State of Nebraska - Genealogy Trails





The Wife of an Indian Chief  




Mrs. Roddy and Her Husband are to Rule over the Winnebago Indians


Mrs. Roddy, wife of Thomas R. Roddy, enjoys the honor of being the only white wife of an Indian Chief.  


Moreover she is the wife of a white Chief. For her husband, Thomas R. Roddy Native of Ireland has recently been elected chief and ruler of the Winnebago Indians.


Mr. Roddy is a tall, handsome man with bushy hair and curling mustache. His wife is a very good looking little woman with a sufficient amount of diplomacy in her composition to assist her husband through


the most trying situations of his future career.


When Mr. Roddy gets in full control of the Winnebagos then Mrs. Roddy's real work will begin.


I anticipate, said she, "a very busy time. We shall want to improve the Winnebagos in every way as well as enjoy them as they are a delightful people, loyal, and true to the very heart. In selecting my husband to rule them, they showed that they wanted a man of force and a man of character and education, one who whole do better for them than an Indian.


In this country, as it now exists, the Indian must keep pace. He must wear comfortable clothes, attend schools, learn the ways of civilization and in other ways come up to the white man. This Mr. Roddy will assist them to do.


My four children and I will live at Black Falls River and from there we will oversee, in our way, the Indians. For I intend to help constantly and steadily.


There is trouble to begin with; Black Hawk and Green Cloud are enemies and rivals among the Winebagos. Black Hawk is a friend of ours or at least we are connected in a business way in the tribe. That fact has caused some trouble between Green Cloud and Mr. Roddy, but nothing serious we trust.


Mr. Roddy's name will be White Buffalo. His crown will be a wampum belt, valued at $5,000,

which is presented to him upon his inauguration. In the inaugural ceremonies, which are very imposing, there is a medicine dance, after which Great Nojenkah, head of the Medicine Lodge, crawls forward on his knees and presents the belt to his chief.


The Winnebagos are in a pitiful condition, said Mrs. Roddy. They are compelled to go fifty miles to school, many of them. The squaws are disheartened and the men are tired of agriculture as it is offered to them. It is vastly different from hunting in the woods or cultivating fields in the midst of picturesque scenery. They re compelled to dig in the earth for the very poorest returns. If they depend upon farming as it is now stands with them without suitable implements. WE shall endeavor to improve their condition and I trust we shall b able to do so very speedily."



The Lincoln Evening News, Thursday, January 11, 1900