Notes for Wau-wa-aus-see PAPAKEECHIE
Chandonai Genealogy


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Notes for Wau-wa-aus-see PAPAKEECHIE

Miami Indian lived around Wawasee Indiana.

Papakeechie, Chief and Lake

Papakeechie, or, more properly, Papakeecha, or, still more so, Pa-hed-ke-teh-a, was the name of the most influential Miami chief in the region around Lake Wawasee. His name is prosaically translated, "Flat Belly"! At the time of the arrival of the white man, he was about sixty years old and was described as of a dark copper color, inclined to corpulency, and given to wearing a silver ring or a fish bone through the cartilage of his nose. He was a brother of Wau-wa-aus-see and, like most of the chiefs in this part of the country, claimed to have fought in the Battle of Tippecanoe.

His reservation, ceded to him in 1828 and returned to the Governmentin 1834, had an area of thirty-six square miles, being six miles square. Its western boundary, drawn north and south, almost bisected Lake Wawasee. The present sites of Our Lady of the Lake Seminary and the South Shore Inn lie just within the western edge of this old reservation. His Indian village in Noble County, and the brick house built for him by the Government, to fulfill a treaty provision, was about a mile and one-half northwest of Indian Village. And occasional piece of brick from the house still may be found in a field there.

After 1834 Papakeechie's entire reservation was included in the million and one-half acres of Indiana lands given by the Government to the Wabash and Erie Canal. Later it was sold and the proceeds squandered in that ill-fated project.

The chief died between 1838 and 1840, and the burial ground where he rests with a number of his villagers may be found by following Road 8, leading eastward from the north-east corner of the lake named in his honor to the point where it jogs to the north. Here, close by, to the east of the first turn, is a low, swampy woodland, just beyond the southeast corner of which, on higher open ground, as the cemetery, now only indicated by slight undulations in the ground.

Before 1910, when the earth dam forming Lake Papakeechie was built, six small lakes or ponds, surrounded by marshland, lay in the depression now filled and made so beautiful by that sparkling body of water surrounded by its templed hills. The names of these small lakes were Jarrett's, Gan's, Hooper's, and the three called Hartzell's.
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