Chief Leatherlips RIPHistoric/Museums, STAFF, USA MAINLAND — By Milli Thornton on May 22, 2012 at 01:22
Story by Milli Thornton. Photos Copyright © Brian Williams.
Feature photo: Painting of Chief Leatherlip’s last moments by Ohio historical artist Hal Sherman, on display at Indian Run Falls Park, Dublin, Ohio
On Saturday Brian was at the Hamvention® in Dayton, Ohio, a convention for amateur radio operators.
While beer drinking is not one of the main activities, Brian found welcome respite from the sun by finding a shady spot to sit down for a brewski and talk to the friend he was there to meet. People watching is another of the side events. Brian’s pictures below show a female ham with an interesting hairstyle. (Yes, that’s an antenna sticking out from the top of her ‘do!) She seemed happy to stop and pose for photos.
Hamvention.org says it’s the world’s largest amateur radio gathering, attracting hams from around the globe. Brian could not get a hotel room in Dayton so he stayed at the Red Roof Inn in Dublin, a suburb of Columbus. One block from his hotel he found a pretty park with a waterfall. The City of Dublin has added nature trails and observation platforms to make it more accessible.
The territory around Indian Run Falls and the stream it feeds was once home to the Wyandot Indians.
General Anthony Wayne defeated the Wyandots and other Ohio Indians at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794. They surrendered most of their lands in Ohio with the signing of the Treaty of Greeneville. In 1843 the United States government sent the Indians off to a reservation in Kansas. They were the last Indian tribe to leave Ohio.
– from Ohio History Central
One of the other sad stories about the Wyandots is about Chief Leatherlips. (According to RoadsideAmerica.com, he was known to white men as Leatherlips because of his “admirable trait of never breaking a promise.”) Brian took a photo of the story for me so I could read about the Chief.
An eye-witness account from Wm. H. Sells in 1870 told of how Leatherlips was opposed to the Indians fighting one another. Six young warriors came hunting for him. A horse worth $150 was to be offered by a group of his supporters among the white community in exchange for the Chief’s life. The Chief gestured to heaven, as if to say, “Your maker will reward you.” He then walked to the top of a hill where his grave had been prepared, knelt down and prayed and then gave the signal that he was ready. An Indian standing behind him knocked him on the head with a tomahawk and he fell into his grave. Wm. H. Sells helped bury him.
I was unclear from the account (which was reproduced in the uneducated English of the times) whether the Chief had his own people kill him—to save him from a more brutal fate—but that’s what Brian deduced when he read it. Such a shame he had his life cut short. Chief Leatherlips sounds like the Ghandi of his times.
Brian wanted to see the monument to Chief Leatherlips but he didn’t get a chance to visit. Check Related Topics below for a link to see the monument, which is constructed from limestone slabs. The sculpture, by Boston artist Ralph Helmick, is shaped to allow visitors to climb up inside the “scalp” and have their photo taken.
Brian R. Williams, former spouse of Milliver, has often been the photographer (including video) for the stories Milli writes. An electronics and RF engineer, Brian writes emergency communications software for his company, Comtekk. Milliver counts it among her victories in life to have published reluctant writer Mr. Williams as a guest blogger, with a fascinating story from his stint in Russia: A Sakhalin Road Trip.
Milli Thornton (aka Milliver) is the author of Fear of Writing: for writers & closet writers. She is owner of Unleash Your Writing! and the Fear of Writing Online Course, where her mission is to put the fun back into writing. Milli blogs at Screenwriting in the Boonies and the Fear of Writing Blog and coaches writers individually at Writer’s Muse.