Figure 36. Photograph of the Pine Creek Reservation Along 1 ½ Mile Road, ca. 1910. Reprinted from “Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi: A People in Progress,” by J. Rodwan & V. Anewishki, 2009, p. 30.

In 1889, the $400 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 $590,643 in 2021), distributed by Special Indian Agent George P. Litchfield of Salem, Oregon (Alioth Finance, 2021; Summary Under the Criteria and Evidence for Proposed Finding Huron Potawatomi, Inc., 1995, p. 316).

The Pine Creek residents who received the 1889 compounded annuity payments often invested them in land acquisition. 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 (Summary Under the Criteria and Evidence for Proposed Finding Huron Potawatomi, Inc., 1995, p. 319).

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 deliberate 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 as “East Indiantown” (Rodwan & Anewishki, 2009, p. 25; Summary Under the Criteria and Evidence for Proposed Finding Huron Potawatomi, Inc., 1995, p. 319).

Figure 37. Grave of Thomas Wezoo, Civil War Veteran, by F. N. Ruffer, 2018.

Figure 38. Indian Town Inklings Highlighting Civil War Veteran Thomas Wezoo. Reprinted from “Indian Town Inklings,” by Ah-She-Da Yah-Son, August 7, 1908, Marshall Expounder. (https://nativesharpshooters.blogspot.com/2017/02/thomas-wezoo.html)

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 (Rodwan & Anewishki, 2009, p. 25; Summary Under the Criteria and Evidence for Proposed Finding Huron Potawatomi, Inc., 1995, p. 320).

At this point, the settlement again became primarily focused on the original Pine Creek 120 acres.

References:

Alioth Finance. (2021, July 20). $20,000 in 1889 → 2021 | Inflation Calculator. Inflation Calculator. https://www.in2013dollars.com/us/inflation/1889?amount=20000

Rodwan, J., & Anewishki, V. (2009). Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi: A People in Progress. Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Environmental Department.

Ruffer, F. N. (2018). Grave of Thomas Wezoo, Civil War Veteran [Photograph].

Summary Under the Criteria and Evidence for Proposed Finding Huron Potawatomi, Inc. (1995). United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs Branch of Acknowledgement and Research. https://www.bia.gov/sites/bia.gov/files/assets/as-ia/ofa/petition/009_hurpot_MI/009_pf.pdf

Unknown. (1910). Indian Town, Near Athens, Mich [Photograph].

Vicki. (2017, February 14). Thomas Wezoo. Company K 1st Michigan Sharpshooters. https://nativesharpshooters.blogspot.com/2017/02/thomas-wezoo.html

Yah-Son, Ah-She-Da. (1908, August 7). Indian Town Inklings. Marshall Expounder. https://nativesharpshooters.blogspot.com/2017/02/thomas-wezoo.html