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.