The Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Cultural Heritage Center provides resources to keep the Tribe’s history safe and accessible for generations to come. One key way the Nation does this is through the CHC’s archives and video interviews.

To highlight some of the archive’s holdings, the Hownikan is featuring photographs and family history of every founding Citizen Potawatomi family. If interested in assisting preservation efforts by providing copies of Citizen Potawatomi family photographs, documents and more, and to schedule family interviews, please contact the CHC at 405-878-5830.

Archival black and white photo of a woman, seated, and a young child standing next to her.
Elizabeth Hardin with grandson John Boy Anderson

Hardin family beginnings

The Hardin family is closely related to the Lafromboise family. Their Potawatomi roots stretch back to the marriage of Francois Lafromboise to Shaw-we-no-quah, a Potawatomi woman. Two of their sons were notable in Potawatomi history.
Their son Joseph Lafromboise married Therese Peltier. Joseph, later to become Chief Joseph, and Therese had a daughter named Theresa. The younger Theresa was known in the family as “Chee Chee.”

Claude Lafromboise, also the son of Francois and Shaw-we-no-quah, married Nankiwas, a Potawatomi woman. (Nankiwas may also be known as Mankwas Keminkiwie) They were the parents of Marguerite (Margaret), Susanne, Francois and Marie. Claude worked as a trader and bootlegger as well as a boatman with the American Fur Company. He also served as an interpreter for the Prairie Band Potawatomi.

Claude was very proud of his children’s Potawatomi heritage and encouraged them to be proud as well.

Facing removal

As settlers began to encroach on their homelands, Joseph, now a Chief, and his brother, Claude, fought in the Black Hawk War alongside Sauganash in an attempt to hold onto Potawatomi lands. Chief Joseph was one of the Chicago Chiefs, along with Chief Wabunsee, Chief Thomas “Billy” Caldwell or Sauganash, and others. Ultimately, Black Hawk surrendered on Aug. 27, 1832. Two months later, the United States demanded Potawatomi-owned land, and drafted a treaty that ceded all the Tribe’s acres south of the Grand River in Michigan in exchange for two small reservations.

However, on Sept. 21, 1833, the federal government claimed nearly all Potawatomi land with the Treaty of Chicago. It established the United States’ rights to the reservations in exchange for five million acres in present-day Iowa.

Chee Chee and her family removed to Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 1835 before making the journey to the Potawatomi reservation in Kansas. In the mid 1830s, she married Thomas Watkins and they had three children.

However, Theresa and Thomas parted and she married John Allen Hardin in 1846. The couple had three children named Mary (Riley) (Bostick), Theresa and Peter.

After John’s death, Chee Chee married Madore Beaubien. Together, they had seven children.

John Allen and Theresa’s daughter Mary wed John Riley and had two children, Elizabeth and Alice. She then married David Bostick, and they had seven children: Harry, Joseph, Harriet, Lilly, Ella, Frank and George.

According to family records, Theresa passed away before the Potawatomi received allotments, and Peter died due to an accidental gunshot wound at age 16. Mary married Robert Darling and the couple had two children. Sadly, both children died young.

It was also in Council Bluffs that Margaret Lafromboise, who had removed to Iowa alongside the other Laframboise family members, married John Hardin, who was originally from Missouri. While in Iowa, they had four of their seven children: Elizabeth (Anderson), Davis, Thomas “Bud” and Julia (Anderson).

The Hardin and Laframboise families remained in Iowa until the Potawatomi signed the Treaty of 1846. This agreement established a reservation near Silver Lake, Kansas, for all of the Potawatomi west of the Mississippi. After the move, John and Margaret had three more children: Narcis, Roseann and Mary Louise (Reed).

The journey to Indian Territory

Due to continued pressure from white settlers, the railroad and federal government, the Potawatomi signed the Treaty of 1861. The treaty separated the Potawatomi in Kansas into two groups: one remained living communally on an 11-square-mile reservation while the other opted for each member to receive allotted plots of land and the opportunity to become U.S. citizens, including the Hardin family. Those who remained living communally are known as the Prairie Band, and those who took allotments became members of the Citizen Potawatomi.

Margaret and John’s son, Davis, would grow up to be a Tribal secretary for the Potawatomi in the late 1800s. Davis Hardin supported Citizen Potawatomi sovereignty and stood in opposition to the U.S. government’s attempts to usurp it. His signature appears on an 1883 letter in the CHC archives that protests the enrollment of non-Native men who had married Potawatomi wives. The letter, signed by the CPN council, states “We therefore claim the rights and privileges the Act of Congress confers upon us…to designate who are our members, and who shall be members of the Citizen Band of Pottawatomies.”

Thomas Hardin would later marry Lizzie Rhodd. Their daughter was named Maggie Hardin (Dickinson).

John and Margaret’s daughter Elizabeth married John Anderson, and their children included: Elizabeth (Madole), Charley, Tom, John, Minnie (Bursch), Rosette (Sims), Maggie (Smith), Julie McEvers, Mary (Daniels) and Sophia, who died young.

Elizabeth’s sister, Julia, married John’s brother Pete Anderson.

Life in Oklahoma

The Treaty of 1861 was not successful for most Citizen Potawatomi, so the Tribe signed another treaty in 1867 that allowed for the purchase of a reservation in Indian Territory where the Nation’s headquarters remain today.

John and Pete Anderson’s families were among the Citizen Potawatomi families who settled the Tribe’s new reservation in Indian Territory.

At the age of 31, Julia (Hardin) Anderson passed away during childbirth, and Margaret Hardin Clinton and Mary Hardin helped raise Pete and Julia’s children for some time.
Shortly after getting established in Indian Territory, John and Pete Anderson as well as Davis Hardin were active Citizen Potawatomi leaders.

Davis Hardin eventually served as the Tribal secretary and held other roles throughout his lifetime. Fluent in Potawatomi and Kickapoo, Davis helped serve as an interpreter in many dealings. He married Hannah Goodboo, and their children included Rosa, Peter, Minnie and Annie (Anna).

Approximately six years after the death of Julia, Pete passed away tragically in the line of service within hours of becoming deputized. Today the family is still seeking the final resting places of Julia and Pete and are offering a reward for any information that may reveal the gravesites. Some of the children attended Scared Heart Mission for some time, and eventually Joseph W. Daniels — husband of Mary Anderson — became the children’s legal guardian.

Hardin and Anderson descendants have continued upholding their families’ legacies as Tribal leaders, both volunteer and elected, through military service, trades and more.

If interested in assisting preservation efforts by providing copies of Citizen Potawatomi family photographs, documents and more, and to schedule family interviews, please contact the CHC at 405-878-5830. Schedule interviews online at Learn more about the Family Reunion Festival at, and find research resources online at