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Nancy Bellzona's Picture Book
The Osages - Billy Arthur

Billy Arthur Mashunkashey

Billy Arthur Mashunkashey Sin-Tsa-Wan-Kon-Tah  Allottee N. 3166

 Billy is the grand son of Ben Mashunkashey, and son of Charlie Mashunkashey. This is a report of an interview with him..

The strip of winding asphalt covered a road up an Osage Hill. There were trees lush with the waxy leafed oak leaves growing thick there. The road led to the burial grounds of Billy Mashunkashey's family and many other Osage families of an earlier era. The new Jeep he geared down once and then again to climb the grade of the hill. An opening in the woods came into view and clear blue sky was behind the markers. There were large white marble markers to cover the entire hillside and they were organized into family groups. The grounds were well treated.

As he left the Pawhuska cemetery Billy swept his hand in a gesture this way and that pointing to the large elaborate low rambling ranch homes standing on good sized acreage's. "These homes were all built on what was Mashunkashey land belonging to my grandfather, Ben, and then to my father Charlie. I, in my lifetime, saw that it was subdivided and built up with these lovely homes you see here."

Driving through the long narrow entrance to his home, Billy pointed out a well_kept large red brick house. He said this home was built because his father's house at Sycamore Creek in Greyhorse had been burned. This was during the time of the conspiracy against tribal members to kill them and capture their wealth.

Billy's well organized meticulous thinking was in no way slowed by his measured steps which were a testimony of a war injury he sustained during the height of battle in Iwo Jima. This was in the second world war. Along with the following records of his family dating back to 1817 he handed me a carefully kept diary of each incident, no matter how small, recording valuable knowledge and historically valuable information.

The literal translation of Billy's Indian name, Sin-Tsa Wah Kahn-Tah is: "The respecter of the sun, the rain, the trees and grass, the animals, our sources of food and life."



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