Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bill Moose, The Last of the Wyandot Indians In Columbus.

His Wyandot name was Kihue, but he was known as Bill Moose. Born in 1837, he was a native of Wyandot County, Ohio. Much of his childhood took place in Dublin, primarily along the rivers. Residents said he helped clear land and often went to school. Bill learned several trades, among which was arrow-making. In 1878, Bill was hired by the Sells Brothers Circus as an Indian rider in their Wild West act. In nine years with the circus, Bill traveled to almost all of the states and in 1886 he went on an Australian tour. While in Chicago, he met with Buffalo Bill Cody and became friends with Thunderbolt and Rain-in-the-Face, both Apaches who worked in Cody’s shows. Bill returned to Columbus in 1915, when he was seventy-eight years old. His shack was on railroad property near present-day Morse and Sinclair. During the day he was seen at the Wyandot Country Club (now the site of the Ohio School for the Deaf), where he ate his free meals in full Indian regalia. Bill walked the railroad tracks, sold trinkets and posed alongside the fenders of model T Fords. On July 18, 1937, Bill Moose was buried across Route 33 from the Griggs Dam Park. Rutherford Funeral Home reports this as the largest funeral they'd ever handled, with 12,000 persons attending. Irene McKinley sang a dirge accompanying herself on a tom-tom, and let loose a white dove. The Worthington mayor, James J. Thompson, delivered the eulogy, politicians spoke, choirs sang. The lead-lined casket with Indian designs was a gift from Belmont Caskets. Bill was laid out in ritualistic costume, beaded moccasins, eagle claw necklace and his rifle by his side. His wrinkled hands clasped an eagle feather. Ben Hayes was permitted at graveside to write an article about the funeral for the Ohio State Journal. A police motorcycle fell over and pushed Hayes into a hanging position over the grave. Dirt was put on the back of his head before someone thought to get him out of the way. Today a monument to Bill Moose, constructed of granite boulders, stacked in a pyramid shape, faces the Scioto River on Wyandot Hill, four miles south of Dublin on U.S. Route Thirty-three. Bill Moose Ravine and Run are adjacent to the Ohio School for the Deaf, off Indianola Avenue, just north of Morse Rd. Christine Hayes

No comments:

Post a Comment