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Chief Henry Elk River
© Cheyenne Star
Submitted by: Wanda Purcell



Chief Henry Elk River, also known as Crooked Nose, was born at Darlington, Oklahoma Territory, near Concho, in 1886. He was one of four children born to Elk River and Happy Woman. A brother, Lone Elk, and a sister, Mrs. Bertha Bear Track, predeceased him.
He did not have the privilege of formal education, but he was always much concerned and sought to help his grandchildren in obtaining their education.
Most of his life was spent in the Hammon community.
Following the death of Henry's first wife he was married to Lilly Black Hill. To this union were born two daughters, Inez, Mrs. Arthur Kauley, and Mary, Mrs. Edward Whiteskunk, both of Hammon.
Since the death of his second wife, 1961, he has made his home with his daughter Inez.
Chief Elk River served his people in many ways, not the least of which was a period of time on the tribal council. He was one of the first councilmen to go to Washington on behalf of tribal business.
After being a headsman for a number of years, he was elected as a chief in 1957.
During middle age Henry became a Christian and was baptized by the Bethel Mennonite church.
Later he joined the Baptist Indian Mission.
The past number of weeks Crooked Nose had been going through a period of failing health.
Suddenly, his condition worsened and he departed this life October 17, 1967, having reached the age of 81 years.
He leaves to mourn two daughters, Inez and Mary; two sisters, Mrs. Lilly Hayes and Mrs. Maggie Hansel of Hammon; twenty one grandchildren; thirteen great grandchildren; and many friends and relatives.


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