memorial window to Jean
St. Ambrose Cathedral, Des
Marie Cardinell 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 to
have them baptized.
He escaped the British attack at the
Fox Village on Catfish Creek on May
2, 1780, raced down the river to St.
Louis in time to give warning and
join the forces of liberty that
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 and there is a
memorial window to Jean Marie at St.
Ambrose Cathedral in Des Moines.