Oct 032012

Real photo postcard, 1920s

Wah-she-hah was called Bacon Rind, but the real translation of his Osage name was Star-That-Travels. He was born in Kansas a decade before the Osage tribe bought their reservation in northeast Oklahoma. He was a superb politician and recognized early on the value of the enormous oil reserves that lay beneath their rocky reservation. Bacon Rind preferred speaking Osage; he is shown here wearing a Mexican blanket, beaded moccasins and otter skin bandeau – the only item of apparel that, as far as we know, is traditional

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  35 Responses to “OSAGE CHIEF BACON RIND”

  1. my mother told me that cheif bacon rind was our great great great grandfather. how can i prove this

    • Hello,
      My name is Robin West and I am one of Wah-She-Hah’s great-great granddaughters. There are 4 great-great granddaughters and 2 great-great grandsons through his daughter Julia. My great grandmother, Julia Bacon Rind had 1 other sibling with children, George. There are two more great-great grandchildren through him. The other two siblings, Moses and Louise had no issue.

      Curious to know how you think we are related.

      • My grandmother name is Rena May Glover, My cousin Tina Glover Knows are family tree better than anyone in are family she told me that the chief was married twice..
        Jodi Wheeler is my niece, Her mother is my older sister Dina.My mother is Erma G. Glover,Sullivan

        • His second wife was Lizzie Mehojah but they had no children together.

        • Just for the record. I found the following on the Pawhuska Cemetery on the Chief that is burried next to my family “KELSO” with no other families close to the Kelso’s or the Chiefs family.

          This is the mystery. Why so close and no others in the area? Three head stones for my family and three for the chief. How and why did this happen? I guess I need the “History Detectives”


          Birth: 1860
          Death: 1932

          MEMORIAL. Chief of the Osage.

          Family links:
          Rosa Bacon Rind (1865 – 1923)*

          George Baconrind (1890 – 1934)*
          Louise Bacon Rind (1897 – 1931)*
          Moses Bacon Rind (1901 – 1927)*

          *Calculated relationship

          Pawhuska City Cemetery
          Osage County
          Oklahoma, USA
          Plot: N/E of town.

          Created by: Patricia Mechling
          Record added: Jan 18, 2002
          Find A Grave Memorial# 6097320

          My families site is inches away.
          James Anderson Kelso
          Birth: Apr. 24, 1855
          Death: Apr. 27, 1927

          Family links:
          Charles Edward Kelso (1880 – 1951)*
          Pearl Anna Kelso Newman (1885 – 1952)*

          *Calculated relationship

          Aged 72 Yrs. 3 Dys

          Note: Next to Catherine Alice Kelso

          Pawhuska City Cemetery
          Osage County
          Oklahoma, USA

          Created by: Norton
          Record added: Mar 25, 2006
          Find A Grave Memorial# 13736865

          Truth is Strange.

          • All grave sites are run through the Pawhuska Cemetery but the plot “NE of town” is our Bacon Rind family cemetery on Bacon Rind Hill.

          • The cemetery I mention appears to be the city cemetery. The headstone for both my father and the chief are together. I have photographs of the headstones together with the chief at the foot if my g g grandfather. I have been there.

          • I too had the pictures of the head stones of the Chief burial site next to my family “Kelso’s” The chief is at the foot of the Kelso headstone but it may have been that the chief was moved. The Kelso’s owned the local dairy and had the brand of a Circle with a K in the middle. My dad told me of hunting in bird creek with his Indian friends. I lost the pictures but plan to return to the area to try and determine the mystery of what took place decades ago to have those two families placed on the Pawhuska cemetery hill top together with no other graves except those two families directly together.

            You can look up the burial sites on the web as proof but a picture still does not answer the question as to why they are together. I would hope that they had some kind of friendship since both were leaders in the area around the same time. I really like the “Star that Moves” name but as I understand it the Chief could “chew the fat” the term given to someone given to the gift of communication. There are many old stories about how horrible the curse of money was in those days for the Indians. I would love to hear some positive stories about the old days of possible bonds between the two families. If not positive it would still be good to know WHY the two are so close and nobody else except wife and child of both families there together. My fathers memories of that area were always with a smile and the phrase “Gods Country”. We never owned it we just rent it while we are on earth.

          • James a Kelso and Alice Kelso buried in pawhuska.. you can trace them back to a 1910 census with more than 2 children.. there was Charles Edward 1880-1951, Earl a 1882-1940, Pearl Anna Kelso (Newman)1885/6-1952,.. there is also 2 more a Floyd j and Francis Raymond 1891 both born in Kansas.. they are in the 1910 census for James and Alice.. Frank (Francis) the youngest child of James a is my father now 77 yesterday old as of December 2018. He had a baby book with Floyd and Pearl and picture of Kelso dairy.. he remembers Pearl who married a Newman who was good Aunt. He remembers Charles Kelso son Robert who was my dad’s cousin much older than him.. all in California where he grew up. My dad lives next to us here in Osage county Oklahoma near keystone lake. If you want to get more information as we are trying to solve the mystery of James Kelso children.. kelso@cimtel.net

      • I was also told that traveling star was my great great great grandfather my aunt Letha myers Layton had oil rights just curious how myers willi

  2. I have a funny story about Tom Baconrind, going back to the ‘teens. My grandmother was Adaline Wheeler Keith, married to J.W. Keith, who ran the old Osage Federal Savings and Loan for several decades. She was City Treasurer of Pawhuska for 63 years, and her younger brother was Gene Wheeler.

    Anyway, my grandmother told me that in 1919, Baconrind wanted to visit Paris and the battlefield in France where his son had performed heroic deeds that won him a significant military honor. He knew and liked my grandmother, who worked in one of the banks where he kept at least some of his money, She was also a guardian for a couple of Osage girls, and was single at the time. He wanted to take her along in his entourage, but said that, regrettably, the only chaperone he could think of for her was his son, but he didn’t trust him! So my grandmother didn’t get to go, and lost her chance to go to Europe!

    Paul Keith
    Austin, Texas

  3. Chief Baconrind remains an important legend in my family. The Baconrinds were neighbors.

    I was listening just this morning to a taped interview of my great uncle, Fred Mow, who told of going hunting with the Baconrind boys back in the early years of the 20th century. After their hunt the boys went back to the Chief’s house, where Mrs. Baconrind was preparing a lovely feast out in the yard in front of their house. There was a big fire pit with a large kettle of fat in which she was cooking freshly made “Squaw bread.” Reportedly it was delicious. She also served the family, and my great uncle, a wonderful meat that had cooked overnight in the hot ashes of the fire pit. He said it tasted terrific – just like chicken or rabbit. It turns out it was skunk!

    Chief Baconrind was a generous man. He tried to adopt Uncle Fred at one point. He knew this would help Fred’s family financially. My great grandmother felt she couldn’t part with her son, so this arrangement never materialized.

    Baconrind once traded a beautiful blanket for two blue greyhounds that Fred had.

    Another family legend is that one day the chief rode up to my great grandma’s house with two horses in tow. The story goes that he wanted to trade them for my grandmother, who was a teenage girl at that time. I believe he thought he wanted to marry her. Again my great grandmother put her foot down, so nothing came of it.

    The families remained friends through it all. Once Mrs. Baconrind even gave my great grandmother a silver and turquoise ring.

    At the time of these events Chief Baconrind was reportedly one of the wealthiest men in the world.

  4. Not from your area, but LOVE the comments that were posted. Very interesting histories.

  5. Just bought ( at auction) a small ceramic container with Bacon-Rind’s hand painted picture on it. The bottom is stamped “Germany” but another stamp says it was hand painted for Jay R. Harris. Not looking to cash in~ it was just such an odd piece and for a few bucks i had to bring it home!

    • We know the one you speak of … we have one as well. It came in two sizes. We have the smaller one that is perfect size to hold business cards. Ours is by the computer where we see it every day. Congratulations … they’re not common!

      • I didnt think of using it as a business card holder~ GREAT IDEA! I will do the same. It now has a purpose. Thanks again!

  6. Snograss was my grandmothers last name do you know it?

    • I know a man that was a adopted part of my family whose name was Arthur Dale Snodgrass , born in 1927 I think it was. He always said he was always told he was part “Indian” but he could not prove it. He most definitely looked it. I would almost bet he is connected to what I am reading here.

  7. I am attempting to find out what schools Julia Bacon Rind attended. I have been told that my grandmother and her sisters (Thomason) attended the same school. But they have all passed, so I thought maybe I could find where Julia went to school. Any help on this, or if anyone knows anything about the girls of Seaton and Della Thomason, I would love to hear from you.

  8. tHIS is all really too cool….all from a little glass holder i picked up…… please keep researching!

  9. From what my mother tells us, Chief Bacon Rind is a couple of grandfathers up our blood line. I would really love to learn more about this. If anyone can point in the right direction that would be great. please e mail me at k.jacomet@yahoo.com.

  10. My great grand father is buried next to the Chief. It would be nice to know why they picked the site next to my family. The Kelso family had a dairy in the area.

    • Chief Bacon Rind is buried on Bacon Rind Hill in our family cemetery east of Pawhuska.

      • There is a Pawhuska Cemetery that has a head stone that indicates he is buried in the Pawhuska Cemetery. Were the remains of the Chief and his family moved to a private family plot? The only other headstones in that area with the Chief and family would be the Kelso headstones. My family ran the dairy in the local area.

        • My grandmother, Julia Baconrind Whitehorn, was the last living relative of Chief Baconrind. Grandpa Baconrind is buried on Baconrind Hill, NE of Pawhuska. He died in 1932. The archives of the Pawhuska Journal Capital carried an expose’ of his funeral, showing pictures of the funeral procession which covered the hill. Dignitaries from Washington DC attended and the article carries all of the facts. His only living daughter at the time was Julia. This is a private family cemetery owned by our family. Other Baconrind family members ( Julia’s siblings, Louise, Moses and George) are buried in the Pawhuska cemetery, as well as our great grandmother, Rose Choteau Baconrind, his first wife and mother of his children.. Baconrind had no children with Lizzie, his second wife whom I met when I was very young.

          • Well the chief may be buried in some other cemetery but his name and stone markers are recorded in the main cemetery and is at the top of the hill along with marker for wife and a son. The marker clearly shows his name but the site does appear to have been disturbed. The marker in the main cemetery that shows his and family member names could be simply be only a marker in memory of the family and have no remains buried at that site. The only other family in the vicinity of the Chiefs’ family are my family members that ran the dairy farm in the STRIKE AXE RESERVATION area near the fairgrounds back in those days.

            My interest is to find out if the two families where close in life and if that is why the two families cemetery markers are clustered together and no other families are close to the two families on that hill in the main cemetery.

            You can search for the name in the cemetery archives and see the chiefs family listed in the main cemetery but from what your saying they must be markers only for the Chief and his family.

            I suspect that the markers in the case of the “KELSO” family really do indicate the burial site and most likely are not markers in memory of Kelso’s that lie there.

            I will remark that the marker used for the chief site is quite large for a head stone in the main cemetery so it would indicate that it does represent the Chief and his family and not someone with a similar name.

        • We believe this Kelso grave site is also our grandfathers. Please contact us at kelsopat@rocketmail.com

  11. […] the photograph. We wonder if the man on the far left is not Chief Bacon Rind (see previous posts: http://www.dammingtheosage.com/osage-chief-bacon-rind/#comment-196 ). We welcome confirmation of that guess or any identification of others in the […]

  12. My great great grandfather was Wah She Hah (Chief Bacon Rind). My great grandfather was George Bacon Rind, Sr. My grandfather was George BaconRind, Jr. My father is Tom BaconRind. My name is Chad BaconRind. Yes, Chief Bacon Rind is buried on Bacon Rind Hill, NE of Pawhuska, I have been there many times. I have never known of a headstone for him in the Pawhuska Cemetery. I do know that there are several Bacon Rind’s buried in Newkirk, OK. My grandparents had two sons, Tom and Andy. Andy died in 1970, but he had a daughter, Misty. I am my father’s only child. My grandfather had always told me that we were the last of the BaconRind’s. If anyone wants to contact me, please email me: cbaconrind@gmail.com


    • I grew up in Ralston, Ok and was very familiar with a lot of Osage names. However, south of Ralston, in Pawnee Co. is a very little town called Skedee. Skedee has basically been a ghost town for years but right in the middle of town there was a big statue of Colonel Walters and Chief Bacon-Rind shaking hands. As teenagers we were curious as to who both these individuals were and their importance to having a statute made. It was a favorite meeting place for teenage hangouts. We never heard any reference to either in Oklahoma History studies. It was not until recently I learned about Colonel Walter’s and Chief Bacon-Rind’s roles in securing top dollar for the Osage lands for tracts auctioned, (or something to that effect). I have no idea if this statue is still standing in the middle of town as I haven’t been there in years but, I do know that it was respected and was never vandalized. I have only met one other person not from that area that knew the statute existed. I am now 70 years old but I will be going close to that area this next week and I am going to make a point to go there and check it out.

  13. My 2nd cousin, 5x removed was, William Sherley Williams. He was married to, A-Cin-Ga or Wind Blossom, a member of the Osage. How can I go about finding who her parents were and where she may be buried. I have a lot of info on her husband but nothing on her other than they had 2 daughters together, Mary Ann and Sarah.

  14. In the 1950’s the Harris B. Pettit’s lived across the street from our home with an elderly grandmother who would gather many neighborhood children together and talk about Chief Baconrind. Inside their home was a large portrait of the Chief. H.B. Pettit was a banker in Tulsa. They moved from Hominy, OK. Their two daughters were Jan, born in 1940, went to Central High school in Tulsa, class of 1958, and Margaret (Peggy), born in 1942 and graduated from Edison High School in Tulsa class of 1960 and married an Indian named Valnes. They later moved to Denver, where I understand all are buried. I never knew the name of the elderly grandmother, but she seemed to know a lot about Chief Baconrind. If any of this sounds familiar, would like to hear from you.

    • Thank you very much for adding this information. Unfortunately, we don’t having any information relating to the Pettit family. The tribal council in Pawhuska or the museum there might be able to help you. Bacon Rind was indeed a fascinating Osage leader.

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