Tall was born about 1842. His parents are unknown.
The 1905 census gives his Hocąk name as Hay-Nuck-Si-Ratch-Kaw, which is probably for Xēnąkserecka, "The Tall Mountain", from xē, "hill, mountain"; nąk, "to be in a neutral or sitting position"; sérec, "long, tall"; and -ka, a definite article suffix used in personal names. As a Decora, we know that he was a member of the Thunderbird Clan, although his name doesn't make explicit reference to anything obvious about Thunderbirds, unless it is a reference to the tall cliffs at the western edge of the world where the Thunders nest. Whether it is a clan or a nickname, it may well be the source of his epithet "Tall".
The 1905 Wisconsin State census gives his name as "Moses" with the same family names as were recorded for Tall Decora in the 1905 Indian census.
A Social Security claim by his daughter Grace Whitegull, gives his first name as "Paul".
His daughter Stella's marriage record gives his name as "John DeCora".
Clearly, Tall Decora wished to obscure his name or identity and went to great lengths to use pseudonyms to further this end.
He was married to Mary Snowball, 21 years his junior. Their children are listed in the 1905 census:
|Anglo Name||Clan Name||Birth Order Name||Dates|
|Grace Whitegull||Wīhą́gā (Second Daughter)||31 December 1888 - 15 June 1963|
|Joseph||Hųkįsgaga (White-haired Chief)||1892 - 14 January 1923|
|John||Kerejųsepsgaga (White Blackhawk)||Ną̄ǧíga (Fourth Son)||1896 -|
|Stella Buchanan||Wiragošgewįga (Star Woman)||Aksigáxųnųga (Fifth Daughter)||1898 -|
|Carrie||Oct. 1904 -|
Frank and Carrie have disappeared by the 1910 census, and may be presumed to have died in the interim.
David Decora, born in 1840 and therefore of the same generation, was also known as "Tall". In addition, there is a Tall Decorra who was the son of Old Grey-Headed Decorra, and who was born in 1811.
This alias Moses Decorah should not be confused with the Moses Decorah (1855-1929) married to two women named "Kate" one of whom also used the name "Mary".
He passed away before 1910, as the census of that year lists his wife as a widow. The 1905 census is the last in which he is found.
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