Big Walnut Area Historical Society Presents . . .

Chief Leatherlips
with Roger Roberts
as Elias Lewis

    Roger Roberts  

Roger Roberts, as Elias Lewis, will present the story of his dear friend, Chief Leatherlips, to the Big Walnut Area Historical Society via YouTude beginning April 10, 2022.

One of the earliest programs in the Myers Inn was Jim Thompson, of Linworth, telling about “Bill Moose, the Last of the Wyandots” in 2008. He had purchased a painting by Hal Sherman showing Bill Moose and his parents putting tobacco on Chief Leatherlips’ grave during their annual trip from Upper Sandusky to make maple syrup on Thompson family’s land.
Thompson went on to purchase other paintings by Hal Sherman including the Execution of Leatherlips. Today, three of Sherman’s paintings about the Wyandots are on loan to the Myers Inn Museum from Jim Thompson.

After the signing of the Greenville Treaty in 1795, Chief Leatherlips continued to help the settlers in the area which made the Shawnee Chief Tecumseh, who was organizing the tribes to rebel against the settlers, angry. He and Chief Roundhead decided to try Leatherlips, find him guilty and execute him. Knowing what was going to happen, Leatherlips asked his friend, Elias Lewis, to witness his execution in 1810. The witnesses also included William Sells who was 20 years old. 60 years later, he recorded the events of the day.

For years Roberts, as Elias Lewis, has told a short version of this story to third grade classes visiting the Myers Inn. He will give a full version on YouTube.

Roberts is a retired Big Walnut High School history teacher and guidance counselor. He presently serves as a Trustee for the Big Walnut Area Historical Society, plays the Town Crier at community events, instructs groups in Sunbury United Methodist Church, attends many Big Walnut athletic events and plans the historical society’s monthly programs we all enjoy.

All members who receive this newsletter via email will get a link by email as a reminder. Others need to watch for the link on the website at

Return to Programs