Sampson White Pigeon – how do I record his name? Is his surname White Pigeon, or Pigeon. In his case, he lists his wife in the WWI draft registration as Eliza Pigeon, so I’m going to index him by the name of Pigeon, although I have my doubts. I will also cross reference it with White Pigeon.
He registered in Allegan County, Michigan, a county in the southwest corner of the state. There is town there called White Pigeon, so I decided to see if I could discover anything interesting, and sure enough, I did.
The history of the town of White Pigeon, which is in St. Joseph County, Michigan, also in Southwest Michigan, tells us that the town was named after the Potawatomi Indian Chief Wahbememe, which means Chief White Pigeon. According to legend, while he was at the gathering of the chiefs in Detroit, Wahbememe heard plans to attack the settlement which is now White Pigeon. The Chief was a friend to the white settlers and didn’t want to see harm come to them so he set out on foot and ran almost 150 miles to the settlement to warn the people. After running that long distance and giving his warning, he collapsed and soon died from exhaustion. His remains are buried in the town, and the site is now part of the National Register of Historic Places.
You can read more about the WhitePigeon family at this link: http://whitepigeonfamily.com/