Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

A short time ago we ran a column on the old Indian chief, Monoquet. Since that time several persons have asked questions as to the exact location and size of the old Indian village of which he was the chief.

Metcalfe Beck, an early settler at Leesburg, has left us a first-hand account of the village. Mr. Beck wrote numerous articles which appeared in the "Northern Indianian," and part of which were reprinted in the 1879 Atlas. In one of these articles, he says,

"The Monoquet of the present is one thing, but the village of 1835 and 1836 was quite another, and peopled by a different race of men. At that time the river had no bridge; the banks had been gashed by no mill-race, and the clear, bright stream ran on its course, its gentle flow unchecked by any dam. Here was Monoquet village; its inhabitants were Potawatomies, and their chief was Monoquet, from whom the village derived its name.

"Just west of where the Leesburg Road now crosses the river, stood the old village, and its eastern edge was about twenty yards west of the springs which rise by the side of the road. The village contained about fifteen bark-covered wigwams, which were scattered over two or three acres of land on the north bank of the river, the village being longest from east to west. There were no regular streets, and the wigwams were set at random, like the forest trees among which they were placed."

As to the population of the village, old timers disagree. It was rather difficult to determine the number of Indians in a village because so many of them were away hunting and fishing much of the time. Mr. Beck estimated the population of Monoquet's village as 150. Another early settler, William C. Graves, has written that he feels that the population was around 300 in 1835 when he lived near the village.

Warsaw Times-Union Tues. Jun 15, 1954