Georgia Ann Barnett Crabtree
Sibmitted by: Anne-Lynne Keplar Samole, great granddaughter
Georgia Ann Barnett was born February 13, 1874 north of Caddo in the Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory. She was the third child of 17 children born to Choctaw, Lizzie and white man, A.J.S. Barnett. She was raised in a strong Baptist home. Her father was a preacher and her mother was the church organist. Georgia Ann was also musically talented with a beautiful singing voice.
As a child, Georgia Ann attended the Airington Spring Day School in Blue County. The school was founded by her grandfather, Drew Airington. He wanted to insure his grandchildren had a good education. His strong belief in education influenced Georgia Ann later in life. When she had her own children, she insisted they receive a good education.
Georgia Ann met a Texas white man, David Carlton Crabtree, at a Baptist revival. After the meeting David couldn’t get her off his mind so, he to his dad, “I’m going back to get her.” He went with his brother to talk with her folks, Lizzie and A.J.S. Lizzie especially didn’t want Georgia Ann to go, but gave her consent saying she had made her bed, now let her lie in it. So, on January 22, 1889, Georgia Ann was married under United States law. Georgia Ann and David were married a second time August 9, 1889 in accordance with the laws and customs of the Chickasaw Nation by Pontotoc County Judge John Gilmore. The second marriage was done for the purpose of complying with the Choctaw law. David loved to tell folks that they were married twice, but never divorced.
David Carlton homesteaded land in 1889 north of Black Rock, near Allen in the Chickasaw Nation. David Carlton was an isolated white man, a farmer, a fruit grower and stockman, living among mostly Indian neighbors. Oldest grandchild, Betty Ann Bickings said, “Indians could come and stay there and sleep on the porch.” Grandson Donald said, “He was a noble man of high values.” Georgia Ann’s choice of a husband was a good one.
Georgia’s great nephew Jansey Jones remembers, “My grandmother and Aunt Georgia were the only two of the Barnett children who received their allotment near Allen. The rest were all around Dibble, Washington and Criner…. We used to go down to Uncle Dave’s for Thanksgiving and they’d have every fowl known—duck and geese.” Georgia Ann’s sister, Mary Elizabeth lived on her land allotment southeast of the Crabtrees. Their families spent a lot of time together.
When the Dawes Commission started compiling a roll to list everyone entitled to a land allotment, Georgia Ann applied. On August 10, 1899, in Johnsonville, Indian Territory she and her family were listed on Card #3347. Georgia is listed as age 25, blood 1/16. Registered with her are four of her seven children and husband, David Carlton, age 33, I.W. (interwed #188). The children on the card are Wyley E., age 6; Early c., age 4; Edna M., age 3; Elmer L., age 1 ½. Not listed on the card are the later born children: Edgar E., born November 9, 1902, and Elvin, born August 28, 1906.
Georgia Ann’s enrollment was approved. On January 5, 1904 she was allotted 320 acres with an appraised value of $1040. The improvement on the land included three housed, three cribs and stables, 50 acres cultivated; the balance pasture; 175 acres fenced, the rest outside. This was the land near Allen, Oklahoma. The children received their own allotments. Eventually David had to borrow money from one farm to pay the taxes on another until he was left with only one farm.
Georgia Ann had a wonderful sense of humor. Granddaughter, Margaret Crabtree wrote, “my grandmother Crabtree had been begging Grandpa to take the boys to town for a haircut for a long time, but he kept putting it off. One day he went into town and left them, five boys—and one girl. My grandmother just got them down and put them in bed nicely scrubbed all in one bed. Then she got out her bible and waited. When Grandpa came home she took him to the door and showed him the kids—she had tied all of their hair up with ribbons and put them to sleep. ‘Just look at our pretty girls.’ Well, the next day Grandpa just hitched up that old horse and started for town.
The last child, Elvin, was born weighing 14 pounds. A month later Georgia Ann died, October 5, 1906 at the young age of 32 years. Her parents, Lizzie and A.J.S Barnett raised Elvin. Elvin was not listed on the Dawes rolls. Elvin’s father paid a circuit rider $25 to have Elvin added, but the rider kept the $25 and never registered him.
In spite of an early demise, Georgia’s children grew up well cared for by their father. Wyley Ernest married Mable Alice Riddle; Early Carlton married Edith Anderson McConnell; Edna married James Fred McCoy; Elmer Lindson married Goldie Sullen; Edgar Griffin (newborn) married Helen Armstrong; Elvin Jackson married Flora Cochran.
Georgia Ann is buried in the Allen Cemetery with her husband, David Carlton Crabtree and David’s second wife Minnie Ora Branstetter.