History

Ashwaubenon, a thriving village rich in the heritage from which it draws its name, strives to maintain the past in its goals for the future.

The legend of the name is a source of deep pride for all Ashwaubenonites; so much so, that an 86 acre park located on a peninsula, surrounded by Ashwaubenon Creek and the Fox River, was dedicated in honor of the man behind the legend.

It is said, that in 1795, Little Crow, son of a powerful Ottawa Chief, from L’Arbor Croche, near Mackinac, came here to be in the employ of a pioneer named Jacob Franks. Little Crow made the acquaintance of Ahkeeneibeway (Standing Earth), a Menominee Chief, and was welcomed into his family.

One day, about two years after Little Crow’s arrival, a party of young maidens went berry picking and when it was time to return to the village, it was discovered that one was missing. The girls looked for the missing one, but due to darkness, were forced to give up the search and return and report that she could not be found.

Chief Standing Earth launched a widespread search which lasted many days, but no trace of the maiden could be found. Shortly thereafter, he learned that a band of Chippewas, returning home from a visit to the white settlement at LaBaye, had kidnapped the girl, and taken her to their camp at Shawano Lake. After much discussion, a war party was organized and Little Crow was appointed to lead it. They set out immediately and arrived at the camp around midnight. The Indian warrior decided, however, to stay their search until morning when the Chippewa braves would be away hunting. In the morning, with the rest of the braves concealed in the forest, Little Crow went alone to search for the girl.

Little Crow proceeded cautiously and searched among the lodges and wigwams and finally reached the girl in a large wigwam being guarded by several older squaws. With his tomahawk held high he entered and motioned the girl to follow him and while retreating with the girl the squaws gave him vicious side long looks full of hate and silent threats.

Runners were sent ahead to tell that the girl had been found and was returning safely. There was a great celebration, during which Little Crow was to be known as As- ha-wau-bo-my, or Side Looks, in memory of the reaction of the Chippewa squaws.

As further reward, he was given his choice of two of the prettiest maidens of the Village. But, he requested as his bride, the youngest daughter of Chief Standing Earth, who was named Wahbenukqua, or Morning Star.

Ashwaubomay and Wahbenukqua lived on the South side of the Creek and were friends with both Indians and Whites alike. Among their white friends was Judge Raume, who held the first court West of Detroit in the area. They raised a large family and Ashwaubomay was buried on the bank of the stream which was named after him.