Indian Pioneer Papers - Index
Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date: June 28, 1937
Name: Christopher Columbus Smith
Post Office: Cole, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: May 4, 1865
Place of Birth: Texas
Father: C. C. Smith
Place of Birth: Tennessee
Information on father: Father was a doctor
Mother: Martha Nix
Place of birth: Tennessee
Information on mother: Cherokee Indian, one-fourth
Field Worker: Robert H. Boatman
I was born on May 4, 1865, the year the conflict between the North and South came to an end. My father C. C. Smith, went through the war from the beginning to the end. He fought several battles and has told me the hardest one he was ever engaged in was at Chattanooga, Tennessee. The loss of Southern soldiers there in that battle was great, but my father never was wounded at all during the entire war.
At the age of ten years I left Texas with my parents and went to Arkansas. We traveled with an ox team, Dick and Jerry, and tarpole wagon. We would travel about ten miles per day. We would just stop wherever we were when darkness came. We didn't like that country so decided to come to the Territory. We yoked Dick and Jerry up again and came to the Choctaw Nation and started farming as my father was going to farm since there wasn't anything else there to be done at that time.
The plows were crude ones with home-made stocks and bull tongue shovels. All seeds were planted by hand, and crops were good. The land was very fertile then and about all one had to do was plant the seeds then harvest a good crop.
Our trading post was at Gainesville, Texas. We went to town about once a year, generally in the fall. About all we had to buy was flour, sugar and coffee, as there was an abundance of game, such as deer, turkey and hogs. The woods were just full of hogs and I guess they were everybody's hogs for if anyone wanted one of them they just stepped out and killed as many as they wanted and no one seemed to think anything about it.
I married and moved to the Chickasaw Nation and took a lease from some Indians. I built a log house, cleared out some land and began farming. My farming was successful and after a few years I quit farming and went into the mercantile business at Dibble, general merchandise.
There was a gang of outlaws in the country for my store was robbed twice. After these robberies I farmed for a while and then again went into the mercantile business at Cole.
I decided after some time to move back to my old place at Dibble. Some time after this my store was burned and was a total loss as I had no insurance. I went back to the farm for awhile; then put in a grocery store.
My mother died when I was a very small boy and Father married again. My mother is buried in Tennessee and Father in Texas.
My father was a doctor and would ride horseback, sometimes being gone from home for a week at a time. The Indians would call him the white Medicine Man. The Indians had their own Medicine Man and they made all their own medicine from herbs that they would gather from the woods. They used snake root, balmonia, blood weed, and several others. I don't know how they compounded the medicines but they would not use the white medicine man.
Submitted to OKGenWeb by
Lynda Bell Canezaro