John L. Springston is the son of Anderson Springston, half-breed, and Sallie Elliot, daughter of Jack Elliot, a white man, who married a quarter Cherokee. Anderson Springston was born in Tennessee, and after coming to this nation practiced law in the Delaware and Tahlequah districts. John L., the subject of this sketch, was born October 1845, and educated at the public schools, Delaware district. About the time he was ready to enter the Upper Alton Academy, the war broke out, and he joined the Indian Home Guards, Third Regiment, Company I, under Col. M. A. Phillips, Federal army. He entered the service January 1, 1863, and served until May 31, 1865, during which time he was at the battles of Cabin Creek, Honey Springs, and other engagements of the kind. While attending school in 1859, he was appointed clerk of the supreme court of his district, and served in the various courts in the same capacity until 1872, when he was elected sheriff of Saline district for two years. In 1874 he became executive secretary under Chief W. P. Ross, and also held the office of interpreter. From November 1875 to 1879, he was Cherokee translator of the Advocate, or national organ, and in 1879 was re-appointed to that office by Chief Bushyhead, and held it until 1887. During the first two years of Bushyhead’s administration, he was clerk of the senate, and national (or executive) interpreter throughout the entire administration. He also acted as interpreter of the special commission on citizenship. In 1859 Mr. Springston began the practice of law, and has, since the advent of the Mayes administration, devoted the best part of his time to attending to pension and other claims. He is also attorney of record at the United States court, Fort Smith, as well as the different departments of the United States Government at Washington. Mr. Springston was first married in 1867, to Sarah Eliza Mosely, granddaughter to George Fields, of Saline district, by whom he has two daughters, Ruth and Elizabeth. By a second marriage he has also two daughters, Viola Dacre and Wenona. In 1885 he married Miss A. C. Gray, daughter to Adolphus Gray, a white man, from North Carolina, by whom he has one son, five years old, named W. P. Boudinot. Mr. Springston is six feet high, weighs 236 pounds, and is a splendid specimen of his race, of excellent address and considerable force; he is capable of strongly impressing a jury. He is very popular, and a loyal adherent to the national party.
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