Crawfish River

Date in History: N/A

In Elba township in Dodge County there is a 150-year-old resting place named Okeeg Cemetery. According to local tradition the unusual name of “Okeeg ” was the Indian name of the nearby Crawfish River. This tale is supported by an old 1840 government-issued map that labels the Columbia and Dodge Co parts of the river as Okeeg until it reaches the end of Mud Lake Marsh where it’s refereed to as the West Branch of the Rock River.

Some have claimed that the word Okeeg means “peaceful” and thus was an appropriate name for the nearby cemetery. According to this theory, it was only later, when the west branch of the Rock River was renamed the Crawfish, that that name was accepted for the entire river. A second interpretation has suggested that the word Okeeg, translated into English, means Crawfish and this explains the name of the river.

This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 04/18/2005.

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