Hello, my name is Nicole Drozd. I am a current member of the board of directors for the Genoa US Indian School Foundation. This gofundme is being established to raise funds to purchase a headstone for Simon Redbird. A series of articles about the Simon Redbird family were written by Barb Micek and published in the Nance County Journal this summer.
Simon and his wife Bertha were teachers at the Genoa Indian School. Simon was the head carpenter and designed many of the structures while employed here. Bertha was responsible for the bakery. Following Simon’s resignation from the school in 1916, the family remained in the Genoa area with his son Kermit attending Genoa High School and graduating in 1928. Simon was a well renowned architect and carpenter, having been both the city architect for Genoa and Albion. His skills were known throughout the area. He was hired to design many buildings while teaching and subsequent years after his resignation at the school. Simon and his family were accepted by local citizens and became prominent members of their communities. All of this occurred before Native Americans were recognized as citizens.
Simon was also a devout Native American Activist. He was a member of the Society of American Indians, speaking at many of their nationally held events. Simon believed that Indian children had the right to attend public schools and to receive the same education as white children. Simon also had articles published. One of these involved his personal turmoil of having received a free education while having the opportunity of paying for his education.
One of the main questions in the initial article in the Nance County journal involved finding the final resting place of Simon Redbird. Upon further investigating and obtaining his obituary and official death certificate, it was determined that he was buried next to his wife Bertha.
In August I had the honor of presenting “The Life and Times of Simon Redbird” at the Genoa Indian School annual reunion celebration. At the end of the presentation, I mentioned locating a great-grandson of Simon and providing him with the Nance County journal articles in addition to research information that had been discovered about his family. Through online discussions, the mutual feeling was that Simon needs a headstone.
Following the reunion presentation some attendees inquired as to where they could donate for the headstone. I knew that this was a sign to progress with the next step and to purchase a headstone for Simon. Upon getting official permission from the cemetery board to do this, the next step was to contact Columbus Monument Company. A headstone similar to his wife Bertha’s will cost approximately $1700. The goal selected for this go fund me is $2,000 in case there are other expenses relating to purchasing and placing the stone. At times, funds exceed their donation goal. If this occurs, these funds will be donated to the Genoa Indian School foundation to use towards hosting future reunion celebrations. Thank you for taking the time to read this post and for donating.
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