Pottawattomi Indian Tribe
A Branch of the Algonquin Indians
(Unknown which tribe these Indians represent)
The Sacs and Fox were also members of the same alliance.
Grand wigwam or council of Waubonsie, was located north of Aurora on property later known as the McNamara Farm. This is in Big Woods" south of Batavia and east of the Fox River. This settlement had more than 1000 squaws, papooses and "warriors" when the first settlers arrived, though they were a peaceable group.
The Indian village was comprised of temporary wigwams and the main building, the Chief's residence. The tribe spent their summers on the Fox River but went south to winter on the Illinois and Kankakee rivers, returning each spring to the Fox.
The tribes leader was noble looking, Chief Waubonsie, a strong man standing 6'4" and over 200 pounds. He and his family lived in a well constructed permanent wigwam made of posts and frames of red cedar, 20 feet wide and 30 feet long, with a hall 8-10 feet wide connecting 2 doors. Basswood tree bark made a mattress or "bedspring" and were covered with the skins of animals they hunted, such as wolf or deer. Warmth was provided by Buffalo skins or military issue blankets. Chief Waubonsie had numerous squaws. At least one of his sons, Neuqua, became a young Chief.
The men of the tribe, the 'warriors' hunted and fished but did little else according to accounts of the early setters. The women grew crops, gathered berries, chopped wood, cooked and did all the other chores to keep the tribe going.
After the treaties, Col. Nathaniel LYON relocated the Pottawatomi tribe to Council Bluffs, Iowa in the fall of 1835 or 36. Chief Waubonsie readied his people for the trip, but at the last minute decided he and his family and squaws would not go. Col. LYON left with the tribe sans their leader. There is more to this story, that I'll let you research for yourself.
Source: History of Kane County, by Joslyn & Joslyn, 1908
Copyright © 1999 Send Mail
Last Updated 16-Sep-1999 KaneCoIL@aol.com