A short bio of Bill Moose under glass stands at the park entrance. (click to enlarge). Bill lived to be almost 100 years old, as did both his parents. His father died in 1871 at 100 years of age, his mother the following year in 1872 at the age of 106. Both are buried in The Indiana Cemetery in Upper Sandusky.
This small photo (original housed at The Ohio Historical Society) is curled and faded over time is visible beside the above bio of Bill Moose. The fancy headdress and beads were worn when people wanted a photograph. These were given to Bill during the 9 years he was employed by The Sells Brothers Circus as an Indian Rider in The Wild West Act. Beyond living off the land, Bill's income consisted of having his photo taken, selling postcards and trinkets and teaching children Indian Crafts.
The park is pretty with wild flowers covering his grave and walled in with The TeePee Memorial facing The Scioto River and Scioto River Road. A paved walking path, small picnic area, and bench provide a peaceful spot to reflect on Bill's life.
Bill here telling stories to a group of young boys, an apparent common sight at his shack. I've read accounts of Bill having lunch at The Wyandot Country Club (where the blind and deaf school now are located), the Railroad allowed him to continue living on land they owned. This area is now Clintonville; even though the residences of Dublin want to claim him as their own. Bill and his family stayed in Ohio, one of only 12 families to do so when the tribe moved west to Kansas and Oklahoma.
As the tribe moved westward and inter-married with other tribes there were no longer full blooded Wyandots, except those few left here in Ohio. One by one they perished. Bill outlived his tribe and was the last known living Full Bloodied Wyandot Indian in the state and the territory. He died just 2 months short of turning 100. The last 7 years of his life he lived in the Franklin County Home, too aged to continue living off the land. His shack became a children's playhouse.
His funeral was attended by thousands who lined The Scioto River Bank to witness his full ceremonial burial, the largest funeral on record for The Rutherford Funeral Home. He layed in state for 5 days from July 13th through the 18th in 1937. In a short bio Bill mentioned he voted for Abraham Lincoln, and was a republican. Bill never married but lived a long and very full life. He was well liked and respected by thousands. The two hands in friendship on his memorial seem most fitting.
Activities the kids could enjoy and help them remember and learn from this adventure:
- go to a stream, riverbed, creek and let the kids collect rocks. Get some glue and let them building their own teepee style memorial
- color pictures
- make word puzzles
- make vocabulary lists of new words from the adventure
- paint rocks with a design, shaking hands for example
- string beads and make a necklace or bracelet
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