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Jean Marie Cardinell

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CHAPTER HISTORY - JEAN MARIE CARDINELL


The memorial window to Jean Marie in St. Ambrose Cathedral, Des Moines, Iowa.

The chapter was organized November 4, 1941, under Mrs. Hazel Wheeler Whitmore, Regent.  There was a need at that time for a chapter which met to accommodate the working woman, so two of the meetings were held in the evening and two on Saturday. Gradually, there were more held on Saturday until that is now the regular meeting day.

The name was chosen to honor Jean Marie Cardinell, an Indian trader on the upper Mississippi River by 1754, as the first white man to permanently reside on Iowa land of whom there is authentic evidence.  He was a hunter, trapper, trader, and miner of the lead mines of Spain on the west bank of the Mississippi River (now Dubuque County, Iowa). He visited St. Louis to fulfill his religious duties, taking his Indian wife to the little church newly erected in St. Louis to have his marriage blessed and his children baptized.

He escaped the British attack at the Fox Village on Catfish Creek on May 2, 1780. Racing down the river to St. Louis, he was in time to give warning and join the forces of liberty who defeated the British and Indian attack on May 26, 1780. He died from wounds suffered in that attack.  Jean Marie Cardinell is the only known Iowa resident to give his life to the cause of American Independence.


              

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