There are many things we can learn about an Indian Chieftess named Non-hel-e-ma. She was also called, by the white traders and explorers, Grenadier Squaw because she carried herself like a grenadier soldier. She was chief of the largest Shawnee Indian Village on the Pickaway Plains in 1774. She was the sister of Chief Cornstalk, whose village was located across Scippo Creek, opposite her village.
She was known for her imposing stature, regal bearing and unflinching courage. She spoke three languages and served as a peacemaker and interpreter between the Indians and the whites.
She was born sometime between 1720 and 1725 in Oldtown, Maryland. She had siblings, Cornstalk and Silverheels. She married and had a daughter, Fanny or Fawny, and a son named Morgan.
Sometime around the year 1772, Non-hel-e-ma was visited by the Moravians and became interested in the Christian faith. She was baptized as Catherine.
The Grenadier Squaw was not in favor of war. It has been reported that after the Battle of Point Pleasant, both Cornstalk and Nonhelema met with Lord Dunmore at Camp Charlotte to beg for peace. It is felt that surely she was a part of the first important treaty made by the Americans with the western Indians.
A monument to this great Indian Chieftess was erected on the site of her village in 1978. A large reddish brown granite boulder with her name inscribed thereon, situated on a base of a circle and square, representing Circleville, was placed in her honor.
Written and submitted by Darlene Weaver