White Eagle was the hereditary chief of the Poncas when they came to Indian Territory in 1877. As chief, he led the Poncas in their last war against the Souix before they left Dakota Territory and Nebraska. He was also the medicine man and religious advisor. White eagle led the “hot country” Poncas, those who chose to remain in Indian Territory, for 50 years. In his last years when the tribe was engaged in negotiations over allotment, White Eagle reluctantly encouraged his people to comply. Shortly before his death in 1914, he passed leadership of the tribe to his eldest son and the last hereditary chief, Horse Chief Eagle. White Eagle’s death was an occasion of great ceremony. Dressed in his traditional regalia, he was buried in the Ponca cemetery near White Eagle, the village that bore his name near the Ponca agency. The chief’s favorite horse was killed at his grave side. On a hill about ten miles south of the 101 Ranch White House, the Miller brothers had a tall stone pillar erected in memory of the old chief. On top, its eyes watching over the rolling prairie, is a white stone eagle.
From: Thomas Brown, ‘In Pursuit of Justice:
The Ponca Indians in Indian Territory’
Pencil drawing on Schut 160 grs paper, 32×48 cm, 29-07-09
Photo of Edward S. Curtis used as reference.