Submitted by: Dolores Durant Taylor, daughter
My father, Albert Wayne Durant, was an original enrollee. He was born in Indian Territory, Atoka, I think. He and his father were on the last roll taken of the “Five Civilized” tribes. He was not very old at the time and had already lost his mother. His father remarried and had one daughter, Eulala, who had one son, Robert. We were in contact with them during the 40’s. My sister, Wenona corresponded with Robert for a while, I believe they lived in Arizona. In the early 50’s, Aunt Eulala was living in Tulsa, Oklahoma. That is the last contact we had with her. If by some chance, either of them receives the BISHINIK, it would be great to hear from them.
My father attended Jones Academy. It was during one of the school terms that his father died. It is my understanding that he was not even informed of the death until he returned home on a break. So, he was left alone and was taken in by a white Catholic family. He ran away at sixteen and joined the navy. My mother and he met when he was working for her father, J.A. Williams. After they married, they moved to the twenty acres he had been “given” by the government. They raised cotton, I know for sure, but am not sure what else. How often we wish we had listened more closely to details. They moved to Kiowa, and my dad had a service station or garage. We moved from there to California. We lived in Blythe for a while and then moved to San Jacinto. Dad eventually started painting houses and mostly did that until he retired to Kiowa, Oklahoma.
As a young man, he played some minor league baseball in Oklahoma, traveled with some team for a while. He was a left-handed pitcher and a switch hitter. He was also ambidextrous when it cam to writing, and had beautiful handwriting. He continued to love baseball and continued to play as long as he could. He played with a team from the Sobobas Indian reservation in California. We went to a baseball game almost every Sunday afternoon at the various Indian reservations. I remember him pitching a no-hitter in a tournament at Sherman Institute in Riverside, California, to win it for his team.
My dad was a moa of little words, and had a rather dry humor. But he had a big, wonderful laugh that was recognizable if you were anywhere near. I know he had quite a few hardships growing up, and that he worked hard all his working years to raise four children, but I don’t remember his ever feeling sorry for himself. He always had a positive attitude. He was a very private person, and I am so sorry that I did not try to draw him out more and I deeply regret that he did not teach us some of the Choctaw language. I did not know he could speak it until after he was gone. I am very proud of my Indian heritage and try to learn all that I can about the Choctaw Tribe. I have found it very difficult to find information about the Choctaws.
My dad married an Indian girl and had one daughter before he married my mom.
No birthdate is available for Albert Wayne Durant but it is known that he died in March 1984 at McAlester, Oklahoma, and is buried in Pittsburg, Oklahoma. He married twice but the name and date of marriage to his first wife is unavailable. The second marriage was to Pearl Belle Williams on 01-02-1929. They had been married 54 years when he passed away.
He attended school at Jones Academy. After he finished school, he worked as a farmer, mechanic, baseball player and housepainter.
His children were: Wenona Dean, Pearl Dolores, Gloria Pat, and Elvin Wayne. The grandchildren were: Katherine Pearl Partain, Albert Maurice Partain, Jacqueline Dean Partain, Gary Zane Partain, Michael Wayne Taylor, Marsha Lynn Taylor, Larry Keith Taylor, Karen Renee Taylor, Quanna Sue Jones, Walter Dean Jones, Dorothy Kay Durant, Brian Durant, Bruce Durant (Twin to Brian) died in infancy, David Durant, and Elvin Wayne Durant, Jr. There are 33 great grandchildren and at least 3 great great grandchildren.