Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation
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The Hardaway Family

Jesse H. Hardaway (1850-1922) was probably born in Indian Territory, Choctaw Nation, Skullyville County, about 15 miles southwest of Skullyville, on the Poteau River. His parents were John and Sarah Ann (Hall) Hardaway. Jesse had a brother and a sister, both of which died in their youth. John’s parents were probably Hartwell Hardaway, a white man, and his Choctaw wife (unnamed on census). There is no evidence that they ever came to Indian Territory, but at least two of their children did, John and Nancy, who later married Thomas Edwards a Welchman. John married Sarah Ann Hall and they had three children; Eli, who died at 16 years of age, Susan died at 10 years and Jesse, my great grandfather. John died fairly young, probably in the 1860’s. His widow married Simpson McCann, and they had twins, Cornelius and Cornelia. In 1850, Nancy and her husband Thomas Edwards moved to the eastern part of present Latimer County and built a house and trading post, which they operated until their death. The Edwards Store was located eight miles northeast of the present town of Red Oak. It later served as a meal stop on the Butterfield Stage Line, and was the original site of the Red Oak post office. When the Rock Island railroad was built, the post office was moved to the present town site and retained its original name. About 1885, after Thomas Edwards died and Nancy became unable to run the store, her nephew, Hesse Hardaway, moved his family and livestock from their original home to Red Oak to help Nancy run the store. (Thomas and Nancy had no surviving children). After Nancy died, Jesse continued to run the store until the post office as moved in the 1890’s. He and his wife, Margaret (Pitts), remained on the place until they died in the 1920’s. Jesse and Margaret had eight children, six of who survived: Armenda, Lillie, John Riley, Julia, Julius, and Edgar. The old house that Thomas and Nancy Edwards built in 1850 still stands today (1996). This house has been home to five generations of Hardaways. The store that stood in front of the house served as trading post, post office, and courtroom, (Jesse was Justice of the Peace). Edgar, youngest son of Jesse and Margaret Hardaway, married Lula Ward in 1909, and to this union was born seven children, three of whom survived; Ruth, Maggie, and Vermell. Ruth married Oliver Guyton and had two children; Genette and E.C.; Maggie married Orville Yandell and had four children; Ray, Frances, Gerald, and Harold; and Vermell married J.D. Thornburg and to this union was born one daughter, me, Patsy. I married Bob Brown in 1959 and we have two children: Kim and Jaybob. Kim married Jim Hudson in 1984 and they have four children: Jordan, Seth, Sydni, and Landry. Jaybob married Dawn Bodrie in 1995. My husband is a retired teacher, and we now reside a short distance west of the old house.

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