Pearl Hampton Submitted by: John B. Mann, son
Pearl Hampton was born in Caddo, Indian Territory (date unavailable) to Julius Hampton and Frances (Harkins) Hampton. Her father, Julius Hampton was born in Blue County, Indian Territory in the year of
Conversation with Mama This is a conversation between John Ben Mann and his mother, Pearl Hampton Mann, the day before Thanksgiving, 1988. The conversation took place in the kitchen of the home that Pearl had built in 1922. The house is on the land that was allotted to her when the Indian Territory became the State of Oklahoma in 1906. Pearl was born October 13, 1899 in Caddo, Indian Territory. John B. Mann February 1989
JBM: Didn’t we used to go up to Grandma Hampton’s for Thanksgiving all the time? PHM: Not all the time, but most of the time, why? JBM: Seems like…. When did we start having Thanksgiving here? PHM: I don’t know that either. JBM: I remember one time we had a goose. PHM: I had forgotten about that! Wish I could find something to put those dishes in for John Mark to take home, if I could find something to put hem in. Here see… JBM: Didn’t you tell me that you took a covered wagon from Caddo up here? PHM: Yeah. We came up in a covered wagon before we moved that summer. Annie was six weeks old. JBM: How old is Annie? PHM: Annie was born 1903, June 1903. Mama’s aunt came with us. JBM: What was her name? PHM: Her name was Cornelia, we called her aunt… was Cornelia Richards. Her last name was Richards. JBM: Was she your mother’s sister? PHM: No, she was mama’s father’s sister. She was a Harkins. JBM: She was a Harkins? PHM: Yeah. Married a Richards—she never had any children, so when mamas father was killed, she was alone and mama lived with her. JBM: How did you happen to move from Caddo to Bradley? PHM: Well, Pap was a rancher and had about 2,000 acres of land. JBM: Where in Caddo? PHM: Caddo. You see, Indians didn’t own the land. All you could do was to lease it. That’s the way they run their nation. JBM: Well, the tribe owned the land, the individual Indians didn’t. PHM: Yeah, no, the tribe owned the land – no individual owned the land, but what you put on it was yours, see. And when there was going to be statehood, they had to go to allotment. JBM: When did he get, when, how did he happen to get the land? Because of head rights. PHM: You mean? JBM: Up here. PHM: Oh, up here. Well, the allotment came in and each person enrolled would get 160 acres or $2000 equivalent. See, then he knew if he came up here that was all he would have for himself, and you couldn’t ranch on 160 cares. JBM: But you got 160 acres. PHM: Yeah, and he did too. JBM: So how much land did he really control? PHM: Up here? JBM: Yeah. PHM: Well, he didn’t control hardly any up here. JBM: Well, he had your land and he had Annie’s land. PHM: Well he wouldn’t have it long, he knew that. He didn’t have enough –it wasn’t any 2,000 acres. JBM: Is that what he had in Caddo? PHM: That’s what he had out in Caddo. I’ve heard Mom say it went clear down to Blue. JBM: What’s blue? PHM: Blue River. You could lease all that you wanted. They had certain stipulations. That’s what he had down there. Uncle Ben had come up her too. JBM: Uncle Ben Hampton? PHM: Yeah. He came up to Chickasha. JBM: What year was that? PHM: Well I don’t know. I think 1894. I don’t know what year Uncle Ben came. He came before we did. Before Statehood. JBM: Well, how old were you when you came up here in a covered wagon? PHM: Well, I was born 1899 and it was 1903. I remember it. JBM: So you were about four years old? PHM: Yeah, I can remember lots about hat. I can’t remember all of it but I can remember lots. JBM: How did granddaddy happen to wind up with 2,000 acres of land in Caddo? PHM: Well he leased it from the Choctaw Nation. It was his. JBM: Where did he get the money to lease it? PHM: Lordy, he had a store, he had cattle—I don’t know where he got the money to start on. I guess he borrowed it from the bank I imagine. It would be my guess that’s what people do, don’t they. JBM: Well now, he didn’t come over the Trail of Tears did he? PHM: Well of course not. JBM: He was too young for that. PHM: He wasn’t born until 1859, and the Trail of Tears was 1832-36. His sister-his half sister did though. Aunt Lizzie Hampton Pusley and Sloan. JBM: Well she just had to be a little baby. PHM: No, she remembers it. Because I’ve heard her, I remember her. I’ve heard her. She’s 25 years older than Poppa. JBM: Oh. PHM: I’ve heard her, I’ve heard her tell about it. I’ve heard her tell about a little blue bowl/bow. JBM: Well now, was she a LeFleur? PHM: She was a Hampton. JBM: She was a Hampton? PHM: Poppa’s half sister, yeah. PHM: See, he came, their daddy came on ahead, and her mother wouldn’t come. They gave them a year or tow or something. She wouldn’t come until the last minute. She waited until they came after her. JBM: Well, now they came from Greenwood, Mississippi? Woodville, Annie said. PHM: I don’t know what place it was. JBM: Was that the Hamptons from Greenwood? PHM: I don’t know. JBM: Well I though you went to their house in Mississippi one time. PHM: I did, that was Greenwood LeFleur, he was the chief, but he never did come to Oklahoma. JBM: What kin was Greenwood LeFleur? You were, a first cousin to him? PHM: Well I don’t know just what it was. JBM: Or like a first cousin twice removed, I guess, cause he was older than you, a whole lot older. PHM: Of course he was, he was the Chief. JBM: He was the Chief in 1832 wasn’t he? PHM: Well sure, when they made the deal for them to come. That’s the reason they didn’t like him, and that’s the reason he never did come to Oklahoma because he said he knew he’d be killed. JBM: Well there was three of, three chiefs weren’t there? PHM: Yeah, but he was the Principle Chief, and when he wouldn’t come, then George Harkins was one of the Chiefs. JBM: Who was Harkins? PHM: That was Mamas grandfather, George Harkins was Mamas grandfather. JMB: Grandfather? PHM: Uncle, I guess. JBM: Uncle? PHM: I had it all down, but I don’t remember any more. JBM: Now was Granddaddy Hampton, he was involved with the, what constitution? The Choctaw Constitution? When he was 17 years old and had the cherry desk built? PHM: Yeah, when he was, oh, the Choctaw had two houses, just like the state legislation. She was the clerk of one of the chiefs, which one I don’t know. JBM: Well he was… PHM: I guess I could look back and find out. JBM: Well, I had just always heard that he was 17 years old. PHM: 18 JBM: 18. That’s when the desk was built? PHM: Yeah. JBM: Its made out of cherry wood. I thought he had it built for himself. PHM: Well maybe he didn’t, I never did her that. JBM: Well, I think Arlee told me that at one time. Well now what was Uncle Ben Hampton? He was even more important wasn’t he? PHM: Oh year, he was on the Dawes Commission that decided for them to come. But he wasn’t wantin them to, but, of course they (Choctaws) did. JBM: come from where? PHM: Mississippi to Oklahoma. JBM: Ben? PHM: Ben Hampton, you know what the Dawes Commission. JBM: Well, he was still living when I was a little kid. Now he couldn’t have been that old. PHM: ……well sure he was, he was eight years older than Papa. JBM: Well, but it was 1833 when they moved here. PHM: Yeah. JBM: Well he wasn’t. PHM: The Dawes Commission was after they came here, after they got the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma wasn’t it? Look in your history, I don’t remember, I can’t remember. JBM: Where did grandma go to school? PHM: New Hope Seminary, near Spiro, Oklahoma. PHM: Uncle Bens name, did you ever read this book, “The rise and fall of the Choctaw Republic”. JBM: Yeah. PHM: Hugh? JBM: His name was a footnote in that. PHM: Yeah. Well, what year was that? JBM: I don’t remember—don’t remember all the dates. PHM: I don’t either. When I used to be looking up that thing, I’m tryin’ to get it on my mind when I look up in the Chronicles of Oklahoma about it, but I don’t… JBM: Well, what year did Uncle Ben die? I vaguely remember him. PHM: I can too, but I don’t remember what year it was. JBM: ‘Cause he lived in Chickasha. PHM: Yeah. He was in his 90’s, 91 or 92 or 93. JBM: Where did Grandma go to high school or school? PHM: New Hope Seminary. JBML: New Hope. PHM: That was down by Spiro. Of course it’s not there anymore. JBM: Well, what’s that picture I see all the time of that building? PHM: That what? JBM: There’s a building –you’ve got pictures of it, and you said that’s where “Mamer” went to school. It’s called Choctaw Girls Academy or something like that. Wheelock. What’s the one at Wheelock? PHM: Oh, Wheelock is an orphan’s school. Nel went to school at Wheelock. Wheelock—that’s down by Valliant. Its still there, at Millertown, north of Millertown. JBM: Well, I thought Grandma went to school there too. PHM: No. That was, now that was a girls school. It started out to be for orphans. JBM: Well did Grandma teach there or something? PHM: No. Where she taught, she had one of those that they called a subscription school. In Oklahoma in the territorial days that’s the only kind of school they had. The parents paid the teacher. JBM: You don’t know where that was? PHM: Yeah, that was down at, at, shoot, I’ve been there, its out in the country, north of Bennington. County—close to Caddo. JBM: Bennington. PHM: No not Bennington, at a, what’s that other little places name. Anyway it’s north of Bennington…Banty. JBM: Grandmas—was it her father that was bushwhacked over the Trail of Tears? PHM: Not over the Trail of Treas. After thy got here and Mamer was five years old. JBM: She was five years old. PHM: She was four or five years old, she saw it. She remembers it. And that’s down by that old church at Wheelock. They was going to church. JBM: Why did her daddy get killed? PHM: I don’t know. She didn’t know, but they did I suppose they was mad at George Harkins as chief because the Indians didn’t get paid, they didn’t have things here like they were supposed to and they was still mad at Greenwood LaFlore—that’s what they supposed. JBM: Well that was 50 years later. PHM: Yeah. But still talking about it though. JBM: Did they ever find the killers? PHM: I don’t know that, I never did think about looking it up. That is far along in my research. JBM: Oh. PHM: All I know about that is what Mamer (?) said. JBM: Now she had sister and brothers, didn’t she? PHM: Yeah, but they all died. Uncle Issac. JBM: You mean when they were little. PHM: Yeah. JBM: Was she the only one then? I never knew that before. The only one that grew up to be an adult? PHM: There was only four of them. Two of them died when they was born. Let’s see, just one was named Brown and he was a mail carrier, and he died of pneumonia because he swam across the river when it was up. Mamma said, delivering the mail. JBM: What River was that? PHM: Some river down there, Little River. JBM: In Caddo. PHM: No, they didn’t live at Caddo. Her people didn’t live at Caddo. Valliant. JBM: At Valliant. PHM: Valliant and Middleton and downing there, I forgot what little creek. He was 21 years old—that was Brown. Then she had another sister, a sister that died, did she say 12 or 13 years old, I guess of typhoid fever, because Mamma had typhoid. JBM: You don’t know her name? PHM: Well, I’ve got it down in my stuff. JBM: How did Mamer and Grandpa ever meet? PHM: I don’t know. And then Uncle Isaac, of course I remember seeing him. He lived to be a grown man. JBM: Uncle Isaac. PHM: Isaac Harkins, Isaac Garland Harkins was his name. JBM: Grandmas maiden name was Harkins? PHM: Harkins, and her mother’s maiden name was Garland, and so that’s where Isaac got the Garland. JBM: And Isaac was her brother? PHM: Brother, full brother. And then her mother married an Austin. And that was some of the Austins. There are four or five of the Austin’s living down in Valliant. JBM: Still living? PHM: Yeah. JBM: Now who was Aunt Phoebe? PHM: Well, that was an Austin, half sister. JBM: That was a half sister? PHM: Yeah. Her name was Austin. JBM: Oh. PHM: What time is it; I want to watch that bread. Three? JBM: Oh, lets, see, what time is it? Three o’clock. PHM: Come in her, lest sit down. JBM: House in Caddo? PHM: Yeah, just across from the cemetery there. It used to have a porch all the way around it, but the porch has been enclosed the last time I was down there. I haven’t been to Caddo very may times. JBM: Now did a lot of Choctaws move from Caddo up to her? Or was it just Grandpa? PHM: I don’t know many Choctaws around. Most of this is Chickasaw Nation. JMB: Chickasaw was the capitol, wasn’t it? PHM: Yeah, no Tishomingo was the capitol of the Chickasaw nation. See, white folks settled up here when they wasn’t supposed to be. JBM: Well, when did you leave her to go to Blocker? You were 19 then. PHM: Yeah. JBM: Why did he do that? PHM: I don’t know why he did that. I guess because he was loosing his land I imagine, and he traded it for that store at Blocker. JBM: Why was he loosing his land? PHM: I don’t know that. I didn’t know that we was even going to Blocker or they was thinking about leaving till I came home between semesters. JBM: From Oklahoma A&M? PHM: Yeah. On the train, down at the depot, the banker’s wife, Mrs. Roy C. Smith (Wlivia) was at the depot. JBM: At the Bradley depot? PHM: At the Bradley, people congregated at the depot to watch the train come in. And she wanted to know if I was coming home for the sale. And I said what sale. Well she says I oughta not tell you if you don’t know. Well they’s goin’ to have a sale and sell everything and moving to Blocker. First I knew about it. But I went on back to school. I wasn’t here when they had the sale. JBM: Well he was probably sick by then wasn’t he? PHM: No, he was sick shortly after, I guess he was probably sick then, ‘cause shortly after that was when he came back to see about somethin’, some business, had that knot come on her and Dr. Barry told him paint with iodine. And when he went through Oklahoma City to go to a certain doctor there, he told him who to. But he didn’t do it. And, of course, it got worse. By the time June came he couldn’t speak. JBM: That was throat cancer? PHM: Yeah. A tumor on the thyroid gland, inward. JBM: And Dr. Barry doctored him too? PHM: Yea. JBM: Isn’t that something? PHM: Yeah, he told him to paint with iodine, but be sure and stop when he went through Oklahoma City to see this doctor. He told him to expect it to be cancer because his mother died when eh was two years old—cancer of the breast. JBM: Oh, his mother died when he was two? PHM: Yes. JBM: Where was that, Mississippi? PHM: Oh no, that was in Oklahoma. JBM: Well now she probably came over the Trail of Tears didn’t she? PHM: Yes, she might have. JBM: If she was a Choctaw. Was she Choctaw? PHM: She was Choctaw. Her name was Anderson. JBM: Her name was Anderson. PHM: Phoebe Anderson, the daughter of Captain John Anderson. That’s the way. They have a nice article about her in the Chronicles of Oklahoma. JBM: Who was Capt. John Anderson? PHM: I don’t know. It said Capt. John Anderson of Virginia, I never got it looked up, but she had married a Bohannon before she married the Hampton. She had one son named Sam Bohannon, so if you see any Bohannons around, they might be kin too. I don’t know. I never did know any of them. JBM: Who was granddaddy Hamptons father and mother? PHM: Well his father was named Nicholas. JBM: Nicholas, was he a Choctaw? PHM: NO, Hamptons were Indians. JBM: So he was a half Choctaw on his mother’s side? PHM: Yeah. JBM: From his mother/ PHM: Yeah. JBM: Anderson? PHM: Yeah. So she fell and bled from her heart. She died. JBM: When did she die, 1861? PHM: Well, Pap was two years old and he was born in 1859, so she died in 1861. JBM: Oh, I thought you meant Aunt Phoebe. PHM: No, Papas mother was Phoebe. JBM: The other, the Phoebe Anderson, Capt. Anderson’s daughter. PHM: We have a Phoebe on two sides. JBM: Oh. PHM: Uncle Ben has a Phoebe, he named his daughter Phoebe, or I would have been named Phoebe, poppa said. JBM: Well I didn’t know Uncle Ben had children. PHM: Oh yea. He had, I think three boys. JBM: Did they leave Oklahoma? PHM: They live in Oklahoma City, –when papa was sick in Oklahoma City, she came to see him. Her name was White. JBM: When did granddaddy die—1919? PHM: 1919. JBM: And he wanted you to be a lawyer? PHM: Yeah, he wanted me to go to OU and I didn’t do it. JBM: How come? PHM: I don know, all the teachers down at Murray were from Stillwater, (Oklahoma A&M). Paper said Pearl was “still water running deep” and he took me to Stillwater on the train. JBM: You went to high school at Murray didn’t you? PHM: Yeah. JBM: You and Lake? PHM: Yeah, and Roy. Roy went down there too. That’s where Roy met Sadie Crocker, his wife. Annie, Alice and Bill (Lillian) all went to Tishomingo together. Alice graduated in 1919; Annie in 1921; Lillian in 1923 or 1924. Annie went to Edmund Teachers College and Lillian to O.C.W. and O.U.