Mary was born about 1863, probably in Wisconsin.
Her Hocąk name was given as PayOokSeKah (1905 census), which is for Pē’ūksīga, "Yellow Brow Edge", from pē, "forehead, brow"; ’ūk, "the edge of something, as of a table top"; zī, "to be yellow, orange, brown"; and -ga, a definite article suffix used in personal names. This may be a Bear Clan name, since black bears have a yellow snout that begins just below their brow ridge.
The Wisconsin Historical Society suggests that Mary is the "daughter of Snow Ball [WauSooMonEKah] and [WaConChaWinKah]". Both these people can be found in the censuses. Wasu[hi]mąnįga ("Walking Hail") is Frank Snowball. (1905 #363) However, the 1905 census records individual #783, Frank A. Snowball with the Hocąk name of JumpCheKaRaKah (= Jąpjikerega, "Lightning that Flashes Suddenly"). This Frank Snowball was born in 1864, and was married to Mary Sine (b. 1873), who has the Hocąk name WauConChaWinKah (= Wakąjáwįga, "Thunder Woman"). On the other hand, Frank Wasu[hi]mąniga Snowball in the same census, but as individual #363, is married to Mary NaSeeMaKinWinKah. In any case, both these couples were born between 1860 and 1873, so they could hardly be the parents of Mary Pē’ūksīga (b. 1863).
She had the following children with Tall Decorah (1905, 1914 censuses):
|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 -|
Tall Decorah, as well as Frank and Carrie, have disappeared by the 1910 census, and may be presumed to have died in the interim.
The censuses present the wife of Tall Decorra as Mary S., which some unsourced genealogies have identified as Mary Swan. The 1937 census records Mary S. Decorah as a widow, but on the next line, it records the death of Mary Swan Decorah on 7 September 1938, and gives her birth date as 1874. The Mary S. married to Tall Decorra was born in 1862/3, revealing the abbreviated /S/ as likely standing for "Snowball".
There is another Mary Snowball who married Frank Redhorn on 2 Oct 1891 in Monroe County, Wisconsin. Frank was still married to a Mary in the 1900 census.
She passed away November 20, 1940. (WHS)
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