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Artifacts Investigated By FBI Go On Display At Museum

The Grover Museum is displaying Native American artifacts from a local man who had some of his collection confiscated by the FBI.

Artifacts

Photo: Bryant Olsen

Donald Miller had some of his artifact collection confiscated by the FBI because of post-World War II treaties with other countries.

The Grover Museum in Shelbyville is displaying a collection of Native American artifacts from one a man who was recently the center of an FBI investigation.

Locals call Waldron resident Donald Miller “Indiana Jones.” He’s a lifelong collector of artifacts from around the world. But that hobby also made him the subject of an FBI investigation in which the FBI took various ceremonial and burial items Miller obtained prior to World War II.  Because of treaties signed after the war, the FBI came to repatriate the items to their countries of origin.  After taking several artifacts from Miller’s collection, the FBI left without charging Miller of any crime.

Grover Museum director Candace Miller says the museum was in contact with Donald Miller prior to the investigation and initially wanted to do an all-inclusive exhibit of artifacts from around the world.  After the FBI visit, they decided to limit the display to native Indiana artifacts.

“Our county was populated with the Miami tribe and the Delaware tribe, and all around Don’s house, in the acreage that gets farmed he has been able to find an awful lot of artifacts native to our county,” Miller said. 

The exhibit consists of arrowheads, tools made from buffalo bones, clay pottery, 3,000 year old knives and an intact tomahawk.

Donald Miller used let people from the community come to his home and view his collection.  But since the FBI investigation, Miller has not opened his home to the public.

The museum exhibit is on display until September 20.

Will Healey

Will Healey is a reporter for WFIU/WTIU News. He has studied Creative Writing and Philosophy at Fordham University in New York and Journalism at Indiana University's School of Journalism. He is excited to be part of the team and report on issues that impact the lives of Hoosiers.

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