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On which, after paying all the premiums of the first fair in full, there was at the annual meeting in January, 1869, a remaining debt of only $483.58 unprovided for.
In the autumn of 186 9 the society erected a new ball, 39 by 60 feet, and made considerable other improvements, at an expense of $560, and still further reduced its debt. The society has continued to make improvements upon its grounds from time to time, including an addition to the exhibition hall in 1881. It is now almost entirely out of debt, and is one of the most flourishing societies of its kind in a wide region around.
The present officers of the society are:
Directors John Johnson, Center; Eugene Perry, Fairview; C. F. Newell, Franklin; J. Doughterty, French Creek; H. G. Hanson, Hanover; A. B. Hays, Iowa; T. B. Wiley, Jefferson; Andrew Sandry, Lansing; É. 'D. Tisdale, Lafayette; Robt. Henderson, Linton; Simon Opfer, Sr., Ludlow; J. A. Townsend, Makee; R. Sencebaugh, Paint Creek; W. H.Carithers, Post; Robert Banks, Taylor; B. Ratcliffe, Uniun City; T. W. David, Union Prairie; A. P. Dille, Waterloo.
General History; the Aborigines; Archæology; Advent of the
Whites; Early Settlements; County Organization; First County Officers; Taxable Property in 1849; Sketch of Father Lowrey; Indian Missions; The Painted Rock; County Seat Elections; Sodom and Gomorrah.
The great Dakota or Sioux family of American Indians, whose proper domain is the vast central prairies between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains, from east to west, and stretching from the Saskatchewan on the north to the Red River, of Texas, occupied the territory in which Allamakee county is included, when the white man first set fout on Iowa soil, in 1673. They are remotely allied, in language, to the Wyandotte-Iroquois family of the East.
At the time of the advent of the white man, the Winnebagoes (**Puans” of the Canadians), a division of this powerful Dakota family, formed their eastern outpost, and lived on the western shore of Lake Michigan, and about the waters of Winnebago
Lake and Green Bay, Wisconsin. This tribe was the parent stock of the Omahas, Iowas, Kansas, Quappas, or Arkansas, and Osages. They took up arms with the French in the Franco-English wars, and with the English in the Revolution and war of 1812.
The Sacs and Foxes, originally separate tribes, were at one time neighbors of the Winnebagoes in Wisconsin, but had united their numbers in one band, and removed to and occupied a large portion of Illinois, and the eastern part of lowa, south of the upper Iowa river. By the treaty of 1825 this river was made the dividing line between the Sioux on the north and the Sacs and Foxes (now considered as one tribe) on the south. But owing to frequent collisions between these tribes, in their hunting expeditions, the favorite hunting grounds being a bone of contention, the Government, in 1830, assembled them in council and established "the neutral ground," a strip of territory forty miles in width from north to south, with the upper Iowa as its center, extending westwardly from the Mississippi to the upper valley of the Des Moines river. Thus nearly the whole of what is now Allamakee county was included in the neutral ground, which was considered
of the yery best of hunting grounds, and upon which either tribe was permitted to hunt at pleasure, without interference from the other.
At the close of the Black Hawk war, in 1832, in which the Winnebagoes took no active part, but were rather friendly to the whites, a treaty was made whereby this neutral ground was to become their reservation, and in consideration of the surrender of their lands in Wisconsin they were to be allowed large annuities from the government, which also undertook to supply them with agricultural implements and teach them the art of tilling the soil, hoping to induce them thereby to abandon their wild and idle ways and become civilized; a hope which proved fallacious. This treaty, (or another made near that time.) was proclaimed Feb. 13, 1833, and by its terms—as recently found by A. M. May in a volume of Indian treaties in the library of the Wisconsin State Historical Society-defined the boundaries of the reservation as follows: Beginning at a point on the west bank of the Mississippi river, twenty miles above the mouth of the Upper Iowa, thence west to Red Cedar Creek (the head-waters of the Cedar River), thence south forty miles, thence east to the Mississippi, thence north to place of beginning. This grant was to take effect June 1st, 1833, provided that by that time they should leave their old reservation and settle upon this. The eastern portion of this neutral ground was soon occupied, and a mission school and farm was established by the government on the north side of the Yellow River in 1834, of which we shall have more to say further along.
By another treaty proclaimed June 16, 1838, the Indians relinquished their right to occupy the eastern portion of this tract
of land, except for hunting, and agreed to move, in eight months after the ratification of sail treaty, to the western part of the neutral ground, which was done in 1839 or '40. This was the occasion of the abandonment of the Yellow River mission, and the establishment, in 1840, of the Fort Atkinson mission on the Turkey River in Winnesbiek County.
By a treaty made Oct. 13, 1846, and proclaimed Feb. 4, 1847, the Winnebagoes ceded and sold to the United States all their right, title, and interest in this neutral ground; and in June, 1848, they were removed to the upper Mississippi, north of the St. Peter's (or Minnesota) River. By a series of treaties they have since been removed no less than four times, occupying reservations in various parts of Minnesota and Dakota, and now live upon the Omaha reservation in Nebraska, where they are said to be prospering. The love for their old haunts, however, was hard to overcome, and year after year they returned in small parties to their old hunting grounds on the banks of the Mississippi. And although time and again were these scattered parties gathered together by squads of U. S. troops and taken to their reservation, there are still quite a number who continue to inhabit the islands of the river along our county border, subsisting upon fish and game.
The banks of some of our streams bear the marks of having been the home of a numerous people many centuries in the past, but of what race they were is a mystery hard to solve. Especially are there in the valley of the Upper Iowa numerous mounds, but of the acts and scenes which were taking place in this beautiful valley in the age in which they were constructed we may imagine, though probably never know. That it is an interesting subject for investigation is felt by all; and the following extracts from an account of explorations made in 1875, are worthy of a place here. The article was written by Dr. W. W. Ranney, of ansing, who was accompanied in his investigations by Judge Murdock, of Garnavillo, and others of Lansing:
"The mound in which our excavations were made is situated on the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section thirty-six, township one hundred, range five, west of principal meridian (or the southeast corner of Union City township), or about one hundred feet above the Iowa River bottom. It is not in the form of the burial mounds, or tumuli, but forms a circle, the circumference of which is seven hundred feet. The ridge, or elevation, averages about twenty-five feet in width, leaving a circular inclosure 210 feet in diameter. The height of the ridge or mound is about three to four feet from the surface of the ground.
"On opening it we discovered pieces of broken pottery made of a bluish clay and partially pulverized mussel shells; stones, show
ing evidence of having been used for hearths, or supports for the earthen vessels while being used for cooking food; collections of fish scales, bones of buffalo, deer, badger, bear, fish and birds, but no evidence whatever of human bones. The long, or marrow bones of all animals were found broken or split, supposed to have been done for the purpose of extracting the marrow for food, which circumstance is also noted in the Kjokkommoddings, or kitchen middings, of Denmark. One peculiarity noticed by Mr. Hemenway was that each of us digging in different localities found the ornamentation of the pottery dissimilar. For instance, all Mr. Haney found was ornamented with horizontal circular rings; all the Judge found was ornamented with zig-zag lines with dots in the angles. All that we found had perpendicular lines like a muskmelon, etc. This was finally accounted for by the supposition that each family had its own particular method of ornamentation, by which they recognized their property.
"These vessels were quite capacious, the diameter of one having been fourteen inches at the mouth, (or as large as a ten pound tobacco pail). About one and three-quarter inches below the mouth they abruptly widened out about six inches all around, making the largest diameter twenty six inches.
"Taking occasion to remark to the Judge that we had found no bottoms to the vessels, set him to thinking, and the result was that he decided that the bottoms had been rounded in such a manner that they never tipped over, but let them be set down as they might they oscillated till they finally, when still, sit in an upright position. For the purpose of handling, the vessels were provided with handles on two opposite sides similar to our jug handles.
Besides the before-mentioned articles, Col. Johnston found a thin strip of copper two inches long by three-quarters wide, and and we found an ornament of the same material, triangular in form, one inch wide at the base, and one and one-half inches from base to apex, the form being the same as the face of a flat iron, the center being perforated to attach some additional ornament, and the apex also, to attach a string to fasten in the ear.
"Now the question arises, when, how and for what purpose was this mound built. Was it a burial ground, a fort or a village? At first the Judge thought the former, Mr. James Haney the second, and we took the last proposition. To say when, is impossible; the time has been long, long ago, as we have evidence by the decay of the bones and shells. Why it was built? We think it the remains of a village. That the huts or wigwams were built in a circle, and the piles of burnt stone we unearthed each represented a hearth in a hut, on which the pottery set while cooking, and around each of which a separate family warmed and fed themselves. We think with Mr. H. that each family had a separate distinct mark on their vessels by which they were known from their neighbors in the next hut or wigwam.
“We think that the bones found show no evidence of human bones, and consequently it could not be used for a burial ground. Another evidence lies in the fact that all the bones are broken to obtain the marrow. The scales and bones of fish and animals, the charcoal, ashes and burnt hearth-stones all point conclusively to the fact that this was their abode. The central enclosure was used for their games, dancing and pleasure, or perhaps in case of attack from wild beasts or their fellow men, as a place for the aged, the young and the women to flee to while the warrior met their encroachments outside the circle of dwellings. Add to this the fact forty rods south of this village we find some eighty-three burial mounds or tumuli, out of which we procured parts of human skeletons, and nothing else, with the long bones entire, and we are convinced of the fact that this was once a town filled with people, enjoying the pleasures of families and all knit together as one tribe of people.
Commenting on the above, Mr. J. G. Ratcliffe, for many years a resident of that valley, and a close observer of those mounds, wrote in 1875:
"These remains extend up the Iowa River, from near New Albin, for a distance of at least twenty miles, and consist of sites of ancient villages or forts; tumuli or burial grounds; lookout or signal stations on the tops of the bluffs; and rude hieroglyphics; these last consisting of men on horseback, buffalos, peculiar circular figures, etc., being now mostly obliterated through the agency of the weather, the friable nature of the rock (potsdam sandstone) and rude boys.
“Of the village or forts: these consist of circular (in one case only triangular) enclosures or embankments of earth and stone. They were located generally at intervals of a couple of miles apart on the benches or second bottoms of the valley, but sometimes (as was the case with one on a farm formerly owned by me) were down on the river flat. The enclosures were generally from seventy-five to one hundred yards in diameter. The emb being now about twenty-five to thirty feet in width and two or three in height, were originally, I think, much higher, and probably built of sods, serving the purposes of a modern stockade as a means of defence against enemies, and high enough for a support for one end of their tent poles, while at the base on the inside were their kitchen hearths, whereon was cooked the spoils of the chase, the embankment warding off the inclement storms to which the climate is subject.
"In exploring these embankments we found in addition to the pottery, bones, fish scales, etc., mentioned as found by Judge Murdock and party, large stone mortars and pestles, for grinding corn, two or three kinds of stone axes, celts, etc.; also numerous flint and chert arrow heads, and skinning instruments. These mortars are about fourteen inches in diameter and about five