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Biographical Sketch of Mrs. Lee Cook

Nannie, daughter of Clark and Lydia (Smith) Swimmer, was born in the Cherokee Nation. Educated in Cherokee National schools. Married at Webbers Falls in 1898 Lee Cook. They are the parents of: Andrew, who served three months in the World war; Glenn, and Evaline Cook. Mr. Cook is a...

Biographical Sketch of Mrs. Emma Nora Gatlin

(See Grant and Oolootsa)-Emma Nora, daughter of Frank and May (Hanks) Rhomer, was born February 2, 1889, and educated at Webber Falls and the Cherokee National Female Seminary. She married Samuel Bell Maxey, son of James and Matilda (Yearby) Gatlin, born May 25, 1887. Mr. and Mrs. Gatlin are residents of Webbers Falls. James, son of James and Lucy (McCoy) Gatlin married Matilda Yearby and they the parents of Samuel Bell Maxey Gatlin. Calvin Jones Hanks married Emma Walker the daughter of John Lowery and Charlotte (Ratliff) McCoy, and they were the parents of May...

Slave Narrative of R. C. Smith

Person Interviewed: R. C. Smith Occupation: Prophet One morning in May I heard a poor rebel say; “The federal’s a home guard Dat called me from home…” I wish I was a merchant And could write a fine hand, I’d write my love a letter So she would understand. I wish I had a drink of brandy, And a drink of wine, To drink wid dat sweet gal How I wish dat she was mine. If I had a drink of brandy No longer would I roam, I’d drink it wid dat gal of mine Dat wishes me back home. I’ve heard the soldiers sing that song a heap of times. They sung it kind of lonesome like and I guess it sort of made them home sick to sing it. Us niggers learned to sing it and it is about the only one I can sing yet. I remembers the words to another one we used to sing but I’ve forgot the tune but the words go like this: Old man, old man Your hair is getting gray, I’d foller you ten thousand miles To hear your banjo play. I never was much at singing though. I guess my voice is just about wore out just like my body. I’ve always had good health and I never had a doctor in my life. In the last three or four years I’ve had some pains from rheumatism. I think all our sickness is brought on by the kidneys and I made my own kidney medicine and allus stayed well. I used to get a weed called hoarhound, it grows...

Slave Narrative of Lucinda Vann

Place of Birth: Webbers Falls, Oklahoma Age: 92-100+ Yes, Sa. My name’s Lucinda Vann, I’ve been married twice but, that don’t make no difference. Indians wouldn’t allow their slaves to take their husband’s name. Oh, Lord, no. I don’t know how old I is; some folks say I’se ninety-two and some say I must be a hundred. I’se born across the river in the plantation of old Jim Vann in Webbers Falls, I’se born right in my marster and missus bed. Yes I was. You see, I’se one of them sudden cases. My mother, Betsy Vann, worked in the big house for the missus. She was weavin’ when the case came up so quick, missus Jennie put her on her own bed and took care of her. Master Jim and Missus Jennie was good to their slaves. Yes, Lord, yes. My missus name was Doublehead before she married Jim Vann. They was Cherokee Indians. They had a big, big plantation down by the river and they was rich. Had sacks and sacks of money. There was five hundred slaves on that plantation and nobody ever lacked for nothin’. Everybody had fine clothes, everybody had plenty to eat. Lord, yes, suer. Now I’se just old forgotten woman. Sometimes if I eat my bread this mornin’ none this evenin’. Seneca Chism was my father. He was a slave on the Chism plantation, but came to Vann’s all the time on account of the horses. He had charge of all Marster Chism’s and Marster Vann’s race horses. He and Marster took race horses down the river, away off and they’d come back...

Slave Narrative of Morris Sheppard

Person Interviewed: Morris Sheppard Location: Fort Gibson, Oklahoma Date of Birth: November, 1852 Age: 85 Old Master tell me I was borned in November 1852, at de old home place about five miles east of Webbers Falls, mebbe kind of northeast, not far from de east bank of de Illinois River. Master’s name was Joe Sheppard, and he was a Cherokee Indian. Tall and slin and handsome. He had black eyes and mustache but his hair was iron gray, and everybody liked him because he was so good-natured and kind. I don’t remember old Mistress’ name. My mammy was a Crossland Negro before she come to belong to Master Joe and marry my pappy, and I think she come wid old Mistress and belong to her. Old Mistress was small and mighty pretty too, and she was only half Cherokee. She inherit about half a dozen slaws, and say dey was her own and old Master can’t sell one unless she give him leave to do it. Dey only had two families of slaves wid about twenty in all, and dey only worked about fifty acres, so we sure did work every foot of it good. We git three or four crops of different things out of dat farm every year. and something growing on dat place winter and summer. Pappy’s name was Caesar Sheppard and Mammy’s name was Easter. Dey was both raised ’round Webber’s Falls somewhere. I had two brothers, Silas and George, dat belong to Mr. George Holt in Webber’s Falls town. I got a pass and went to see dem sometimes, and dey was both...

Slave Narrative of Harriett Robinson

Person Interviewed: Harriet Robinson Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Place of Birth: Bastrop, Texas Date of Birth: September 1, 1842 Age: 95 I was born close to Webbers Falls, in the Canadian District of the Cherokee Nation, in the same year that my pappy was blowed up and killed in the big boat accident that killed my old Master. I never did see my daddy excepting when I was a baby and I only know what my mammy told me about him. He come from across the water when he was a little boy, and was grown when old Master Joseph Vann bought him, so he never did learn to talk much Cherokee. My mammy was a Cherokee slave, and talked it good. My husband was a Cherokee born Negro, too, and when he got mad he forgit all the English he knowed. Old Master Joe had a mighty big farm and several families of Negroes, and he was a powerful rich man. Pappy’s name was Kalet Vann, and mammy’s name was Sally. My brothers was name Sone and Frank. I had one brother and one sister sold when I was little and I don’t remember the names. My other sisters was Polly, Ruth and Liddie. I had to work in the kitchen when I was a gal, and they was ten or twelve children smaller than me for me to look after, too. Sometime Young Master Joe and the other boys give me a piece of money and say I worked for it, and I reckon I did for I have to cook five or six times a day....

Slave Narrative of Betty Robertson

Person Interviewed: Betty Robertson Location: Fort Gibson, Oklahoma Age: 93 I was born close to Webbers Falls, in the Canadian District of the Cherokee Nation, in the same year that my pappy was blowed up and killed in the big boat accident that killed my old Master. I never did see my daddy excepting when I was a baby and I only know what my mammy told me about him. He come from across the water when he was a little boy, and was grown when old Master Joseph Vann bought him, so he never did learn to talk much Cherokee. My mammy was a Cherokee slave, and talked it good. My husband was a Cherokee born Negro, too, and when he got mad he forgit all the English he knowed. Old Master Joe had a mighty big farm and several families of Negroes, and he was a powerful rich man. Pappy’s name was Kalet Vann, and mammy’s name was Sally. My brothers was name Sone and Frank. I had one brother and one sister sold when I was little and I don’t remember the names. My other sisters was Polly, Ruth and Liddie. I had to work in the kitchen when I was a gal, and they was ten or twelve children smaller than me for me to look after, too. Sometime Young Master Joe and the other boys give me a piece of money and say I worked for it, and I reckon I did for I have to cook five or six times a day. Some of the Master’s family was always going down to the...

Slave Narrative of Phyllis Petite

Person Interviewed: Phyllis Petite Location: Fort Gibson, Oklahoma Place of Birth: Rusk County, Texas Age: 83 I was born in Rusk County, Texas, on a plantation about eight miles east of Belleview. There wasn’t no town where I was born, but they had a church. My mammy and pappy belonged to a part Cherokee named W. P. Thompson when I was born. He had kinfolks in the Cherokee Nation, and we all moved up here to a place on Fourteen-Mile Creek close to where Hulbert now is. ‘way before I was big enough to remember anything. Then, so I been told, old master Thompson sell my pappy and mammy and one of my baby brothers and me back to one of his neighbors in Texas name of John Harnage. Mammy’s name was Letitia Thompson and pappy’s was Riley Thompson. My little brother was named Johnson Thompson, but I had another brother sold to a Vann and he always call hisself Harry Vann. His Cherokee master lived on the Arkansas river close to Webber’s Falls and I never did know him until we was both grown. My only sister was Patsy and she was borned after slavery and died at Wagoner, Oklahoma. I can just remember when Master John Harnage took us to Texas. We went in a covered wagon with oxen and camped out all along the way. Mammy done the cooking in big wash kettles and pappy done the driving of the oxen. I would set in a wagon and listen to him pop his whip and holler. Master John took us to his plantation and it was...

Biographical Sketch of Mrs. May Rhomer

See Grant and Oolootsa)-May, the daughter of Calvin Jones and Emma Walker (McCoy) Hanks, was born at Webbers Falls July 19, 1872; was educated at Webbers Falls and the Female Seminary. She married April 15, 1888, Frank Rhomer, born Jan. 6, 1863 in New Orleans, La. They are the parents of Emma Nora, born February 2, 1889; May Frances, born November 17, 1891; Margaret Bell, born April 2, 1894; and Fannie Charlotte Rhomer, born March 20, 1896. The Rhomers are farmers near Webbers Falls. Margaret Belle Rhomer married Robert Preston Vann, Jr. of Webbers Falls. Mr. Vann was killed in action Sept. 12, 1918 in France. His body was sent back home to his wife Margaret Belle and was buried by her in the National Cemetery at Ft. Gibson, Aug. 10, 1921. May Frances Rhomer married Charles F. Ross, grandson of Andrew Ross. Their children are Charles Rhomer Ross, born at Webbers Falls; Beulah May Ross, born at Webbers Falls February 5, 1918 and Robbie Belle Ross born at Webbers April 6, 1919. They now live in Sapulpa, Okla. Calvin Jones, son of Robert Taylor and Margaret Ann Ward (Morgan) Hanks, was born February 8, 1836, and married April 11, 1861 Emma Walker McCoy, who was born April 3, 1841. He was a private in Captain John S. Vann’s Company, and in Captain Samuel Gunter’s Company in the Confederate army. He was elected Councilor from Canadian District August 5, 1867; and Senator from the same District August 6, 1887. He died May 1, 1879. Mrs. Emma Hanks, nee McCoy died February 8, 1900. They were the parents of Mrs....

Biography of O. H. P. Brewer

O. H. P. Brewer, member of the Muskogee county bar, who on the 8th of August, 1921, retired from the office of postmaster, having filled the position for eight years, has devoted no inconsiderable part of his life to public service and his labors have constituted an important force for public good. Mr. Brewer was born at Webbers Falls, in the Indian Territory, a little village situated twenty-five miles southeast of Muskogee. His parents were Cherokee citizens, who voluntarily removed from Georgia to the Indian Territory in 1838, in accordance with the terms of a congressional act. His father, O. H. P. Brewer, Sr., obtained his education in the public schools of the Cherokee Nation and also at Mount Comfort, a private school in Fayetteville, Arkansas. During the Civil war he was commissioned a captain in the Cherokee Brigade of the Southern Confederacy. In this connection a contemporary writer has said: “He served with distinction in this capacity and was commissioned colonel for meritorious activity and valor during the progress of the military operations of the Cherokee people. Perhaps no young officer in the Confederate army of the Cherokee Nation won greater distinction and honor, nor enjoyed greater confidence and respect at the hands of his superiors. He filled many positions of honor and trust under tribal government, serving as a member of the Cherokee council, a member of the Cherokee board of education as tax %9 Cherokee Nation collector for the Cherokee Nation, in the matter of royalties growing out of the leasing of the Cherokee Strip to a live stock association with headquarters at Caldwell, Kansas, and...
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