NOVEMBER 30, 1930

ONEIDA LAWYER & ACTIVIST GEYNA (CHESTER POE CORNELIUS) DIED

Born September 7, 1869, on the Oneida Reservation, Wisconsin, Cornelius attended Carlisle Indian School, Dickinson College, Univ. of Pennsylvania & Harvard before graduating from Eastman Business College.  In 1890, he taught at Darlington Cheyenne & Arapaho Reservation in Oklahoma (OK).  In 1900, Cornelius was admitted to the Wisconsin bar.  With sister Laura “Minnie” Cornelius Kellogg, he pushed for the “Lolomi Plan”–self-governed, planned Native communities circled by “greenbelts.”  In 1911, he, Laura & Dennison Wheelock helped found the Society of American Indians.  He & Laura aided Cherokee leader Redbird Smith & the traditionalist Keetoowah Nighthawk Society which resisted assimilation.  In Gore, OK, Chester was its spokesman, legal counsel, bank president and helped the Society get a reservation.  In 1925, he became chief of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and, in 1927, a was a member of the Resolution Committee, Society of OK Indians.  Cornelius was buried in Muskogee, OK.

Source:  “Chester Poe Cornelius,” PeoplePill.  Retrieved 8/18/2020, https://peoplepill.com/people/chester-poe-cornelius/
Photo:  Author unknown, circa 1880s.  Public Domain.  

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