Marshall Historical Society

Romance Wyatt
by Ted Townsend

Since we mentioned Romance Wyatt, the last of the Brothertown Indians, we have received a number of contributions and a couple of pictures of the one-time Civil War soldier. One picture from Mrs. Henry Suters of Waterville, shows the cabin on the Oriskany Falls-Deansboro road where Romance lived.

The Indian stands beside the gate in front of the house. A second picture from Mrs. Walter Nash of Oriskany Falls is a portrait of Romance dressed in his Sunday best.

Romance Wyatt

Wyatt was brought up by Asa and Cynthia Dick, of "Dicksville". Asa, a chief of the Brothertowns, once lived in the house now owned by Captain Julius Waterman. It's the farmstead on the Deansboro-Waterville road where the Captain parks his pair of trained Buffalo. They can be seen daily in the field adjacent to the highway.

The house was used by the chiefs of the Indians and it's possible to see the additions built on from time to time. It appears that additional rooms were added at five different times.

Mrs. Nash mentions the gum that Mrs. Wyatt used to manufacture. It was spruce gum, she says, and was obtained from spruce trees in the swamp. At times, Romance would journey to the Nine Mile Swamp to obtain gum from trees he had located.

Mrs. Wyatt made a rather hard brown gum with a sweetish, pungent flavors, not at all disagreeable.

A few times they tried to make gum from the pine trees in the front yard at the Randall Farm, where Mrs. Nash lived as a girl, but it would not cook down and made a sticky, gummy mess.

Mrs. Nash recalls two other Brothertown Indians in the area. They were Lewis Kindness and Billy Paul. The latter went west to Green Bay, Wis. to join the other Brothertons who had been moved to the Wisconsin reservation from the Deansboro area.

A Mr. and Mrs. Eli Perkins cared for Romance during his last years. He died sitting in a rocking chair in his front yard. This was Sept. 30, 1907. It was a beautiful sunny, fall afternoon, when the last of the Brothertowns crossed the fiver of no return.

Caption to photograph
Romance Wyatt, last of the Brothertown Indians, was wounded in the Civil War. Romance was raised by Asa and Cynthia Dick. Dick was an Indian Chief, residing in the house now occupied by Captain Julius Waterman on the Deansboro-Waterville highway. The picture was furnished by Mrs. Walter Nash, Oriskany Falls.


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