
Nebraska History and Record of Pioneer Days,
published quarterly at Lincoln, Nebr., for April, 1922.
State of Nebraska, County of Lancaster, ss.
Before me, a Notary Public in and for the State and county aforesaid, personally appeared A. E. Sheldon, who, having been duly sworn according to law, deposes and says that he is the Managing Editor of the Nebraska History and Record of Pioneer Days, and that the following is, to the best of his knowledge and belief, a true statement of the ownership, management land if a daily paper, the circulation), etc., of the aforesaid publication for the date shown in the above caption, required by the Act of August 24, 1912, embodied in section 443, Postal Laws and Regulations, printed on the reverse of this form, to wit
1. That the names arc: addresses of the publisher, editor, managing editor, and business managers are:
Publisher, Nebraska State Historical Society, Lincoln, Nebr.
Editor, A. F. Sheldon, Lincoln, Nebr.
Managing Editor, A. E. Sheldon, Lincoln, Nebr.
Business Managers, A. E. Shelton, Lincoln, Nebr.
2. That the owners are: Nebraska State Historical Society.
3. That the known bondholders, mortgagees, and other security holders owning or holding 1 per cent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages, or other securities are: None.
4. That the two paragraphs next above, giving the names of the owners, stockholders, and security holders, if any, contain not only the lilt of stockholders and security holders as they appear upon the books of the company but also, in cases where the stockholder or security holder appears upon the books of the company as trustee or in any other fiduciary relation, the name of the person or corporation for whom such trustee is acting, is given; also that the said two paragraphs contain statements embracing affiant's full knowledge and belief as to the circumstances and conditions under which stockholders and security holders who do not appear upon the books of the company as trustees, hold stock and securities in a capacity other than that of a bona fide owner; and this affiant has no reason to believe that any other person, association, or corporation has any interest direct or indirect in the said stock, bonds, or other securities than as so stated by him.
A. E. SHELDON, Editor.
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 11th
day of April 1922.
(SEAL) MAX WESTERMANN, Notary Public.
(My commission expires Aug. 4, 1927.)
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