Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

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Susie Mattie Gardner

Full name: Susie Mattie (Gardner) Murphy, deceased. Birth and death dates: November 19, 1903 to July 29, 1965. Enrollee last resided and passed away at Idabel, Oklahoma. I also know she lived at Golden, Oklahoma and Ashfork, Arizona. Her parents were Alfred T. Gardner and Mattie (Bartee) Gardner. She had eight or nine sisters, three of four of which died in infancy, and are buried at Wheelock. The others were Rena Mae Strickland of Madill, Edna Carter of Valliant, Alice Donaldson of Valliant, Dode (last name not known) of Oklahoma City, and Lillie who died when she was young. The girls’ mother died when they were still young, so they were sent to live at Wheelock Seminary. She is also the great niece of Principal Chief Jefferson Gardner. She attended Wheelock Girls Seminary until the age of 13, when she married Ernest Murphy, and Irishman, also now deceased. She was homemaker, and she and my grandfather had 15 children. They are as follows: Ernest Winston “Fat” Murphy; WWII veteran: resided at Idabel, Oklahoma; deceased. He had one daughter, Doris, and one son, Donald. I am not sure about grandchildren. James Edward “Bud” Murphy; WWII veteran; resided at Idabel, and was their sheriff for years and the Chief of Police there at the time of his death; deceased. His widow is Mrs. Nora B. Murphy of Idabel, and he had one daughter, Linda Ann (Murphy) Potts, of Idabel. J.W. Murphy (died at age 19); resided at Golden, Oklahoma; deceased.Lloyd “Straw” Murphy; WWII veteran; resides at Garvin, Oklahoma with his wife, Eva, and their daughter, Michelle. He also has a son, Lloyd Wayne who has two children. Pink “Joe” Murphy; resided at Williams, Arizona; deceased. One son, Jerry Joe, resides in Flagstaff, Arizona. Carl Murphy (Died at age 6); deceased; Kathleen Susie “Sis” (Murphy) Minter; Resides at Idabel, Oklahoma. Her husband was the late Clifton Minter, and she has four children: Larry Minter of Lewisburg, WV, Norma Sue (Minter) Greenlee of Ft. Worth, TX, Freddie Minter of Holly Creek, Oklahoma, and Joe Minter of Idabel, Oklahoma. Larry has one daughter, Anna, and Joe has two sons, Brent and Cephus. Lewis “Sonny” Murphy; resides at Black Canyon City, Arizona with his wife, Gladys. He has four children: Lois, Susan, Mary Ellen, and Lewis, Jr., who all reside in Arizona. I believe Lois has two children, Susan has two, Mary Ellen has four, and Lewis, Jr., has one. Audis “Sweetum: Murphy; resides at Denison, TX with his wife, Mary. Hehas three children: Cathy, Debbie, and Wayne. Wayne has three sons: Dane, Weston, and Colton. Jimmie Ray Murphy; resided at Ashfork, AZ; deceased. His widow is Mrs. Della Murphy of Ashfork. He had four children: J.W., Errol, and Robyn, all of Arizona, and Glenn, who is stationed in Utah with the U.S. Air Force. Amos Murphy; resides in Chino Valley, AZ with his wife, Connie. He has one son, Edward. Billy Gene Murphy; resides in Kingman, AZ. He has three children: Sandy, Wesley, and Terrie. Alford Franklin “Frank” Murphy; resided at Garvin, Oklahoma; deceased. He also lived at Hugo and Idabel for several years, where he served as a law enforcement officer. He used to play Bluegrass music with Bill Grant and Delia Bell. Frank was married once, but had no children. He was, however, like a father to me. Hazel (Murphy) West; resides at Ft. Towson, Oklahoma with her husband, Ray, and son, Daryl. She also has three other children: Marsha (West) Magby of Ft. Towson, Oklahoma, Debie West- Rowden of Hugo, Oklahoma, and Tony West of Dallas, Texas. She has five grandchildren; Chad and Kristin Magby of Ft. Towson, Oklahoma and Aaron, Jennifer, and Sarah Rowden of Hugo, Oklahoma. Gary Curtis Murphy (died at age 19); resided in Holly Creek, Oklahoma; deceased. He was one of Chief Hollis Roberts running buddies when they were in school. In August, 1832, a company of about 600 persons headed by Col. Thomas LeFlore assembled at a place near what is now the City of Paulding, Jasper County, Mississippi, to begin a journey of about 800 miles to their future home in a new country west of the Territory of Arkansas. It was an unusual exodus. All the inhabitants of the surrounding country were gathered together preparatory to the journey – men, women, and children of every age and every degree of social standing. Following the edict of the general government, they were to leave the country forever. Naturally their hearts were sad, and they set out with much weeping and sorrow, sustained only by such comfort as came from the prospect of their future home. Some years prior to this departure the people of the country had become divided into two factions Christians and anti-Christians. Naturally assembling the two elements formed themselves into divisions, being drawn together by ties of kinship, friendship, and beliefs. This particular company was called a “Christian company” because they favored Christianity. The traveled only on week days, announcing the hour of their daily devotion by blowing a large horn, while the Sabbath was a day of rest and of holding religious services. They traveled by ox wagons, horse wagons, horseback, and about two-thirds walked. The wagons were chiefly used for carrying the necessities for the journey. Many were thinly clad and had no shoes, and as they journeyed westward cold weather came on and they suffered greatly fro the cold. About 30 died from exposure and were buried along the roadside near where they died. The roads were new and the many wagons made tem almost impassable. While they were favored with reasonably fair weather, the suffering was great, especially among the feeble and children. Several babies were born during the journey. Passing through Jackson and crossing the Mississippi at Vicksburg, they followed a northwest course op Red River, and about the first day of December came to a permanent stop about 40 miles across the boundary in the new country. They selected building places and set up a very populous settlement. On the 9th of December, under the leadership of Rev. Alfred Wright, a noted missionary, they organized a church and established a school, naming the place Wheelock. At the time of the removal from Mississippi to Indian Territory in 1832, the five brothers, Isaac, Jerry, James, Noel and Edmond Gardner, were boys and young men, not more than one of them being married at the time. Their parents had died some years before in Mississippi. These five were all there were at the time of the Gardner name that were Indian by blood. All the Gardner’s except Noel later moved further west. Noel Gardner married Henrietta LeFlore, daughter of Col. Thomas LeFlore. He settled a mile and a half west of Wheelock, cleared up a farm, engaged in farming and stock raising, and was also a minister of the Gospel, assisting in the church and school work at Wheelock as interpreter and native preacher. His possessions consisted of a small farm, cattle, horses, sheep, hogs, and a small herd of deer. He died at his home about the year 1860, leaving a widow and three sons, Jefferson, Jerry and James. Jefferson moved to Eagletown in 1863 and engaged in merchandising, becoming prosperous and a man of prominence, serving his people in several official capacities, and subsequently becoming governor of the Nation. His death occurred in 1906. James was for several years in the merchandise business at Wheelock, but in 1883 moved his business to Bonton on the Red River. He married Miss Ida Lick, and lived on Red River until his death in 1887. Jerry Gardner married first Rebecca Wilson, who he divorced, and then married Jinny James, daughter of William James. He remained on the old homestead. Able to speak the English language very limitedly, he realized the importance of learning it, and he and his wife entered into an agreement when they were married not to speak their native tongue in their home except when absolutely necessary. He did this in order to learn the language and after he had acquired a fluency in it the habit was so strong that he and his wife continued through their married life to speak it and their children never learned the native tongue. In 1882, Jerry bought a small farm on Red River near Bonton, and set up in farming and stock raising. He prospered, accumulated considerable property about him, cleared up a good farm, and in 1886 became sheriff of his county. In 1887 his family was visited with an unusual amount of sickness, resulting in the death of two of his two children. In 1888 the full bloods of Towson and Boktuklo counties armed themselves in bands and threatened extermination of the mixed bloods, who were outnumbered several to one. Consequently, the mixed bloods fled to Texas on short notice to save their lives, leaving their families and possessions. Jerry Gardner remained in Texas about six months, visiting his family only a few times, and then only at night. During the civil war between the full bloods and the mixed bloods several were killed, including the agitators, before peace we restored. During this time Jerry Gardner incurred considerable material loss. In 1889 he lost his wife, and after that he showed little interest in anything and his misfortunes preyed heavily upon his mind. In 1892 he married Mrs. Ida (Lick ) Gardner, his brother’s widow. However, he was never himself again, and he continued to decline in attitude toward life and his material property until his death in 1898. At that time he had a daughter living by his first marriage, Mrs. Susan Parsons of Millerton. By the second marriage there were two sons and a daughter, Alfred T., Edmond, J., and Carrie. Alfred T. married Mattie Bartee and settled on a farm on Red River. Edmond J. married Laura James, and eventually settled in the city of Valliant. Carrie became the wife of George Tyler, a farmer and stockman, and settled at Wheelock. Alfred and Mattie Gardner were my grandmother’s parents. Grandma is buried, along with several family members, at the cemetery next to the old church at Wheelock. She has returned home.

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