Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation
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Interviewed by Margaret McGuire, at Eufaula, Oklahoma, July 15, 1937

I moved from Arkansas, with my father, to the Choctaw Nation, in 1881. I lived o­n a farm near Cameron. I was living there at the time Jack McCurtain was Chief of the Choctaw tribe. After that Green McCurtain was Chief. We did all of our trading at Cameron, which was near the line of Arkansas, and sometimes we would go over to Hackett City, which was over the line in Arkansas. Wall Berg was o­nce a town in the Choctaw Nation, but is now used as a coal mine. o­nly a few miners are living there. Travelers would stop at Pato Switch. They traveled mostly in ox drawn covered wagons, and horseback. The first courthouse was located near Cameron. I have seen them drive hundreds of cattle at a time through there. That was o­n the Old Kansas and Texas Trail. Sometimes they would have several hundred hard of cattle, and two or three hundred turkeys all in o­ne drove. They would drive four and five hundred head of hogs at a time. An old Indian who could not speak English lived near there. We bought hogs from him. Sometimes we could buy hogs weighing two and three hundred pounds for two dollars apiece. He had a big drove of horses, most of them mustang ponies. The hogs just ran out in the woods, and seemed to be wild. They were afraid of white people, but the old Negro man who worked for him and the Indian could catch them as they did not seem to be afraid of them. The Indians played Indian ball at Green Hill Camp, which was near Cameron. For sports and fun they played violins and banjoes. For church when they had music they used an old time organ. There is a lot of stone and coal there as they have several mines. Green Hill Camp Ground was where the Indians held their camp meetings after the Civil War. The old salt works was located near Wagoner, o­n the Grand River. I remember when the steamboats came up the Arkansas River as far as Muskogee. They would have to push a cutter in front of the boat to move the sane out of the way of the boat. The last boat I remember was in 1883. People traveling would stop at (unclear) Station to rest. The Frisco Railroad was built through there in 1885 and 1886. Until that time, the mail was carried o­n horseback, by way of the Kansas and Texas Trails. We had no newspapers printed. All our newspapers were printed at Fort Smith, Arkansas. All the schools we had in those days were private or pay schools. We had no public or Government schools there then. I did not see the battle with the Snake Indians, but I saw the battle ground after it was over. Doc Oldham, now living at Checotah, was sheriff at that time. His son got killed in the fight. The battle was at Hickory Stomp ground. I moved to Eufaula in 1896, and have lived here ever since. I have farmed a lot, but for the last twenty years I have worked in stores. I worked until this spring of 1937. I am now seventy-two years old.

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Chiefs

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Famous Choctaws

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Original Enrollees

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