I still know very little at this point about my Potawatomi families. Today, I was looking at some photos of Potawatomi people from way back and it got me to wondering...
A couple google searches later, I found this information from an article about the life of Lavena (Ogee) Powell Terry's in the HowNiKan (HowNiKan June 2011, vol. 32 issue 3) Robert Allen Ogee Sr. is one of my ancestors, but I will have to get back with you after Dad lets me know which of his children my line comes from... In the meantime, here's the information from the Powell article.
Maternal lineage - Beaubien 1700s:
The Potawatomi were still on native soil (present-day Ohio) when
the French Beaubiens were first reported in America, before the American
Revolution. Charles Beaubien, a captive, along with Daniel Boone, of the Indians after they attacked Kent settlers in the Illinois frontier, was a French fur trader living in Detroit. History records a letter he wrote to the famous Major John Smith in the colonies. Charles’ brother Jean Marie Beaubien ran a sawmill on Lake St. Claire on the Detroit River. His brother Joseph Beaubien lived in Detroit and served as an American soldier. Joseph and Josette Bondy Beaubien gave birth to Jean Baptiste Beaubien in Detroit in 1787. Jean Baptiste and his Potawatomi wife, Man-Nah-Bun-No-Quah, gave birth to Charles Henry Beaubien in 1807 in Ft. Dearborn, Detroit, five years after the tribe’s treaty with the U.S. government. (Charles also had an illegitimate older stepsister Marie, whose Ottawa mother died in childbirth.)
Man-Nah-Bun-No-Quah died during the War of 1812, in which the
Potawatomis fought with the Americans and French against the British. Jean Baptiste then became a fur trader in Milwaukee and married Josette LaFrambois, also a Potawatomi. They moved to Chicago in 1818. There were only 14 houses and 17 people in Chicago at that time. Their son Alexander (born in 1821) is recorded as the first white child born in
Charles and Lydia Kennedy Beaubien had six children from 1836 to
1854: Sophia, John, Helen Julia, Emily Antionette (born in 1851), and Charles Jr. Charles had become a teacher in Chicago in 1829 in a small family school that served the small white community. The Beaubiens were noted founders of Chicago and prominent in Illinois history, being trustees of the city of Chicago in 1832 and bringing the first piano to Chicago in 1834. Charles and his father Jean Baptiste were officers in the new Chicago Militia in 1832.
Maternal lineage - Ogee 1800s: Joseph Ogee first worked as an agent in 1818 for the American Fur Trading Company in Peoria, Illinois. Joseph and wife Mary Madeline gave birth to Mary Margaret in 1819,John Lafayette in 1824, and Louis Henry in 1828. Throughout his life, Joseph ran an inn and a ferry company on Rock River. Additionally, he was an interpreter for the government in the Indian treaty negotiations.
His sons John and Louis ran several ferries on Kansas rivers. John and wife Sarah Ann Morrow had two children Robert Allen (born December 1948 in Topeka, Kansas) and Elizabeth.
Two families unite: Robert Allen Ogee Sr. lived in Topeka until the age of 44, in 1892, where he married Emily Antoinette Beaubien in July 1870. They had eight children: daughters Alice, May, Julia, Lila, and Tina and sons John L., Robert Jr., and Louis Halleck. Smallpox took the lives of several Ogee family members in the period 1881 to 1885. Seven years after his father John died in 1885, Robert took his family to Norman,
Oklahoma. Since then, most of the family line is buried at Sacred Heart Cemetery near Konawa in central Oklahoma. Then, in 1893, Robert moved to what is now Maud.
Robert Ogee Sr. was the first undertaker in Maud, shipping caskets in from Tennessee and storing them in his barn. He bought into a sawmill that he helped operate, making his own caskets as well as building his home in
the Ellaville community. It was impossible to buy ice in those days so he built a rock house, and he and his sons chopped ice from Salt Creek and stored it in sawdust.
In 1915, Robert Ogee Sr. sawed the timber rigs for the first oil production well in Pittsburgh County, Oklahoma. He was an advocate for building
good roads and schools. Much was known about his pioneering efforts in this new country. “Uncle Bob”, as he was familiarly called, always worked in the interest of community growth and development. He played the fiddle and was a member of the Masonic Lodge, Eastern Star, and Methodist Church. Robert Ogee Sr. died on October 26, 1939 at age 91. He was buried in Cummings Cemetery at Maud. At his death he had 28 grandchildren and 34 great-grandchildren.
His son Louis Halleck Ogee took over his dad’s funeral parlor, as well as his father’s beloved position in the community. He was well-loved and known for his sense of humor and compassion. He was the town’s beloved Saint Nick each Christmas at the community center, as well as serving as Chief of the Potawatomi Nation, which had moved its Council to Shawnee, Oklahoma, where it remains today. Louis and wife Essie Barrow had five children: Rainey, Roy, Cecile, Fern, and June.