Indians of Burt County, Nebraska

 

The Omaha Indians occupied this county previous to and at the time of its settlement by the white people. In the spring of 1855, they were removed to their present reservation in Blackbird County, in accordance with the treaty between them and the Government, effected in March, 1854. In Burt County there never were any serious difficulties between the Indians and the settlers. Petty thieving was the most of which the red men were guilty.

In July 1855, there was considerable excitement and alarm felt by the white people on account of the killing, near Fontinelle, of two young men by the Sioux. This murder occurred, as nearly as can be ascertained, on the 16th of the month. In view of the dangers to which the settlers were supposed then to be exposed, Hon. B. R. Folsom made a requisition on the Governor for arms and ammunition with which they might defend themselves. The requisition was complied with, and a company was organized with, B. R. Folsom, Captain; W. B. Beck, First Lieutenant; and Rev. William Bates, Second Lieutenant. Eighteen persons were enrolled, and military drill was kept up for some time twice a day. No Indian disturbances occurred, and the settlers returned to their labors, their fright gradually wearing away.

An incident connected with the Indians, serving to illustrate the relations existing at that time between them and the whites, may not inappropriately be introduced. In the fall of 1856, one afternoon, about three hundred Omaha came to Tekamah to bury a squaw in one of their early burying-grounds on the point of the hills just north of Tekamah Creek. They made the whole night hideous with their peculiar moaning and lamentations. In the morning, while G. P. Thomas and wife, and her brother, W. B. Beck, were at breakfast, in walked, without permission, two Omaha, who helped themselves to a plate of meat and potatoes, sat down on the stone hearth, ate the food and left without uttering a single word--the family thus unceremoniously intruded upon preferring, under the circumstances, to make no objections, and feeling greatly relieved at their departure.

 

 

 

Burt County

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