Native American Exhibit
The tribes of Pottawatomie County include the Kickapoo, Sac and Fox, Absentee Shawnee and Citizen Potawatomi. On permanent display at the museum are artifacts that were gifts to the Historical Society of Pottawatomie County from family members belonging to some of these tribes. These artifacts include the leather wedding dress of Mary Bourbonnais, several Bourbonnais family Bibles and prayer books (one in French) and the family photograph album. Mary Bourbonnais was a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Thomas "Wildcat" Alford's transit and surveying box, family photographs and letters, his translation of the four Gospels into the Shawnee language, and the original manuscript of his biography CIVILIZATION (as told to Florence Drake) are a part of the museum's collection. Alford was the great-grandson of Chief Tecumseh of the Shawnee tribe. Alford was one of the first two Indian boys to be sent back east to attain a white man's education. He helped survey Indian Lands for Land Runs and later became a teacher, translator, and scholar. The original journals of William Shawnee, a black member of the Shawnee tribe and many newspaper clippings and photos of the great Olympic athlete Jim Thorpe, a member of the Sac and Fox tribe, are also in the museum archives.