Note-book No. 1 of the Kickapoo Club online

. (page 1 of 2)
Online LibraryVariousNote-book No. 1 of the Kickapoo Club → online text (page 1 of 2)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Produced by Charlene Taylor, Bryan Ness, Diane Monico, and
the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images
generously made available by The Internet Archive/American







The articles shown herein are one bronze and steel-edged
tomahawk blade, found at the site of Kickapoo Fort in
Section 5, West Township, McLean Co. Ill., by Mark Piper,
one granite hatchet made from a discarded discoidal
hammer-stone (or discoidal hammer-stone made from a
discarded hatchet, which?) and one flint drill, both found
by S. W. Le Neve, at Kingfisher Hill, Menard County, Ill.
The five smaller potsherds beneath these were also found by
Mark Piper, at Kingfisher Hill.

The two perpendicular rows of stamped and rouletted
potsherds on each side of this group were found at an
ancient camp-site on the south bluff of the Sangamon river,
on the Center Farm, in the north part of Menard Co. Ill.,
by Mr. E. H. Hamilton and are now in the collection of the
McLean County Historical Society.

M. C.

"_Help Save the Great Cahokia Mound_"

_By C. H. Robinson, Normal, Illinois._

On April 20th, 1913, an enthusiastic party of Bloomington and Normal
men made an archaeological expedition to the great Cahokia mound
group in Southern Illinois, which is located in Madison and St. Clair
counties, about two miles east of the corporate limits of East St.
Louis, Illinois. The location is easily accessible by way of the new
hard road or by the St. Louis and Collinsville electric system.

The great Cahokia, or better know as Monk's Mound, together with many
smaller mounds are located on a 204 acre farm belonging to the Hon.
T. T. Ramey's heirs. This farm is situated in the most picturesque
and richest part of the famous "American bottoms." Land which is so
fertile that even the aborigines raised much with but little effort
and which no doubt led to the location and construction here of the
largest earth mound ever built by primitive man, the great pyramid of
Cheops in Egypt or the Aztec temple mound of Mexico excepted. Monk's
mound covers more ground than any pyramid of Egypt. Cheops is but 746
feet square, the Aztec temple of Mexico is 680 feet square, while
Monk's mound is 1080 feet by 780 feet and 104 feet high making about
84,000,000 cubic feet of earth.

This mound has never been touched with pick or shovel, although great
quantities of archaeological material have been removed from many of
the surrounding smaller mounds and cultivated fields, and many fine
collections are to be found in both private and public places, taken
from this most ancient residence site of a vanquished race.

The variety and nature of material formed around the great Cahokia
group clearly indicate that the mound builders or their successors
had access to or traded with other tribes or people located at the
headquarters of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, also on the Gulf
of Mexico, and possibly from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans,
as evidenced by the vast quantities and nature of the material,
from which such large varities of implements and ornaments were
constructed. For as workmen are known by their chips so here may
also be found the evidence of past ages wrought in such material as
flint, jasper, pipe stone, granite, agate, galena, obsidian, hematite,
copper, quartz, crystal, deep sea conch shells and much other material
foreign to this section of the state.

The surrounding cultivated fields are strewn with pottery fragments
mingled with which may be found many human bones and implements of the
stone age. Here after the heavy spring rains are over may be plowed up
many characteristic specimens. Surely in ages past what a mecca this
location must have been!

Regarding the shape and size of the great Cahokia mound group it may
be said that all types except the effigy are represented here the
form of the largest mound is a parallelogram, with straight sides,
the longer of which are north and south. On the southern end thirty
feet above the base is a terrace or apex, containing two acres of
ground. On the western side some thirty feet above the first terrace
is a second of some what less extent. The top of the mound is flat,
containing about one acre and a half, and is divided into two parts
the northern portion of which is some four or five feet higher than
the southern portion.

Near the middle of the first terrace, at the base of the mound is a
projecting point apparently the remains of a graded pathway ascending
from the plain to the terrace. Monk's mound stands true to the exact
points of the compass.

There are several conical shaped mounds of about forty feet in height,
together with a large number of rectangular shape flat top mounds
ranging in size from 20 to 30 feet in height and some of smaller size
sufficient to conveniently accommodate a good sized farm house and
out buildings. One noticeable exception of this mound group lies just
south of the great mound the same being of conical shape except that
there are nine radiating ridges extending outward at equal distances
from the flattened top. This mound is about fifty feet high with a 150
foot base, the radiating ridges extending outward about ten feet each,
just what these radiating ridges symbolize no one knows, possibly the
radiating lines of the sun, or the ridges may represent the sacred
conch shells found buried here in great numbers.

Monk's mound derived this name from the fact that from 1804 to 1809
a colony of Monks of the order of La Trappe occupied the locality as
missionaries among the Cahokia Indians. These monks devoted themselves
to silence and seclusion and ate a strictly vegetable diet. They soon
succumbed to the malarial influences existing at that time, many
died and those remaining returned whence they came, the last of them
leaving in March, 1813.

The name Cahokia given the group of mounds is derived from a tribe of
Indians met by LaSalle in that vicinity, during his visit there in
December, 1681. Growing upon Monk's mound may be seen a pear orchard,
set out by the Monks, many of these trees are yet vigorous and bear
fruit in season. Besides these fruit trees, there are many fine forest
trees, some of which have reached a very large size; all of which
tends to make this large mound one of the most picturesque sights in
spring, summer and autumn.

Only a short distance to the north of Monk's mound flows Cahokia
Creek, its heavily wooded tract of timber giving here a rare chance
to the Archaeologist and land-scape artist to help some one of the
greatest movements of pre-historic man to be found in the United
States today. Ohio has long since made safe her serpent mound,
together with many lesser ones by proper legislative acts, other
states and counties have protected pre-historic works of much less
importance. Why then should the great State of Illinois not preserve
our Cahokia group? During the last legislative session at Springfield,
Cahokia mound park bills were introduced in both houses and are now
known as House Bill No. 176 Flagg, and Senate Bill No. 276 Beall,
on June 7, 1913. The matter was refered to the Illinois State Park
Commission to investigate the desirability of the state acquiring the
Cahokia mound and report to the forty-ninth General Assembly not later
than Feb. 1, 1915.

The names and addresses of the members of the Illinois State Board of
Park Commissioners are as follows: Alexander Richards, Ottawa, Ill. T.
A. James, Evanston, Ill. and Thomas Cahill, Loda, Ill.

[Illustration: Plate No. 1 At research on Ramey Farm in field near
Monk's Mound, October, 1913]

[Illustration: Plate No. 2 Characteristic surface finds from location
shown on plate 1.]

Cuts furnished by C. H. Robinson

Cahokia Surface Finds, No. 3

Plate No. 2

1. Large arrow point or small flint hoe, length 3 inch
2. Sections of human skull
3. Outer shell of sacred conch shell
4. Perfect shape hammer stone, granite
5. Pottery ear from vessel
6. Potsherd, incised design, color black
7. Pottery, ducks head
8. Pottery, engraved design
9. Potsherd, reed, marked design, color red
11. Potsherd, reed, marked design, color yellow
12. Potsherd, raised, marked design, color black
13. Potsherd, reed, marked design, color red
14. Potsherd, reed, marked design, color brown
15. Potsherd, grass, marked design, color brown
16. Potsherd, incised, marked design, color black
17. Potsherd, raised, marked design, color brown
19. Potsherd, grass, marked design, color yellow
20. Inner spiral of sacred conch shell
21. Potsherd, grass, marked design, color brown
22. Fragment of polished discoidal stone
23. Perfect barbed arrow point 1 inch long, semi-circular row
around No. 23, show characteristic Cahokia arrow points
24. Copper ornament
25. Pipestone
26. Agate
27. Gavel sand stone polisher
28. Quartz crystal
30. Pieces of human arm bone
31. Incomplete flint artifacts

[Illustration: Plate No. 3 West Twin Grove Indian Camp Site on farm of
Chas. F. Kauffman, May, 1912]

[Illustration: Plate No. 4 Artifacts made by aborigines on Camp Site
shown on Plate No. 4]

Cuts furnished by C. H. Robinson

West Twin Grove Camp Site

Plate No. 4.

1. Gamestone 2-1/4 (problematical) gray granite
2. Scraper, pink flint
3. Knife 4 inches long, yellow flint, (between 30 and 4)
4. Bird arrow point, 3/4 inches long, white flint
5. Double notched arrow, curved body, white flint
6. Notch of arrow, flat on one side
7. Scraper - mottled blue and white flint
8. Barbed arrow, to remain in wound
9. Non-barbed arrow, to be withdrawn from wound
10. Common chert arrows
11. Red flint arrow
12. Heavy chert arrow
13. Blue flint arrow
14. Rare ceremonial stone, brown flint
15. Drill, white flint
17. Blunt arrow, white flint
18. Drill, white flint
19. Half completed leaf arrow, white flint
20. Finely finished spear point, pink flint
22. Common arrow
23. Perfect shape leaf arrow, blue flint
24. Fragment of pottery, porphyry tempered
25. First piece of arrow found on camp-site
26. Drill, white flint
27. 2/3 completed leaf shape arrow, white flint
28. Perfect hafted scarper, white flint
29. Wide base arrow, white flint
30. Perfect knife, mottled flint, red, white and blue
31. Perfect double bevel arrow, white flint

Through the courtesy of the Ramey Family, the writer and party were
given much valuable data and information pertaining to the early
history of this historic spot, therefore honorary mention is herewith
given to the sturdy and honest pioneer, the late T. T. Ramey, who was
one of the few successful 49er's. Returning east again, he invested
his hard earned gold in the rich alluvial "American bottom" lands of
Madison County and upon which now stands the great Cahokia mound,
together with twenty others of lesser magnitude. He was a close
student of both God and man. He soon conceived the idea that the large
mound should never be disturbed and if possible become the property
of the state. Thus he kept in tact this great earthwork during his
lifetime and it is with the same spirit that his children do likewise.

May we not hope that the State of Illinois shall in due time make this
great mound group a state preserve and keep intact the great Cahokia
Mound just as the Ramey family have done for many years?

The party making the Cahokia trip was composed of Milo Custer, G.
Blumke, Mark Piper, S. W. Le Neve, Herbert Cox and the writer.

Charles M. Robinson.

_Aboriginal Flint Implement Work Shop or Camp Site._

_Located on Section 33, Dry Grove Township, McLean County, Illinois_

_By Richard Thomas Robinson, Normal, Illinois_

May 8, 1912, at this place, my father found the barbed shank of a
flint arrow head. Around this broken part of an arrow head were
several flint chips. This led to a closer examination, which resulted
in the finding of about three dozen pieces a flint core, and several
arrow heads, some finished and several about half complete. Many trips
have been made to this old camp site in the past two years and all the
pieces, or parts of arrow heads as well as chips have been carefully
preserved. On none of our trips have we come home empty handed. Even
some pottery fragments have been found. These, like all the other
material are apparently quite ancient. This camp is near the old
Indian trail, which use to run between Bloomington and Peoria, where
was then located old Fort Clark.

Mr. George Washington Henry the oldest resident of the grove remembers
when he was a boy of eight, the Indians camping on this trail. He has
told us many interesting stories about the Indians, and wild game
which roamed the prairies in those days. He has gone on walks with us
to the places of interest, and told us what was there eighty years ago.

Among the things that have been found at this camp site are namely: a
double beveled arrow head, of which the government reports show only
one in 3,000 are found, one curved arrow head, one leaf shaped, one
of the same kind incomplete, and many barbed arrow heads of different
sizes, of which many are incomplete. Several scrapers, some ceremonial
stones, a flint drill, and saw, several small bird points, and one
large spear point, incomplete. Two very fine skinning knives, one
problematic stone, shaped round like a hammer stone, but flat on two

We have excavated at this place to a depth of about two feet but in
our excavations found nothing of any great value. In all we have
secured several hundred fine specimens.

There are probably a great many more interesting things to be found
here and we feel very grateful to Mr. Kaufman for granting us the
privilege of searching for the remains of those who lived many years
before us.

_A Trip to Petersburg, Ill. and Kingfisher's Hill_

_By Mark Piper, Bloomington, Illinois_

One of our most interesting trips was taken on May 18th, 1913 to
Petersburg and Kingfisher Hill in an auto owned by T. R. Good. The
party, S. W. LeNeve, Gus. Blumke, Chas. Robinson and myself met at the
Court House in Bloomington, Ill, where Mr. Good met us at 5 a. m. with
his machine. At about 10 a. m. we arrived at Bonnett brothers on whose
farm we were to look for relics. We then made our way to the tops of
some hills where there were indications of Indian graves. There I for
once was the lucky one and found part of a skeleton, while Mr. Good
afterward found three more. Owing to the peculiar nature of the soil
they were exceedingly well preserved, there did not appear to be any
system of burial as the bones and skulls seemed to be in a heap. Some
of the bones showed tooth marks as though some wild animal had gnawed
them. One peculiar thing about their graves was that they were on the
very top of the highest hills, except some which were on the side near
the top. Nothing was found in the graves with the bones. Besides the
skeleton we also found arrow heads, buffalo teeth and other relics.

Our next trip to the Bonnett farm was taken June 23. The party this
time consisted of Charles H. Robinson, Gus. Blumke, Mr. Robinson's son
and myself. We met at the Union Depot in the wee small hours of the
night and took a train at about one o'clock for Petersburg where we
had previously made arrangements for a team to meet us and take us to
the Bonnett farm.

After breakfast Mr. Bonnett supplied us each with an old coat which
would help to keep out the rain. We then took spades and started out.
We crossed creeks and ponds as though they were dry and after digging
on numerous hills without success we came back to dinner and more
coffee. After dinner we had better success for we found some graves
and also a camp site located on the banks of Cleary's Creek in which
a great number of shells lay exposed, also quite a quantity of broken
pottery of a special stamped and rouletted design. Pottery similar to
this has been found at Naples Ill., and is described in government
literature. We also found fragments of bone and flint articles but as
that was in a field of growing wheat we could not excavate.

[Illustration: Cut furnished by Wm. B. Brigham (Cuts one-half size.)]

The six arrow heads of the upper row show a variety of
shapes with a marked difference in the notches and base.

The long spear-heads was found in the Bloomington cemetery
by J. W. Moran. This is a beautiful pink flint.

The specimen below in the center is no doubt a knife. The
spear-head on either side show a notched and a stem-base.

Below is a notched scraper, and a drill. The two small game
points are from the Cahokia mounds, Madison County. (This
kind is characteristic of that region.)

_My Indian Collection_

_By W. B. Brigham, Assistant County Supt. of Schools._

One day many years ago while working in the field, my father picked
up an Indian arrow-head. He gave it to me as a play-thing and it was
much enjoyed tho soon lost; leaving me with a sad heart but a deep
longing to find others. Twenty years later after I had roamed o'er
the prairies and worked in the fields less than six arrow points were
garnered and some of these were obtained from schoolmates. Yet my
fascination for these relics has increased as we have learned more of
the habits and haunts of the Indians, their different implements and
the manner in which they were made.

The Indian hunters and warriors would often lose arrows while on
the prairies, but we find them in greater numbers with other stone
implements in some of the old village or camp-sites. These were
generally on elevated ground in or near the woods and along the
streams. The close observer will find little difficulty in locating
these places by the presence of granite spalls and flint flakes which
are readily distinguished from the pebbles of the glacial drift. This
camp debris is sometimes covered by the alluvial from the uplands
and is no longer to be found on the surface but is often revealed by
diggings or by a washout.

Some years ago, Mr. Milo Custer located a camp-site in section sixteen
Bloomington Township and made a good find. I took up his trail
and frequently visited the field being always rewarded by finding
something of interest, including arrow and spear heads, knives,
scrapers, drills and human teeth. No large implements were found there
by me. This site was located on the south slope of a hill running down
to what had been a pond in early days, the water probably standing
there several feet deep throughout the year.

These sites disclose some very interesting facts and furnish much
food for speculation. The great variety of "finds" not only recalls
many phases of the primitive life of the Indians but also shows that
the "ancient arrow-maker" possessed patience and skill of the highest

It is all the more wonderful when we consider that these results were
obtained with such crude tools, and again that no artists of modern
civilization can attain the technic or reproduce the work of these
children of savagery.

In the accompanying illustration are some typical small flint or chert
implements found in McLean County.

NOTE - - In 1899, I farmed the twenty acre tract in Sec. 16,
Bloomington Township, mentioned by Mr. Brigham and during
the spring and summer of that year at the camp-site he also
mentions I found about 130 arrowheads, one long granite
celt, two granite discoidal hammer-stones, two broken
perforated sand-stone tablets and several potsherds. This
material I donated to the McLean County Historical Society.
It was all destroyed in the fire of June 19, 1900.


_Prehistoric Mounds of Woodford County, Illinois_

_By Stanley M. East._

Acting upon information furnished Mr. Custer by Mr. L. J. Freese,
president of the Woodford County Historical Society. A number of
members of our club made a trip on July 6th of last year to Spring
Bay, Ill., to investigate some mounds on the farm of Mr. W. J.
Eichorn. We were courteously granted permission by Mr. Eichorn to
thoroughly investigate one of the smaller mounds. This was done both
by surface examination and by making a six foot excavation in the
center. Nothing however was found except a few glacial boulders in a
natural deposite about five feet beneath the mound surface and there
were no evidences of prehistoric human remains to be seen. This mound
has a height of about six feet and a diameter of approximately one
hundred feet. Owing to the fact that it was under cultivation no
further excavation could be made without injury to the corn and indeed
no further excavations appeared profitable.

On this same field and at a distance of perhaps one thousand feet is
a beautiful conical shaped mound about twenty-five feet in height and
with a base diameter of about seventy-five feet. This mound is covered
with small trees and shrubs and makes a novel and pleasing appearance
rising as it does in the cultivated field (see cut.) We have since
been given permission to excavate in this one and it is our intention
to do so at an early date.

The members making this trip were Messrs. Milo Custer, Gus Blumke, C.
H. Robinson, Mark Piper, Homer Haworth, Ed Swann, Thomas Robinson and
the writer.

_Prehistoric Indian Relics Found In The Vicinity Of "Cahokia Mound."_

_By Gus Bluemke_

April 20, 1913, a party of archaeologists from Bloomington and Normal
Ill. visited "Cahokia" or "Monk's Mound" in search of relics. The
weather was ideal and all who availed themselves of the opportunity
were indeed well repaid in the success of the trip and also for the
enjoyment and recreation which these journeys afford.

Our party was composed of the following: Mark Piper, C. H. Robinson,
T. J. Robinson, S. W. LeNeve, Miss Minerva LeNeve, Herman Cox and Milo
Custer. A second trip was made October 12, 1913, and on this occasion
the following members visited "Cahokia": C. H. Robinson, Homer
Haworth, Mark Piper, R. T. Robinson, Wm. Brigham, Stanley East, S. W.
LeNeve and the writer.

Several good specimens of arrow-heads were found, one particularly
rare specimen was found by the writer which is shown in the cut
furnished by me. This point has six notches on each edge, each of
which are one-eight of an inch in depth. The length of this point from
tip to base is one and one-quarter inches. There is also shown in the
same cut a very small arrow point one-half inch in length, and of pink
colored flint. This is a very good specimen of such a small sized
arrow point. There are shown herewith several other types of arrow
points of different sizes.

Cut furnished by Stanley M. East and Homer Haworth

[Illustration: (1) Mound on farm of W. J. Eichorn near Spring Bay,
Woodford County, Illinois.]

[Illustration: (2) Members of the Kickapoo Club at Spring Bay, Illinois, July 6,

It is a notable fact that practically all arrow points found in this
locality are small, ranging from three-quarters of an inch to an inch
and one-half in length. The cut shows several other relics, all of
which were found near "Cahokia." The surface of the adjoining fields
are literally covered with fragments of ancient pottery. Judging from
the fancy rims and handles and the engravings on these fragments it is
evident that the mound builders were very adept in the manufacture of
this kind of pottery. The cut shows two specimens of broken pottery
and the particular surface markings on the same. There is also an
imitation of a birds head made of the same material. This was probably
an ornament or handle for some vessel. This pottery was evidently
colored in some manner as some of the fragments are bright red in
color and others are jet black or brown. Many pieces were highly
polished. There is also shown in the cut a conch core or sea shell
with reversed whorls. This one is six inches long and of these there
seem to be a great number found in this locality and found in such a
position and under such circumstances as to leave hardly a doubt in
the mind that they were held sacred by the mound builders and used in
their religious ceremonies.

A brass signet ring was also found which is evidently traders material
and may possibly have been brought there by the "monks." This ring
has a pecular emblem on the flat circular surface which looks like a
right angle with a character in the center shaped like a heart. The


Online LibraryVariousNote-book No. 1 of the Kickapoo Club → online text (page 1 of 2)