More About Rush Roberts

The commenter who raised the issue about Rush Roberts’s heritage found his obituary and forwarded it. The March 11, 1958 issue of The Lawton Constitution included the following extract:

 Roberts on Sept. 3, 1876 was the youngest of 100 Pawnees chosen as scouts for soldiers assigned the job of avenging Gen. George A. Custer’s death In the battle of Little Bighorn. He enlisted under his boyhood name of Ahrekahrard.

 Roberts was born in Nebraska and came to Oklahoma on a long trek with his tribe in 1874-75 when the government established a Pawnee reservation.

 Roberts was first married in 1882 to an Indian girl whose name translated into English as Captive Princess. She died a year later. Polygamy was then customary in the tribe and he next married three daughters of Kaheeka, principal chief of the Skedee band of Shawnees.

 On Sept. 18, 1876 Roberts and his fellow recruits were formally mustered into the army at Sidney, Neb. In a little over a month after his enlistment, Roberts, then 17, was in battle….

 Roberts won high praise from white troop leaders he served, one officer recalling: “Ahrekahrard, the youngest Pawnee scout in Gen. Crook’s fall and winter campaign of 1876-77, was with us on every occasion, he was quiet, but brave as any man could be and be charged with us into the villages as fearlessly as a warrior should.”

 Roberts subsequently traveled with the William F. (Buffalo Bill) Cody’s Wild West Show in 1884-85….

 The commenter wrote, “shortly after his return took Lou Howell as his wife. She shows up in 1888-1896 annual Indian censuses as his wife. These same censuses have Lou’s younger sister Rose listed as ‘Living by Herself’ next after Rush & Lou[Howell]. Rose then shows up in the annual census’ as Rush’s wife from 1888 until her death in 1928.”

Was Rose his sister by blood? Was she really his wife, or just living in his house? Perhaps future research will find the answers to these questions.

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9 Responses to “More About Rush Roberts”

  1. Jack R. Templeton Says:

    Tom, I re-checked 1887-1890 Indian census records in ancestry.com data files & found the following: Rose was living in the Rush/Lou household “87 thru *89.
    In “90 when she turned 21, she was listed as “By Her Self”. When I flipped to the next page I found more Howells living with a Sha-ruh-ka-rah-hah (female b. 1831). In 1890 living with her was Lida Howell (b 1871, Daughter), Mattie Howell (b. 1877, daughter), Ed Howell (b. 1888, grandson), & Stak-kah (female b 3/1890, daughter). In one of the census’ after Rose was listed as , wife, Ed Howell is listed as Rush’s son. 1887 & 1888 census’s listed indian name, english version of that indian name & english name being used . Rush never gave anything forthe first two indian names. Oh what a web we weave.

  2. Norma H. Roberts Says:

    What????? I am a granddaughter of Rush Roberts, Sr,: daughter of Rush Roberts, Jr.and while reading about my family, some writer ( ?)wrote about my Grandfather’s home life/marital status saying one of his wives could be his sister by BLOOD ! Did the writer not understand that Grandfather was an ORPHAN ? His parents were killed by the Sioux in the Battle at Masacre Canyon.!! Need to get your facts straight before those false statements are published.! ; the writer must weave his own web.!!

  3. Jack R. Templeton Says:

    Norma, so good to hear from you. My uncle, C. Kenny Templeton married your Aunt Nellie Roberts. I agree that Rush was an orphan. Your Uncle George (Rush’s younger brother) worked with a George Hyde to prepare a fascinating family history: “Ancestry of Latakuts Kalahar (Fancy Eagle)” in which he wrote: “my uncle John Knife Chief told me in 1983 that Rush Roberts was a Pawnee by adoption. He said that Rush’s parents were, as he put it, white immigrants who may have been German. They were killed by the Sioux. Some Skidis came upon the slaughter and found a living child, and Rush grew up as a son of Sitting Eagle and Roaming Princess.” Have you ever heard that story ? None of Aunt Nell’s descendants were aware of this claim.

  4. Jack R. Templeton Says:

    Norma, Forgot to add, while working on family tree for Aunt Nell’s grandson, C. Kenny Templeton III, I’ve scoured Indian census records from the late 1800’s thru the early 1930’s & other Pawnee histories. I’ve never seen any hint that either Lou or Rose had blood ties to Rush ( whether or not he was adopted). Rose undoubtedly was Lou’s younger sister & one could say his 2nd wife had blood ties to his 1st wife but that’s a far cry from saying he had blood ties to either wife.

  5. Norma H. Roberts Says:

    Hi Jack, glad to hear from a relative. Now where are you in the family tree ? I had met Marcella, Orvel ( not sure if that’s his name ),Kenny, Marla at Aunt Lena’s visitation in Pawnee. I don’t remember when Aunt Lena died. I told Marcella it’s been years since I’ve seen Marla at Grandpa Rush’s house on the hill. Marcella said.” well there she is “, pointed her out.!! The towns people referred to the hill as THE ROBERTS’ HILL.
    As for Grandpa being adopted, I doubt that. His Aunt/Uncle did help him when they finally settled in Pawnee. You referred to Uncle George as being the younger brother of Rush, jr. ( my father ). but in fact, my father was the youngest of the siblings. I have NEVER heard that story about being German.! There will be a large discrepency about that story; that’s all it is…..a story. Who told that story??
    If you hear anything else, let me know. I’ll try to copy the names and numbers of the relatives you sent. Keep in touch.
    LATER…..Cousin Norma

  6. Caroline Elizabeth Rouwalk Says:

    Hello, my distant relatives! I am Caroline Rouwalk, daughter of Donald Dean Rouwalk, granddaughter of Edith Roberts Beardsley who is the daughter of Henry Roberts. I have recently been enraptured by research into our heritage and I greatly appreciate your comments here. I wonder if we could take DNA tests that might validate the claim that Rush was German. While such a test could not indicate exactly who in the family had German blood it would be at least interesting to see if the genetic markers for German heritage would appear for descendants of Rush Roberts.

    I hope to someday travel to Pawnee and meet some of my relatives. I grew up in the Southwest, nearer to my Navajo relatives. I would love someday compile a cohesive history of the lineage as far as we can trace it.

    I hope this finds you well.
    -Caroline Rouwalk

  7. Jack R. Templeton Says:

    Hi Caroline,
    My uncle, Christopher “Kenny” Templeton married Rush’s daughter Nell(i.e.). Kenny & Nell’s 2 (or 3) great grandson, C. Kenny III took a YDNA test as part of the Templeton DNA Project. Unfortunately he is not a direct male-male-male descendant of Rush. One of Henry’s direct male-male-male descendant would be an ideal candidate to take a YDNA test. Results would confirm whether (1) Rush had a Native American ancestry or (2) ihis parents were indeed German immigrants killed by the Sioux. I always felt that Rush looked more Caucasion than Native American – especially in that photo with the Pawnee Scouts,
    I would e glad to split the cost with you of a 37 marker YDNA test with familytreedna – total cost about $130.

  8. Michele Rouwalk Says:

    Hello jack Templeton
    I am the eldest daughter of Donald dean Rouwalk
    Michele Rouwalk having read the responses to the allegations that Rush Roberts was German descent it has caused somewhat of controversy in the Pawnee Line of the Roberts family. I’m not at all disgusted in the bloodline findings if true? What we need to keep in perspective is that our historical records or stories of our ancestors be the focus. today I had the rare opportunity to assist my youngest son in tracing his ancestry for a middle school project assignment,
    What I realized is that native Americans had not been educated in those times and the stories of our pawnee relatives should be colorful. In that generation survival was key to forwarding posterity. Also if this account of rush Roberts is true then I am grateful that a pawnee tribe was willing to raise a orphan boy of another culture to be a great warrior and leader in his community and tribe. I am grateful for the pawnee lineage I belong to otherwise I wouldn’t be commenting on this blog. Forensics testing can be done as our biogenetic sciences allow for that probability, with sophisticated technologies.
    I live in Utah and have the biggest data genealogy center accessible to me ancestry.com
    I did extensive genealogy research several years ago and submitted to LDS church data base.
    Ancestry offers genetic testing for 99$ FYI
    I also want to be sensitive to those relatives who differ in their opinions of the rush Roberts bloodline revelations.
    What I would like to see going forward is finding historical records or stories of our ancestors. As you know Native American were not taught to write so we have no records of their lives thoughts feelings, experiences etc… Exists. so when I Came across just this much information my excitement grew to at least know something.
    Even if it’s colorful.
    Also Henry Roberts telling a story at fourth grade level could be conjecture to hearing stories around the campfires aka our dinner table discussions with family.
    Sometimes history is inaccurate and we can be told something while the story teller embellishes. Henry was my great grandfather and I remember as a child a man proud of his pawnee heritage.
    He was large in stature and intellect.
    He loved his Pawnee ancestry and told great stories of his father Rush Roberts.
    He was kind and educated in agriculture he taught me about watermelons and okra and other vegetables which he grew at his home garden just below the hill where now my grandmother Edith’s home resides.
    As a child he told us kids to pick our watermelons with the aid of my father Donald Rouwalk but he cautioned warning be careful of water moccasin snakes. Shivers would run up my spine. But I wasn’t afraid just cautious
    I was five years old and this experience has been embedded in my psyche forever.
    I also remember Henry had a scientific mind this impressed me the most although only five I remember Henry gathering family members on hot summer evening to sit on his backyard lawn bust open watermelons while he told stories of the Indian scouts and his fathers experience of his raids with other tribes and his tracking expertise. I loved the fireflies I thought they were little fairies looking to protect all Indian children.
    I am in my early fifties these experiences were few with my great parents but it left me with a incredible sense of love for my fathers pawnee ancestors.
    My great grandmother was stern, and quiet in my presence but had loving eyes I didn’t know her as well but she was a great strength to my great grandfather.
    Another time when I went with my grandmother Edith to Oklahoma to visit my great grandparents home they having passed away. I was able to stay in their old pawnee home cozy and filled with history. I slept under the window in front living room one hot eve when the the shutters to the window went kaboom barely missing my head a tornado was coming and the wind was so strong that I rolled out of my cot which was my bed. And screamed for my grandma Edith. my grandma held on to the door of her bedroom my sister Bernadette in tow. I crawled to my grandma and made way to the storm cellar,
    My grandma was shouting at me to move away from the window had I stood up I would of been hit by the shutters and killed. I was eight years old at the time Bernadette was seven, next day grandma Edith got news that the tornado was one mile away from us and that her childhood home she was born in the roof was torn away. I sensed in my grandma Edith that she was saddened by this news. Grandma at that time was a strong woman who I looked up too. I come from a strong matriarch line of woman who influenced me greatly. From my mother Alyce Rouwalk lynn kellywood to my grandmother Kaibah Kay Bennett and Edith Beardsley.
    If any of you who is of this bloodline want to share stories or experiences with me I would embrace it wholeheartedly.
    This is what we. Eyed to share with future generations
    My best and love to you all
    Michele Rouwalk

  9. Michele Rouwalk Says:

    This is what we need to share with future generations.
    Got to love that spell check

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