The Red Men of Iowa - 1882 - F

The Red Men of Iowa ... 
By A. R. Fulton. Des Moines: Mills & Company, 1882.


Jonathon Emerson Fletcher submitted by Dick Barton

Jonathan Emerson Fletcher was appointed agent for the Winnebagoes by President Polk, in 1846, and served in that position eleven years. During that time he resided at three different agencies - Fort Atkinson, on Turkey River; Mankato, on Minnesota River, and the upper Mississippi above St. Paul.

He was a native of Thetfort, Vermont. While a young man he removed to Ohio, where he resided several years, and came to Muscatine county, Iowa, in the summer of 1838, while Iowa was still a Territory. He held many responsible offices, both in the Territory and State, and was an active and influential member of the first constitutional convention in Iowa, in 1844. During his service as Indian agent he was accompanied by his wife, who engaged earnestly in the work of teaching the Indians. Their eldest son, Frank Fletcher, acquired the language of the Indians so well that he became his father's interpreter.

General Fletcher, while serving as agent, contributed through the publications of Mr. Schoolcraft a vast amount of information concerning the religion, traditions and customs of the Winnebagoes. He was a man of talent, energy and industry, and was at all times actuated by a sense of right, truth and justice. During the time he was agent the Winnebagoes, Sioux and Chippewas were frequently at war, and he was often instrumental in averting much bloodshed.

He returned to his farm near Muscatine in 1858, where he remained until his death, which occurred April 6, 1872, having reached the age of sixty-six years. He left a wife and eight children - five sons and three daughters. His eldest son, Frank, who had been interpreter, studied medicine, and settled in the practice of that profession at Detroit, Michigan.