My name is Sop-ho-kab. I am Sauk. The day I was born my parents gave me that name. I do not know what my name means any more. That was a long time ago. They say I was born in 1826. Black Hawk was my chief.
Now I’m known by many names. The Jordan Family who took me in after the massacre at Bad Axe gave me the name of Katie. Father Jordan said I reminded him of a butterfly and when he heard the name Katie, he thought of a fragile butterfly.
Father Jordan will always hold a special place in my heart. He lived only one year after I came to live with them. That was a sad time for all.
Mother Jordan taught me how to cook, sew, and garden. We lived together for a long time after Father Jordan passed away.
In the history books of Wisconson, Illinois, and Iowa I am known as Indian Kate. Perhaps that is because I am an Indian woman who lived among the white men.
My husband called me the love of his life. So gentle and kind he was. His name was Probus Eberle. He was born in Germany and hadn’t been in America long before we met. We shared thirty five years together and raised seven children.
I have many tales to tell about my life and family living in early years of our great country. Why not check by often and enjoy the stories.
Sun 16 Feb 2014 SWIMMING LESSONS
I’d like to tell you a short story. Something about myself when I was young. All children in our village had to learn how to swim. We were like other children. We liked to play with sticks, climb trees, run, and even play hide from each other. I think the white man called it hide and seek. I could climb a tree faster and higher than any of the boys my age.
Back to my swimming. Once a week our mothers got together and took us out into the river in our canoes. They threw us into the water. Then we had to swim back to the canoe. I guess my mother was not feeling well that day, or maybe she was mad at me. I tried to tell her I was afraid of the water, but she would hear nothing of it. She grabbed a hold of the top of my dress and my waist and threw me high into the air.
I came down feet first with arms flailing into the cold water. Water went up my nose. I couldn’t breathe, and my feet couldn’t touch the bottom. Each time I raised my head above the water I gasped for another mouth of air then went under again. My arms moved about and I thought I was swimming but I was getting no where. I was getting tired. Where was my mother?
Just when I thought I was done for, I felt strong arms grab me and pull me up where I could breathe. My father had jumped in to rescue me and bring me to shore. I cried and hung onto his shoulders as he carried me into camp. My love for my father grew seven times fold that day.
I’d like to say all was well that evening after my swimming lesson but it was not. My father was quite angry with my mother for not helping me that he got carried away and beat her. You might think that was cruel. I don’t know. Maybe he was so upset at the thought of loosing one of his children he took it out on her, or maybe it was because he had a bad temper. I will never know. What I do know is that I never had to take swimming lessons again.
And I still do not know how to swim, and I still am a bit scared of the water.