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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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Held Captive by an Indian
{Newspaper & Date Unknown}

Homecoming Guest Tells A Thrilling Story


West Allis Woman, When a Child, Thanks to Her Father's Jesting Words, Was Sold to Wild Tribe and Only Recovered with Difficulty.

Held a captive by the Indians and finally released through the efforts of Solomon Juneau; Milwaukee's first mayor, was the experience of Mrs. H. E. Jordan, 477 Sixty-third av., West Allis, who is to be a guest of honor at the Milwaukee Homecoming celebration in August. Mrs. Jordan is a daughter of the late John A. Hearn, one of the pioneers of the city, whose joking with the Indians was responsible for his little daughter's captivity.

The Homecoming celebration recalled the incident which Mrs. Jordan related to the Journal, as it was in August 1842, that she was held captive by the Indians.

{Picture of Mrs. J. E. Jordan}

One Sunday morning, she says, her mother dressed the little girl and arranged her hair in curls preparatory to a walk with her father who was very proud of his little daughter. A short distance from their home, they met a band of Indians in gala attire.

One big squaw came up to Mr. Hearn, saying, "Pretty papoose; you swap for a basket of Indian beads?" Mr. Hearn said he would. The squaw seemed so pleased with the little girl that Mr. Hearn thought he would let the Indian take her for a few minutes. The Indian woman took the girl and started toward her wigwam.

The father followed and asked for the child back. The squaw then gave an Indian yell and in an instant Mr. Hearn was surrounded by warriors. They refused to give him back the child. Frantic with grief the father sought Solomon Juneau. The latter held a consultation with the Indian chiefs and finally after long negotiations secured the girls release. Mr. Hearn was severely reprimanded by the old Indian chief and by Solomon Juneau for fooling with the Indians.

Mrs. Jordan is the mother-in-law of Mayor Walsh and City Physician H.T. Brogan, West Allis.


Contributed by: Kay Reitberger

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