Gerald Kolpan

Magic Words

The tale of a Jewish boy-interpreter, the world's most estimable magician, a murderous harlot, and America's greatest indian chief

by gerald-kolpan Read about him

Julius Meyer

Indian interpreter and trader


Julius Meyer spoke seven Indian dialects and served as interpreter for many famous chiefs including Standing Bear, Sitting Bull and Red Cloud. He lived among the Ponca tribe and was known by them as the Box-ka-ra-sha-hash-ta-ka: the “curly headed chief with one tongue.” By 1896, Julius and brother Max (and their two additional brothers, Adolph and Moritz) established what became a virtual retail empire in Omaha, selling just about everything for the home from cigars and pianos to jewelry and furniture. During this time, Julius founded Omaha’s first symphony orchestra and opera house and was one of the founders of the synagogue now known as Temple Israel. He never married. Julius Meyer was found with two bullets in him in Hanscom Park in Omaha on May 10, 1909. If he was indeed murdered, his killer has never been found or even searched for. To this day, his death is officially recorded as a suicide.