In 1889, the $400.00 annual annuity the NHBP had been collecting since 1845 from the 1807 Treaty of Detroit was compounded for a lump sum. The band received $20,000 in money (equivalent to $512,085.45 in 2018), distributed by Special Indian Agent George P. Litchfield of Salem, Oregon.
The Pine Creek residents who received the compounded annuity payments in 1889 typically invested them in the acquisition of land. These purchases were not added to the trust land of the reservation; instead, they were individual freehold titles, many made on behalf of minor children.
This newly obtained land was not directly adjoining the reservation but was approximately five miles to the northeast in Athens Township (Section 23). This does not seem to have been a matter of thoughtful policy, but rather the result of buying available property on an open market. The deeds for these purchases are recorded in Calhoun County, Michigan, and are the first entries in the deed books for the Pine Creek families since the purchase of the original trust property. Property owners included Civil War veteran Thomas Wezoo, Chief Phineas Pamptopee, and Jim David, among others. Jim David was one of the authors of the popular weekly Indiantown Inklings column that appeared in the Athens Times and other Michigan Newspapers. This secondary settlement which developed because of these 1889 purchases came to be known an “East Indiantown.”
The first sales of the 1889 land purchases came within a decade, between 1904 and World War I. These sales usually occurred when the children in whose names land had been purchased died, leaving the parents with a clear title to sell. Other land was sold as the minor owners came of age or was lost through defaulted mortgages. Eventually, Chief Phineas Pamptopee and his family were the only ones with property remaining, and East Indiantown became a memory in fading plat books.
At this point, the settlement again became primarily focused on the original Pine Creek 120 acres.
“$20,000 in 1889 → 2018 | Inflation Calculator.” FinanceRef Inflation Calculator, Alioth Finance, 28 Feb. 2018, http://www.in2013dollars.com/1889-dollars-in-2018?amount=20000.
United States, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs Branch of Acknowledgement and Research, et al. “Summary Under the Criteria and Evidence for Proposed Finding Huron Potawatomi, Inc.” HPI-V001-D004, https://www.bia.gov/sites/bia.gov/files/assets/as-ia/ofa/petition/009_hurpot_MI/009_pf.pdf.