Rochester in Fulton County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Potawatomi “Trail of Death”
Indiana to Kansas, September 4 - November 4, 1838
The first night they camped at Chippeway on the Tippecanoe River. The next morning 51 Indians were left there due to sickness and lack of a way to transport them. The second night they camped at Mud Creek six miles south of Rochester, where the first death occurred, a child. Wagons were sent back to Chippeway to bring the sick.
While marching through Rochester, the Indians formed a line a mile long. Sympathetic white settlers gave them hoe-cakes for the trip. A little boy, nine-year-old Billy Ward, followed his Indian friends, wanting to go along, but his mother caught up with him a mile south of Rochester and took him home.
Water was scarce, roads choked with dust. Over 40 deaths were recorded on the trek to Kansas. Father Benjamin Petit, who accompanied them, died before he could return to Indiana. His body was later brought back for burial at Notre Dame in South Bend.
[ This monument erected in 1995 by Fulton County Historical Society’s Indian Awareness Center; by descendants of Che-shaw-gen, who was on the Trail of Death; and by the family of William O. Wamego, who helped re-enact the Trail of Death on its 150th anniversary in 1988 by riding in a horse-drawn jail wagon through Rochester. ]
Marker series. This marker is included in the Potawatomi Trail of Death marker series.
Location. 41° 3.918′ N, 86° 12.945′ W. Marker is in Rochester, Indiana, in Fulton County. Marker is on Main Street north of East 9th Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Located on the West lawn (at the side-walk) of the Fulton County Courthouse in Rochester, Indiana. Marker is in this post office area: Rochester IN 46975, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. History of Rochester College (a few steps from this marker); Revolutionary War Memorial Fulton County Courthouses (within shouting distance of this marker); Honor Roll - Fulton County Indiana (within shouting distance of this marker); W. W. I War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); The Underground Railroad (within shouting distance of this marker); Edward J. Fansler Pathways (approx. 1.3 miles away); Site of Indian Village Chippewa-Nung (approx. 2.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rochester.
Also see . . .
1. "Rochester Court House" ::. (Courtesy of Official Web-Site "Potawatomi - Trail of Death Association" Shirley Willard / Rochester, Indiana.) This article has photos of the marker and other details. (Submitted on September 9, 2010, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
2. History and More Items:. This Official Web-site of the "Potawatomi Trail of Death Association" (Shirley Willard / Rochester, Indiana) is the center of activity and information - with many excellent links. (Submitted on September 9, 2010, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
3. Another - Trail of Death map:: (Submitted on September 9, 2010, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
4. Eye-witness Journals, Letters, & Newspaper Items::. (Courtesy:: Mr. Foley) - A good Secondary Source location for a number of other reports. (Submitted on September 9, 2010, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
5. Virtual Tour ( Courtesy - - Indiana Government web page). (Submitted on February 13, 2013, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
Categories. • Native Americans • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 9, 2010, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. This page has been viewed 1,012 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on September 9, 2010, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.