Tuesday, January 1, 2013

RIP - Tensquatawa

RIP - Tensquatawa
On November 23, 2012 (black Friday) descendents of Tensquatawa visited his final resting place.
The relatives were: Corey and Max Overhiser 
Daniel, Luke, and Jameson Schmeltz (+ dad Chris)
Sydney House (+ dad Jeff)

If you have been following my blogs at "My Brother's Fruit" you may recall Shawnee Prophet (April 1, 2011) and White Invaders (May 2, 2011).  Those blogs reported how we are related to the Prophet.  This past Thanksgiving the Corey/Abby O family from MN and the Chris/Janine Schmeltz family from IL were visiting the Jeff/Jody House family in Overland Park, KS.  Below is Corey's account of a road trip in search of our roots.
Corey Overhiser - "Just wanted to share some pictures of a small trip some of us took while we were in Overland Park, KS for Thanksgiving visiting Jody, Jeff, Ashley and Sydney House.  When most of the crew was out Black Friday shopping, the rest of us were sitting around discussing the family and school. The subject of our Indian ancestry came up. I was explaining how much fun Carly had putting together her Family Tree as a school project. And, that Lauren did a big project on Techumseh last year. Jeff House thought he had heard that Tensquatawa (Techumseh’s brother and said to be our Great, Great............Grandfather) was buried in  the Kansas City area. We did a Google search and discovered, in fact, that Tensquatawa’s final resting place was less than a twenty minute drive from the House household.

Daniel, Luke, Jameson, Max, Sydney, Chris, Jeff and I hopped in the minivan and began our pilgrimage to find the grave site located in Shawnee Mission KS on private property.  As we approached the modest neighborhood made up of predominantly Mexican heritage, we could make out a small memorial on the road side of a dead-end street. We pulled up at the monument outside of a white picket fence that encompassed about a 1/2 acre back yard of wonderfully maintained turn of the century home. The monument was well maintained and was reportedly erected in 1978.

Not long after we had gathered around Tensquatawa’s Memorial, we were approached by the property owner. Ernesto was very curious why we were interested in Tesquatawa. I explained that we may be direct descendents' of the Prophet.  Ernesto told us that many people have claimed to be relatives of the Shawnee Prophet. He was very nice and could see we were not up to mischiefErnesto told us that he has great respect for the Shawnee Prophet and bought the house to make sure that Tesquatawa’s final resting place would not be disrupted. He told us stories of people trying to dig on his land in order to uncover bones or artifacts and thus he is often chasing people away.

As the sun was getting low in the sky, Ernesto asked if we would like to come behind the fence and take a look around.

About thirty feet right behind the monument, straight north was a small depression in the landscape next to an old stump. This, Ernesto reported, was the sight of the shelter in which the Prophet lived out his last few years. The temperature while we were outside the fence was a chilly 35 degrees When we went inside the fence and approached the depression in the yard the temperature was noticeably  warmer; I would say 10 degrees warmer.  Ernesto told us that the landscape and the nearby White Feather Spring created this unusual characteristic.  We then walked northwest about 20 yards towards a small ravine that dropped approximately 50 feet. Again it was noticeably warmer. After reading a little more, I figure at that point we were very near if not directly on top of where the Prophet was said to be buried in his ceremonial blankets.  Ernesto also revealed he had heard that at the time of the Prophets death, his legs were broken.  I could not verify this information.  We walked back to the monument, said good bye to Ernesto and were on our way.

We all enjoyed our tiny Pilgrimage and made our shopping counterparts very jealous."

Best Regards, Corey Overhiser
I (Martin) think we should, in the future, use the Tensquatawa spelling on the plaque now that Corey's Explorers have shared there research.
From Wikipedia:  Tenskwatawa, (also called Tenskatawa, Tenskwatawah, Tensquatawa or Lalawethika) (1775 – November 1836) was a Native American religious and political leader of the Shawnee tribe, known as The Prophet or the Shawnee Prophet.

Many questions remain.  What about Tensquatawa's daughter Marsha Bates (our ancestor)?  Did she remain in MI after the relocation?   

At The Farm January 1, 2013
The fruit did not grow in 2012 but the kids sure did sprout up.  All five are in high school.  Aaron, a sophomore, is 6'4" and plays on the varsity for the second year (football, basketball and baseball).  The quads are all freshmen and play all the sports.  Also, in the fall they were all in the marching band and Kim was very active with the Band Boosters.

Kim and Allan celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in 2012.  Allan continues as Casco Township Supervisor and has helped lead an effort to obtain a large parcel of Lake Michigan frontage for a Township Park.  Lots of extra trimming was completed because there was no fruit to harvest.  May 2013 bring a bountiful harvest for Overhiser Orchards and your family.

The Country School (2012) by cousin Clare Adkin was just published.  It tells the history of the Iddles one room school (1859 - 1962) that many of us Casco kids attended.  You can order the paper back book by contacting Clare: 2203 Alabama Ave., Durham, NC 27705    919-286-2055     clareadkin@nc.rr.com     Cost of the book is $15 + $5 shipping.  If you have not yet read Quiet Guilt (2010) by Clare, preview at  http://clareadkin.com/

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