Mary A. Sanders, Choctaw

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Mary A. Sanders Et Al., Choctaw.

Commission No. 789. United States court No. (53. Citizenship court No. 43-M.

Record

September 7, 1896. Original application (commission No. 789) filed with the commission for the enrollment as citizens by blood of the Choctaw Nation of Mary A. Sanders, and her children. William H. Sanders, Sallie E. Sanders, Sarah P. Sanders. Luther T. Sanders, Emet G. Sanders, and James A. Sanders, husband of Mary A. Sanders, by intermarriage.

Original application (commission No. 571) filed on same date for the enrollment of George Ann Poole and Elzy R. Poole, her husband. Mary L. Poole, Charles W. Poole, Thomas F. Poole, Edward S. Poole, Annie Myrtle Poole, Montie R. Poole, Elzy A. Poole, her children, all as citizens by blood, except Elzy R. Poole.

Application was filed with the commission (commission No. 561) by Elzy R. Poole for the enrollment of himself and his family above named, except George Ann Poole, his wife.

Original application (commission No. 835) filed with the commission on same date for the enrollment of Sarah L. Sanders, Charles B. Sanders (husband), Sam Sanders, Arthur Sanders, Hardee Sanders, Lessie Sanders as citizens by blood, except Charles B. Sanders, intermarried.

Application (commission No. 832) filed with the commission for the enrollment of James A. Sanders as a citizen by intermarriage of the Choctaw Nation.

Application (commission No. 834) filed with the commission for the enrollment of Charles B. Sanders as a citizen by intermarriage of the Choctaw Nation.

Application (commission No. 654) filed with the commission for the enrollment of Bell Ross as a citizen by blood and James R. Ross, her husband, by intermarriage.

Original application (commission No. 1085) filed with the commission for the enrollment of Robert L. Dillard as a citizen by blood of the Choctaw Nation.

October 7, 1890. Answer filed by the nations. Affidavits of principal applicants and other witnesses were filed with the commission in the case of Mary A. Sanders et al. (commission No. 789), showing the blood, descent, tribal affiliation, and residence of applicants.

December 2, 3, 4, 5, 1896. Decision of the commission denying the applications for enrollment of all applicants herein.

Appeal taken jointly to the United States court, central district, Indian Territory, at South McAlester, by all applicants above named, and the cases consolidated in said court under the title of Mary A. Sanders et al. v. Choctaw Nation, being No. 63 on the docket of said court.


The case was tried in the United States court on the evidence before the commission and on additional evidence taken before the master. No evidence was offered by the nations, either before the commission or before the master.

The evidence shows that applicants claim their right to enrollment by descent from John Chronister, a Choctaw Indian of the half blood; that John Chronister married a Choctaw woman, by whom he had a daughter, Sarah A. Chronister, who intermarried with Edward L. Dillard, a white man, by whom she had six children, who are the applicants herein, viz, Mary A. Sanders, George Ann Poole, Sarah L. Sanders, Bell Koss, Robert L. Dillard, Arnold (or W. A.) Dillard; and that the other applicants herein are grand children of Sarah A. Dillard (nee Chronister).

John W. Sanders states that he is 46 years of age and a resident of the Chickasaw Nation; that he is personally acquainted with George Ann Poole, and knows that she was the daughter of Edward L. and Sarah Dillard; that he knows the said Sarah Dillard, and knew that she was recognized and regarded by the public as a Choctaw Indian woman: that she was born about the year 1846 and died about the year 1893; that Sarah Dillard was at least one-fourth Choctaw blood.

George Ann Poole states that she is 33 years of age, and a resident of the Choctaw Nation: that she is a daughter of Edward L. and Sarah Dillard: that the maiden name of Sarah Dillard was Chronister, and she was the daughter of the late John Chronister, who was born in Mississippi about 1790, and died in Texas about 1851; that John Chronister was a Choctaw by blood; that he married a Choctaw woman in Mississippi, and as a result of said union Sarah Dillard was born in Mississippi about 1840; that Sarah Dillard moved to the Choctaw Nation from Texas, and died in Atoka County, Choctaw Nation, in 1893. Affiant further states that she married Elzy R. Poole, a white man, in 1875.

Note.-This family reside in Pooleville (formerly Elk), Chickasaw Nation, and that it is a well-known and influential family is shown by the fact that the name of the town wherein they reside was changed from Elk to Pooleville.

Sylvester Johnson states that he is 25 years of age and a resident of the Choctaw Nation: that he is personally acquainted with George Ann Poole; that he became acquainted with Sarah A. Dillard m Texas in 1880, and knew her until her death in the Choctaw Nation in 1893: knew the applicants, who are the children of Sarah A. Dillard, for 13 years, and that they are regarded as Choctaw Indians by the public generally.

Mary A. Sanders states that she is 34 years of age and a resident of the Choctaw Nation: that her maiden name was Dillard, and that she is a daughter of Edward L. and Sarah Dillard: that the maiden name of Sarah Dillard was Chronister, and she was the daughter of John Chronister, who was born in Mississippi about 1790 and died in Texas in 1851; that the said John Chronister was a Choctaw Indian by blood and a citizen of the Choctaw Nation; that the said John Chronister married a Choctaw woman in Mississippi; that Sarah Dillard subsequently moved from Texas to the Choctaw Nation, and died in 1893 in Atoka County; that applicant’s parents taught her that Sarah Dillard was at least one-fourth Choctaw blood and that John Chronister was a member of the Choctaw Tribe of Indians in Mississippi. Affiant further states that she married James A. Sanders, a white man: that Sarah Dillard married Edward L. Dillard, a white man, in 1880.

Thomas York states that he is a full-blood Choctaw Indian and a citizen of the Choctaw Nation; that he was born in Mississippi in 1822, and became personally acquainted with John Chronister about 1835, and knew him personally until about 1845, when he moved from Mississippi. He further states “that the said John Chronister was a Choctaw Indian and a citizen of the Choctaw Nation, and a member of the Choctaw Tribe of Indians.” That John Chronister emigrated west of the Mississippi River about 1845, and that he had a family with him. He also states that John Chronister’s wife was an Indian woman; that he is acquainted with the applicants, George Ann Poole and Mary A. Sanders and Sarah L. Sanders, and that they reside in the Choctaw Nation; that they have improvements and are residing on same in the Choctaw Nation: that John Chronister left Mississippi at least 10 years before the Civil War; that he was “fully a half blood, his wife was also a Choctaw Indian.”

Other witnesses testify as to the blood, descent, tribal affiliation and residence of applicants herein, showing that John Chronister, through whom they claim their descent, was a Choctaw Indian of at least half blood: that he married a Choctaw woman, whoso proportion of blood is not stated: that Sarah A. Dillard is his daughter; and that the applicants herein are her children and grandchildren. The evidence also shows that the family were recognized as Choctaw Indians.

The evidence shows further that John Chronister, the ancestor through whom applicants claim, left Mississippi about 1845 and went to Missouri, where he stayed but a short time, thence to Texas, where he died in 1851: that the family remained in Texas until the year 1888, when a portion of them moved to the Chickasaw Nation and from thence to the Choctaw Nation; and that all of them had removed to and become residents of the Choctaw Nation in 1895, except Arnold (or W. A.) Dillard, who remained in Texas, and never became a resident of Indian Territory until after the decree of the United States court, was rendered admitting the other applicants.


September 9, 1897. The master filed his report, which is as follows:

In the United States court, central judicial district of the Indian Territory, at South McAlester.

Mary A. Sanders and her husband, James A. Sunders, and her minor children, William H., Dollie E., Sarah P., Luther, and Emmett G. Sanders; George Ann Poole and her husband, Elzy R. Poole, and minor children, Mary L., Charles W., Thomas F., Edward S., Anna M., Montie R., and Elzy A. Poole: Sarah L., Sanders and her husband, Charles B. Sanders, and her minor children, Samuel M., Arthur, Hartie and Lessie Sanders; Bell Ross and her husband, James Ross, and her minor child, John E. Ross; Robert L. Dillard; Arnold Dillard v. Choctaw Nation.

To Hon. W. H. H. Clayton, judge of said court:

Having been appointed special master in the above-entitled cause. I have examined the evidence filed therein, and beg leave to submit the following findings of facts:

I find that the applicants herein made application in due time to the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, commonly called the Dawes Commission, said application was made and filed In due time.

I further find that defendants filed answer in due time, and that on the 2d day of December 1896, said applications were denied, and that on the 30th day of January 1897, the applicants filed their appeal in this court.

I further find that Mary A. Sanders, William H., Dollie E., Sarah P., Luther, and Emmett G. Sanders, and George Ann Poole and Mary L., Charles W., Thomas P., Edward S., Anna M., Montie R., and Elzy A. Poole, and Sarah L. Sanders and Samuel M., Arthur, Hartie and Lessie Sanders, Bell Ross and John E. Ross, and Robert L. Dillard, and Arnold Dillard are Choctaw Indians by blood and citizens of the Choctaw Nation, and that they are the lineal descendants of the late John Chronister, who was a Choctaw by blood and who formerly resided in the old Choctaw Nation now the State of Mississippi.

I further find that Mary A. Sanders intermarried with James A. Sanders, and by such marriage the above-named children were born; that George Ann Poole intermarried with Elzy R. Poole, and that by such marriage the above-named children were born: that Sarah L. Sanders intermarried with Charles B. Sanders, and that by such intermarriage the above-named children were born: that Bell Ross intermarried with James Ross, and that by such marriage the above named child was born: that said marriages were solemnized according to law, but not according to the Choctaw law, and that said James A. Sanders, Elzy R. Poole, Charles B. Sanders, and James Ross are white men and no Indians.

I further find that all of the applicants herein were at the time of the filing of their applications bona fide residents of the Choctaw Nation, Ind. T., and are now residing therein, except Arnold Dillard who never has resided in the Choctaw Nation, and Bell Ross and John E. Ross who are absent temporarily In Texas.

I further find that the applicants herein are of white and Choctaw blood only. All of which I most respectfully submit.

T. N. Foster, Special Master.
Received my fee, $5.

T. N. Foster. Special Master.


On the same day the court rendered judgment admitting the following-named persons to citizenship in the Choctaw Nation: Mary A. Sanders, William H. Sanders, Dollie E. Sanders, Sarah P. Sanders, Luther Sanders, Emmett G. Sanders, George Ann Poole, Mary L. Poole, Charles W. Poole, Thomas F. Poole, Edward S. Poole, Anna Murtie Poole, Montie R. Poole, Sarah L. Sanders, Samuel Sanders, Arthur Sanders, Hartie Sanders, Lessie Sanders, Bill Ross, John E. Ross, John E. Ross, Robert L. Dillard.

Certified copy of said judgment is hereto attached marked “Exhibit A.”

December 17, 1902. Decree of citizenship court vacating decree of United States court in “test case.”

Record certified to the citizenship court for trial de novo.

June 8, 1903. Attorneys for the nations filed a motion in the citizenship court, requiring plaintiffs to make more specific and definite the allegations contained in the petition. The motion was in conformity with the rulings of the court, holding that no person was entitled to a judgment adjudging him a citizen of the Choctaw Nation, unless he could show that his ancestors removed from the Choctaw Nation in Mississippi to the Choctaw Nation in Indian Territory within “a reasonable time ” after the treaty of 1830, or that the ancestors through whom they claim complied with the fourteenth article of the treaty of 1830 by selecting land or notifying the United States Indian agent of his intention to remain in Mississippi and live on the land for a period of five years. As claimants’ ancestors removed from the Choctaw Nation in Mississippi in 1845, which had theretofore been held by the court not to have been a reasonable time, and as their ancestors had not complied with the fourteenth article of the treaty of 1830, it was impossible for them to amend their petition so as to bring their case within the rulings of the court.

June 10, 1903. Motion to make more specific and definite was sustained by the court.

Notwithstanding this motion was sustained, the court heard the testimony of Mary A. Sanders on June 13, 1903, the only witness who appeared and testified. She testified as to the death or removal from the Indian Territory of the witnesses whose affidavits were introduced. She also testified that her grandfather, John Chronister, was a half-blood Choctaw Indian, born in Mississippi; that her mother was recognized as a Choctaw Indian from her personal appearance; that her mother, Sarah A. Sanders, died nine years before and was buried in the Choctaw Nation that “Mr. Lawrance, the Indian, preached her funeral,” and that ”the funeral rites over her grave were of the Choctaw custom”: that applicant never had to pay any permits; and that the tribal authorities permitted noncitizen renters under her.

On cross-examination she testified that J. A. Sanders made application to the Choctaw council for citizenship for Sarah A. Dillard ”something over nine years ago,” but that they did not go ahead with it, as they charged him so much that he didn’t know what to do: that some member of the council wanted to charge him $1,000, and he could not raise that much.

The record before the commission and the United States court in this, as in all other cases, was rejected because of the holding of the citizenship court that the original application submitted to the commission in 1896, with accompanying affidavits, was not served upon both nations, but service thereof was made on the Choctaw Nation only and excluded the testimony before the United States court because notice of the taking of the testimony had not been given to the attorneys of both nations, notice having been served upon the attorneys for the Choctaw Nation only.

No decision was rendered by the court in this case, or if rendered is not of record.

January 20, 1904. Decree of citizenship court denying citizenship to all applicants.

Statement By Counsel For Claimants

Counsel for claimants respectfully submit that those applicants whose names appear in the decree of the United States court, together with their children and grandchildren, for whose enrollment applications were duly made to the commission within the time prescribed the law should be enrolled as citizens of the Choctaw Nation. They are Mary A. Sanders, William H. Sanders, Dollie E. Sanders, Sarah P. Sanders, Luther Sanders, Emmett G. Sanders, George Ann Poole, Mary L. Poole, Charles W. Poole, Thomas F. Poole, Edward S. Poole, Anna Murtie Poole, Montie R. Poole, Elzy A. Poole, Sarah L. Sanders, Samuel Sanders, Arthur Sanders, Hartie Sanders, Lessie Sanders, Bill Ross (Bell Ross), John E. Ross, Robert L. Dillard, Archey L. Sanders, Bessie May Sanders, Maggie May Poole, John Everett Poole, William O. Sanders, Fanny V. Sanders, Charles Edward Sanders, Delia May Ross, Mary Belle Ross, and Walter L. Dillard.

(Thirty-two in all.)
Respectfully submitted.
Ballinger & Lee

Copy Of Order Of Court

United States Of America.
Indian Territory, central district, ss:

In the United States court in the Indian Territory, central district, at a term thereof begun and held at South McAlester, in the Indian Territory, on the 9th day of September A. D. 1897.

Present, the Hon. William H. H. Clayton, Judge of said court.

The following order was made and entered of record, to wit:
Mary A. Sanders et al. v. Choctaw Nation. No. 63. Judgment.

The above-entitled cause coming on to be heard this the 9th day of September 1897 upon the report of the special master in chancery, T. N. Foster, Esq., which said report is by the court confirmed and approved, and exhibits therewith filed, and the plaintiffs and defendants appearing by their respective attorneys, and it appearing by the said master’s report and the evidence filed in this cause that the allegations filed in the plaintiffs’ petition are true, and the court being fully advised In the premises It is therefore by the court considered, ordered, adjudged, and decreed that the said plaintiffs. Mary A. Sanders, William H. Sanders, Dollie E. Sanders, Sarah P. Sanders, Luther Sanders, Emmett C., Sanders, and George Ann Poole, Mary L. Poole, Charles W. Poole, Thomas F. Poole, Edward S. Poole, Anna Marie Poole, Montie R. Poole, Elzy A. Poole and Sarah L., Sanders, Samuel Sanders, Arthur Sanders, Hattie Sanders, Lessie Sanders, and Bill Ross, John E. Ross, and Robert L. Dillard, be and they are hereby admitted to citizenship in the Choctaw Nation, and their names be placed upon the Choctaw rolls as Choctaw citizens prepared, or to be prepared by the United States Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes of Indians: that said commission is hereby directed to place the names of the said Mary A. Sanders, William H. Sanders, Dollie E. Sanders, Sarah P. Sanders, Luther Sanders, Emmett G. Sanders, and George Ann Poole, Mary L. Poole, Charles W. Poole, Thomas F. Poole, Edward S. Poole, Anna M. Poole, Montle R. Poole, Elzy A. Poole, and Sarah L. Sanders, Samuel Sanders, Arthur Sanders, Hattie Sanders, Lessie Sunders, and Bill Ross, John E. Ross, and Robert L. Dillard upon said roll.

The court further finds that the plaintiffs James A. Sanders, Elzy R. Poole, Charles B. Sanders, and James Ross, are not entitled to citizenship, not having married according to the Choctaw laws, and it is therefore considered, ordered, and adjudged that the names of said plaintiffs last named be excluded from the rolls of the Choctaw citizens prepared by said commission, and that the defendant have judgment against said plaintiffs (last named) for the costs.

The clerk of this court is hereby directed to furnish the said commission with a true and perfect copy of this judgment, decree, and order, and that the plaintiffs have and recover of and from the Choctaw Nation all their costs herein laid out and expended.

United States Of America,
Indian Territory, central district, ss:

I, E. J. Fannin, clerk of the district court of the United States for the central district of the Indian Territory, do hereby certify the foregoing to be a true copy of an order made by said court on the 9th day of September, 1897, as appears from the records of said court now on file in my office.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, at my office in South McAlester in said district, this 11th day of March A. D. 1903.

[seal.] E. J. Fannin. Clerk,
By I. M. Dodge, Deputy.

This is to certify that I am the officer having custody of the records pertaining to the enrollment of the members of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole Tribes of Indians, and the disposition of the land of said tribes, and that the above and foregoing is a true and correct copy of a certified copy of a judgment dated September 9, 1S97, in the matter of the enrollment of Mary A. Sanders et al. as members of the Choctaw Nation.

J. Geo. Wright, Commissioner to the Fire Civilized Tribes,

By W. H. Angell, Cleric in Charge of Choctaw Records.



MLA Source Citation:

United States Congress. Five Civilized Tribes In Oklahoma, Reports of the Department of the Interior and Evidentiary Papers in support of S. 7625, a Bill for the Relief of Certain Members of the Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma, Sixty-second Congress, Third Session. Department of the Interior, United States. 1913. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 21 November 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/mary-a-sanders-choctaw.htm - Last updated on Oct 15th, 2012


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