Marshall Historical Society

Silent Tribute to Pioneers
[Newspaper article: no source, no date]

Located in a pasture, midway between Waterville and Deansboro, is this huge lilac tree, now in full bloom. Beneath it are a number of headstones marking the final resting place of early settlers.

At this spot 104 years ago a six-year-old boy was buried and five years later it became the resting place of a male adult. His stone bears the words: "He was an Indian from Rhode Island."

The Brothertown Indians once occupied this region. These Indians were composed of remnants of the various tribes of New England and Long Island.

A group of about 400 congregated in this section of Southern Oneida County and a settlement was established. They were made up of the once powerful Narragansetts, Mohegans, Montauks and several smaller tribes.

The area reserved for the Brothertowns was on each side of Oriskany Creek and one of the main settlements was near Deansville and Dicksville.

Asa Dick, after whom the later section was named, was a Narragansett Indian.

The State Legislature approved an act relative to the area owned by the Indians and a commission was appointed to carry out the provisions. By this act the people of Brothertown were to meet on the first Tuesday of April to elect town officers and peacemakers.

The Brothertown Indians were finally moved to the Northwest near Green Bay, Wis. However, many prominent Indians had passed away and were buried on the Oneida County lands.

Some thoughtful person, perhaps 100 years ago placed a lilac twig on an Indian grave.

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