Mary “Polly” Beck Hildebrand Kesterson

Mattie Dial Hughes

Mary “Polly” Beck was born about 1820 in Georgia. She was the last child of Jeffrey Beck, III and Susannah Buffington. Mary was my 2nd great grandmother. Jeffrey died when Mary was a young child and Susannah then married Surry Eaton on 11 March 1824 in Hall Co., GA. Mary married Aaron Downing, date unknown. When



The Trial and Goingsnake Massacre

Surry Eaton Beck - White Sut Beck

Knowing Zeke’s social standing and being held in high esteem for his work for the Indian Territory Mary’s family was up in arms as they did not trust the Cherokee Court system to try Ezekiel Proctor and convict him. Since manslaughter was not a charge in those days and he was guilty of assault on



Terrible Tragedy, Attack upon a Cherokee Court

George Selvidge

From time to time we have chronicled the postponement of the case of Ezekiel Proctor charged with the murder of (Mary) Polly Hildebrand, the last trial being set to come off last Monday, the 15th instant. We had business there, and arrived about half past 1 o’clock. And what a sight met our gaze when



Death at the Beck Mill

Beck Mill in 1920

One day Zeke dropped by to visit his sister Elizabeth. He was surprised to find her and her children alone and hungry with not much of anything in the house to eat. He learned that her husband, James Kesterson, had deserted her and their children. He took Elizabeth and her children to live with other



Ezekiel “Zeke” Proctor

Young Zeke Proctor

Ezekiel was born 4 July 1831 to a white man, William Proctor, and a mixed blood Cherokee woman, Dicey Downing. At age seven Zeke traveled the Trail of Tears with his siblings and parents. The family settled in Goingsnake District about 10 miles from the Hildebrand-Beck mill. Zeke married Rebecca Mitchell, Stephen Hildebrand’s niece. Rebecca



Gunfight at Whitmire School

Glee Krapf gave this talk to her DAR chapter in October 2003 Our Thanks to her for making this available to our readers. First, I am going to give you a short biography of Mary Beck Hildebrand Kesterson and Ezekiel Proctor. Then I will tell you about how they are linked together and how they



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