Chief Sam Story

Sam Story Grave         Sam Story, was Chief of the Euchee Indians in then-Walton County, Florida.  Some believe he was also called “Timpoochee Kinard.”  Others believe that  “Timpoochee” was a title used by many tribal groups to identify  the role of a warrior.  Chief Story and his people occupied lands on and to the west of the Choctawhatchee River. He was a great friend to Colonel Neill McKinnon, an influential Scottish settler who migrated to the area.  Story's Landing on Bruce Creek is where the chief had his village.

       For further study read about the Native American “Timpoochee.” Research the two other men who were called “Timpoochee.”  Timpoochee Bernard of Georgia history and Timpoochee Kinnard of neighboring areas.  Some say these are two separate men, others disagree.  It does seem impossible that one person could have been in both places over that period of years. And if “Timpoochee” is a warrior title it would make sense that more than one person was given this name.  It is also probable that our Chief Sam Story was not one of these two men.  Our strongest resources converge to suggest that Chief Sam Story has the distinction of being among the first, and original, Native Americans of Euchee lineage whose homeland had always been in the Florida Panhandle. More research on the above questions - click here.

       When white settlers started coming to the area new problems began.  The newcomers burned the land and hunted deer out of season. This was very offensive to Native Americans like Sam and his people.  He was horrified to hear of a doe shot with her young ones while nursing. Story, a man of peace, finally tired of all the conflict and decided to move his people far away from all the bad and wasteful settlers.

       Chief Sam Story notified his Scottish friends that he was about to take a journey to seek out a new homeland for his people. In 1832 he put his son in charge of the tribe, and left with five other warriors and one of his sons. Their journey led to the East Coast of Florida, and then down into the Everglades.

       It was a very long time until they returned, and the people had feared that the chief had died. But, he returned saying that they found no land as pleasing as the Choctawhatchee Bay area, but had made up their mind to move anyway. Chief Sam Story was very ill because of the hardships of the journey. Chief Sam Story died just before his tribe moved, and is buried south of the fork of Bruce Creek and the Choctawhatchee River.

       Chief Story’s son prepared the remaining Euchee for their trip. The tribe may have had as many as 500 people. We believe a few of these people hid in the swamps and did not go with the larger group because they didn’t want to leave their home.  Those who left organized canoes and sailboats and sailed until they were out of sight. There is no written account of what ever happened to them, but it is said that they settled in the Everglades.

     Some believe that they eventually became part of the Seminoles. There were Euchee/Yuchi people all over the southeast, and another large band under Euchee Billy lived at Spring Garden in Volusia County. Most believe the Euchee people were absorbed into the Creek nations.  But we do know that these native peoples had their own distinct language and considered themselves separate from the Creeks.  Historians continue to research the Euchee peoples, some of whom also were taken to Oklahoma on the “Trail of Tears” in the 1830s.

     Near the end of the 19th century, the State of Florida decided to have an Indian representative from Dade County to represent the Seminoles in Tallahassee.  Although the Indians didn't get a chance to have a voting member, they still sent a representative. This delegate claimed to be the grandson of Sam Story, and the son of Sleeping Fire, who was Sam's youngest son.



   Sam Story, Chief of the Euchee Indians



1.  What do historians say about the special meaning of the name “Timpoochee” ?




2.  What country did Colonel Neil McKinnon come from originally?




3.  Where did Chief Sam Story have his village?





4.  Where did the large group Euchee people of our area go?


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