Canku Ota Logo

Canku Ota

Canku Ota Logo

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


April 5, 2003 - Issue 84


pictograph divider


Chief White Eagle Lies in an Unmarked Grave (Mole Lake Band of Chippewa History)

From the Antigo Daily Journal - July 3, 1933
credits: submitted by Timm Severud (Ondamitag)

Chief White Eagle Lies in an Unmarked Grave
Charles Ackley, Grandson, Says He was Buried Near Bank of River Saw Him as Boy
Headed Chippewa Band That was to have Reservation in the County

Charles Ackley, Son of W.L. Ackley, Langlade County's first permanent white settler.

In an unmarked grave near the bank of the Eau Claire River west of Antigo repose the bones of Chief White Eagle, chief of the band of Chippewa whose descendants live, for the most part in the vicinity of Mole Lake.

This statement is on the authority of Charles Ackley, a grandson of the chief, who was the father of his mother, Mrs. W.L. Ackley. Charles, who is now 78 years of age, and lives with his daughter, Mrs. Lillian McDonald, at Choate, remembers as a small boy waiting on his grandfather. He died when he was eight or nine years old, which would be about seventy years ago. Charles believes that he must have been over a hundred years old. He was an Indian of the old school, spoke only the Chippewa language, and wore the Indian garb of breechcloth, leggings and blanket.

White Eagle, whose Indian name was Mac-gee-sic, was buried near the curve of the river below the Ackley cabin. Several years ago, on account of the wearing away of the bank near Highway 64, it became necessary to relocate the road. Charles Ackley heard that when this was done that some human bones were found and reburied but he does not know where. He believes that they were the bones of his grandfather, White Eagle.

How Lost Tribe Came To Be
Had the hopes of the band of Chippewas over whom White Eagle was chief been realized they would not today be known as The Lost Tribe, because of having not been recognized with tribal status. According to the tradition received by Charles Ackley, a treaty was arrived at whereby the so-called Post Lake Band was to be given for a reservation a tract of land twelve miles square touching on Post, Pelican and Rice Lakes, but the treaty was never placed on record in Washington and does not seem to have arrived there. One tradition is that the person bearing the treaty went down with a vessel on the Great Lakes while en route to Washington.

Recollections of Father
Charles Ackley says that his father, first permanent settler in Langlade County, was born in Chenango County New York, in 1818. He drifted west to Kelly, Wisconsin, where he worked in the sawmill, then began logging for the company along the Eau Claire River as far up as the forks of the east and west branches, and some distance up the east branch. He bought a yoke of cattle to tote his supplies. Very little money was received for the logs; about all he received were sufficient supplies to last him through the summer. These supplies had to be brought up from Stevens Point.

Partner with Hogarty
W.L. Ackley and John Hogarty were partners in logging for sometime. They had a logging camp on the east branch, as the government survey shows, on what is now the Galuski farm, about where the road crosses the river north of Heineman. This camp antedated the building of the cabin below the forks of the stream. Charles remembers seeing the buildings there. He recalls hearing his father tell about helping with the government survey, and how after they were made he went to Wausau to prove up his 160-acre homestead. Hogarty had a 160-acre claim, too, but let it go back, and later took up land further south.

Oldest Building Standing
The Ackley log cabin that stood on the exact site of the frame house on the Eugene Mullen farm was razed many, many years ago, but the old log barn still stands, and it is perhaps the oldest building in the county. It is hoped that this may be preserved as a memento of the county's first settler. The logs used are all Rock Elm except the bottom ones which are of White Oak. Oxen were used to roll up the logs. The roof boards are of whipsawed lumber. Charles, his brother, DeWitt, and their half-brother, Missabe helped to erect this barn.

Many Indian Visitors
The Ackley cabin became quite a trading center, the Indians of this region going their to fur trade for provisions, trinkets, tobacco and alcohol. The practice having been started generations before, the trader who dispensed none of the last named commodity could not do business it appears.

Charles remembers seeing graves on the Stub Boyington clearing. These are said to be the graves of his Chippewa wife and their two half-blood children. He recalls a dog that 'Bill Dad' Holbrook presented to his father and which was an excellent cattle driving dog. Bill had a son, Martin, who went to Odanah, was married there and is said to have a son living.

Only Surviving Sons
Charles and DeWitt, of Mole Lake, are the only sons of W.L. Ackley surviving. DeWitt is the eldest. There half-brother Missabe, a full-blooded Indian died at Lac Vieux Desert about three years ago. He was nearly one hundred years old and was blind in his last years. He left some descendants. A half-sister of Charles named Sarah who was Hogarty's first wife, died many years ago. Charles was the last to live on the old farm. Later he lived on a forty across the river, and then he lived for periods at Antigo, Summit Lake, Crandon, and Wabeno. He is well preserved and stands straight as an arrow, as his picture indicates.

Two children of Missabe Ackley, Charles says, were buried on the Heineman homestead near a grove of plum trees. He hopes to visit the familiar old scenes some time this summer.

Mr. & Mrs. W.L. Ackley are buried in an unmarked grave in the Antigo cemetery, the log being the second south from the gate.

pictograph divider

Home PageFront PageArchivesOur AwardsAbout Us

Kid's PageColoring BookCool LinksGuest BookEmail Us


pictograph divider

  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

Canku Ota Logo   Canku Ota Logo

The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the

Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Paul C. Barry.

All Rights Reserved.

Site Meter
Thank You

Valid HTML 4.01!