Bessie Kirby Clark (no date given)
CLARK- In Boston, Mass on December 15, 1963, Bessie Kirby Clark, sister of Wesley Kirby, aunt of Claude A. Wells. Relatives and friends are invited to attend the funeral services at the Ware Funeral Home, 600 Washington Street on Thursday evening, December 19 at at 8:00 o'clock. Interment at Mt. Zion Cemetary on Friday morning att 11:00 0'clock. Friends may call from 6 to 8 PM on Thursday evening.
Nanticoke chief's rites set
Little Owl 76, was hurt in mishap
MILLSBORO: Services for Charles Cullen Clark, 76, probably the last of the Nanticoke Indian chiefs will be Sunday afternoon at 2 from the James and Watson Funeral Home, Millsboro, where friends may call Saturday night.
Chief Clark was fatally hurt Tuesday in what appeared to be a truck accident on a farm near Riverdale in Indian River Hundred, ancestral domain of his forebears.
Known to his people as Little Owl, he was the son of Chief Wyniaco who died in 1928. Since the early 1920's, Chief Clark worked with his father in maintaining interest in the vestiges of the Nanticoke Indians who still live in limited numbers in areas of Sussex County today.
Greater numbers had banded together into the Nanticoke Indian Association, first with Wyniaco and later with Little Owl as chief. But as the years passed, older members died and the younger member's interest waned, and the Nanticoke Indian Association became practically dormant.
Yesterday, Chief Clark's son, Kenneth S. Clark, said he has doubts about the future of the association now that his father had died.
According to the state police reports, Chief Clark was on a farm near Millsboro directing a dump-truck driver where to place some dirt. It is presumed, pending final reports, that the truck accidently struck Chief Clark. He was taken to the Beebe Hospital in Lewes where he died at 5:15 Tuesday afternoon.
Chief Clark was born in the vicinity of Riverdale and as a young man became interested in the history, folklore and culture of the Nanticokes.
With his father, he used to conduct lavish Thanksgiving Day pow-wows on the shores of the Indian River. These weekend festivities highlighted the history of the Nanticokes in southern Delaware.
The Nanticoke Indian Association was formed in 1921 with Chief Clark's father as the first president. His father was selected because he was the son of Lydia H. Clark (Nau-GwaOkwa), the last of her tribe who could speak the Nanticoke language. Upon the death of Wyniaco, Chief Clark was elected in his place.
Chief Clark, an enterprising businessman and farmer, owned extensive lands along the Indian River and altered the trend of American history slightly as he leased his land to the "white man" for summer cottages. He also operated Chief Clark's General Store at Oak Orchard but closed it several years ago.
Retired from active business a few years ago, Chief Clark had spent his leisure time traveling around the globe. He was semi-retired from farming. He was a member of the United Indian Mission Church and a World War I veteran.
Besides his son, he is survived by four grandchildren. Interment will be private at the convenience of the family.
Charles Cullen Clark
Nanticoke Chief joins ancestors; lore seen fading
by Sal Streett
MILLSBORO: More than a thousand friends and neighbors and remaining descendants of the Nanticoke Indians gathered yesterday in Millsboro for the last rites of Nanticoke Chief Charles Cullen Clark.
Will his death spur revitalized interest in history and tradition among the remaining Nanticokes or will their memories of the old ways and their heritage be forgotten?
Of the Nanticokes asked this question, many say there will probably not be another chief and when the present adult generation dies off the Nanticokes will probably be forgotten.
"The children just aren't interested...they think it's silly", said one Nanticoke descendant.
Many of the people have moved away and interest in their heritage is fading. The Nanticokes remaining in lower Delaware do pride themselves on their Indian ancestry but have not carried on any of the old traditions, such as ceremonies and powwows since more than 20 years ago.
The only thing traditional that is still observed is the annual homecoming in october at the Indian Mission Church, where about 200 descendants return for an all-day church program and midday dinner served on the church lawn.
"Many people think that if you don't live on a reservation and don't wear paint and feathers, you're not an Indian", said Oscar Wright, an old nanticoke descendant. "Others who recognize our ancestry do so lightly" he added.
"The grandchildren even though a lot of their Indian blood is as pure as ours (because of frequent inter-marriage) aren't as proud of it as we are", Wright said.
Members of the older community believe that since the closing of the Indian Mission schools, brought on by the integration of secular schools, the younger Nanticokes have tried to ignore their ancestral ties because of social pressures outside the Indian community.
Some socialize with blacks and are accepted as blacks; others socialize with whites and are accepted as whites or Indians but few socialize strictly among themselves.
Chief Clark's only son, Kenneth S. Clark has inherited the extensive land holdings along the shores of Indian River and other business interests of his father. He has inherited all the curios, headdresses and Indian costumes worn in the old days during traditional ceremonies. However Kenneth Clark says he doubts whether anyone will wear the ceremonial garb again.
Chief Little Owl (Charles C. Clark) was buried yesterday afternoon in a private ceremony inhis backyard, next to his father Wyniaco (Russell W. Clark) and his grandmother Princess Nau-Gua-Okwa (Lydia Clark), the last Nanticoke to speak the language.