Did You Know? 1820’s.

Stephen Sumner “Hawkeye” Phelps

Meet one man from New York who came West to Illinois in the 1820’s – Stephen Sumner Phelps. While canoeing the tributaries of the Great River (Mississippi), working as a fur-trader alongside Native Americans, Sumner earned the honored nickname Wah-wash-e-ne-qua, an Algonquin word that translates into English as… Hawkeye.

Often mistaken for another famous man from Illinois (can you guess who?) – Sumner “Hawkeye” Phelps was the first white fur-trader to set foot in what, in 1837, would become Johnson County, Iowa.


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