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Dexheimer, Florence Chambers, 1866-1925 / Sketches of Wisconsin pioneer women
([1924?] )

McCafferty, Mrs.
Imogene St. John McCafferty,   pp. 41-47 PDF (1.4 MB)


Page 46


the immediate necessity of procuring more. With no
roads and swollen streams it seemed a formidable un-
dertaking. Taking two teams-one a yoke of oxen, the
other of one ox and our family horse (mate to ox having
been killed by Indians) he started for Ottawa, Illinois,
100 miles south. It was a perilous journey. In fording
streams he came near losing his entire loads. As it was,
he lost three barrels of flour from their being water
soaked. These he gave to the Indians later. After two
long weary weeks we welcomed them home, my elder
brother being sick at the time.
    Many times our cabin would be filled with Indians
but they never harmed us. They seemed fond of my
mother, and would pat her shoulder and say, "Nish-e-
shin-che-mo-ko-man," meaning a good squaw. One very
old chief used to come often from Lake Koshkonong.
Mother always gave him food. The day after her burial
he came to our cabin, unconscious of her death. When
told, he sat for a long time tapping his foot on the floor
while tears coursed down his cheeks. (It is said that
Indians never weep; it seems they do.) He soon de-
parted and never came again. I remember once an In-
dian brought us a wild duck. Mother stuffed and roasted
it for supper. We were at the table when an unwelcome
visitor appeared at the window. A huge wolf peered in,
startling us and disturbing our feast.  Wild animals
seemed to have little fear of man. Often deer would
come in the daytime and drink from a small stream run-
ning near our door.
    One more incident. On our journey to our new
home in Wisconsin, we crossed the then called "Squaw
Prairie," we passed by the burial place of Chief Big
Thunder. (I think a prominent Sioux Indian.) Previous
to his death he had prophesied that there was to be a
big battle fought there and that he might witness it,
ordered that his body should be placed in a log pen. Fa-
ther hearing this, was curious to visit it. He got out
of his wagon and peered through the cracks. There sat
the chief with his war implements around him. A big
rattlesnake was coiled in his lap. Some years later fa-
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