Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana


From the Chattel Mortgages Book 5 Marshall County, Indiana comes:

MortgagorMortgagee Date Amount Description
Lord, Emma E. Willard, Chas. P. & Co. 31 Mar. 1890 875.00 Steam boat
Lord, Emma E. Crook, Oliver 10 Nov. 1890 1,000.00 Steam boat
Crook, Oliver Lord, Emma E. 6 Feb. 1903 5,500.00 Steamboat Neeswaugee
Crook, Oliver Lord, Emma E. 20 Dec. 1904 2,230.00 Steamers Peerless & Niswaugee, launch Dewey

In the 14 May 1903 issue of the Culver Citizen is found: The work of Capt. Crook's new steamer is progressing rapidly. The hull is completed. Mr. Peterson, of Bass Lake, is contractor having charge of the work. It will be the largest boat ever on Old Lake Makinkuckee being over 70 feet long and will be a double decker. It will be christened the 'Niswauggee".

The 18 Jun. 1903 Culver Citizen:
    The Steamer Nees-wau-gee
    Oliver Crook, captain

      The launching of the new double deck steamer, Nees-wau-gee, into the beattif ul Maxinkuckee on Thursday last, by Captain crook, its owner, was an event of more than ordinary importance; first because it is the largest and finest boat of its kind which was ever yet been placed upon the lake; and second because it is to perpetuate the name of the good old Pottawattomoie indian cheif, Nees-wau-gee. The boat is seventy feet long, and fourteen feet wide, has two decks and has a carrying capacity for two hundred passenger. It is finely modeled, in substanially built and glides aloong over the rippling waves like a thing of life. No pictures of the cherming lake, "with its beauty and grandeur of headland, its etchings of forest and prairie;" its hundreds of row boats, launches, sail boats and steamers would be complete withot the steamer, Nees-wau-gee. It is monarch of the lake, a veritable "thing of beauty and a joy forever".

      Nees-wau-gee, for whom the boat was named, was a chief of the tride of Pottawattomie Indians which inhabitied the country bordering on the the lake, and in fact at one time owned the entire region north of the Wabash river to Lake Michigan. Nees-wau-gee lived in a log cabin which stood on the hill east of the lake a few rods north of the present residence of Peter Spangler.

      The government land given him two sections of land and built him as cabin, which was erected by the late M. H. Scott in 1828. An Indian village, established there at that time contained a pop ulation of about 125 Pottawattomie Indians over whom Nees-wau-gee presided as chief, in 1835-36. White settlers then began to come in large numbers and the old cheif concluded to cede his lands back to the governement and go to a wedstern reservation. The treaty was made in the early part of 1836, one stip ulation being that the old chief and his band should remove within two years to a reservation provided by the government for the Pottawattomie Indians west of the Missouri river near Topeka, Kan. He and his little band were very fiendly with the white settlers and became strongly attached to them during the two years they remained. When the time arrived for them to go, the good old chief sent for all the white people in the neighborhood to visit him at his village as he wished to bid them good bye. The invitation was accepted and when the people assembled, the old chief, thorugh an interpretor spoke substantially as follows:
        "My white friends, I have invited you today to bid you farewell. According to the treaty which we have made, we agree to remove peacably to a reservation provoided for us by the government west of the missouri river within two years from the treaty. The time is near at hand when we should go. All the white people have been good and kind to us, and in bidding you farewell, it seems like severing the ties of our own kindred and friends. Tommorrow morning at sunrise we take our leave for our new home in the far west, but wherever we may go, or wherever in life our lot may be cast, our meory will ever turn back to our acquaintance with you as the happiest period in our lives. Farewell"
      the old chief was visibly affected, and after all had taken him by the hand and bade him farewell, there was a tear drop in the eyes of nearly all present. Promptly at sunrise the next morning, News-wau-gee and his little band, on foot and astride their Indian ponies, took up their line of march, single file, following the Indian trail, south on the east shore of the lake, thence southwest and as they went out of sight in the distance, the last of the pottawattomie Indians about the lake had disappeared forever.

    1903, 18 June - Built by a Mr. Peterson. Launched by Capt. Crook. It was 70 by 14 and it is said chairs were placed on the roof to raise its capacity. In May 1915 it was taken to the outlet and anchored there to let rot away. 

    1904 - April 21 - The steamer Neeswaugee was brought out from her winter berth last Thursday. - - The steamboat Neeswaugee i s pulled up near Wolf’s Island and Captain Crook will have the old boiler taken out and replaced by a new one

    John Bigley wrote of the Neeswaughgee:
      On June 18, 1903 the Neeswaughgee was put into service. The Capacity was 200 passengers and it was 70' by 14' and built by Mr. Peterson of Bass Lake and also was skippered by Captain Crook. It was named in honor of a Potowatomie Indian Chief who had been in charge of the large native village located in the area in and around the town of Maxinkuckee until the Indiana removal in 1838.

      1913 - May 22 - Capt Crook's fleet will consist of the steamers Neeswaugee, and Peerless; and the launches Charlene and Mildred - the latter having bee purchased of Capt. A. J. Knapp. John Buswell will be Capt. Crook's manager this season.

      1915 - May 27 - The steamer Neeswaugee has been wrecked. The engine has been bought by Keen Bros[ for the pepermint distillery.

      A sad ending came to the Peerless and the Neewswaughgee for in May of 1915 they were towed to sallow water near the outlet of the lake. There they stayed, mired in the sane, no longer needed on the lake since the days of the big excursions had passed.

      Today is