Kate Gamel, Choctaw
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Kate Gamel Et Al,.
Dawes Commission, No. 24. United States court, No. 109. Choctaw- Chickasaw citizenship court, No. 4.
September 9, 1896. Application filed for the admission of Kate Gamel and 20 others to citizenship in the Choctaw Nation. The application sets out that Kate Gamel, leading petitioner, and through whom all applicants claim, is a daughter or Col. John Rutledge and Betsy Helm, a half-blood Choctaw Indian woman. Kate Gamel states under oath:
My father was Col. John Rutledge, a white num, and a citizen of the United States. He came to this country from Georgia. He met my mother here, who was named Betsy Helm, and who was a half-blood Choctaw Indian. He married my mother here in the Territory and they lived together for a number of years. When I was about 8 years old he and my mother separated, my father taking me and moving to the Chickasaw country, while my mother remaining in the Choctaw country. My father and I did not live there long before he left on a business trip to Mobile. Ala., and he died there. I then went to live with my mother over in the Choctaw country, she living at that time near Atoka. After staying there a few years we moved down to Texas and I married there. My husband was named Tom Cruce. Mr. Cruce died and I married George Gamel, who is a white man and a citizen of the United States. Both of these marriages occurred in the State of Texas. After living there for a few years my husband. George Gamel and I moved over into the Indian Territory and located near old Cherokee Town.
My husband and I held cattle on the range for a long number of years, holding a good many near old White Bead Hill. I was recognized by the authorities of the nation as an Indian, and was permitted to hold cattle as aforesaid; in fact. I was considered as an Indian by everybody.
My mother, as 1 have stated, was a half-blood Choctaw, and I am a quarter- blood Choctaw myself. I resemble an Indian so much that many people take me for a half blood. Old Greenwood LeFlore, the noted Choctaw of Mississippi, was an uncle of my mother, and I have heard her speak of him often.
I do not know whether I am ou the roll of citizenship for the Choctaw Nation or not, as I never before had any occasion to find out-having always been treated as an Indian by those who knew me.
Rube Goins, a Choctaw Indian; Dr. Favors, 65 years old, and born and lived continuously in the nation; Edmond Chimity, a Creek Indian, who had lived many years in the Choctaw Nation; Kittie Burnett, a half-blood Choctaw Indian woman, who has lived in the nation 47 years; W. J. Crockett, a business man of Purcell, all testified corroborating the statements made by Kate Gamel. Each of these witnesses had known her personally for from 20 to over 40 years.
October 9, 1896. Answer filed by nations, in words and figures as follows:
The evidence does not show that the marriages in the family of claimants were according to Choctaw law.
That there is no evidence that this claim has ever been disputed by the Choctaw Nation.
December 1, 1896. Commission rendered its decision in words and figures as follows: “Application denied.”
Case appealed to United States court, southern district. Indian Territory, where additional testimony was taken on behalf of claimants, counsel for nations being present and examining witnesses.
January 23, 1897. The master in chancery filed with the court his report, in words and figures as follows, to wit:
United States Court, southern district. Indian Territory, at Ardmore.
Mrs. Kate Gamel v. Choctaw Nation. No. 100.
I find the following pertinent facts to this application: That Betsy Helms was one-half Choctaw Indian by blood, and for a number of years lived in the Choctaw Nation near Atoka, where she died many years ago. Betsy Helm married a white man, who emigrated to this country from Georgia, by the name of Rutledge, commonly called Col. John Rutledge. Of this union there was born one child, the applicant, Mrs. Kale Gamel. Col. Rutledge and his wife separated in the Choctaw Nation, when Col. Rutledge moved to the Chickasaw Nation. At this time the applicant, Mrs. Gamel was about 8 years old; that shortly after the applicant located in the Chickasaw Nation Col. Rutledge went on a business trip to Mobile. Ala., where he died: that the applicant continued to reside in the Indian Territory in the Chickasaw Nation. The applicant then moved to her mother’s in the Choctaw Nation near Atoka, where she continued to reside until she was about the age of 14, at which time she married a white man named Tom Cruce. Soon after this marriage they moved to the State of Texas, where Cruce died, leaving, surviving him by applicant, one child. After the death of Cruce applicant married one George Gamel, a white man and citizen of the United States. This marriage occurred in Texas before 1876; that after this marriage a few years applicant and George Gamel moved to the Indian Territory and located near Cherokee Town, Incl. T. After their removal here they were recognized by the Indian authorities as Choctaw Indians. George Gamel and Kate Gamel had the following children, to wit: Sallie, Carrie, George, Henry, Minnie, and Daisy. Sallie married L. P. Boseman in 1881 in the State of Texas, and had born the following children: Kate, May, Frank, Kinney and Ed, ad reside near Pauls Valley, Ind. T. George married Alko Rotenbury, a white woman, in 1896; the other children, Henry, Minnie, and Daisy, are unmarried. I recommend that all the applicants be admitted to enrollment except L. P. Boseman, who is a citizen of the United States, and did not marry according to the Indian laws. I recommend that he be denied enrollment.
W. H. L. Campbell,
Master in Chancery.
December 21, 1897. Judgments were entered admitting to citizenship in the Choctaw Nation the following persons: Mrs. Kate Gamel, George Gamel, Henry Gamel, Minnie Gamel, Daisy Gamel, Mrs. Carrie Witt (nee Gamel), Mrs. Sallie Boseman (nee Gamel), Kato Boseman, Frank Boseman, Kinnie Boseman, Ed Boseman, May Bose, Alice Gamel, Onnie Heigle, Leo Heigle, and Dora Heigle.
Certified copies of said decrees are hereto attached and marked ” Exhibits A-1 and A-2.”
December 17, 1902. Judgment of United States court annulled by decree of citizenship court in test case.
February 21, 1903. Record certified to citizenship court for trial de novo.
May 3, 1904. Motion filed by counsel for claimants to dismiss cause without prejudice. Motion overruled by court. Applicants declined to submit further evidence. Attorneys for nations ask for judgment on the record.
Copy of the proceedings in the court hereto attached and marked “Exhibit B.”
May 4, 1904. Opinion of court by Adams, chief judge, as follows:
The plaintiffs claim to be Choctaw Indians by blood, and as such entitled to citizenship and enrollment. I have carefully examined the record in the case and find no competent evidence to support the contention of plaintiffs that they are Choctaw Indians.
Statement By Counsel For Claimants
The only record evidence in this case before the citizenship court was the evidence upon which the judgment of the United States court was based. There was no testimony taken by the nations. Therefore the proof offered by claimants of their Indian blood, descent and residence in the nation stood unchallenged. In 1896 the nations filed their answer with the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes to the petition for the enrollment of claimants, in which they state:
That there is no evidence that this claim has ever been disputed by the Choctaw Nation.
Thus, for the first time in all the proceedings, this claim was never challenged by the nations until it reached the citizenship court.
Counsel submit that the following persons are clearly entitled to enrollment as members of the Choctaw Nation: Kate Gamel, George Gamel, Henry Gamel, Minnie Gamel, Daisy Gamel, Mrs. Carrie Witt (nee Gamel. now Fisher), Sallie Boseman, Kate Boseman, Frank Boseman, Kinnie Boseman, Ed Boseman, May Boseman, Alice Gamel, Annie Heigle, granddaughter of Kate Gamel by first husband: Leo Heigle, grandson Kate Gamel; Dora Heigle, granddaughter Kate Gamel.
Minors born prior to March 4, 1906, and for whom application was duly made to the commission, but who were rejected because their parents had been adjudged by the citizenship court not to be citizens of the nation: George Gamel, jr., Henry Gamel, Izetta Gamel.
Ballinger & Lee, Attorneys for Claimants
In the Choctaw and Chickasaw citizenship court, sitting at Tishomingo, May term, 1904.
Kate Gamel et al. v. Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations. No. 4.
J. H. Mathews, attorney for plaintiffs.
Mansfield, McMurray & Cornish, for defendants.
Present and presiding: The Hons. Spencer B. Adams, chief judge, and Walter L. Weaver and Henry S. Foote, associate Judges.
May 3, 1904.
This day, this cause coining on to be heard, both plaintiffs and defendants being represented by counsel and both having announced ready for trial, the following proceedings were had, to wit:
Mr. Norman. If the court please, the appearance of my name there Is a mistake. I represented the parties in the court below, and they never employed me to take an appeal here.
Mr. Mathews. In case No. 4 I have a motion to dismiss. [Reads motion to dismiss.]
Judge Adams. Motion overruled.
Judge Adams. Any evidence?
Mr. Mathews. No sir.
Judge Adams. You gentlemen anything to offer?
Mr. Cornish. We think that the nations are entitled to a judgment upon the case at this time.
Judge Adams. If you gentlemen don’t want to offer any evidence, we will write it up tonight.
Mr. Cornish. Yes sir. We submit it on the record.
Judge Adams. J. H. Mathews, attorney for applicants, comes into court and flies a motion therein asking that the case be dismissed upon the ground that this court has no jurisdiction thereof, whereupon the court overrules said motion and requests of the attorney if he had any evidence he desired to offer In this case; whereupon said attorney stated in open court that he had no evidence to introduce, and, the nations not introducing any evidence, the case is submitted on the record.
Transcript Of Proceedings
United States Court, Indian Territory, Southern District. ss:
At a stated term of the United States court, In the Indian Territory, district, begun and had in the court rooms, at Ardmore, in the Indian Territory, on the 15th day of November, in the year of our Lord. 1897. Present: The Hon. Hosea Townsend, Judge of said court. On the 21st day of December 1897, being a regular day of said term of said court, among the proceedings had were the following, to wit:
Kate Gamel et al. and Le Heigle et al. v. The Choctaw Nation.
At this time came on to be heard the master’s report on the application of Lee Heigle, appealed from the Commission of the United States to the Five Civilized Tribes of Indians to be enrolled as members of the tribe of Choctaw Indians; And it appearing to the court from the report of the master In chancery filed herein, that Onnie Heigle, the wife of Lee Heigle, and their two children, Leo and Dora Heigle, are members of the Choctaw Tribe of Indians by blood, and that the said Lee Heigle is not a member of said tribe because he did not marry his said wife in accordance with the laws of the Choctaw Nation.
It is therefore considered, adjudged, and decreed by the court that the said petitioners. Onnie Heigle and her two children, Leo Heigle and Dora Heigle, are members of the tribe of Choctaw Indians by blood and as such are entitled to have their names enrolled as members of said tribe.
It is further adjudged and decreed by the court that the defendant, the Choctaw Nation, pay all costs in this behalf expended and incurred, for which execution may issue.
It is further ordered by the court that this judgment be certified by the clerk to the Commission of the United States to the Five Civilized Tribes of Indians for its observance. To which judgment the defendant, the Choctaw Nation, in open court duly excepted.
United States Court, Indian Territory, Southern District, ss:
I, C. M. Campbell, clerk of the United States court within and for the district and Territory aforesaid, do hereby certify that the foregoing orders are truly taken, and correctly copied from court journals of said court, as the same appears to me.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of said court, at Ardmore, this 4th day of May, A. D. 3898.
C. M. Campbell, Clerk.
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 the judgment of the court, dated December 21, 1897, on file In this office in the matter of the petition of Kate Gamel et al., for enrollment as members ot the Choctaw Tribe of Indians.
J. Geo. Wright,
Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes
By W. H. Augell,
Clerk in charge of Choctaw Records.
Dated at Muskogee, Okla., this 14th day of October 1910.
Transcript Of Proceedings
United States Court, Indian Territory. Southern District, ss:
At a stated term of the United States court in the Indian Territory. ______ district, begun and had in the court rooms, at Ardmore, in the Indian Territory, on the 15th day of November, in the year of our Lord 1897.
Present: The Hon. Hosea Townsend, Judge of said court. On the 21st day of December 1897, being a regular day of said term of said court, among the proceedings had were the following, to wit: .
Kate Gamel et al. v. The Choctaw Nation. No. 109
This cause coming on to be heard upon the master’s report and exceptions thereto and the pleadings and evidence on this the 21st day of December, 1897, and it appearing to the court from said master’s report and the evidence in this case that Mrs. Kate Gamel is a quarter-breed Choctaw Indian, being of white and Indian blood, and that she and her children and grandchildren are entitled to citizenship in the Choctaw Nation of Indians and to be enrolled as citizens and members thereof, and that they are all residents of the Chickasaw Nation. Ind. T., and have duly complied with the law in all respects in the prosecution of this their application.
It Is therefore ordered, decreed, and adjudged that the following-named parties be and the same are hereby admitted to citizenship in the Choctaw Nation of Indians and ordered to be enrolled as citizens and members thereof, to wit: Mrs. Kate Gamel, George Gamel, Henry Gamel, Minnie Gamel, Daisy Gamel, Mrs. Carrie Witt (nee Gamel), Mrs. Sallie Boseman (nee Gamel), Kate Boseman, Prank Boseman, Kinnie Boseman, Ed Boseman, May Boseman, and Alice Gamel.
And it is further decreed that they possess and be permitted to enjoy and exercise all the rights, privileges, and immunities of citizens and members of said Choctaw Nation of Indians.
Exceptions have been filed to that part of the master’s report relating to L. P. Boseman, and as to this party the case stands open, so that exceptions may hereafter be considered; but as to all the other applicants and in all other respects said master’s report is confirmed.
Hosea Townsend, Judge.
United States Court. Indian Territory, Southern District, ss:
I, C. M. Campbell, clerk of the United States court within and for the district and Territory aforesaid, do hereby certify that the foregoing orders are truly taken and correctly copied from court journals of said court as the same appears to me.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of said court, at Ardmore, this 4th day of May A. D. 1898.
[seal.] C. M. Campbell, Clerk.
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 the judgment of the court, dated December 21, 1897, on file in this office in the matter of the petition of Kate Gamel et al. for enrollment as members of the Choctaw Tribe of Indians.
J. Geo. Wright, Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes.
By W. H. Angell, Clerk in Charge of Choctaw Records.
Dated at Muskogee. Okla., October 14, 1910.