Wyandot Nation of Kansas Chief George Zane III


George D. Zane III a longtime Chief and elder of the Wyandot Nation of Kansas died Sunday, November 9, 1997 at the age of 75 and is survived by his beloved wife Ann.  Chief Zane was a dedicated proponent to saving Wyandot sacred sites and worked for years to preserve the Huron Indian Cemetery / Wyandotte National Burial Ground in Kansas City, Kansas.  Chief Zane would have been greatly pleased by the protection agreement forged between the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma and the Wyandot Nation of Kansas that assures the preservation of the Huron Indian Cemetery.Chief George Zane III and his wife Ann Zane

     Chief George Zane III was a direct descendent of Noah Zane and of Chief Tarhe.  A lifelong resident of Kansas City Kan. Chief Zane served in the Marine Corp during World War II and was a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign wars.  He worked for the Hoisting Engineers, Local 101 for 33 years He also belonged to Eagles #87.

     Chief Zane III was first elected Chief in 1957 following the death of his father who also was a chief of the Wyandot Nation of Kansas.  Chief Zane served as Chief for forty years.  During his tenure he fought to preserve the Huron Cemetery and to keep it from being sold for commercial purposes.  In 1959 Chief Zane led a delegation to Washington to testify before Congress in an effort to preserve the Huron Cemetery in Kansas City Kansas.  "Let the dead rest in peace" he told a congressional committee.

     Chief Zane often told of being inspired by the dedication of the Conley Sisters who defended the Huron Indian Cemetery during the first part of the 20th Century.  It was after the death of their mother and father, that Helena, Ida and Lyda Conley, took up their vigil over the graves after learning the land was about to be sold.  On July 25, 1907 they built a 6x8-foot frame structure and placed a fence of iron spokes around it.  The three sisters stood armed with their fatherís double-barreled shotgun.  Promptly, it was named "Fort Conley."

     Helena said, "The dead want this holy place defended and it will be."

     For almost five years the sisters kept their vigil, defying the United States Marshal, policemen or anyone who tried to interfere.  Lyda became a lawyer and was the first Indian woman lawyer to be heard before the US Supreme Court in defense of the Huron Cemetery.



The Wyandot Nation of Kansas remembers with love and respect Chief George Zane's dedication toward all Wyandot people.  Even in his last years and in failing health, Chief Zane was an active participant in Wyandot cultural events and encouraged all Wyandots to take pride in their heritage.