Term: Butte des Morts, Lake [origin of place name]
The larger of the two lakes named Butte des Morts is just northwest of Oshkosh, between that city and Winneconne. It was named not from a massacre (see Little Lake Butte des Morts) but rather from the use of a hill on its banks as a cemetery by local Menominee, Sauk and Fox Indians during the 18th century.
Fur trader Louis Porlier wrote "I always took an interest in these matters, and I never found an Indian who ever heard of such occurrences [battles] or such mounds [mass graves] at the Grand Butte. They locate all the contests at Petit Butte des Morts, including both of Morand's [Marin's] expeditions....
"Grand Butte des Morts (great hill of the dead) was so named by the French because it was a higher point of land than usual in this particular region of the Wolf valley, and was the principal burying ground for the Sacs and Foxes and the Menomonees after them; though the latter tribe had practically abandoned it as a general cemetery before the opening of the nineteenth century and buried their dead at various points wherever mortal disease or accident befell them. When the band was off upon its hunt and a member died, the deceased was hung up in a tree on a scaffolding of saplings and left there until his party set out for their return when they would gather the bodies of their deceased friends and bury them in the common field at Grand Butte des Morts. The brave was always interred in a single grave with his tools and implements of the chase and the earth slightly rounded over the grave, as in the manner of the whites; no other mounds ever existed at this place or wholesale burial occurred under other circumstances."
[Source: Wis. Historical Collections 15: 444]