Matthew Mudeater, Chief


Initially, the Wyandotte were part of the Huron Confederacy, a group of tribes living in Canada north of Lake Ontario. Their subsistence was based on hunting and fishing.

They were forced to move from their homelands beginning in 1745. By the 1870’s some groups had migrated to Oklahoma after spending time in Ohio and Kansas. During this period of movement they changed to farming for their survival. They harvested crops including red beans, corn, peas, pumpkins, squash, and tobacco.

Today the tribe has a large complex in Wyandotte, Oklahoma, with a library and heritage center. Their health services program is noted for its excellence.



About the Flag:

The turtle on the flag is a symbol of the Wyandotte Nation. The points on its back stand for the 12 original clans. The fire indicates that they are “Keepers of the Council Fire.” The pipe and war club held by the turtle represent the capacity of the Wyandottes to wage peace or war. The willow branches are for lasting life. The colors of the flag: red, white, and black, are the symbolic colors of the Wyandotte Nation.

Great Wyandotte Chiefs


1857 Matthew Mudeater Principal Chief
1858 George I. Clarke Principal Chief died in office.
1858 Silas Armstrong Completed the term of George I. Clarke upon his death.
1858-59 John Sarahess Also known as Bearskin, he was elected Principal Chief in August.
1859-60 Matthew Mudeater Elected Principal Chief late in the year.
1865 Silas Armstrong Elected Principal Chief in August and died in December.
1868-70 Tauromee Principal Chief. He died in office on January 15, 1870.
1870 John Kayrahoo Served as acting chief after the death of Tauromee.
1870 John W. Greyeyes. Principle Chief. The tribe was now at the Neosho Agency in Oklahoma.
1873 Thomas Punch Principal Chief.
1875 Matthew Mudeater Principal Chief.

The Meaning of "M"

I recently stumbled across the following which I thought was quite fortuitous inasmuch as it deals with “that letter” that seems to have been so pervasive throughout my life … “M”.
According to Da Juana Byrd author, lecturer, columnist, and talk-show host in Dallas, TX:  “M” is the letter that represents spiritual leadership.

If you want a courageous friend, a person with an “M” in their name is the one to have. Spirituality has to be brave and sometimes a little bold. People with this letter in their name usually are.

They are self-reliant although they love being around others. Feeling a need for people on a regular basis, they seek out places to be with them. Almost as quickly, they look for the satisfaction of being back home alone. Family means a great deal to the “M” person.

“M’s” are not generally complainers. They take others at face value and decide to enjoy them for how they are, rather than what they would like them to be.

They have a very strong need for material security and seem to be very uncomfortable without it. These people have no trouble working long hours to gain what they desire in life. An “M” might be considered by some to be a workaholic.

Tireless individuals, they want to keep on going when others need their rest. People might wonder where they get their energy. “M’s” seem indefatigable.

Long suffering is what an “M” considers himself to be. They do have a tranquil attitude towards life in general and expect the same of others. It takes a lot to anger them but once their ire has been ignited, they are not easily extinguished.

My “M Associates” are pretty wonderful people to have around, and they are invasively pervasive in my family, as you have come to find out.

And now .. “Matthew Mudeater”, the next all-in-the-family “M” word.

Jan 19 2013

The House That Built Me

720 Laramie Manhattan Kansas

I grew up here. I made my last annual ‘pilgrimage’ in 2009 after both parents had passed.

I lived in this house at 720 Laramie, Manhattan Kansas, from elementary school through my first two years at Kansas State University when I transferred to UCLA.  Made the annual pilgrimage back from 1963-2009. My father passed in 2002, and mom in 2009. Miranda Lambert’s lyrics touched home  in “The House That Built Me”. I’d love to go back … the lyrics got it right, at least for me. –  “I thought if I could touch this place of feeling, the brokenness inside me might start healing. Out here it’s like I’m someone else I thought that maybe I could find myself. If I could walk around I swear I’ll leave … won’t take nothin but a Memory …” — Smile.

720 In The Books

savitt720 in the Books“. This is a song title. Yeh. Pretty funny title. It was made popular in the late 30′s-early 40′s by Jan Savitt’s big band and received it’s title from it’s place in the band’s book of arrangements when no one was able to come up with a better name for it. Hence “720” was the number assigned to it.

Jan Savitt (born Jacob Savetnick; September 4, 1907 – October 4, 1948), known as “The Stokowski of Swing”,[1] was an American bandleader and musical arranger. His band The Top Hatters was formed in 1937 and began touring the following year. Their songs include “720 in the Books”.

Turns out “720” was also my childhood home address (720 Laramie, Manhattan, KS) all the way from pre-school, elementary, junior high, senior high, through two of my university years, before I transferred from Kansas State University to the University of California, Los Angeles.

It was an address known well by the towns people as well as the surrounding area. Few had not heard of my father Matt Betton and his Orchestra. It was an address known nationally and internationally as well. If you happened to be affiliated with the world of jazz education the address for Jazz Education Press was also 720 Laramie, as it was Matt Betton who had the vision, passion, and brought to fruition the International Association for Jazz Education. Through the effort of John Conyer during the 112th Congress, H.R. 2823, the “National Jazz Preservation and Education Act of 2011″ was passed, establishing jazz education programs in the schools to ensure this uniquely American Musical genre lived on.