Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

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Compelube (Kampelubbi) Family

Submitted by: Barbara Delores Jarvis, great granddaughter of Jackson.

Jackson Compelube was born 1832/33. A family source said Jackson was born in Oklahoma. If correct, his father is assumed to be the Kampelubbi, age 25/50, who is listed on the Red River muster roll 1 Jan 1833.

Little is known of Jackson’s early years. It appears few members of this family emigrated so it is very probable Jackson was the Kampelubbee, age 28, who enlisted at Perryville in 1861 and served in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Mounted Rifles during the Civil War. In 1868, he was living alone with his young son, Columbus, in Tobucksy County.

Jackson became a respected leader among the Choctaw people. He was a Baptist minister and also served as a judge. In 1892, bitter fighting erupted following the close reelection of Wilson N. Jones as Governor of the Choctaw Nation. Some of Jones’ supporters were murdered which resulted in the now famous execution of Silan Lewis in 1894. Jackson Compelube was elected Chief of the First District during these disturbing times and served from 1893-1896.

He died about 1896 in Tobucksy County and may be buried with “the old ones who came form Mississippi.” This cemetery, located a few miles north of McAlester, was quite large and should not be confused with the smaller family cemetery at the Compelube home place.

Tradition say Jackson was married twice. However, three women’s names appear in records;
(1) Mary, (2) Lucy, (3) Betsy.
Children of Jackson Compelube:
Christopher Columbus, enr. #12861;
b. 10 Dec 1860-61, d. 4May 1919
buried Compelube home
Mother: Mary (d.c.); m.

  1. Levinia
  2. Ellen Pusley
  3. Nancy Pusley
  4. Sallie Pusley
    Susan, enr. #9287;
    b. 1868-69 d. before 1919 m.
  5. ”Dan” or Gabel Pusley (son of Nicholas)
  6. Joel Anderson, enr. #9286;
    children: 1. Jane Pusley, enr #9289
  7. Mary Pusley, enr #9290

Susan was the daughter of Mary or Lucy (1885 Tobucksy census). She outlived her second husband and never remarried.
Martin, b. Ca 1872 d. Before 1919 Arkansas?
Mother: Betsy; children:

  1. Pearl (Triplett?)
  2. John (Half siblings)

The 1896 Tobucksy census lists Martin with male child, Will Pulsey, age 1 (Relationship uncertain).

Christopher Columbus Compelube was a famous, controversial man during his lifetime and stories about him continued to circulate for many years after his death. An outgoing, genial man, Columbus had many friends. Tradition says one of his closest friendships was with Capt. Charles LeFlore of Limestone Gap.

A government official described Columbus as “… a man of considerable force of character and enterprise; industrious; of good habits and education.” Family sources say he was a U.S. Marshal who sometimes kept prisoners at his home until they could be taken to Ft. Smith, Arkansas.

Like his father, Columbus was probably involved in politics, particularly the Progressive Party which favored individual allotments to tribal members. Eventually, he controlled almost 5,000 acres in family allotments between McAlester an Indianola. He had a general store at “Punkin Hill” and his farm supplied wagon loads of meat and produce which were sold to the coalminers in McAlester. (Today, only two partial tracts of the original allotments remain in the family; daughter Ellen’s and son, Bettis’).

The subject of Columbus’ three wives has always been a matter of controversy and speculation. By the time Columbus married Ellen Pusley in the 1880’s, many women were being shamelessly exploited by eager white men, who for a small fee, could marry them and legally share in the wealth of the nation. By 1887 the Choctaw Nation raise the marriage free to $100.00 “due to the influx of whit persons of worthless character by so called marriages.”

Whatever their reasons for doing so, Ellen Pusley’s sisters, Nancy and Sallie, chose to become Columbus’ wives too. This must have had to tacit approval of his father, Jackson, who was a minister and known to visit them often.

Columbus was happy with his family and built a solid, comfortable life for them. They were immaculate people, their homes well ordered and the Sabbath religiously observed. Life revolved around Columbus. A daughter remembered “when father had to go to Ft. Smith, we were all so sad until he came home again.” He was a caring man who grieved deeply following the deaths of his wife, Ellen, and some of his children.

When Columbus decided to sell the allotted lands of his deceased son, Henry, the court attempted to resolve the matter of Columbus having two wives. A determined Columbus, with attorney in hand, first presented Nancy’s children as the legal heirs; he followed this by presenting Sallie’s children as the only legal heirs. This must have bee the occasion when the judge, in a fit of frustration, told Columbus he would just have to tell them he could only have one wife. Columbus, with his sense humor, said, “YOU tell them, Judge.” The court properly ruled that all the children were Henry’s heirs and the legality of Columbus’s marriages became a non-issue.

Columbus died 4 May 1919 and is buried beside his wife Ellen at the Compelube home. He had 24 known children. They are not listed in order of birth but with their mothers.

Children of Christopher Columbus Compelube: All births and deaths occurred in Tobucksy County, now Pittsburg, County, Oklahoma, unless otherwise noted.

By wife (1) Levina”
Jacob, Born and died ca 1885
By wife (2) Ellen Pusley:
Nicholas,
b. 26 Nov 1885 d. 196?;
m. Ethel Pace 17 April 1910, Pittsburg County, OK.;
children: Jessie, Cecil, Dorothy, Christine, Audra.
Henry, b. 1887 d. 27 Sept 1905 bur. Compelube home
Joshua, b.1891 d. ? Compelube home Lee,
b. 19 Nov 1892 d 15 Jan 1896 bur. Compelube home
6&7. Twins, infant sons,
b. and d. 1-6 Sept 1901 bur. Compelube home
By wife (3) Nancy Pusley:

  1. Fred James
    b. 11 June 1895 d. 7 Feb 1952 bur. Tannehill
    cemetery; m. Opal Lee 12 Feb 1915, Pittsburg
    County; child: Infant son? Bur. Compelube home
  2. Nancy Jr. Minnie
    b. 7 Oct 1899 d. ? bur. Tannehill Cemetery with
    infant son (unmarked grave); m. ?Davis; Nancy
    renamed after relative, Minnie Washington
  3. Martha,
    b. 16 March 1902 d. 14 Feb 1967 bur. Oak Hill Cemetery;
    m. 1. Floyd Alford 10 June 1922, Pittsburg, County 2.
    ?Ard; child James Paul Alford
    11.Thad
    b. 6 June 1906 d. 8 Aug 1957 bur. Tannehill Cemetery;
    m. Edith Dodd 19 May 1930, Pittsburg County; mother:
    children: Frank, Daughter: Betty Euthene Compelube; Children:
    Daughter Margaret A. Degarlais of Prineville, Or, Son Norman E. Zack Jr.
    of Fresno, California and Gene C. Zack of Prineville, Or.
    (These raised in CA?)
  4. Mary,
    b. 17 Oct 1909 d. 21 Feb 1984 bur. Tannehill Cemetery;
    m. (1) Dock Nail 2 Sept 1934, Pittsburg County.
    (2) ?Kirk; (3)?Quinton; Children: Eugene Kirk and Bobby Kirk
  5. Hughes “Doc”
    b. 24 Aug 1912 d. 6 Oct 1958 bur Tannehill Cemetery;
    Veteran WWII, single, no children
  6. Cora,
    b. 17 Dec 1916 d. 12 May 1972 bur Tannehill Cemetery
    m. (1) A.C. Morgan 26 April 1935 (2) Lewis Moreland; no children
    By wife (4) Sallie Psley,
  7. Nellie,
    b. 28 Feb 1895 d. 29 Aug 1975 bur. Oak Hill Cemetery;
    m. (1) O.D. Pearman 30, June 1915
    (2) O.O. Poston 13 Dec 1919; children: Mae Autrie
  8. Edward,
    b. 1898/99 d. 13 Oct 1899 bur. Compelube home
  9. Bettis,
    b. 6 Mar 1902 d 9 July 1962 bur. Oak Hill cemetery
    m. Willie Melinda Cook 2 July 1922, Pittsburg County
    children: Adrey (Scarbrough)
    b. 4 July 1923, William Kenneth “Buck”
    b. 17 Mar 1926 d 14 Apr 1994
  10. Ellen,
    b. e Jan 1905 d 11 May 1988 bur. Safford,
    graham County? AZ; m. Jesse Lee Wilson
    10 Feb 1923 Pittsburg County; children: Juanita, Vena
    Marqurite, Leroy, Pauline, Pearl (twins)
  11. Son Compelube,
    b. and d. 1906 bur. Compelube home
  12. Benjamin,
    b. 14 Sept 1907 d. 22 May 1972 bur. Oak Hill Cemetery
    WWII; single, no children
  13. Christopher,
    b. 1 Mar 1911 d, 1 Mar 1987 bur. Portland, Maine;
    m. (1) Imogene Grass 19 Sept 1943 (2) Emma?; no children
  14. Juluis,
    b. 14 Mar 1914 d. 10 Aug 1977, Ada, OK. bur.
    Tannehill County Cemetery; single, no children
  15. Ruby,
    b. 13 Jan 1916 d. 29 Jan 1984 bur. California;

    m. (1) John Hernandez, Aug 1936 (2)? (3) Racacho
  16. Lennie,
    b. 25 Dec 1918
    m. (1) Louis Billy 29 Apr 1938 (2) Cecil Miller
    17 Mar 1941; no children

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