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Your Link to the Past

Your Link to the Past

Trosper, Elzona

SC56.Trosper_Elzona.01Elzona Trosper dedicated her life to helping improve the status of blacks and minorities in Sioux City.  A social worker, wife, mother, and community activist, Trosper was tireless in her efforts to help those in need.

Elzona Trosper was born Elzona Harris on April 27, 1898, in Gallatin, Missouri. She graduated from Western Baptist College in Kansas City, Missouri and the University of Kansas.  She completed additional graduate work at the University of Iowa and the University of Chicago.

Trosper moved with her husband Thomas to Sioux City in 1927. She quickly became involved in the community and was instrumental in the creation of the Booker T. Washington Center, a community center for blacks. She was the first president of the board of the Booker T. Washington Center.

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War Eagle


War EagleWambdi Okicize is commonly known as War Eagle. He was born in either Wisconsin or Minnesota around 1785. His Indian name means "Little Eagle" but whites always referred to him as War Eagle. This is odd because all through his life War Eagle sought to keep peace. He even left his home tribe the Isanti (sometimes referred to as Santee) to avoid a battle as to who was to become chief.

War Eagle served as a riverboat guide or pilot on the upper Mississippi, he worked for the American Fur Company delivering messages, and during the War of 1812 he carried messages for the government. Having spent all this time with the whites greatly affected his view toward these people. He saw them as friends rather than enemies.

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Wilkins, Mary

Even in its infancy, the citizens of the town realized the need to start a school to educate the children. Local businessmen pledged money to run the school for the first six months. On April 26, 1857, the new teacher arrived on the first steamboat of the spring season, the Omaha. Mary Wilkins, a nineteen year old from Keosauqua, Iowa became the first teacher. The salary for her first term was fifty dollars per month. She lived with a married couple she had met on the steamboat.

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Weare, George

George WeareThe first bank in Sioux City was a tin box about the size of a cake box. George Weare brought the box with him to Sioux City December 26, 1855. At the time of his arrival from Cedar Rapids with the tin box with $1000 dollars in gold, Sioux City consisted of 6 log cabins! Three or four feet of snow covered the ground.

He found a place to work in the attic of a log cabin on the corner of third and Pearl . The bottom floor was occupied by the United States Land Office. His furniture consisted of an old drygoods box that served as the counter and his tin box that served as his safe. The box is now on display in the Public Museum.

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