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Histories:  Trempealeau Co. Historical Accounts:

"History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917":

Chapter 5:
 

Modern Encampments

-As transcribed from page 49

A Winnebago Indian village under the chief Ni-No-Humpt-Pinter, occupied considerable territory in Dodge Township when the early settlers arrived. The village began north of what is now Dodge Village, where there was a large Indian field, and extended out into Buffalo County as far as the Engelhart Doeille farm, where there was another large corn field. These Indians had substantial huts and pony stables. The huts were built of limbs of trees protected by bundles of grass on sides and roof, and were banked to a height of four feet or more with soil. The pony stables were constructed in much the same manner. Fences protected the growing corn from the ponies. These fences were of curious structure. First, crotched sticks were driven into the ground. These supported a single line of rails. At regular intervals crossed stakes were driven, meeting just above the single rail, and on the crotch thus formed was laid another rail. This made a double-rail fence, supported by perpendicular crotched sticks, and vertical crossed stakes.

The Indians were peaceable and friendly, visiting at the homes of the settlers at all hours of day and night. They often begged for food, but were generous with their own, and were not given to theft or crime of any kind.

The men had guns and hunted and fished most of the time. Deer were plentiful, but the Indians did not hunt for sport, and seldom killed more than was needed for immediate use, and though plenty of game was to be obtained, the Indians never wantonly slaughtered the wild animals and birds, and were never wasteful. In hot weather, the squaws would dress and skin the deer carcass, cut it into strips, and hang it up to dry.

These Indians reared many children, who were expert swimmers and canoeists, at a time when the current in the river was much swifter than it is now. These youngsters were good-natured, but shy, and were never troublesome. Their parents seemed to feel for them a deep affection, and their lives seemed to be a happy one. They appeared to be healthy and robust, and they and their elders often helped on the settlers' farms, especially in harvest time.

In their social life, they kept largely to themselves. The only inter-marriage with the whites was that of Ma-Sho-Pe-We-Ka, a sister of Black Hawk, with Volney Kingsley, a union to which four children were born.

The early settlers also found other encampments in various parts of the county, and to this day, temporary camps may be found along the wastelands of the river courses.

 


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