The Mingo statue was built in 1928 to honor the Mingos, a group of Native Americans who inhabited the Ohio River Valley in the Wheeling area until the early 1800s. The statue welcomes visitors traveling over Wheeling Hill and represents the Native American history of the area. The Native American figure in the statue stretches his right hand out to greet travelers.
The Mingo statue was revealed
in 1928, prior to the construction of I-70. At the time, National Road was the
only major road going through the area, and the statue was a welcoming figure.
The Wheeling Chapter of the Kiwanis Club and George W. Lutz commissioned the statue.
Artist Henry Beu of North Wheeling Pottery cast the statue out of bronze, and it
was dedicated on January 21, 1928. The statue is of a Native American man with
his right arm stretched out to greet visitors. A group of vandals broke the
statue at the ankles and removed it from the pedestal in 1982. After it was
recovered, the statue was mended by the Mull Foundry and was rededicated in April
The Mingos were an independent group in the Six Nations of
the Iroquois Confederacy. The group was largely made of Senecas and
Cayugas. The Mingos migrated to the Ohio Country in the mid-eighteenth
century, as part of a movement of multiple Native American tribes to the
region which had been an unpopulated Iroquois hunting ground for decades.
The Mingos were not technically considered a tribe, as there was no official
Mingo language or culture. Mingos were heavily involved in battles against
white settlers during the late 1700s. Like their Shawnee and Delaware
neighbors, and most Mingos relocated west after the collapse of native resistance
in the 1790s. Today, the descendants of the Mingos can be found in Oklahoma
and are known as Seneca-Cayugas.