Goin' to a Powwow | The Reader's Guide Feature | Chicago Reader
comment

Martha Dunham Matyas Schingoethe was born in Aurora on February 27, 1919, a dozen years after her father, Thomas Dunham, founded the Equipto company, which made steel shelving and other industrial storage products. After graduating from Wheaton College, she joined the family business, where she continued to work for more than 60 years, eventually becoming chairman of the board. She married George Matyas, had two children, was widowed, and then married Herbert Schingoethe, a rancher and avid collector of Native American artifacts. In 1989 she and her brother, John Dunham, donated $3 million to fund an Aurora University building that would house the Dunham School of Business and the Schingoethe Center for Native American Cultures, which Martha and Herbert endowed with their collection. The center includes 2,300 square feet of exhibit space and a library; its operations are partially supported by proceeds from the sale of Schingoethe Farms Native American Popcorn, grown on the couple's farm. Equipto, headed by Martha's son, left Aurora for Dallas some years ago, but Martha Schingoethe remained there and died in her home last February. The university's 14th annual Native American Powwow, to be held this weekend, is dedicated to her. Featuring parades and ceremonies, dance exhibitions and competitions, crafts, food, and more, it runs from noon to 9 Saturday, May 29, and noon to 5 Sunday, May 30, on the practice fields on the south side of the campus, 347 S. Gladstone in Aurora. (In case of rain, the dance arena will move to Thornton Gym in Alumni Hall, 1410 Marseillaise Pl.) Admission is $7, $5 for seniors and kids 6 to 17, free for children under 6. Dances in honor of Martha Schingoethe will be performed Saturday at 2 and 7 and Sunday at 2. Call 630-844-5402.

Add a comment