“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Kokomo in Howard County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Chief Kokomo


— Walk of Excellence —

Chief Kokomo Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, April 22, 2015
1. Chief Kokomo Marker
Inscription.  Few facts are known about “Chief” Kokomo. Even his name is variously translated as Black Walnut, She Bear, The Diver or Old Woman. David Foster is said to have called him “the orneriest old Indian I ever knew.” This 1962 painting is artist Ida Gordon’s conception of how the “chief” might have appeared.
Erected by Community Foundation of Howard County, Kokomo Downtown Association, Howard County Historical Society.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Native Americans.
Location. 40° 29.11′ N, 86° 8.159′ W. Marker is in Kokomo, Indiana, in Howard County. Marker can be reached from West Superior Street east of South Indiana Avenue, on the right when traveling east. It is on the Walk of Excellence in Foster Park, just east of the tennis courts. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 721 W Superior St, Kokomo IN 46901, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 15 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Manetoowa (approx. 0.4 miles away); Seiberling Mansion (approx. 0.4 miles away); Kokomo Opalescent Glass
Chief Kokomo Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, April 22, 2015
2. Chief Kokomo Marker
(approx. one mile away); Vermont Bridge (approx. 1.1 miles away); Haynes’ Horseless Carriage (approx. 2.2 miles away); Tipton County (Indiana) Veterans Memorial (approx. 14.9 miles away); Tipton County Courthouse (approx. 14.9 miles away); Land Between The Rivers (approx. 14.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kokomo.
Also see . . .  Wikipedia Entry. Excerpt:
The city of Kokomo, Indiana is named after Kokomo, but it is unknown who actually proposed "Kokomo" as the name of the town or why. According to a popular legend, David Foster, the founder of the city of Kokomo, once stated, “It was the orneriest town on earth, so I named it after the orneriest Indian on earth—called it Kokomo.” This legend is probably apocryphal. Traditionally, it has been said that Kokomo was a great Miami chieftain in north-central Indiana of enormous physical size, who was able to use his superior strength and cunning to secure the interests of his people and win them a vast hunting territory. This version of the story holds that Kokomo was “last of the fighting chiefs.”

Another, darker version of the story attested among the early settlers, however,
Walk of Excellence Trail Map image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, April 22, 2015
3. Walk of Excellence Trail Map
maintains that Kokomo was not a chief at all, but rather a lazy, dishonest, wife-beating drunkard. According to this version of the story, Kokomo was such a horrible, despicable character that the Miami refused to accept him as a member of their tribe. A story from the Peru Miami holds that Kokomo was once a member of their tribe, but that he was a disreputable rabble-rouser who was always causing havoc. This story holds that, finally, Kokomo gathered together a portion of the tribe, mostly women, and took them to the Wildcat Creek, where he founded his own village.
(Submitted on February 8, 2021.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 8, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 8, 2021, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 30 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 8, 2021, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
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Feb. 26, 2021