Greater Ancestors

World Museum

Large Skeletons, Randolph County Indiana

(Indiana Map, showing Randolph County Location)

When the Europeans first landed on the American coast, they found in the unknown
world a race of people who had traditions running back for many centuries.
So long had they been here that they had lost all knowledge of tradition of whence they came. It was a race different in almost every respect from any of the other known races of the world.

But prior to their time, running back for many ages, there had been another race which had peopled the continent and governed it for centuries and possibly for thousands of years, but that race had disappeared so long before the Indians took possession, that the red man had no tradition of them. Whether this race was the predecessor or the successor of still another race which has left evidence of its existence, is not known.

In Indiana we find no trace of such a race, yet there is abundant evidence to show that at one time, long anterior to the coming of the red man, Indiana was quite densely populated by a race that lived, flourished
and passed away without leaving any records except in its monuments,
weapons, and uten^ls for domestic use. ‘ This has been called the race of Mound Builders. Who were they? Whence came they? When, where and how did they disappear? These questions remain unanswered, yet the fact is patent that at one time Indiana was quite densely populated by them. The works left by this prehistoric race are of three kinds—fortifications, mounds and memorial pillars. .”—Smith’s History of Indiana.)

We have in this county two classes of mounds ; one a fortification and
the other memorial mounds. The fortification, or “The Old Fort,” as it is
known in the early history of the county, is near the city of Winchester, . . It is the best specimen of mound builders’ fortifications found in the state. It is not only the largest, but is constructed on more scientific plans than any other of the state.
It is an enclosure of about forty-three acres, and a rectangle of almost equal size, being 1,350 feet east and west, and about 1,200 feet north and south, as is shown on the map of it here given. There were two openings of about eighty feet, one in the east and one in the west end. . . . similar to those of the surrounding country. So far as we are able to learn, no scientific investigation has ever been made relative to the structure of these walls, which seems to have been made by throwing up dirt from the adjacent territory. The walls, except those on the south, have been carried away and made into brick. In the exact center of this fortification is a mound, at this time about Fifteen feet high.
. . . Dr. A. J. Phinney, writing of the geology
of Randolph county for the State Geologist’s Report of 1882, says: (It will
be noted that Dr. Phinney’s statements differ a little from the one given before,
but we give each of them for what they are worth; they matter only in
details and not in any essentials.)
“Evidences of a prehistoric race are abundant, and of such a character,
in view of the magnitude of their works, that the observer experiences a feeling akin to reverence toward the mighty people, whose history is only written in their majestic ruins.

. . . were evidently built of clay taken from the immediate vicinity. They may have served as points of outlook, as they are only about one mile apart.

In section 28, range 12 east, 20 north, Stoney Creek township, between
Stoney creek and White river, is a large mound novjf covered with small oak trees. This is nearly circular, fifteen feet high, 150 feet in diameter. Excavations show that it is composed of clay mixed with charcoal and ashes. At the depth of nine feet a skeleton was found; beneath it was a pile of stone two feet high and three feet in diameter. Mr. Thompson, on whose farm this is situated, has quite a collection of implements found in this vicinity.
In section 10, range 13 east, 2 north, Franklin township, was a circular
enclosure, with an area of about one and one-half acres. . . .
North of the Mississinewa river, between Ridgeville and Fairview, are a
number of small tumuli, which contain ashes and charcoal. These may
have been built by the Indians, as this used to be their camping ground.
Some of the skeletons were of large size,

and deposited with them were articles of ornament, as paint, shells, etc. The position of some indicate that they had been buried in a sitting posture.”
Another embankment exists west of Winchester, near Sugar creek,
enclosing, perhaps, an acre. These walls, however, are not very high, and
little, if anything, can be learned of their structure.
Washington township has at least three excellent specimens; one near
the head waters of White river, one near Rural, and one west of Lynn.
Doctor Moore, of Earlham College, a man of unusual scientific ability and
carefulness of expression, wrote the following of this mound

Southern Randolph and the adjacent portion of Wayne, is in the main a
level tract, the land during ordinary seasons being rather wet.
Besides a number of well-defined made mounds in the neighborhood of
Lynn Station on the Grand Rapids and Indiana railroad there are frequent
examples of natural mounds. These are usually much larger than the artificial mounds. They may be compared to drift islands surrounded by flat areas of dark colored soil. Some of these mounds of modified drift have been utilized by ancient people as burial grounds. The one I speak of is a fraction over a mile west of Lynn Station. It is about one hundred and fifty yards in circumference and eighteen to twenty feet high, and is so symmetrical as to have the appearance of a made mound; but in a wide cutting made through it by the gravel haulers the structure clearly shows an aqueous deposit from top to bottom. In this mound the workmen say they have opened “more than a hundred graves.” They “counted until they reached seventy.” Quite a number of the skulls were sufficiently preserved to bear handling, even after being for a short time exposed to the air.

Some of them on being treated with a solution of glue have rather a fresh, recent look.
Very many of the bones were broken to crumbs by visitors in sport. Some
of the skeletons were in a sitting posture with the chin crowded upon the knees.
The depth of the graves was from a yard or less to twelve feet or more.
The skeletons were of both sexes and various ages, some quite young. It
was alleged that a horse’s bones were found, but I was unable to find the least scrap. They also tell of a dog’s skull with the teeth all perfect. . . . . Quite a number of implements were found, some of which
are here on the table.

One skeleton was found with “a large dart” in each hand.
They assert that

a scapula was found pierced by a flint dart

and that the dart was lodged in said bone, and that the bone immediately crumbled from about it. There were beads of bone, shell and copper—but few of the latter — also copper rings, tube pipes and various other things, the uses of which are not very well known.
You will see in the skulls presented for your examination that there is
quite a diversity.

Two of them are of the brachycephalic or short head type, one barely so, the other extremely so. The one has the lateral diameter on the proportion to the fore and aft, as 86 to lOO, the other of 92 to 100.

The others are all orthocephalic,

though one of them approaches to the long-head style.

A question of interest : Did such diverse»skulls belong to the same tribe,
or did different tribes at different times bury in the same grounds ?
No doubt Dr. Moore felt reasonably sure . . .
Stoney Creek township has the best specimens to be found in the county.
There are some circular embankments near the Friends’ meeting house at
Cedar. A little north of Cabin creek there are two circular embankments
together, the circles cutting each other. A small mound is in the center of
each circle higher than the embankments. The earth for both the walls and the mounds would seem to have been taken from the space between the two, pretty much the same as is done or has been done in some of the Ohio mounds. The largest mound of the county, and one of the largest of the state, is to be found just east of Windsor, on the bluff between White river and Stoney creek. This is situated on the highest point to be found here and being some twenty-five or thirty feet high.

Excavations have been made in this mound, nothing, however, having been found, excepting some charcoal and a few arrow-heads, which were found in abundance in the surrounding fields. Squire Thompson, a former owner of this mound, had at one time many fine specimens of arrow-heads, hatchets, hammers and various other implements used, no doubt, by the builders of these mounds. However, these implements may not have been any of the work of the mound builders, for this mound would have served the purpose of a watch t6wer or protection to the American Indian, as well as to the mound builders, and may be silent

remainders of many a bloody conflict in ages long since forgotten.

The passing of the mound builders was so remote that even the oldest of the American Indians have no tradition concerning them.
INDIANS. The Algonquins were the natural enemies of the Iroquois on the east, and the Dakotas on the west, and were held together as a nation because of the enmity of those two nations, yet the tribes were frequently at war among themselves, which made Indian occupancy uncertain at all times. The Aliamis, who inhabited this particular territory, were among the highest type of the Algonquin nation of the Potawatamies, the AA’eas-and The Kickapoos, and were almost their equal.
The Shawnees were in southern Ohio and Kentucky and in southern
Illinois. It were they who created the most trouble through the influence of Blue Jacket, Black Wolf and Tecumseh.
The Aliamis great chief was Me-che-can-noch-qua, or Little Turtle, who
was a man of extraordinary courage and ability, and with physique equaling his courage. He was commanding in appearance and received unusual attention and rank from both the Indians and the whites. After the Indians had surrendered at Greenville, he visited Philadelphia, where, in recognition of his attitude toward the Americans, he was presented with a sword by President Washington. He fought until defeated, but knew when he was defeated. He advised against forming the confederacy by Tecumseh against the Indians. His successor was Pa-lonz-wa, or Francis Godfrov, as he was better known among the early settlers of this county. The Godfroy trail

from Winchester to Fort Wayne was so named because one of the stations was at the home of Francis Godfroy. Godfroy was a man of unusual size and his courage and cunning won him a place with the Miamis, second only to Little Turtle. He died as he lived, without fear or reproach.’ His funeral was one of the noted events of that day, and was attended by hundreds of Indians and whites.

“Pa-lonz-wa was followed in the chieftainship of his tribe by John
Baptiste Big Leg, who was the last chief of the Miamis. He lies buried by
the side of Pa-lonz-wa, and a plain marble slab marks the spot where his
bones lie. It bears the following inscription : ‘Head Chief of the Miami and Kansas Tribe. A brave warrior, a generous man, and a good Christian.’

” Godfrey had three sons, Francis, Poqua and James.
Some of Godfrey’s descendants yet live on the Mississinewa, near
Peru, and one of them, showed the courage and fire of his ancestors by his deeds of bravery and endurance in rescuing and saving the lives of many people during the flood of 1913.

Godfroy was the home chief, and Richardville the war chief of the
Miamis. Godfroy was an honest, upright, reliable man, esteemed by the
whites and beloved by the Indians.
Cornstalk (the elder) was a Shawnee chief of bravery and distinction,
and one of the leaders of his tribe at the battle of the Kanawha (Point
Pleasant), Va., in 1776. . . . Cornstalk himself fell . . .pierced by seven or eight bullets. His grave is said yet to be visible at Point Pleasant, near the site of the ancient fortress.
Some of the descendants of the old chief are thought to be still living,

residing on the Kansas river. One of his sons lived to a greatly advanced
age. Cornstalk, the younger, varas a chief in later times after the war of 1812,
He was friendly and a fine, stately, noble Indian. . .

*This edited content comes solely from

There is a few curious items of content that strikes me, first is the introductory statement speaking about other races. Diversity branches outward as impuities in genetics spread. This causes variations.

“Variations are the outward expression of inward defects”

It is obscene to think that with all the wars and genocides that there would not be more races in the past than there is today.

Mankind is going through a process of “variation extinction” each day we become a smaller genetic pool in spite of our population increase.

Of course there were races the past that do not exist today.

Large skeletons that were found, are not present for public viewing. We can follow the steps back to the institutions where the fossils end up missing, sold to private collectors or disposed of. They were written of and now they are gone, it would seem that corruption exists in the government Institutions we call “Natural History”. . . . and its not a conspiracy to say so!

The “Large darts” that were found two in each hand and one in a sternum. Was this a throwing dart, or dart from a blowgun? How large were these darts? This may have been a “story” on its own, if not for the lack of details.

It would seem that the skulls varied from the elongated types and the neanderthal types, two very different race of ancient times, but even more different than us in our time.

Little Turtle, and Francis Godfrey were men of unusual size, and his son “Cornstalk”, is said to have lived to a “greatly advanced age”.

His story alone is a story worth telling.

~Chris L Lesley

(You may follow the link below by typing in the url to read the original unedited content.)

  1. Starting at page 52:
  2. Setzler, Frank M. 1931 The Archeology of Randolph County and the Fudge Mound. Indiana Historical Bureau, Indiana History Bulletin, Voulume 9, No. 1 Indianapolis.
  3. History of Randolph County Indiana, By E. Tucker. 1882. “These skeletons were many of them large,”
  4. History of Randolph County Indiana, By E. Tucker. 1885. “lying horizontally and mostly large”.



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