Visitors Guide to the
Chief Keokuk Monument
Rand Park
Keokuk, Iowa

Accessible Parking Accessible Picnic Facilities Accessible Iowa Historic Site Accessible Scenic Views Accessible Restrooms

Chief Keokuk (Kiyo`kaga, 'one who moves about alert' ) was a member of the Sauk tribe in the Middle Mississippi River Valley  and was noted for his policy of cooperation with the U.S. government during the Black Hawk War of 1832. Keokuk was young when he became a member of the Sauk council and rose to prominence command through ability and force of character and his lodge became a center for social and political affairs. Popular among the people of his tribe Keokuk used diplomacy to become a leading councilor in the Sauk assembly. Keokuk played a role in the Black Hawk War of 1832. This conflict between elements of the Sauk and Fox tribes and the Americans was the result of a dispute over an 1804 treaty between the Sauk and Fox and the United States. In Article 2 of this treaty the Sauk and Fox agreed to cede to the United States all of their lands east of the Mississippi and some of claims west of it in exchange for thousand dollars in goods from the United States every year. The feeling of many Sauk and Fox was that the treaty was signed by minor chiefs and had not been authorized by the Sauk and Fox tribal councils to negotiate a land cession. In 1832 Sauk and Fox Indians under the leadership of Black Hawk left the Iowa territory and returned to their homes across the Mississippi River in northern Illinois. In response to Black Hawk’s action the Americans organized a force that was ultimately composed of federal troops along with militia companies raised from the states of Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri and the territories. After a series of battles in northern Illinois and Wisconsin Black Hawk’s forces were finally defeated at the Battle of Bad Axe in present day Wisconsin.

During the conflict Keokuk remained loyal to the Americans who had made him their principal contact among the Sac and Fox people and rewarded him with gifts. Keokuk was also a leading figure for the native tribes during the negotiations to end the war which ceded six million acres of land in what is now the state of Iowa. Two areas were held back as special awards. One was these areas was a four hundred square mile strip surrounding the village of Keokuk was a reward for his neutrality during the conflict. The Sauk did not keep the land for long. In 1845 Keokuk and the Sauk were relocated to Kansas where Keokuk died of dysentery in 1848.

In 1883 the remains of Keokuk were removed from Kansas where they were reinterred in the newly created Rand Park in the city that bears Keokuk’s name. Rand Park is located on the bluff overlooking the Mississippi with a panoramic view of the river. The statue on the Chief Keokuk gravesite was dedicated in 1913, replacing the previous stone top of the monument. Legend has it that the idea for the statue came after some mischief makers stole a wooden cigar store Indian and placed it on the monument. The statue was created by noted Iowa sculptor Nellie Walker. 

Visiting the Chief Keokuk Monument
     Visiting Hours
          Dawn to dusk everyday
There is no charge to visit the Chief Keokuk Monument.

Location: The Chief Keokuk Monument is located in Rand Park near the downtown area of Keokuk. Go northeast on N. 17th Street from Main Street (US-61, IA-218) about 7 blocks to Rand Park. Continue on 17th Street to River Road, which overlooks the Mississippi River, and take a right.

Learn more about the Keokuk area.

John Wood Mansion
Quincy, Illinois
Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail Villa Kathrine
Quincy, Illinois
Abe Lincoln
Talking House Tour

  Regional Guides
to the Middle Mississippi River Valley
  Meeting of the Great Rivers
National Scenic Byway
Ste. Genevieve &
French Colonial Country
Gateway to the West
St. Louis & St. Louis County
   Meeting the Missouri
Historic St. Charles County
The Lincoln Hills Region
Northeast Missouri
  The Tri-States Area
Iowa, Illinois & Missouri
The Mississippi River
Meets the Ohio River Home Page
Your index to over 800 informative pages covering the Middle Mississippi River Valley.
  At we strive for accuracy.
If you have any corrections, suggestions or information
you would like to see contact the webmaster.
For advertising information contact marketing.
Copyright 2001-2011 - Elsah, Illinois