County tribes puzzled, angered by land ownership, says historian Kuron

Ottawa County Historical Society members at board meeting

Historian Frank Kuron entertains the Ottawa County Historical Society at its board meeting recently at the Catawba Island Club.

Native American tribes were once bewildered and angered when the Europeans and Americans sold Ottawa County land among themselves without consulting the tribes, Toledo historian and featured speaker Frank E. Kuron told a crowd of Ottawa County Historical Society members and guests at a recent Catawba Island Club brunch, program and business meeting.

The natives did not believe land could be “owned,” said Kuron, author of Thus Fell Tecumseh, a lecturer and self-described history enthusiast. Kuron highlighted facts and oddities about the relationship between settlers and Native American tribes in the period just prior to the Revolutionary War until the War of 1812.

Kuron highlighted contemporary maps and paintings illustrating various battles and treaties, with a sly insert of LeBron James’s iconic “What?!” used to illustrate how the natives must have felt when the floodgates opened after the Treaty of Greenville. He explored the unique relationship between William Henry Harrison and Tecumseh, both idealistic leaders who met several times to try to establish peace. The death of Tecumseh at the Battle of the Thames, and the Americans winning of the War of 1812 ended those efforts.

Patrick O’Keeffe was approved for a second term as president during the Ottawa County Historical Society business meeting. Becky Shemenski, Nancy Dunham and Dave O’Neal were approved as board members; Brennan Madison as treasurer; and Linda Huber as secretary. Rich Norgard stepped down as vice president, because of his responsibilities at the Port Clinton Lighthouse, and will be replaced in the interim by Shemenski.

For more information about the Ottawa County Historical Society and for membership information, check the website at ottawacountyhistory.org

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