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  • Writer's pictureTheFormidableGenealogist

Wapello County

The tiny southeast Iowa town of Agency, in Wapello County, had a population of 620 people at the last census. It was named for the "Indian Agency" that was established there in the 1830s. Such offices were to tasked with maintaining relations between the federal government (and European settlers) and the native peoples. This particular location was needed after the Sauk and Fox tribes had been displaced by the Black Hawk War in 1832 and were relocated to Iowa.

The Meskwaki (Fox) Chief Wapello, by all accounts, was close friends with General Joseph Street, the Indian Agent at the site. Street died in 1840. It was thereafter Wapello's wish to be buried next to his friend. Wapello was interred after his own death in 1842 next to Street in a plot outside of town. Their gravesite is now a small park.

That Chief Wapello asked to be buried next to his friend is no doubt a testment to his character as well as his desire to keep the peace among all people. His people were forced westward from Iowa to Kansas in the 1840s.

This is the inscription on his grave stone:

In memory of WA Pel Lo.

A Principal Chief of the FOXES

Who was born at Prairie Du Chien

About the year 1787

Died near the forks of Skunk River

March 15th 1842

and here buried at his own request .

This stone was Erected by the

SAC and FOX Nation


gravestone of Chief Wapello

burial site of Chief Wapello
Inside the protective fence are the graves of Chief Wapello, General Joseph Street, and members of the Street family.

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