Father - Bird Doublehead. Born in Georgia, and first
settled in Arkansas. I donít know the date of his birth or death.
Mother - First name unknown, last name TIMSON, was born
in Georgia and first settled in Arkansas.
The information that I have as to the migration of my
parents, who came west from Georgia - came on their own free will, paid their
own expenses and settled around the present town of Coal Hill south and east
of Fort Smith, Arkansas. This removal from Georgia to Arkansas was about the
year of 1815.
They remained there about thirteen years thus and then
moved to the Indian Territory in 1828, and settled in the Saline District at
which place I was born.
My aunt has told me that later these Western Cherokees
like my parents were increased with the Eastern Cherokees who came by various
methods and ways to the Indian Territory. She told me they came here (meaning
the Eastern Cherokees) in 1837 and Ď38.
I do not know how old I am because my parents died when I
was just a small babe. I had an old Aunt, and she told me that I was born in
the Saline District near the town of Salina, in the year that the inter-tribal
peace conference was held at Tahlequah, which was in the year of 1843. She
told me that twenty-three different tribes of Indians was represented at this
I am a full-blood Western Cherokee Indian, could not talk
the English language until I was fifteen years old. When only a mere lad, a
Mr. Alexander D. WILSON (son of George and Ruthy Wilson) came after me up in
the Saline District, and brought me to his farm on McClain Creek on Maynard
Bayou, east of Fort Gibson. This was in the year 1856. Alexís father and
mother died in 1850 and 1851 and were buried on this farm. George was
sixty-four years of age when he died and Ruthy was about two years younger.
The Wilsons were Cherokees. Alex, the one who came after me, died in 1858. He
belonged to the Masonic order. His wifeís name (Alexís wife) was Beckie,
and within a year Alexís brother, Arch Wilson, married Alexís widow.
It was while I was with Alex these two years that I
attended school. This was the Wilson school and was on the Wilson farm located
about one mile east of the house. It was an old log schoolhouse and the ___ is
there no longer.
Arch Wilson and his wife, Beckie, and I moved from the
Wilson farm down on the Illinois River in what is known as the Linder Bend
District. (The Lewis ROGERS farm today was the Wilson farm.)
Life and Customs Before the Civil War
The houses and schools were of log construction, with
thatched roof, schools were not much in evidence at the time I was a boy. The
only school we had was when someone took the notion that they wanted to build
a schoolhouse in some particular locality, and went about to employ some
Indian that was educated back east to teach the school, and the parents of all
of the children who attended this school paid a dollar a month for each child
attending, and this would pay the teacher.
These privately owned school houses and homes were
finally improved on and the log houses or cabins took on punchen floors
instead of dirt floors, and possibly one window with glass instead of no
windows or possibly a shuttle window and stone fireplaces instead of the old
stick chimney, and shake shingle roof instead of those with straw and clap
Of course, I was a kid up in what they called the
Spavinaw hills, and later down in the creek bottom along Melvin Creek, and we
had in this part of the country lots of wild game, wild berries and wild
fruits together with different kinds of nuts. Our game was wild pigeons,
quail, deer, turkey, wild cats, panther, bear, mink, muskrats, fox, coyotes,
squirrel and rabbits. Our wild berries were blackberries, dewberries,
strawberries, reaspberries (i.e.), grapes, huckleberries, and plums. Our nuts
were the hickory nut, walnut, chinquapin, etc. In the little clearings around
over the hills in the Saline District we would raise corn, maize, wheat, and
We did not raise anything for the market, and we simply
lived at home with what we had. Our bread was usually cornbread, and to take
the place of lard we used Canuchi, and the salt for our bread we would get by
taking the water from a slough where the water contained salt. This water was
then boiled away, leaving just the salt. The corn was ground in a mortar with
a pestle. This mortar was made by taking a log about four foot long, standing
it on end, and then dishing it out on the upper end, in the fashion of a bowl,
and placing the corn in this bowl. The pestle at the lower was made to fit the
bowl, and the upper end was larger, and much heavier. With the dropping or
pounding with this pestle we would run it through a riddle. The fine part of
the corn that passed through the riddle was our meal, the course (i.e.) part
left in the riddle was our Canhartia or as you call it, hominy grits.
The Canuchi was made from hickory nuts. The hickory nut
was placed in the mortar and crushed with the pestle, and we would then take
and dump the hulls, kernels and all into a bucket of water and wait for the
grease to come to the top, and skim it off.
We would bake our bread by smearing it out on a board and
hold it up to the fire, to brown on one side and then take another board and
turn it over on this board and brown it on the other side.
After I got over with Alex Wilson east of Fort Gibson he
had a large fireplace, with dutch ovens, fry pans, tea kettles, pots, etc. You
see when I got over to Alexís place we could go up to Fort Gibson and get
groceries that we Indians were unable to get up in the Saline District.
You have heard them say and recall the age of a boy by
referring to him as a shirt tail boy. This was because we boys never wore
pants until we were about eleven or twelve years old, they were just long
Our clothing was made with a spinning wheel, reel and
loom. We would sit around the fireplace at night at Alex and Beckyís house
and pick the seed out of the cotton so that it could be carded, reeled and
woven. I never saw any cotton until I got down to Wilsonís place. Up in the
hills our clothing was made more or less of hides and furs.
The clothing was colored different colors by the use of
different barks of the trees. For example shumac with a little copperas boiled
down to a strong liquid, made a tan color. Sycamore boiled down would make a
red. We could get indigo up at the store at Fort Gibson and this would make
any and all kinds of shades of blue.
The Indians usually wore moccasins up in the hills in the
Saline District made from hides and furs. Later they would make shoes. We had
no shoe tacks, and we would have to whittle shoe pegs usually out of ash or
maple. We would take a cowhide and tan it with bark, and if the hair did not
come off easily with the bark preparation we would take ashes and grease and
make a kind of a soap or lye and throw it on the hide and let it stay there
over night and then the hair would scrape off easily the next morning. We used
hog bristles and squirrel skins cut into threads to sew the shoes.
Our social affairs were practically nothing. We Full
Bloods were always busy cutting logs for our cabin and splitting rails for our
fences. We occasionally visited neighbors and friends. Sometimes the boys and
girls would get together on a Sunday and have a few pony races.
We would plant our corn with a big eyed hoe. We would go
along and dig a hole, drop the corn and cover it up with this hoe. We
continued to cultivate the corn with the hoe. Later on we made us an old bull
tongue and would break the ground with this bull togue pulled by one pony. We
used to work oxen in two, four, and sixes. The yokes for the oxen were usually
made of hickory, of course hand-made. Our ox carts were made by taking a log
and sawing off at the required thickness of the wheels and making these cuts
as near round and of the same size as possible, and then burn a hole through
the center of the round block or wheel to fit an axle. The axle would be cut
from a log of the right size and at the proper length and back from each end
would be cut a shoulder for the spindle and in each end of the axle would be
burned a hole through which could be driven a wooden pin, so as to hold on the
wheel. The rest of the cart was made from small limbs of trees or poles split
half in two. We also made our four wheel wagons in the early days in the same
In 1860 I moved along with Arch and Becky Wilson to the
east bank of the Illinois River which was directly east of the present Linder
Bend School, and about eight miles up stream from the mouth of the Illinois
River to the Mackey Salt Works, and it was at this place that Arch and I went
to work for MACKEY making salt.
There was a man by the name of John FERGUSON who had two
sisters and these sisters came to work and lived with Arch and Becky. One
night two white men who I supposed knew the two sisters came to the house and
wanted to see them. It seemed to me that Arch knew these men and he met them
at the door and told them they could not come in. An argument took place and
they killed Arch in the doorway. The next day one of these fellows came to me
down at the Salt Works and cursed me and told me that I ought to be in the
Army and if I was a couple years older they would have me in there (meaning
the Army) and if I continued to hang around they would make me go anyhow. They
said that they were not going to the Army and they could get out by going to
Texas. They insisted that I go along with them and I went. I never did know when or where Arch was buried or what
became of Becky.
During the duration of the War I remained in Texas. I
remember the first job I got. I was to plant and did plant ten acres of corn
for a white man and he was to pay me a dollar. When I had finished he gave me
only fifty cents. I came to the white men that I fled with to Texas and told
them how this fellow only paid me fifty cents. The next day they went with me
to get my other fifty cents and told the man that he would have to pay me or
he would never owe anybody else as long as he lived, because he wouldnít
live long. The fellow handed them over the fifty cents and they gave it to me.
These two white men that I was with were good to me, and they meant every word
they told anybody even if it meant death. The last time I saw these two white
men was around Cow Town - now they call it Fort Worth, Texas.
I went to work then on the old Ben WAGGONER Ranch east of
Cow Town (meaning Fort Worth, Texas) and punched cattle for him until 1867.
This old Waggoner Ranch is now what is known as one of the greatest race
tracks in the United States, Arlington Down, which is still owned by the
descendants of the old Ben Waggoner. I started back to the Indian Territory by Gainesville,
crossed the ferry north of Gainesville across Red River, coming into the town
of what is now Ardmore.
Migration to Indian Territory from Texas after the Civil
I was by myself and worked my way along what I believe
they called the Texas road until it intersected the old Kickapoo Trail and
then followed the Kickapoo Trail to Shawnee town at which place I again
intersected the Texas road and came to the old California Trail south of the
present town of McAlester thence on the Texas road through which is now called
Krebs, and on north into the Rattlesnake Mountains (now called Nebo Mountains)
where I settled and got my allotment and this was near the present town and
was then Texanna.
Life and Customs after the Civil War
The houses and schools in my new country being somewhat
different from those on the range in Texas were about the same construction as
they were here before the Civil War. The War as I saw it only set the people
back to where they were as far as circumstances were concerned fifteen or
twenty years before the War.
There was still in the country as was before the War all
kinds of wild berries, fruit, and nuts as well as plenty of wild game and this
was a Godsend for people did have something to eat if they could just manage
to raise a little corn, wheat and the like.
There were wild hogs in the woods and no one tried to
raise hogs to any extent. We did start raising cattle and it was not long
until cattle ranches appeared throughout all Indian Territory and some fashion
or the other.
Our clothing was home-spun and made in the same manner as
it was before the War. Our social affairs began to grow and we had horse races,
foot racing, barbecues, church and camp meeting. A camp meeting would usually
last two or three weeks. These camp meetings would be held under arbors
something like the abhors you see occasionally today, but there was no seats
like they have now. They would roll up logs in the shade and sit on them, but
the Indian would prefer to sit on the ground, and listen to the sermon.
People would come and camp at the meeting and remain
there until the meeting closed. The barbecues would last for a week. We
barbecued cows, wild hog, deer and birds of all kinds, and if it was during
green corn, eat that along with out meat.
Every family had their own burial ground and these burial
grounds of course, are all over Oklahoma. I know where there is many a person
buried whom I have sat up with when they were sick and helped to dig the grave
and bury them, but I cannot tell you how you could get to them today, but I
believe I could go and find lots of them. I donít remember of any tombstones
being put up at any of these graves by me, nor did I see them do it in the
early days except the Wilson's east of Fort Gibson. I do remember in the late
years, when there was a burial ground where the present Oklahoma Baptist
Hospital is located in Muskogee. These graves were dug up and moved to the
present Green Hill Cemetery.
Old Roads and Trails
I knew of lots of cattle trails we used to follow before
there were any fences but I suppose all of these have been blotted out. I was
quite familiar with the road that ran from Muskogee to Tahlequah. You could
come east out of Muskogee along about the south side of the present Blind
School until you would hit he old Texas road at about a mile east of the
present School for the Blind then travel in a northeast direction on the Texas
road to Nevins Ferry which crossed the Arkansas River at about the present
Muskogee pump station then travel up Grand River on the east side of the river
for about a mile then turn east up by the present Frisco Depot into old town,
Fort Gibson, and on east passing the old Soldiersí Cemetery about a quarter
of a mile of the present Perkins School, crossing Maynard Bayou at the ford
and continuing on in a northeast direction coming out at the old Gulager Place
and thence east to the Boysí Seminary a mile and half south of Tahlequah and
thence north to Tahlequah. Some of the people who lived along this road were
Ellis RATTLINGGOURD, the FORD (?) brothers, Sis HENDRICKSON, Lady DUCK, and
others that I cannot remember. Lady Duck lived on the road close to what is
now Park Hill and she used to serve meals to people on this road. Gulagerís
old place used to be quite a camp ground for the travelers as there was a nice
spring of water there.
The Texas road I have traveled all the way from the
Nevins Ferry, as I have mentioned the location of this Ferry above to where
the road intersected with the California Trail before the Katy Railroad was
built in this country. I would travel in a southwest direction from Nevins
Ferry to a point on north Elk Creek, thence a little southeast crossing the
North Canadian River four miles south of Texanna passing through what is now
Brooken and Enterprize and thence south across the South Canadian and
continuing south passing through the town that is now Krebs, Oklahoma, and
thence in a southwestern direction hitting the old California Trail at about
four miles south of the present town of McAlester or near the foot of the
north end of the mountain to the west which would be about half way between
McAlester and Savannah. Where these two trails met an old Choctaw Indian used
to serve meals to the immigrants, cowpunchers, United States Marshals and
everybody that was on the trail.
The California Trail I traveled from where the Texas road
intersected the California Trail south of the present town of McAlester to
Shawnee town. When I traveled this road in 1867 there was nothing on the road
until I got to Shawnee town, and there was a little village composed
principally of the Shawnee Indians. As I could only speak Cherokee I did not
have much of a chance around the wild outfit and did not tarry long at that
The Kickapoo ran out of Shawnee town to the Arbuckle
Mountains, and it was, the best I can figure at this time, close to the town
of Ardmore or at old Fort Washita near the town of Davis. The only time I
traveled this trail was when I was coming back from Texas.
I used to travel a trail from Texanna through Brooken and
Enterprize on the Texas road, leaving the Texas road at I believe it was
Brooken and traveling in a northeastern direction up the Poteau River to its
mouth and crossing a ferry to Fort Smith, Arkansas. I donít know as this
road had any particular name after I left Brooken.
I used to travel the road between Muskogee and Webbers
Falls. I would cross the Nevins Ferry to Fort Gibson using the Tahlequah road
and thence in a southeastern direction through the present town of Braggs, and
then in a eastward direction over the Greenleaf Mountain and come out on the
north side of the Arkansas River at Webbers Falls and then ferry across the
This was not the regular stage line road but I knew the
country because I used to work as I told you down at Mackey Salt Works and it
was only a little ways from the salt works to Webbers Falls.
The old stage line road ran from Muskogee to Juliet
TAYLORís stage stand to a point on the prairie before you crossed the
bottoms now known as the McLain bottoms near the town of McLain. The stage
would change horses and get their meals at Juliet and continue on through the
bottom, fording whatever creeks and streams they crossed until they reached
Yes, I married. It was at Texanna in 1869. My
brother-in-law, Mr. MULKEY, is sitting right here now. He and I married
sisters. If a white man wanted to marry a Cherokee girl before he could secure
his license it became necessary for him to secure ten blood kin of the girl to
sign a petition to the court that he had their approval. After he was married
he became a member of the tribe but he was not allowed to hold any office
pertaining to the tribe and he was still under the jurisdiction of the United
States. Many people married without a license. I mean by that if a man found a
woman they would just live together and call themselves man and wife. The
white people said this was a common law marriage. There was not much common law
marriage among the Cherokees.
On the old Texas road across north Elk Creek was a toll
bridge controlled, owned and operated by Mrs. DREW. Across south Elk Creek a
toll bridge was operated by Jim MCINTOSH.
In late years after the railroad had built through the
country the M. L. & G. Railroad bridge across the Verdigris River was a
toll bridge. This bridge was built in 1907, and served as a toll bridge until
the present highway bridge was constructed in 1919. The Frisco Railroad bridge
until as late as 1924.
The highway bridge across the South Canadian south of
Eufaula served as a toll bridge until the bridge was paid for at which time it
was made a free bridge. This ceased to be a toll bridge about 1930.
The M.K. & T. Railroad bridge north of Muskogee was
built by the railroad in 1872, and likewise the M.K. & T. Railroad bridge
across the Verdigris River north of Muskogee was built the same year.
The St. Louis Iron Mountain and Southern Railroad bridges
were built on the line from Fort Smith, Arkansas, to Coffeyville, Kansas, in
1887, Ď88, 89. The railroad bridges on our present Midland Valley Railroad,
Fort Smith and Western Railroad and the Frisco Railroad out of Muskogee, were
built in the years of 1903, Ď04, Ď05.
The railroad bridges on the Kansas City Southern which
runs through the extreme eastern part of the state were built in 1894, Ď95.
Ferries and Fords
The Mayes Ferry was located on Grand River about twelve
miles east of Pryor, on Grand River. The McCracken Ferry was located about six
miles east of Choteau, on the Grand River.
The old Government Ferry, and later known as the Tom
French Ferry across the Grand River near the present location of the Iron
Mountain Railroad bridge northeast of Fort Gibson.
The Harris Ferry crossed the Arkansas River at about the
present M.K. & T. Railroad north of Muskogee. Red Bird Harris ran this
ferry and handled the railroad outfits across the river when the M.K. & T.
Railroad was built in 1872.
The Nevins Ferry was across the Arkansas River. The east
landing was at the mouth of the Grand River and the west landing was near the
present Muskogee pump stations. This ferry was owned by Mose and Julia NEVINS.
This ferry was used by all travel east and west of the Nationís Capital at
The Frozen Rock Ferry was located between the present
highway 62 bridge east of Muskogee and the Frisco Railroad bridge and was
owned [by] Connell, Andrew and Hugh ROGERS.
The McMakin Ferry was located at a short distance south
of the Frozen Rock Ferry on the Arkansas River and was owned by John MCMAKIN
and his brother.
The Smith Ferry was down stream on the Arkansas about ten
miles from the McMakin Ferry and was run by Junior SMITH. The Joe Lynch Ferry
was a pole ferry at first, then a cable ferry and finally a steam ferry. This
ferry crossed the Arkansas River at about the present location of the highway
bridge at Webbers Falls.
The Foremanís Ferry was located near the mouth of the
Illinois River down stream from the Mackey Salt Works about six miles and was
run by Bullett FOREMAN.
The Vannís Ferry was east of Webber Falls and on the
main road at that time to Fort Smith, Arkansas, and was owned and operated by
Bob VANN. The Rip-A-Lowe Ferry was across the North Canadian, four miles south
of exanna and was run by Mr. Rip-A-Lowe. Mr. LOWE was a white man and the
United States officers would chase him out but he always came back.
The Brownís Ferry was across Red River on the main
traveled road (Texas road) between Gainesville, Texas, and Ardmore, Indian
Territory. We used to cross the North Canadian at what we called Rock Ford. We
used to cross Dirdy Creek seven miles east from Warner and it was called Mud
The Alberts Ford was on Dirdy Creek about four miles
northeast of Warner.
Forts and Posts
Before the Civil War up at Fort Gibson, Indian Territory,
was a fort in the early days occupied by the Federal troops. This was while I
was working at the salt works down on Illinois River.
When I came back to this country from Texas after the war
the Union Troops or Yankees had charge of the fort, and remained there until
after the Iron Mountain Railroad built through Fort Gibson which was about
When as a boy up in the Saline District near the Mayes
----- the next page is blurred and unreadable -----
. . .pole was placed a large iron kettle and by raising
up the long end of the prize or the pole it would let the kettle submerge into
the water in the catch basin, and when the kettle was full men would push down
on the long end of the pole, raise it out of the water and turn it around into
position where it could be set over the fire. The water was boiled until it
was evaporated leaving the salt. We would then, with what we called salt
buckets, carry the salt to the salt house. This salt was freighted away in
wagons to Webbers Falls, [or] Fort Smith, Arkansas, and other points, as well
as taken by people who came there from throughout the hill sections. The salt
was loaded in wagons in the same manner as loose wheat; it was never sacked.
After I came back from Texas at the close of the War to
the Territory and settled on Rattlesnake Mountain east of Checotah, Indian
Territory, I worked at different times on the following ranches; The Circle
Bar Ranch, owned by Cicero DAVIS; the Half Circle Ranch, owned by Sam Davis;
and the Sam DUNNEGAN Ranch. The brands used by these ranches are so designated
by their names except the Dunnegan Ranch and they branded 16. Then up as late
as 1895, I worked for George ZUFALL on his ranch. Other than the time was
working on ranches I was farming, making a living the best I could. I new of
lots of ranches, stayed all night at many of them.
We finally got into politics like the white men have
today. You see the Cherokees were just like anybody else - they could see two
sides to everything, and I guess it was the Civil War that put it into its
prominence among the tribes, that is south and north, some of the Cherokees at
the beginning of the Civil War refugeed to Kansas and some to Texas and some
just stayed back in the hills. Those who refugeed to Kansas called themselves
the Ross Party (the Republican Party) and those who went to Texas called
themselves the Downing Party (the Democrat Party) and those who stayed back in
the hills split - some went to one party and some to the other. They were what
were called the Bushwhackers.
Each tribe of Indians (that is the five tribes) had their
own individual Government - separate and distinct. I knew every Cherokee Chief
from John Ross to Frank Buffington.* The Cherokeeís Capital was at
Tahlequah, Indian Territory and the Creek Capital was at Okmulgee. I also knew
some of the Creek chiefs - Perryman, Childers, Isperhechar and others.
Allotments, Payments and Annuities
At the time allotments were made each Cherokee Indian on
the roll was allotted three hundred and twenty dollars worth of land. The
number of acres that you received was according to the appraised value. The
worst land was appraised for two dollars an acre and ranged from that amount
to six dollars and a half an acre. Therefore you can understand why some of
the Indians were allotted all the way from fifty acres to one hundred and
sixty acres. This allotment also included the Freedmen or negroes and if they
proved up their citizenship they were allotted the same as an Indian.
Being a Western Cherokee, in 1896 I received at Muskogee
three hundred and sixty dollars as an old settlerís payment.
After the Cherokee Strip money, which amounted to two
hundred and sixty-five dollars and seventy cents.
The Freedmen were paid and the Freedman payment was at
Fort Gibson, and Webber Falls, in 1897.
Enrollment started at the instance of the Dawes
Commission and we all experienced a great deal of difficulty in getting
enrolling. Lots of the Indians were so hard headed that when the men or
investigator came around to see them they would not give any information and
consequently were not enrolled.
There was a certain class of white man, half-breeds and
negroes that would run them down and get enrolled. Some of them deserved it
and some of them didnít.
You see the Cherokees all call me Blackbird Doublehead
and I told them that there was no black attached to my name and that I did not
want to contact anything black that the Creeks handled the only thing black
that I knew of. I came to Muskogee to get enrolled and I could tell you the
manís name if I would but I donít want to do that for he is still living
and I threatened to kill him if he didnít leave the black off of it. Well, I
didnít kill him nor did I get enrolled. I then went to Vinita and tried to
enroll there; could not and they sent me to Tahlequah and finally I made it
and they left the black off of it. If you will go up to the agency you find
that there is no Blackbird Doublehead but just Bird Doublehead. Now, if you do
find a Blackbird Doublehead and they say thatís me I am going up there and
see if I canít get it straightened out. I am an old man but I ainít no
The M.K. & T. Railroad built through Indian Territory
to Texas during the years of 1870, Ď71, Ď72.
The Iron Mountain Railroad built through the Cherokee
Nation from Fort Smith, Arkansas, to Coffeyville, Kansas, 1987, Ď88, Ď89.
The Frisco Railroad and the O.K. & O. built from Springfield, Missouri and
connected with the M.K. & T. at Vinita in 1875.
The Kansas City Southern
built through the Cherokee Nation in the extreme eastern part near the
Arkansas line in 1894.
The M.O. & G. Railroad, the Midland Valley Railroad
and the Fort Smith and Western Railroad were built between the years of 1903
and 1907. The C.O. & G. now the Rock Island built from McAlester east to
Arkansas, I believe in 1890. I canít tell you the date the Santa Fe built
through old Oklahoma Territory, but I know [remember] when it was built.
The Cherokees had a few little skirmishes at different
times with the Osages on account of their intruding upon the Cherokees rights
but they were only minor in importance.
We did have a little uprising at Eufaula one time by
Chitto HARJO, known to everybody as Crazy Snake. Crazy Snake and some more of
those crazy Indians took a notion they would overthrow the Government, that is
rebel, but it didnít take long to make old Harjo know that what he had to
say about it was nothing. This was about 1905-06, as I remember it. They
arrested Crazy Snake, put him in jail and I never did know what became of him.
United States Marshals and Outlaws
I remember all the outlaws from Jesse and Frank JAMES day
down to my reading the paper when they killed Pretty Boy FLOYD and brought him
back home to bury him. I could tell many things that happened in Kansas,
Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, that these outlaws did, how they were ___ by the
United States Marshals, the banks that they robbed, the stage and trains they
held up, the horses and cattle that they stole, how and where they were killed
as well as the names of the Marshals whom they killed. If I would ____ and
talk to you about this you had as well bring a stenographer and stay a couple
I want to say this that they always talked about the
Saline District (meaning the Spavinaw Hills) the Cookson Hills, the Winding
Stairs, and the Kiamichi Mountains as being the home of all the crooks,
bandits and outlaws, but I want you to understand that the natives of this
Hill country and particularly the Cherokees are as good, law abiding and home
loving people as there are in any part of the world that I have read anything
Towns and Cities
I might say that in my boyhood days that there werenít
but two towns in the Indian Territory and that was Fort Gibson and Tahlequah.
I mean the Cherokee Nation. After the M.K. & T. Railroad was built towns
began to spring up along the railroad and this is true about all other
railroads. I have in mind the Choteau on the railroad. The Choteau that I knew
as a boy was only a little trading post close to the bank of Grand River.
Locust Grove started with a single store owned by John
Pierce. Saline had to store for a long time but there was near the present
town of Salina the old Cherokee Orphanage.
The Muskogee first started on the north bank of the
Arkansas River near the present M.K. & T. Railroad camp, and the Indians
called it tent city. Before tent city there was a road that they called the
Arbuckle road that ran east and west by tent city and in going west you would
come to the old Creek Agency on the south side of Fern Mountain. About one
quarter of a mile west of tent city was a Government freight wagon camp. I
could tell you the names of all the early merchants and business houses at
Blue Jacket, Big Cabin, Vinita, Wagoner, Pryor, Choteau, Eufaula. I might say
Eufaula was he largest town on the Katy Railroad from the Kansas line to
If you want the names of the merchants and little
business houses of the early days in the Cherokee Nation you will have to come
and visit me again and stay a week or so.
[Submitterís comment - *Thomas Mitchell Buffington was
the chief to which Mr. Doublehead was referring.]
Submitted to OKGenWeb by Wanda Morris Elliott <email@example.com> 10-2000.