Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation
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Edmund McCurtain emccurtain 1884 - 1886

Chief Edmund McCurtain was born at Fort Coffee, Indian Territory June 4, 1842. He was the son of Cornelius McCurtain and Mahayia Nelson Belvin, granddaughter of Sho-ma-ka. Edmund attended neighborhood schools until he was 17. At the age of 19 he enlisted in the Confederate Army and served as a Second Lieutenant under the command of his brother Captain Jackson McCurtain. After his military service was over he established a home at Sans Bois in Haskell County. He married Susan King in 1862 and after her death he married Harriet Austin in 1876. In 1881 he married Clarissa LeFlore upon the death of his second wife.

He distinguished himself by his persistent efforts and effective interest in the education of his people. He served as Judge of Sans Bois County, Trustee of Schools, and Representative to the National Council, and Superintendent of Education while his brother was Principal Chief. Edmund became Chief of the Choctaws at the end of J. F. McCurtain’s term of office. He served from 1884 to 1886. He declined to run for re-election and gave his support to Thompson McKinney, who was elected. Edmund was elected Senator from San Bois County in August 1888. He also served o­n an adjustment committee designated to settle certain fees growing out of the old Net Proceeds matter.

Chief McCurtain died at Skullyville while en-route to his home. He had been attending a meeting of the National Council. His death occurred November 9, 1890. He was buried at Skullyville in a carefully marked grave.