Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

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Noel Folsom
Submitted by: Daughters: Syrena (Folsom) Cormican and Floerainia (Folsom) Kniss

Our grandfather, Noel Folsom and Sarah Folsom also father Moses Folsom were all original enrollees. Noel and Moses ancestry is well documented. They were all descendants of Nathaniel Folsom. Our families, all females are their direct descendants. The rolls indicate that all three were born in San Bois area; however there are many indications that Sarah was not. The only information we have on Noel’s youth is he may have attended Carlisle Institute. Many years ago, Syrena was at a Pueblo post office in New Mexico. The elderly postmaster recognized the Folsom name. He stated he had attended school at Carlisle with an Oklahoma Choctaw, Noel Folsom. The age and physical description fit. He stated Noel was anxious and returned to Indian Territory and be a “Marshal”. When he died in 1918, he was some sort of a traveling peace officer. He is buried at Shady Point. Noel and Sarah had a home built about 1900, very nice by the standards of that period. It was four miles west of Shady point. There were 40 acres of land and a tenant house. Moses, with his white wife Pearl, sometimes lived there.

There are many unknowns about Sarah who died in 1929 while visiting Moses’s family at Fanshaw. She was 69. The rolls indicate she was born in Indian Territory but she told us her father was a white trader and her mother was a full blood and she was born in Alabama. She said her mother died when she was 11 or 12 years old and she was sent to a Presbyterian Academy in Kentucky for several years. She was able to read, write and do ciphers at about a fourth grade level. She was an excellent cook, kept chickens and guineas, had beehives and sold honey. She was an excellent seamstress, crocheted, tatted lace, wove cloth and the most immaculate housekeeper we have ever known. She continued living at Shady Point after Noel’s death. She was somewhat of a “snob” and very finicky about who entered her home and ate at her table. She had every “gadget” available and used them. The table always had a cloth and napkins and you certainly learned table manners. There was a telephone in 1920 and a generator for lights, and then there was a large orchard and fruit trees, also flowers in the yard. She had a buggy and matched horses, which she sold about 1926. Most of the farm was rented except for the orchard, garden spot and a few acres for the horses.

Sarah was about 5’10’, big boned and straight as an arrow until her death. Moses, and only child, attended Jones Academy and some school in Missouri. We have no real record except he had two years of college, was a telegrapher and an expert penman. He worked at Heavener in 1911-13 as a telegrapher for the railroad. He and mother moved to Oklahoma City about 1914 where he taught penmanship at Hill’s Business College plus working “extra board” as a telegrapher. Some time after 1915, he went to Chillocothe, Missouri where he studied bookkeeping, typewriting and taught penmanship. He also taught typing after he finished the course and became part owner of the school and was connected with it in some way until 1921-22 when he sold his interest. He worked in Fort Smith until moving to Fanshaw in 1925 where he ran a garage and filling station. He also owned gravel trucks that hauled for the State when Oklahoma was graveling main highways.

In 1929, Dad and Mom bought five acres of land in Cameron with a six rooms plus eight foot hallway home that had been built in the 1870’s by a Civil War officer. Moses accompanied the Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Stepp, to mining and farming communities to encourage youngsters who had finished grade school to come to Cameron for high school. In September, the school had doubled in size. Dad used a gravel truck to have a school bus bed built on it and for five years, young people were transported to school from surrounding communities. The roads left much to be desired and when the hilly grades were frozen, the boys pushed the bus up hill. Dad later purchased a “real” bus and they ran double routes morning and evening. Those buses hauled all school groups to games and meetings all over the area Dad was hurt working on his car in 1933 and never recovered. He died in 1935 and is buried at Shady Point. He had a great deal of influence on the young people he bussed to Cameron. His stock phrase was, “You can do whatever you want to if you want it bad enough”. Another thing several people have told us, “your dad made me want to learn”. There were business people, nurses, pharmacists, doctors, teachers, engineers, and military officers who came from those

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