History of the Winneshiek's:
17th and 18th Century

My Great-great-great-Grandfather's name was Wakaja Gi (Brown Thunder). He had four sons.

One of his sons was my Great-Grandfather Wakaja Gu, or "Coming Thunder."
My Great-great-Grandfather is depicted SECOND from the left (sitting) in the photograph below titled Wakaja Gu.

Wakaja Gu

My Great-great-Grandfather, Wakaja Gu, was designated as Chief in 1845. He fought on the British side in the War of 1812. Wakaja Gu was known for his kindness and intelligence. He was of medium build, had a black mustache with chin whiskers, and wore dark glasses. My great-great-grandmother was Hisjasu Gi, or "Light Eyes."

The following is an excerpt from W. E. Alexander's "History of Winneshiek County, Iowa," published in 1882 regarding Wakaja Gu (on page 23):

"He was an Indian of remarkable ability, intelligence, and good sense, tall, straight, well developed, and fine looking, and confided in and trusted the whites, whom he seemed to thoroughly respect as they did him, and could speak the English language tolerably well. Judge Murdock and others, who were acquainted with him, and who have heard him deliver several speeches, were much impressed with his ability and oratorical genius. His face would light up with the fires of excitement; tone and gesture would add to the effect of his words; and the effect on his hearers was thrilling and powerful."

Wakaja Gu had five sons and one daughter. One of his sons was my Great Grandfather WaKonJaGooGah, or "Flying Low Cloud." His Christian name was John Winneshiek. WaKonJaGooGah (John Winneshiek) died at the age of 98 on July 18, 1931.


WaKonJaGooGah (left) and Blackhawk

KonshogiwayKa had twelve children. One of his sons was my Grandfather NahiSonwahika, or "Terrifying Them" (as the Lightning Terrifies People). His Christian name was William Phineus Winneshiek.

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