Mary Greyeyes

By Ashley Simmons and Sallie Cotter Andrews

Mary’s grandfather was Tsoon-dow-e-no, the Grey-Eyed man.  He was a Michigan Wyandot chief and father of three sons that he named Lewis (known as ‘Esquire’) Greyeyes, Doctor Greyeyes and Robert Greyeyes.  Mary’s father was Esquire Greyeyes; her mother was Matilda Zane.  It is not known what year Mary was born.

Mary’s father, Esquire, was born in 1795.  As an adult, it was Esquire who gave the farewell address when the Wyandots left Upper Sandusky on July 12, 1843.  He is listed on the Muster Roll of those who departed Upper Sandusky as having with him three adults over 25, and three under 25 years of age.  In Kansas in February 1844, Esquire asked for assistance in building a church although his own house was yet to be built.  A log structure called “The Church in the Wilderness” was begun near the present 22nd Street and Washington Blvd. in Kansas City, Kansas.

In August 1845, Doctor Greyeyes, brother of Esquire and Mary’s uncle, died. He was 50 years old and was buried in the Huron Indian Cemetery.  On February 23, 1847, Robert Greyeyes, Esquire’s younger brother died.  He was also buried in the Huron Indian Cemetery.  In September 1848, the Methodist Episcopal Church was divided between sentiments of the North and the South.  Esquire Greyeyes supported the North and sever his ties to the South church.  In October 1851, the Wyandots adopted a new tribal constitution which formally codified the various changes in the structure of tribal government.  This was drafted by an elected committee of 13 delegates including Esquire Greyeyes.  In 1851-1852, he served on the tribal council.

Mary Greyeyes had a brother, Henry C. Greyeyes.  She became the heir of her brother’s estate in 1857.  Mary had a half-sister, Margaret, who married John Solomon.  They returned to Upper Sandusky in 1865 to live.  Margaret became known as “Mother Solomon.”  Margaret lived to be 73 years of age.  She died on August 17, 1890.  Mary had a brother, John, whose Wyandot name was Hehn-toh which means “He Leads.”  He was of the Small Turtle Clan.  John served as Acting Principal Chief and was a long-time councillor to the Wyandot nation.

Mary Greyeyes married George Steel and they had one daughter.  On July 28, 1849, George Steel was elected ferryman in Kansas to replace David Young had who resigned.   In 1867, their daughter, Mary Steel, was listed on the roll as being 24 years of age, female, destitute and living in the Indian Territory.

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