HISTORIC HO-CHUNK TIMELINE
1620 — The first mention of Winnebago came to French through Huron and Ottawa middlemen, during
the Frenchs attempt to expand the fur trade.
1634 — French explorer, Jean Nicolet landed at the shores of Red Banks. This is the first recorded date of
a meeting between the “White man” and the Winnebago. The exact size of our tribe was not historically
documented at the time, however, our territory extended from Green Bay, beyond Lake Winnebago, to
the Wisconsin River and to the Rock River in Illinois.
Late 1630’s — Winnebagos went to war against the Michigan Algonquian tribes ( the Foxes, Sacs,
Pottawatomie, and Ottawa) who invaded Wisconsin from the present state of Michigan.
Father Pierre Fancis Xavier de Charlevois, a Jesuit Missionary, estimated the Winnebago population at
4,000-5,000 warriors at the beginning of the hostility.
A small pox epidemic reduced the number of Winnebago warriors to 1,500; dropping the total Winnebago
population by 2/3rds.
1639-40 — Winnebago were attacked by the Illinois on Doty Island (present day Neenah, WI) in Lake
1643 — Jean Boisoeau’s map shows the Winnebago in villages on Lake Winnebago.
1659 — Radisson referred to Lake Winnebago as “the great lake of the stinkings”.
April 1670 — Father Claude Allouez entered the “River des Puans” (the Fox River) and proceeded to the
“Lac des Puans” (Lake Winnebago) expecting to meet the Winnebago but found it “uninhabited on account of the Sioux, who are there held in fear”.
May 13, 1670 — Father Allouez crossed the Bay (to the east side of the Bay in present day Door County)
to find “the Ovenibigoutz [Winnebago] in the clearing where they were assembling”.
September 1670 — Father Claude Dablon and Father Claude Allouez took the Winnebago Sacred Stone
and threw it into the Fox River.
1674 — The Joilet map shows Winnebago living east of Green Bay.
1680 — Winnebagos ally with the French against the Iroquois.
1681 — Father Marquette’s map places the Winnebago at a village at the foot of Lake Winnebago.
1698 — Father Hennepin’s map lists the Winnebago as “Ocitagan” and also locates villages on Lake
1718 — Winnebago villages moved to the Fox River and to Lake Winnebago. There are 600 Winnebago
there. During the bloody warfare between the Winnebago and the French, Winnebago villages are
burned by the French at Butte des Morts.
1720 — Winnebago warriors capture and kill Spaniards in the Southwest.
Charlevoix visit the Winnebago near Green Bay and notes they are “the Otchagras, who are commonly
called Puans, for what reason I do not know”.
June 7, 1726 — French government conclude a treaty with the Winnebago community at Green Bay. In it
the Winnebago agree not to harass the Illinois nation.
August 17, 1727 — Father Louis Ignatius Guignas, a Jesuit missionary, reports that the Winnebago live in
villages on Lake Winnebago, but estimates the population at only 60-80 men. That would bring the total
population to about only 250 people. This represents the last time the Winnebago were a unified people.
1728 — The Lake Winnebago village noted by Guignas is burned by the French.
Fall, 1728 — A split in the Winnebago tribe occurs and results in teh movement of one group south to the
Rock River area; they become known as the Rock River Band. Carcajou Point, on Lake Koshkonong,
becomes the location of White Crow’s village.
1729 — The Winnebago ally with the Fox against the French in the “Fox Wars”.
October, 1734 — Sieur Lintot reports that there are still 30 Winnebago “cabins” at Lake Pepin.
1735 — A large Winnebago village begins on the site of Watertown, Wisconsin.
1737 — The Winnebago at Le Greco’s village at Lake Pepin move down to the Rock River at the urging of
Captain Pierre Martin.
March, 1737 — The Winnebago side with the Chippewa against the Sioux.
1738 — Sieur Marin, a French man from Prairie du Chien, is the first recorded trader dealing with the Rock
1747 — Sieur Clignancourt and others are granted the exclusive right to trade with the Winnebago and
other tribes near the post at Green Bay.
1748 — Winnebago take possession of the Chippewa village on Smoky Hill, Wood County and a fierce
1755 — About 100 Winnebago fight with other tribes against the British in “Braddock’s Defeat” in the
1760 — Crabapple Point, another village on Lake Koshkonog is settled. By this time, there are three
principle villages with the head villages still on Lake Winnebago and another at Red Banks.
1761 — There are 150 Winnebago warriors at three village sites on Lake Winnebago.
1763 — Winnebago join with Chief Pontiac. The Winnebago befriend the English at Green Bay.
September 25, 1766 — Carver arrives at the great village of the Winnebagos, located on a small island at
the east end of Lake Winnebago (now the site of Menasha, WI). He says that the village contains about
50 lodges which house some 200 warriors. The total population estimate would be approximately 1,000
September 25-29, 1766 — Carver meets Glory of the Morning, who receives him graciously and
entertains him during the four days he remains at the village. He reports that the Winnebago are raising
large quantities of corn, squash, beans, pumpkins, watermelons, and tobacco at their Doty Island village.
May 15, 1767 — Major Robert Rogers, British Commandant at Fort Michillimackinac, enters into his
journal that Foxes, Menomonees and some Winnebago, “are gone south to war with the Illinois Indians”.
1776 — Winnebago fight alongside of the British in the Revolutionary War.
1777 — Charles Gautier, a trader, reports finding an abandoned Winnebago village on Lake Koshkonong.
A Spanish document locates a Winnebago village near the mouth of the Rock River, five miles up from its
confluence of the Mississippi River.
1778 — A Winnebago chief named Chaurachon and his band on the Rock River enter into a “treaty” with
General George Rogers Clark who represents the United States.
1783 — Intertribal warfare develops over the fur trade. War erupts between the Winnebago and the
1786 — Merchants of Montreal complain that the Winnebago number 600 men and their first village is only
30 miles from Green Bay. The Winnebago are often troublesome to passing traders and tax them for
their safe passage.
1793 — The Winnebago attack the Maumee in Ohio and support England in the attack on Ft. Recovery.
Robert Dickson reports that the Winnebago at the falls of the Fox River, near Portage are growing Indian
corn, squash, potatoes, melons, and cucumbers as well as “good tobacco”. Spoon Decorah, eldest son
of Glory of the Morning and Savrevoir Dekaury, founds a settlement on the Wisconsin River, about two
miles above the portage.
August 20, 1794 — Winnebago are defeated by Gen. “Mad Anthony” Wayne at the Battle of Fallen
Timbers, near Maumee City, OH.
1801-02 — Augustin Grignon finds Winnebagos living in six villages on the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers,
one village near present day Oshkosh, one one Garlic Island, one on Doty Island, one on Green Lake and
one on Lake Puckaway.
1805 — Zebulon Pike travels up the Mississippi and reports sighting two Winnebago villges on the Rock
River as well as villages at both ends of Lake Winnebago, Portage and Lake Puckaway. He estimates
the population at 1,950 people.
April 20, 1806 — Over 300 Indians, representing the Winnebago, Fox, and Sioux, participate in a lacrosse
tournament at Prairie du Chien.
1809 — Tecumseh travels west from Prophetstwon (near present day Lafayette, Indiana) west and meets
with Winnebago and Sac converts along the Rock and Mississippi Rivers. By April, 50 Winnebago join
the Prophet at his village on the Tippecanoe River near Lafayette.
April 25, 1810 — William Henry Harrison reports to the Secretary of War that the Prophet Tecumseh
controls 1,000 people comprised principally of Kickapoo and Winnebago.
June 14-15, 1810 — There is a great meeting of various tribes at Prophetstown. A party of 1,100 Sacs,
Foxes, and Winnebago are on their way to join the conference.
Winter 1810-11 — Winnebago, following orders of the Prophet, refuse to sell meat to the white traders.
November 7, 1811 Between 600-700 warriors, most of whom are Winnebago and Potawatomie,
participate in the Battle of Tippecanoe.
December 31, 1811 After arriving back at Prairie du Chien, Decora (probably Old Grayheaded
Decorah) states, We have been killed; your comrade Harrison has killed us. Look at us who have
escaped; look at the way our blankets are pierced with bullets!
1812 John Hays reports to the Governor of Illinois the existence of Winnebago villages on the
Pecatonica River near Lake Koshonong.
January 1, 1812 A war party of 100 Rock River Winnebago raid the lead mines owned by George Hunt,
nine miles below Dubuque, IA.
May 1, 1812 300 Rock River Winnebago arrive in Indiana and pitch camp on Wild Cat Creek close to
July 17, 1812 Led by Big Canoe and Robert Dickson, 100 Winnebago aid in the capture of Ft.
Mackinac on Mackinac Island.
October 5, 1813 Winnebago fight with General Proctor and Tecumseh at the Battle of the Thames,
where Tecumseh is killed.
June 2, 1814 American forces take control of Prairie du Chien, capturing 20 Winnebago and killing 12
August, 1814 Winnebago warriors assist in the British defense of Mackinac Island.
December 28, 1814 The Treaty of Ghent is signed securing the rights of occupancy, fishing and
planting for Indians. No provisions are made for hunting rights and the fate of the Indians is now in the
hands of the Americans.
1815 The territory of the Winnebago is a triangle shaped area with Green Bay, North Central Illinois,
and La Crosse as the points. The British think the Winnebago are too mercenary and end their official
ties. The Winnebago attack Prairie du Chien. The tribal population is at 4,500.
June 13, 1815 — He Who Walks Naked, younger brother of Four Legs, states, “Father, the peace made
between you and the Big Knives may be a lasting one; but it cannot be for us, for we hate them; they
have so often deceived us that we cannot put any faith in them.”
May 18, 1816 A treaty of Peace and Friendship is signed in St. Louis confirming an earlier agreement
outlined in 1804. This is the first of many treaties negotiated between the Winnebago Nation and the U.S.
1816 Tribal organization is in disarray as the Winnebago scatter into nearly forty settlements. Judge
Lockwood reports the population of the Winnebago, as estimated by traders, to be 900 warriors.
1818 Solomon Juneau, founder of Milwaukee, builds a trading post and begins dealing with the
Winnebago. Edward Tanner observes great numbers of Winnebago and Menomonee gathering wild rice
at Rush Lake, in Winnebago County.
June, 1819 Captain Henry Whiting made a trip from Green Bay to Prairie du Chien and notes
Winnebago villages at Doty Island, at a spot on the west side of Lake Winnebago, about 7 miles from the
outlet, at the confluence of the Fox and Mecan Rivers and one village on the Baraboo River not far
from the Portage.
1820 There are five Winnebago villages at Lake Winnebago and 14 village sites on the Rock River. The
total population of the Winnebago is estimated at 4,000- 6,000.
August 18, 1821 Menomonee and Winnebago hold land in common. The government negotiates a
treaty only with the Menomonee which grants the New York tribes a strip of land five miles wide crossing
the Fox River at Little Chute.
1822 The U.S. Government begins leasing lands in what is now southwestern Wisconsin to lead
miners, thus creating a rush of white speculators and prospectors into what is Winnebago territory. The
New York tribes come back to the Winnebago asking for a larger grant of land. The Winnebago refuse.
Winnebago are now mining lead in the Lake Koshkonong area.
1823 A Winnebago village is noted at the confluence of the Sugar and Pecatonica Rivers.
August, 1823 Mrs. James D. Doty mentions in her journal of a canoe trip made with her husband along
the shores of Lake Winnebago. She records, We coasted along the west shore of Lake Winnebago to
Garlic Island, on the opposite point to which is a Winnebago village of fine permanent lodges and fine
1824 Henry Brevoort, agent at Green Bay Agency, reports the Winnebago census at 700 warriors, all
on the upper Rock River. Koshkonong Village is now called the Great Village of the Winnebago.
1825 The territorial claim of the Winnebago extends from: Southeast, the Rock River headwaters to 40
miles from the mouth of the Illinois, west to the Mississippi River, north to the Black River, to the Upper
Wisconsin River, but not across the Fox River. The white population in the lead mine area stands at 200.
August 16, 1825 Wabasha makes an agreement with the Winnebago regarding the boundary line
about the Black River.
August 19, 1825 The Treaty of Prairie du Chien establishes firm boundaries among the tribes of the
Great Lakes region. The treaty provisions are violated immediately as white lead miners flood the
1827 Winnebago kill the French family of Francis Methode on Yellow Creek, 12 miles from Prairie du
Chien. Among those that are accused of the crime are He that Comes Again and The Boxer.
June 26, 1827 Red Bird and two others enter Judge Lockwoods home and load their weapons in the
presence of a servant girl. Mrs. Lockwood flees the scene and goes to an adjoining store. She is followed
by Red Bird and the others and asks them to leave. They then go 2 miles outside of the village and kill
Rizeste Gagnier and scalp his one year old daughter.
August 11, 1827 The Treaty of 1827, signed at Butte des Morts, again establishes territorial
boundaries. Four Legs addresses U.S. Commissioners Lewis Cass and Thomas L. McKenney in defense
of the Winnebagos in regards to the Red Bird affair.
September 3, 1827 — Red Bird joins a group of over 100 warriors and goes to Major Whistlers camp to
give his self up. Red Bird carrying a white flag is peacefully received by the soldiers.
1828 Little Elk impresses Henry Clay with his public speaking ability during a treaty trip to Washington,
February 16, 1828 Red Bird dies of dysentery while awaiting trial for murder.
August 25, 1828 Treaty of 1828 provides a temporary boundary between the Winnebago and the
United States. Winnebago sell the lead mining region to the government and agree not to, molest or
interfere with any of the white miners in the region.
July 21, 1829 Waukon Decorah meets with commissioners Pierre Menard, Caleb Atwater & John
McNeil at Prairie du Chien to discuss the mineral lands.
August 1, 1829 In the Treaty of 1829, the Winnebago cede 2,530,000 acres of land for $18,000
annually for a 30 year period. This includes the lead mine area of southwestern Wisconsin. The tribe also
receives 3,000 pounds of tobacco and 50 barrels of salt annually in addition to $30,000 in presents at the
1830 The Indian Removal Act, enacted during Andrew Jacksons tenure as president, paves the way for
the great Native American Removals of the 19th century. At this time there are two branches of the
Wisconsin Winnebago; one group receives annuities at Portage and the other at Prairie du Chien. A total
of 4,000- 5,000 Winnebago are reported to have received total annuity payments of $5,000 at Ft.
July 15, 1830 Council is held in Prairie du Chien establishing the boundary of the Neutral Ground
which later becomes Winneshiek County, IA.
October 24, 1831 — Agent Street reports to Clark that some of the Winnebago are wintering with the
Menomonee on the Black River.
1832 — The Sacs and Foxes leave lands granted to them by the Treaty of 1816 and move back to lands
they once occupied across the Mississippi River. Militia is called and the “Black Hawk Wars” ensue.
Henry Gratiot obtains small pox vaccine in St. Louis and begins inoculating the Rock River Winnebago.
May 25, 1832 — Col. Henry Dodge meets with several Winnebago at Four Lakes for a council. There he
warns them that if they join in a war with Black Hawk they will lose many lives, their annuities and their
lands. The meeting is held at White Crow’s village on the northwest shore of Lake Mendota.
May 30, 1832 — Thomas P. Burnett, sub-agent to the Winnebago, and John Marsh go up the Mississippi
River and invite the Winnebago to join with the Sioux and Gen. Atkinson’s army on the Rock River. 20
Winnebago from La Crosse go with them.
June 3, 1832 — White Crow purchases 2 captive girls, Rachel and Sylvia Hall, from the Sacs and brings
them to Col. Dodge at Blue Mounds Fort.
June 30, 1832 — White Crow joins with Col. Dodge’s forces at Kegonsa Lake.
July, 1832 — General Atkinson reports a deserted village on the Bark River, which he refers to as Burnt
July 21, 1832 — White Crow and his son, White Pawnee, fight with Col. Dodge’s troops against the Sacs
in the Battle of Wisconsin Heights.
July 25, 1832 — Burnett is ordered up the Mississippi River to secure all of the Winnebago canoes to
prevent Black Hawk from escaping across the river.
August 2, 1832 — American troops, with Winnebago and Menomonee auxiliaries, decimated the Sac and
Fox at the Battle of Bad Axe River.
August 27, 1832 The La Crosse bands of Winnebago bring the Prophet and Black Hawk to Prairie du
Chien as prisoners of war.
September 10-14, 1832 Winnebago chiefs and head men number around 40 and are anxious to clear
the nation of accusations of complicity in the Black Hawk War. Scott and Reynolds are told that the only
Winnebago who fought with the Sacs were those related to the Sacs. The commissioners argue for land
cession in the treaty negotiation.
September, 1832 Juliette Kinzie writes that the Winnebago had failed to plant gardens the summer
before and many are starving. Game is scarce this winter and many of the Winnebago subsist for weeks
on soup made of the bark of the slippery elm or stewed acorns.
April 29, 1833 Council at Four Lakes (present day Madison, WI), Governor Dodge tells the Winnebago
in the Rock River (ceded) area they have to move by June 1, 1833. Most plan to move near Baraboo,
Devils Lake and Sauk Prairie. White Crow states, many provisions have been promised but few
Summer, 1833 General Dodges soldiers force the Winnebago north of the Wisconsin River. Most
bands settle at Sauk Prairie and on the Baraboo River.
June 10, 1833 About 60 lodges remain in the ceded area.
1834 Small pox affects the Winnebago again. They flee in all directions, spreading the epidemic
further. About one-fourth of the entire Winnebago population perishes with the total dead being 1,000-
Upwards of 3,000 Winnebago men, women, and children come to Portage for their annuity payment.
February, 1834 Whirling Thunder sends a message to Lewis Cass regarding the unfulfilled promises
made during the treaty negotiations at Rock Island in 1832.
1835 Winnebago Mission in Wisconsin closes.
U.S. agent finds about 30 Winnebago families farming on the Baraboo River.
September, 1835 Whirling Thunder sends a letter to Governor Lewis Cass asking that he be allowed to
go to Washington to talk to President Andrew Jackson directly about the problems the Winnebagos are
1836 Reverend Samuel Mazzuchelli correspond with George Wallace Jones regarding the Winnebago
Mission and School in Wisconsin Territory.
April 26, 1836 Wisconsin Territory and Territorial Government are established. Almost 900,000 acres of
land are sold.
October 15, 1836 Waukon Decorah eloquently addresses Governor Dodge and refuses to be relocated
southwest of the Missouri River to live, among nations that we are extremely unacquainted with.
1837 Governor Dodge visits the Winnebago at the Portage and invites them to send a delegation to
Washington. They ask if they would be expected to cede their lands.
Traders took $200,000 of the Winnebago treaty settlement money under the pretense of claims.
September, 1837 Thomas A.B. Boyd, newly appointed agent for the Winnebagos meets with the
Portage chiefs in council. He tells them the Great Father invited them to Washington, for no other motive
than their welfare. The Winnebago object to the trip until after their annuities are paid.
November 1, 1837 Treaty of 1837 signed in Washington, D.C. Most Winnebago who went are young
people, with no authority to negotiate a treaty. The Winnebago understood that they have 8 years until
their removal from Wisconsin, but in reality the treaty states 8 months. All land east of the Mississippi
River is ceded to the government.
June 12, 1838 A delegation of Winnebago go to Captain Low at Ft. Winnebago to protest their newest
treaty. Black Decorah calls Agent Boyd the fool agent and tells Low they were taken to Washington and
July 1838 Dandy meets in council with Major W. Cobbs of Ft. Winnebago. He requests that Agent Boyd
be replaced with Saterlee Clark and lists the tribes complaints about Boyd.
September, 1838 Dandy, Caramani, and Yellow Thunder go to Governor Henry Dodge. In council at
Mineral Point, Dandy speaks at length about the tribes complaints about Agent Boyd and of the shameful
tactics Boyd used to get the delegation to sign the treaty in Washington.
October 5, 1838 One-eyed Decorah and Snake petition Governor Dodge to give them more time
before removal. Their request for four years is rejected, but the government gives the nation one
additional year beyond the original 8 months.
1839 30 Winnebago families are camped near the Coe family residence on the east shore of the Rock
River seven miles above Watertown.
Early November, 1839 A Winnebago camped on Neutral Ground is attacked by Sacs, leaving 20
people dead, 5 wounded and 2 are taken as prisoners.
1840 The first forced Winnebago removal to Turkey River, Iowa occurs. They are moved by the Fifth
and Eighth regiments of the U.S. Infantry to the so-called Neutral Ground. Two large boats transport the
Winnebago down the Wisconsin River to Prairie du Chien.
Summer, 1840 While in the midst of the removal, an epidemic of dysentery and fever kill an estimated
August, 1840 Yellow Thunder is preparing a war party at Winneshieks village with the help of Sioux
allies to retaliate against the Sacs.
November 10, 1840 A delegation of Winnebago goes to Mineral Point to council with Governor Dodge
and tells him of the hardships the Winnebago are enduring.
1840s Spoon Decorah tells of hunting elk along the Black River and of trapping along the Roche-a-Cri
July 5, 1841 Little Hill heads a delegation to talk to Agent Lowry at Ft. Atkinson. He argues against the
presidents policy of punishing the treaty-abiding faction of the Winnebago Nation.
December, 1841 Governor Doty proposes that the Winnebago give up their land in the Neutral Ground
and move to a site on the St. Peters (Minnesota) River.
1842 The population at Turkey River is 756.
Five Winnebago villages exist along the Root River in Minnesota at this time.
Many Winnebago girls are taken to the Menard Academy, a Catholic convent school in Kaskaskia, Illinois
for a Catholic education.
1843 Our Blessed Lady of the Seven Dolors Winnebago Mission is established. At this time, the
principal band of Winnebago in the Neutral Ground is called the School Band and they occupy an area
long the Turkey River.
Summer, 1843 John Chambers, governor of Iowa Territory proposes another treaty to the Winnebago.
1844 A company of Dragoons rounds up the stray Winnebago for removal to Iowa.
Captain Sumner goes to Portage to hunt for Dandy. Dandy is changed with an ox chain to his horse and
demands to see Governor Dodge. Dandy asks the governor if the Bible was a good book. The governor
replies that it is. Dandy responds, Then if a man would do all that was in that book could any more be
required of him? The governor says, No. Well, says Dandy, look that book all through and if you find
in it that Dandy ought to be removed by the government to Turkey River, then I will go right off, but if you
do not find it I will never go there to stay.
1845 Governor Henry Dodge once again unsuccessfully negotiates a removal treaty with the
Winnebago. Winneshiek is made head chief at the Turkey River in Iowa.
October 13, 1846 The Winnebago cede the Neutral Grounds area and end up (following the 1847
treaty) in land between the Sioux and their enemy the Chippewa in north central Minnesota. About 1,300
are removed to the Long Prairie area of Minnesota, just north of St. Cloud at this time.
Spring, 1847 Winnebagos meet with the Ojibwa chief Hole-in-the-Day and he agrees to cede land for
their occupancy in Long Prairie. Henry M. Rice selects the reservation site between the Long Prairie,
Watab, Mississippi and Crow Wing Rivers in what was Wahnahta, later Toddy County, Minnesota. The
Winnebago reserve becomes a buffer between the Chippewa and the Sioux who are hostile towards each
1848 Our Blessed Lady of Seven Dolors mission closes.
Originally evolving from the Prairie du Chien Agency, which was established in 1807, the Winnebago sub
agency becomes a full agency.
July, 1848 About 620 Winnebago arrive at the reservation at Long Prairie and camp near the new
agency; others remain near the Mississippi River.
Winter, 1848-49 The Winnebago suffer from scurvy and would have starved at Long Prairie if the
traders had not extended credit for them.
July, 1849 Winneshiek journeys to St. Paul to confront Territorial Governor Alexander Ramsey about
the terrible hardships the Winnebago have endured.
Little Hill says the Winnebago would like to shoot their agent, Jonathan Fletcher, who wrote earlier that
the Winnebago were well pleased and satisfied.
1850 Another 400 Winnebago who had remained in Iowa and Wisconsin are removed to
Minnesota. Henry Schoolcrafts census lists the number of Winnebago as 2,531 in twenty-one bands.
March 14, 1850 Grand Council is held in St. Paul between the principal chiefs of the Winnebago,
including One-eyed Decorah, Winneshiek, Big Canoe, Good Thunder, Little Dekora, Carimona, Little Hill,
along with a number of Sioux, and Governor Alexander Ramsey.
May 3, 1850 Henry M. Rice is appointed as the removal agent for the Winnebago.
May 16, 1850 Captain Jim, a prominent leader of the Winnebagos in Minnesota, speaks about the need
to educate the children.
1851 Canon Fancis de Vivaldi arrives at Long Prairie, MN. Our Lady of Seven Dolors Chapel (mission)
and a school are opened.
Spring, 1851 J. E. Fletcher is removed and A.M. Fridley is appointed as agent to the Winnebago and
August 4, 1851 Bishop Joseph Cretin, in a letter to Governor Ramsey, asks that he be allowed to
establish a mission and school at Long Prairie.
In the same letter, the Bishop asks that Ramsey, be divested from the religious prejudice and support
the Bishops request for an appropriation. Up until this time the school and mission were not connected.
1852 Father De Vivaldi requests that the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet come to Long Prairie to
teach and administrate at his mission school.
The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet from St. Paul, MN arrive at Long Prairie to teach in the school
July 29, 1852 In a letter to Governor Ramsey, Fr. De Vivaldi asks that provisions and clothing be
provided by the Agent for the students at the Winnebago school.
January 1, 1853 The contract written for the Winnebago school and Long Prairie on this date is good
for five years and includes a sum of $75 per pupil per year stipend to be not less than $2,000 per year for
operating costs. Curriculum included English, reading writing, arithmetic, geography and manual art
June 23, 1853 The Winnebago, having troubles with the Ojibwa and Sioux, negotiate a treaty to
exchange the Long Prairie reservation for land on the Crow and Mississippi River.
August 4,1853 At a council held on the Watab River, Winneshiek and Little Hill request that the new
reserve run east to the Mississippi River.
November 15, 1853 Bishop Cretin threatens to expose everything to the public by way of the press in
regards to the mishandling of the Winnebago money by their agent.
March 24, 1854 Winnebagos expressed interest in moving southwest to the Missouri River, to be
among the Otos and Omahas. George W. Manypenny, Commissioner of Indian Affairs estimates the
Winnebago population at 1,480.
December, 1854 Winnebago chiefs petition the president for a trip to Washington in hopes of being
allowed to move from Long Prairie to a reserve southwest of the Missouri River (Nemaha Half-Breed
1855 Winneshiek is head chief at the Winnebago village on the Turkey River in Iowa, where a county is
named for him.
February 19, 1855 Little Hill heads a delegation and speaks with Commissioner Manypenny. He
explains that the Winnebago want a reserve south of the Minnesota River.
February 27, 1855 A new treaty ushered in the Winnebago removal from their reservation in Long
Prairie, MN to a fertile farming area near Blue Earth, Minnesota, in the south central part of the state.
May 5, 1855 Winneshiek, Big Bear, Little Priest and others go to St. Paul after choosing their new
reservation in Blue Earth, MN. Here they document their decision and begin to prepare for their next
May 24, 1855 Winnebagos begin their removal to Blue Earth with 300 canoes arriving in St. Anthony on
June 2, 1855 A mass meeting is held at Mankato to protest against relocating the Winnebago in Blue
Earth County, Minnesota. Resolutions are passed and sent to congress.
1856 Winnebago mission founded at Blue Earth and is attended by diocesan priests residing at St.
Peter and Paul Church in Mankato.
January 8, 1856 Little Hill and a number of other chiefs contact Governor Gorman to beg for aid. They
had not been paid their annuities and were forced to go to Reverend Canon Francis de Vivaldi, the priest
who operated their mission, for food and provisions.
January 12, 1856 In a letter to Commissioner Manypenny, Little Hill lists the Winnebagos complaints
against Agent Fletcher and calls for his removal.
Early April, 1859 A Winnebago delegation goes to Washington asking that they be allowed to remain
on the Blue Earth Reserve, where lie their children and friends, whose graves are yet green in their
memory, without molestation or fear of being driven thence by their remorseless neighbor, the white
April 18, 1859 Baptiste LaSallieur, in a letter to President James Buchanan, reminds the president of
the money owed to the tribe and tells him, in part, You want us, father, to act like white men, and we
want to tell you that it requires a great deal of money to do so.
May, 1859 Winneshiek refuses a medal during a council with William J. Cullen, Superintendent of
Indian Affairs in Minnesota, and is deposed as head chief. Baptiste is appointed to the position.
1860 The Winnebago pass a code of laws dealing with stabbing, stealing, and drunkenness. 260 cases
of small pox are reported this year, with 43 fatalities. Schooling begins with 62 males and 48 females
enrolled on the Blue Earth reserve.
June 25, 1861 Little Hill, in a council with Superintendent Thompson, complains about Agent Balcombe
and pleads for the money owed the tribe. The money would not be given until the tribe had received their
land allotments and the rest of the reserve sold to white settlers. The money amounted to about
Summer, 1861 Winneshiek, a staunch opponent to the allotment of the Blue Earth Reserve, obstructs
the surveys of the reservation lands.
October18, 1861 Blue Earth Reservation census shows 2,106 Winnebago living in Blue Earth and
Waseca Counties in Minnesota.
November 26, 1861 Captain Jim, a Winnebago chief, freezes to death while on his way home from
Mankato. He had fought for the U.S. in the War of 1812 and in the Black Hawk War.
1862 Winnebago circumstances have diminished to a horrible state. The promised allotments were
never completed and the Winnebago are surrounded by hostile and unfriendly white people.
March 10, 1862 Little Priest testifies that Balcombe had been corrupt in many dealings with the
Winnebago. Allegations include buying items for his personal use with annuity money and missing large
numbers of people in his census.
April, 1862 Agent Balcombe is charged with corruption in the selling of Winnebago annuity goods back
to the trading firm of Hubbell and Hawley.
June, 1862 The Sioux Massacre frightens local citizens so much that they begin to call for the next
removal of all Indians in the area.
January, 1863 Settlers organize a secret society called the Knights of the Forest in Mankato to bring
about the removal of the Winnebagos. A secret order called the Knights of the Forest was formed by two
men from Mankato and one from Garden city, for the express purpose of the removal of the Winnebago
and all Indians from the state of Minnesota. The Knights grew to considerable size to include many of the
most prominent and influential men of both political parties. One noteworthy act of the Mankato lodge
was the employment of a certain number of men whose duty it was to lie in ambush on the outskirts of the
Winnebago reservation and shoot any Indian who might be observed outside the lines Blue Earth
County Historical Society Review, April 27, 1886.
February 21, 1863 A special Act of Congress approving the removal of Wisconsin Winnebago to Crow
Creek Reserve in South Dakota becomes law.
April 25, 1863 Winnebagos are officially notified of their next removal by Agent Balcombe.
May 2, 1863 The total number of Winnebago is listed as 1,856. About 40 Winnebagos apply for
citizenship in Waseca District Court, but Judge Donaldson refuses their applications.
May 2, 1863 The total number of Winnebago is listed as 1,856. About 40 Winnebagos apply for
citizenship in Waseca District Court, but Judge Donaldson refuses their applications.
May 5, 1863 The first group of Winnebago arrives at Mankato to await their next removal.
May 9, 1863 About 1,000 Winnebago are reluctantly staying at Camp Porter in Mankato awaiting
removal. The first boat load of Winnebago leaves Mankato for their new Dakota reservation. The
steamers Canada and Davenport transport about 1,200 Winnebago to Hannibal, MO for the first leg of the
journey. The boats take 300-400 people on each, they are only meant to hold about 100.
May 23, 1863 Winneshiek and about 800 tribal members arrive in Mankato. At Ft. Snelling, Winneshiek
and Wakon Decorah ask General Henry Sibley to write a letter requesting that the land Winneshiek
received from Wabasha in 1848 could be exchanged for a reserve on the Chippewa River in western
June 8, 1863 The first Winnebago arrives at Crow Creek after taking a slow trip up the Missouri River
aboard the West Wind. The route from Mankato was down the Minnesota River to the Mississippi River,
from the Mississippi up the Missouri River to Ushers Landing.
June 9, 1863 Reverend John P. Williamson reports that the daily ration at Crow Creek is less than one-
quarter pound each of flour, pork, and corn.
June 24, 1863 About 750 Winnebago arrive at Crow Creek after being transported separately. The total
number of Winnebago at Crow Creek amounts to about 1,950.
July, 1863 General Alfred Sully relays the Winnebago complaints to Secretary of the Interior John P.
Usher. Sully suggests that removal to the Ohama reserve in Nebraska would be both humane and
August 7, 1863 Winneshiek again makes an appeal to the president, asking this time for the land given
by Wabasha on the Root River.
August 8, 1863 Superintendent Thompson leaves Crow Creek for Washington to make arrangements
for provisions for the winter and to transfer the Winnebago annuity money.
October 1, 1863 Great dissatisfaction is reported among the Winnebagos at their new agency in
Dakota. Many have already left, destitute and starving, going down the Missouri River in canoes.
Fall, 1863 Baptiste LaSallieur, in council with Superintendent Thompson says, in part, We are not
afraid to die, but we do not wish to die here.
October, 1863 The St. Paul Daily Press calls the movement of Winnebago across the northern plains a
follhardy as Napoleons invasion of Russia. The Press refers to it as the Moscow Campaign which later
becomes known as the Moscow Expedition.
March 1, 1864 All Winnebagos except approximately 200 have left their agency in Dakota.
May, 1864 Approximately 1,200 Winnebago are at the Omaha Reservation in Nebraska.
June, 1864 Robert W. Furnas, Omaha Agent, reports that the Winnebagos on his reserve are starving
and need immediate assistance.
August 1, 1864 Twenty-two Winnebago enlist in Company C, Nebraska Veteran Battalion and twenty-
four in Company D.
September, 1864 Superintendent Thompson arrives for council and the chiefs report that they left the
Crow Creek Reserve because they were surrounded by hostile Sioux, much the same as the situation
had been at Long Prairie.
December 10, 1864 Baptiste LaSallieur is permitted to return to Blue Earth County, Minnesota and re-
occupy his farm with his family.
December 30, 1864 Most of the Winnebagos have by now left the Crow Creek Reserve.
1861-1865 There were about 100 Winnebago warriors who served as soldiers during the four years of
the Civil War.
1865 Little Priest and 71 other Winnebago enlist in Company A, Omaha Scouts at Decatur, Nebraska.
March 6, 1865 Treaty of land cessions in Dakota Territory include the purchase of the northern portion
of the Omaha reservation in Nebraska for the Winnebago.
November 15, 1865 The Winnebago officially relocate to the Omaha Reserve in Nebraska.
1866 Act to Increase and Fix the Military Peace Establishment of the United States includes a clause
authorizing the president to enlist a force of Native Americans.
August 1, 1866 General Order from the office of the Adjutant General implementing the provision of the
above act. Colonel Carrington began efforts to enlist Winnebagos and Pawnees for service on the
Late 1860s Earliest settlement of Winnebago at Watermill was under Chief Ah-oo-cho-ka or Blue Wing
and was located a few miles north of Tomah, WI.
August 19, 1867 Winnebagos population is at 1,672.
May 29, 1870 Act to have patents issued to every Winnebago Indian lawfully residing in Minnesota on
June 15, 1870 if an allotment had not been received as provisions of treaty of April 15, 1829 is passed.
October 11, 1870 Fifty-one Winnebago (men and women), most of whom were half blood, are
naturalized at the U.S. District Court by Judge Nelson in St. Paul, Minnesota. The purpose of their
naturalization is to secure their right to obtain patents from the United States on land which they were
allotted on their former reservation in Blue Earth County, Minnesota. Only 23 Winnebago had purchased
land in Minnesota.
1872 Last attempt by the U.S. government to remove the Winnebago people from Wisconsin.
The removal attempt takes place during the winter, exposing the Winnebago to dangerous conditions.
Reports of atrocities begin to surface and the public outcry is so great that the government never attempts
May 29, 1872 A congressional act supplementary to the Act of July 15, 1870 appropriates another
$36,000 for the removal of the Winnebago.
1873 The Winnebago population stands at 2,500.
March 3, 1873 An Act of Congress passes this day providing relief of the Winnebagos. Although this
act provided for regular annual payments, these payments do not begin until ten years later.
June, 1873 Council is held with Governor C.C. Washburn. Governor Washburn recommends the
Wisconsin Winnebago go to Indian Territory and warns the chiefs that they would have to leave in the
fall. Short Wing asks for a reserve at the head of the Black River.
November 19, 1873 Grey Wolf and the Nebraska chiefs send a message to Congress charging the
Wisconsin Bands with abandonment of the tribe. They state that they did not want to be made poorer
by the removal of the Wisconsin Indians amongst us and ask Congress to increase their funding.
December 12, 1873 Company C, 20th Infantry and a detachment from Company H are ordered to
proceed from Ft. Snelling to Sparta, WI to provide military assistance in the removal of the Winnebagos.
December 18, 1873 Lt. Stafford, with twenty men and Capt. Hunt, capture eighty-six Winnebagos, on
the Baraboo River, near the Crawford Bridge. They are lodged in Sparta to await the train which would
ship them to Nebraska.
December 22, 1873 The eighty-six Winnebago, including Big Hawk, are sent west to Nebraska on the
11 am train. They are accompanied by Sheriff David Bon and six others. Many die on the way and others
die of exposure once reaching Nebraska.
December 23, 1873 Charles A Hunt captures Shaking of the Earth (Caramani) and Yankee Bill with
seventy-one other Winnebagos at Leroy Station; they too are sent west.
December 25, 1873 Fifty-six Winnebagos are captured in Trempealeau County.
Early 1875 The Wisconsin Winnebagos petition the government to allow them to become United States
March 3, 1875 An Act of Congress approved on this day, provides that any Indian head of household
who is over twenty-one and has abandoned tribal relations (meaning the so-called renegade bands)
should be entitled to benefits of the Homestead Act of May 20, 1862. This act also guarantees that any
Indian homesteader can share in tribal annuities, funds, lands, and other property.
February, 1876 Black Hawk and Short Wing ask John St. Cyr to help them obtain the right to
homestead land for eighty Winnebago at Black River Falls, WI. Following this action, most of the
Wisconsin Winnebago file for forty acre homesteads.
1880 The Wisconsin Winnebago are once again able to share in the annuities. Up until this time, the
U.S. government viewed the nation as a renegade band and gave annuities only to the Nebraska
January 18, 1881 An Act of Congress approved on this day, directs the Secretary of the Interior to have
separate censuses taken of the Winnebago in Wisconsin and Nebraska and adjust the accounts between
the two nations.
1881 Special legislation passes permitting Wisconsin Winnebago 40 acre homesteads. They are not
given clear patent to their land for twenty years and could not sell it until then. The first Winnebago to
homestead is known only as Indian George. By this time 1,200 Winnebago are living in Wisconsin.
1883 The census of the Wisconsin Winnebago is completed.
Chiefs of the Iowa tell Owen Dorsey that the Iowa, Oto, Missouria, Omaha and Ponca, once formed
part of the Winnebago Nation, and they each came with the Winnebago from an original home north of
the Great Lakes.
November, 1883 There are just over 1,100 people on the Winnebago enrollment.
1884 Norwegian Lutheran mission and boarding school establishes four miles from Wittenberg, WI.
1886 The Commissioner of Indian Affairs recommends that a government agent be placed in charge of
the Winnebagos in Wisconsin.
1886-1887 Fifty-six births and thirty deaths are reported among the Winnebago.
1887 Reuben Gold Thwaites of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin comes to Tomah to gather
information about the Winnebago. He finds that they had been granted homesteads and most of the land
had proved to be barren hillsides or tamarack swamps. Few of the Winnebagos even know where their
land is located.
February, 1887 The Winnebago population reaches 1,400.
March 29, 1887 Spoon Decorah, in an interview with Moses Paquette says, We think the Big Father
does not care for us any longer, now that he has all our best land. Perhaps it will not be long before he
will wan the poor land we now live in. Then we must go to the reservation in Nebraska.
1888 Federal statute authorizes the sale of a portion of the Winnebago Reservation in Nebraska.
1890 Black Ash Basketry is introduced to the Winnebago.
January 19, 1893 The Tomah Industrial School opens with seven employees and seven students.
1894 Recorded as the last Winnebago burial on Lake Koshkonog, Moses Decorahs son is buried in a
traditional ceremony in Sumner Township.
1895 Federal Statute for the relief of Winnebago Indians in Minnesota.
Bethany Mission School at Wittenberg opens.
September, 1898 Wisconsin Winnebagos participate in the cranberry harvest near Valley Junction,
1900 Peyote religion is introduced to Wisconsin Indians.
1901 The first commencement takes place at the Tomah Indian Industrial School with five children
graduating. A government boarding school opens on the Winnebago reserve in Nebraska.
January 26, 1907 C.F. Larabee, Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs, writes, The Winnebago as a
tribe have due them $883,249.58 under their treaties of 1837 and the act of July 15, 1870. Eventually the
Wisconsin branch receives its share of the principal after it has been capitalized and segregated.
1911 The Tomah Indian Industrial School is made the Winnebago Agency.
1912 Population estimated for the Winnebago Nation in Wisconsin at 1,180 and in Nebraska at 2,613.
1914 Winnebagos receive their last payment of annuities.
1924 The Winnebagos and all other Indian Nations are granted full United States citizenship.
1934 Indian Reorganization Act.
1935 Tomah Industrial School closes in June. Children are farmed out in a kind of foster care
situation. All employees are gone by July 1st .
July, 1937 On the George P. Bennett Marsh, near the Watermill area, Winnebagos return annually to
work the cranberry marsh. Many are descended from his first employees who worked for the company
many years ago.
1937 Cranberry Harvest Festival Champion is Jesse Mike this year.
1938 Cranberry Harvest Festival Champion is Ralph Mann.
1939 Three of the finalists in the Cranberry Harvest Festival this year are Jesse Mike, Ralph Mann, and
1941-1945 The thirty dead or wounded Winnebago in the armed forces are members of the Indian
1941 Winnebago Handcraft Cooperative is established by Reverend Ben Stucki.
February 13, 1945 The title of the Tomah Indian Industrial School is transferred to the Veterans
Admission for hospital use.
1946 Indian Claims Commission Act.
1947 Reverend Mitchell Whiterabbit accepts the call as a pastor for the Indian Mission Church.
1949 Tribal reorganization begins when Nebraska and Wisconsin Winnebago agree to bring a common
claim before the Indian Claims Commission.
February, 1949 The Winnebago Veterans Organization organizes under a State of Wisconsin charter.
1961 Claims Committee provisionally reconstitutes as the acting Wisconsin Winnebago Business
Committee. This group begins to investigate organizing under the Indian Reorganization Act.
1962 The Wisconsin Winnebago Tribal Constitution is written.
1962-63 Census taken by Superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the tribal secretary
determine that there are 494 eligible to vote in the first election under the reorganization.
January 9, 1963 There is a referendum regarding reorganization of the tribe.
June 8, 1963 The first election of officers takes place.
September 14, 1963 The first General Council election is held.
November 1, 1963 Grant from the Department of Health, Education and Welfare is received.
1964 Pow-wow Grounds
1965 Indian Mission property
1966 Indian Heights Housing Site
1970 Indian Claims Commission approves Winnebago claim for $4.6 million.
1971 Blue Wing Village, named in honor of Chief Ah-oo-cho-ka, Blue Wing, is built near Wyeville. The
village includes 32 acres of land and about 20 homes.
1976 Sand Pillow Housing Site
1980 Ho-Chunk Casino and C-Store property
1982 Baraboo Smoke shop and DeJope Bingo property
1983 Tomah Smoke shop (now Whitetail Crossing), Black River Falls Smoke shop (now Whitetail
Crossing), and Ho-Chunk Bingo.
1985 Tomah C-Store property
1986 Contract Health Office
1987 Sands Bingo
1988 Farnum Center property
1989 Executive Building property and Tribal Courts property
1990 Language Division property (Mauston)
1992 Gaming Compact with Wisconsin
1993 Majestic Pines, Rainbow Bingo and Casino, and Ho-Chunk Grand Openings
Rainbow Gift Shop
Ho-Chunk Gift Shop
Properties: Christianson (Shawano County), location of Ho-Chunk North C-Store
1994 Chakh Hah Chee Child Care Center complete
Ho-Chunk casino/Bingo Re-Opening
Ho-Chunk Lodge opens
Ho-Chunk North facility complete
Properties: Muscoda, OConnor, Schrank and Potch-ha-Chee, Records Management
November 1, 1994 Wisconsin Winnebago officially adopt their new constitution which changes the
name to the Ho-Chunk Sovereign Nation. Ho-Chunk is the name we call ourselves. The BIA recognizes
the New Constitution.
Fall, 1995 The Ho-Chunk Nation departments move into their new office building in Black River Falls,
WI. Three Rivers House (former Masonic Temple, La Crosse) is acquired via grant application. Tomah
Whitetail Crossing is completed.
Properties: Mortenson, Timber Run and Parmenter
1996 District I Community Center renovation is completed.
Chakh Hah Chee Elder center is completed.
New Majestic Pines Grand Opening
Properties: Rockland and Nine Eagles
1997 Winnebago Heights Elder Center is completed. Indian Mission Elder Center is completed.
Wazee Wastewater Treatment Site.
Crocketts Resort is purchased.
Properties: Mueller, Garvin/King of Thunder
1998 Hocak Construction
Four Winds Insurance is established.
Ho-Chunk Casino Water Tower
New wastewater treatment plant at Ho-Chunk Village.
New water system for Chakh Hah Chee Village and Rainbow Casino
Majestic Pines Hotel is completed.
Properties: Christensen (Jackson County)
1999 Three Rivers House renovations are completed.
Wonk Sheek Warehouse is completed.
Majestic Pines expansion is completed.
House of Wellness
Ho-Chunk Casino expansion is completed.
Properties: Kickapoo Valley reserve, Whirling Thunder, Hurley and Ho-Chunk Cinema property is
acquired (Tomah), Leassum, and East Sand Pillow.
2000 Ho-Chunk Casino Hotel & Convention Center is completed.
HCC Wo Za Wa, Copper Oak and Buffet is completed.
Baraboo Whitetail Crossing is completed.
HCC Sunrise Café is completed.
2002 10 Year Strategic Plan is approved.
Ho-Chunk Distribution Center is completed.
Veterans Service Office opens.
Records Management Building is completed.
Ho-Chunk Health Care Center is completed.
Properties: Ruxton, Miers
2003 Andrew Blackhawk Legion Post building is completed.
Rainbow C-Store is completed.
Ho-Chunk Cinemas opens.
Trial Court (Judicial Center) is completed.
Properties: Plum Creek, Red Banks
2004 Whitetail Crossing Casino, Tomah
2005 Ho-Chunk Village, 36 Multi-family units are completed.
2006 Food Distribution Building is completed.
West Pow-wow Grounds
2007 Kingsley Bend Mounds
Sanford White Eagle Legion Post Building is completed.
2008 Sand Pillow Head Start is completed.
Blue Wing Elder Center is completed.
Wittenberg Elder Center is completed.
Ho-Chunk Casion Aquatic Center is completed.
Wittenberg Ancillary Site is started.