Native American Lobby

Native American LobbyBuilt in the 1930s during the Progressive Era, the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center benefited from an architectural movement called "City Beautiful" that combined social reform with public aesthetic improvements. One example of this is the Ground Floor that pays tribute to Ohio's first native population, the American Indian.

The mosaic ceilings, elevator doors, window grills and bow-and-arrow light fixtures that complete the lobby were inspired by American Indian design. The design is in keeping with the rest of the building as the Art Deco movement also borrowed from the geometric patterns found in American Indian Art.

Four bronze plaques in panels on the wall in the lobby portray tribal leaders often associated with Ohio: Tecumseh, Pontiac, Little Turtle and Logan.

Tecumseh, Shawnee chief, was born along the Scioto River in Ohio. At this time, Shawnees were attempting to reunite in the Ohio Valley, from which they had been displaced in the 17th century, and to defend the territory against white expansion. Tecumseh was handsome, well proportioned and dignified. After 1805 he dressed mostly in traditional American Indian clothing. Read more »

TecumsehPontiacLittle TurtleJames Logan
(Row one, from left) Tecumseh, Pontiac; (Row two, from left) Little Turtle, James Logan.

Pontiac, Ottawa war leader, probably was born at the Ottawa village on the Detroit River about 1714. His life before 1763 is obscure. He was a war leader of the Ottawa as early as 1747 and a strong supporter of New France, both then, when the Huron Nicholas Orontony agitated against the French, and during the Seven Years War. Pontiac's reputation rests upon his part in the Indian war of 1763, but historians have disagreed about his significance. Read more »

Little Turtle, military leader of the Miami Indians of the late 18th century, was born on the Eel River some 20 miles northeast of Fort Wayne, Indiana. A lover of good companionship, fine food and good humor, Little Turtle was a powerful orator who counseled moderation at all times. Six feet in height, he was noteworthy for his subtlety and circumspection. Little Turtle became one of the most successful woodland military commanders of his time, but after the Treaty of Greenville (1795) he tried to keep his tribe at peace and at the same time protect its land from an imperialist United States. Read more »

James Logan, Mingo Indian, was famous in his own time as an ally of English colonials. Succeeding generations remember the tragedy that befell him and the lament he made in response. Almost nothing is known about him until the climactic tragedy of his life. The botanist John Bartram described "Shikellamy's son" as tall and commanding, but in context Bartram seems to have referred to the older brother Tachnechdorus, who had inherited Shickellamy's mantle as Iroquois head man in the province. Read more »