JEFFERSON, Iowa, April 25, 2023 — Mary Weaver of Rippey will give a program on Greene County’s original inhabitants on Friday, May 5, at the Churdan Public Library, 414 Sand St.
The free presentation is part of the Greene County Historical Society’s 2023 program series. It will follow lunch, which will begin at noon.
Weaver has been interested in American Indian cultures since she was a child. She says she hopes to finally find an arrowhead along one of the county’s waterways this year.
Her continuing interest was piqued last fall when local professional photographer Peg Gannon told her about an Indian burial site at Seven Hills Park southwest of Jefferson.
Graves of indigenous people had been inadvertently dug up when the park’s tow rope was constructed in 1967. The remains were reburied near their original locations in the hilly park.
Members of the nomadic Sauk and Mesquaki tribes lived along Greene County’s many streams, including the Raccoon River’s Horseshoe Bend, in the 19th century. The bend area, a large loop in the Raccoon River, is located in Kendrick and Cedar townships north of Scranton.
Weaver will display American Indian artifacts found in the county by the late Payson and Berniece Hillman, who lived in Grand Junction and amassed quite a collection.
“I’m going to pass a few around,” says Weaver. “They are touchstone items that people used…scrapers, tomahawks and fire starters.”
Dan and Bessie Sayre will help Weaver tell the story of Greene County’s indigenous people. Dan is a Greene County Conservation employe, and Bessie was director of the Historical Society’s first museum on the north side of the Greene County Courthouse Square.
The free program will follow lunch. To reserve a place at the table, call 515-386-4408, or your Historical Society community contact by Tuesday, May 2. Cost of lunch is $10.