Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

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Alice Donaldson (Fannin) Daniel
Submitted by: Sarah Daniel Rinehart, daughter, from information received from her mother and other family members ad various historical sources.

Alice Fannin was born in August of 1902 in the Choctaw Nation town of Skulllyville. Her parents were Elijah Fannin and Johnanna Ainsworth. Alice’s sister were Adaline, Pauline, Fredrica, Georgina, Kyle, Madeline, and Faye. Her only brother, Henry, was already married, and had a daughter just six months before Alice was born. Mella Belle and Alice grew up together.

Elijah Watson Fannin was born and educated in Ontario, Canada. He met and married Johnanna Ainsworth when he came to Skullyville in 1877 to be with his parents, H.W. Fannin and Adaline Watson. Dr. Henry W. Fannin practiced among the Choctaws and when he was also the Postmaster, Skullyville was renamed Oak Lodge. Alice’s grandparents moved to Hackett, Arkansas in 1881 where Dr. Fannin practiced until his death in 1904.

Alice’s family lived in Skullyville from 1888 until Oklahoma Statehood in 1907. All the Fannin children except Alice went to school at the Oak Lodge School house located near the Skullyville Indian Cemetery. Alice started school in Spiro where the school building was in the same block with the Fannin home.

Growing up in Spiro, Alice and her sister Faye played dolls. The had names for the dolls as well as for each other. Alice’s play name was Mrs. Jones. Faye called her that even after they grew up. When Alice was seven years, her mother took her down by he Methodist Church corner where there were no trees so she could get a clear view of Halley’s Comet. The family owned a horse named Bissie that Alice liked to ride even though the horse would hold her breath when Alice tried to put the saddle on her.

When Alice was in the 6th grade, she met Durward Daniel, her future husband. They went steady for the next six years, then married after they graduated in 1921. Alice and Durward had only one child, Sarah Alice, who was born in 1924.

Durward and Alice were active in the Spiro Methodist Church. She was a pianist, Sunday School teacher and member of the Missionary Society. One of the stained glass windows in that church is a memorial to Alice’s parents, Mr. And Mrs. E.W. Fannin. Sarah remembers attending her mothers Sunday School classes, then afterwards at the service, playing with the cardboard Garrtett Snuff fans during the sermon. When revivals were held in the summertime, chairs were placed on the lawn back of the to take advantage of the cooler night air for the services.

Durward worked at Spiro State Bank, then for the Oklahoma Tax Commission. The family lived McAlester during Sarah’s senior year in high school. They moved back to Spiro after Sarah enrolled in Oklahoma college of women in the fall of 1941. Durward worked for the County Clerk in Poteau, then moved there to work in the Central National Bank. Alice and Durward became active in the Methodist Church there, and in club work and civic affairs. Sarah graduated in 1945 and married in 1946 and moved to Norman with her husband Frank Rinehart.

Alice and Durward celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary with a gala reception in the basement of the First United Methodist Church of Poteau on September 18, 1971. Durward retired three months later, just short of his 70th birthday. During the next twenty years of their retirement, they continued their support of the Methodist church and a loving relationship with their three grandchildren: Dan, Alice, and Fred; and their four grandsons: Royce and Alan Sisac, and Brian and Michael Rinehart.

Alice Fannin Daniel as the last surviving member of the Fannins when she passed away in July of 1993. Her husband of 72 years died three months later. Sarah and Frank celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary in 1996, in Grand Junction, Colorado with all their family in attendance.

Alice Donaldson Fannin was Choctaw Original Enrollee. Her name is listed on the official roll as “Allice” Fannin.

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