Potawatomi chief, descendants honored in Culver
Descendants and organizers gathered last Friday to dedicate an historical marker to Chief Nas-wau-kee, a Potawatomi chief who lived on the east shore of Lake Maxinkuckee until 1837. On hand was the chief’s great, great, great grand-niece Michale Edwards, who traveled from Oklahoma for the event and who discussed with the audience her discovery of her relation to the chief, who she described as “gentle, mild-mannered, and trusting.”
Shirley Willard of the Fulton County Historical Society and Potawatomi Trail of Death Association discussed the evolution of the monument, which was an Eagle Scout project for Brian McKinney of Troop 229(based in Winamac, though several Culver youth are members).
Jim Sawhook, representing the Antiquarian and Historical Society of Culver, welcomed Edwards and others to the community. Dr. George Godfrey, President of the Association, gave traditional blessings to the monument, both Potawatomi and Christian (standing in for Culver’s Catholic priest, Fr. Tad Balinda, who was ill -- most Potawatomi were Catholic at the time of departure).
The monument is located in Culver’s town park. A carry-in supper followed at the home of Rick and Julia Baxter, which is on the site of Nas-wau-kee’s village.
Pictured above: in the background, Scouts Damien Stout, Brian McKinney, Shawn DePoy, Jacob Connor, Jack Campbell, Dawson Ploss, Alan Dilts, Austin Felty, Jeremy Penrod. FOREGROUND: Daughter Taylor and Michale Edwards, Delores Grizzelle (secretary of the Association, Shirley Willard, Jim Sawhook, Bill Willard, and Dr. George Godfrey.