Chief Highknocker

Chief Highknocker

Birth
Green Lake, Green Lake County, Wisconsin, USA
Death 12 Aug 1911 (aged 90–91)
Green Lake, Green Lake County, Wisconsin, USA
Burial Green Lake, Green Lake County, Wisconsin, USA
Memorial ID 23356574 · View Source
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The last Winnebago Chief to rule the Green Lake Area was Chief Highknocker.
Although a treaty forced the Winnebagos west and onto reservations, according to "A Heritage History of Beautiful Green Lake," by Robert W. and Emma B. Heiple, it was said that "every Winnebago was expected to come to Green Lake at least once in a lifetime to worship the Water Spirit . . ." Green Lake was attractive to Indians for all the reasons it later became attractive to white settlers, but it was also viewed as sacred because it was the home of the "Water Spirit".
Many Winnebagos stayed, which explains the many Indian mounds, burial sites and other onetime villages that have been found around the lake through the years.

Highknocker wasn't the Chief's real name but was the name given to him by local white residents for the stovepipe hat he always wore.
He was born in the year 1820 on the east shore of Green Lake, or "Dartford" as the community was originally known.
He was the son of Big Shoulder, a chief who was said to have lived to the ripe old age of 106.
According to the Heiples' account, "Highknocker loved to sit on a large sun-baked rock near the shore of Green Lake. He was friendly with the white residents who lived around the lake and would sometimes carve bows for the children."
"Then, one hot Saturday, August 12, 1911," the Heiples wrote, "Highknocker met his tragic end."
He was returning from the town of Berlin but there was no canoe to get him across the Fox River so he elected to swim. Unfortunatley his attempt failed and Highknocker drowned.
He was at first buried at a campsite along the Fox River. There he remained for many years but his son, Henry Dick, wanted his father buried near the lake he had so dearly loved so in the 1930's Highknocker was finally moved to the Dartford Cemetery at the edge of the village. Donations were raised to mark his grave with a boulder taken from the shore of the lake. A street in Green Lake is named for him, as is a meeting room at a local resort.
At Highknocker's final resting place in Dartford Cemetery is a marker on which is etched "Highknocker, A Winnebago Chief. Drowned Aug 12 1911"

Source: Dennis McCann JSOnline

[Dartford Cemetery is one of the locations featured on the Discovery Channel's paranormal show "A Haunting" in an episode called "Legend Trippers"]


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  • Created by: K.P.
  • Added: 11 Dec 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 23356574
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Chief Highknocker (1820–12 Aug 1911), Find A Grave Memorial no. 23356574, citing Dartford Cemetery, Green Lake, Green Lake County, Wisconsin, USA ; Maintained by K.P. (contributor 46787693) .