Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

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Walter Churchill Harris Son of Henry Churchill Harris & Margaret Lee

Walter Churchill Harris was born January 22, 1870 to Henry Churchill and Margaret Lee Harris. He died on September 27, 1937 in Pleasant Hill, McCurtain County, Oklahoma, and is buried in the Harris Cemetery, Harris, Oklahoma. Walter lived in McCurtain County all of his life and worked at many jobs to support his large family. Among those jobs he was known as a farmer/rancher and raised wild hogs. He also operated a Post Office and General Merchandise Store. One of the things I remember about him was that he never turned people down for groceries when they could not pay. It is said that during the depression when banks went bankrupt and people in general lost everything they had, he burned credit books from his store because he knew they could never pay. He was a member of the Methodist Church. . His hobby was fishing, but he also played the fiddle. He was a disciplinarian and his children had to be home by midnight or answer to the razor strap! One incident remembered by his family needs to be shared. He usually shot his hogs when the time came to butcher, so he carried bullets in his coat pocket as well as his tobacco. One night he filled his pipe and started to smoke it, but he had also gotten one of the bullets in his pipe, so it exploded. Thinking some one was shooting at him he yelled, “Effie, we have been bush whacked.” The next morning he searched all around the window to find a place the bullet might have entered. Another incident his grandson, Jewel Riege, remembers is that Walter had a pool near his home that his grand children loved to use for swimming. Several of his grandsons had striped their clothes and were swimming, but when they were ready to go home, there were no clothes. Walter had slipped down to the pool and carried all their clothes to the house and sat on the porch watching and laughing as they had to run from the pool to the house, naked, to get dressed.

News from “The Haworth Herald” July 15, 1913: Notice I have a general mercantile business consisting of a nice line of groceries and dry goods. I have no rents, no corporation tax, no street tax, no water tax, no electric light tax, to pay and I will leave it to you as to whether I can sell you cheaper. For sixty days I will sell prairie hay for 25 cents. I also have some good lots in same block as Bank building on Main Street at Haworth for sale cheap. W.C. Harris Pleasant Hill

March 10, 1916: Mr. W.C. Harris, the big merchant and postmaster at Pleasant Hill was in to see us Monday and placed a nice order for printing for which we extend our sincere thanks. Mr. Harris has won for himself quite a reputation as an orator and debater and we are reliably informed that his side invariably wins. Every one in the Pleasant Hill community looks forward to their debates, which are held every Friday night.

June 16, 1916: W.C. Harris says he has been vaccinated against the auto fever and that it took well. He is loud in his praise of the serum and says while he has been exposed a number of times, he feels entirely immune.

June 14, 1916: W.C. Harris, postmaster and one of the leading politicians of the Pleasant Hill community, gave a family reunion, picnic and barbecue at his home place on the fourth of July. It was well attended by relatives of the family with a few invited guests. Nice barbecued pork and chicken with accessories were served. There was also all kinds of cold drinks and ice cream in abundance. A number of patriotic songs, which were appropriate for the day, were sung and enjoyed by those present. Everyone reports a fine time and that W.C. believes in doing things up right when he gets started.

October 7, 1937: Walter C. Harris Dies Monday At Pleasant Hill Walter C. Harris, aged 67 years, died at his home at Pleasant Hill Monday night from hemorrhage of the brain. Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon at 2:00 O’clock at the Harris Cemetery, Rev. J.N. Appleberry of Haworth, officiating. Burial was under direction of the Chappell Funeral Home of Idabel. Mr. Harris was a pioneer resident of the Pleasant Hill community and had been a member of the Methodist Church there for 35 years. He had been in failing health for the past two years. Pallbearers were grandsons of the deceased, Harris story, Frank Story, Marshall Story, Wallace Power, Perry Ridge and bunny Martin. He is survived by his wife, five sons and five daughters, 27 grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Walter married three times. His first marriage was to Sally Washington, a full blood Choctaw, and daughter of Sid-Ken Washington and Mary Washington. She was born May 10, 1872 and died January 20, 1900 in Pleasant Hill, McCurtain County, Oklahoma and is buried in the Harris Cemetery, McCurtain County, Oklahoma. Sally was an orphan. She attended the Wheelock mission Indian School near Millerton, Oklahoma. Walter and Sally were the parents of five children: Henry Churchill Harris, born February 16, 1890, Harris, Indian Territory. Married Mary Francis Matthews on November 28, 1908, Haworth, Oklahoma. (Book I, Page 245, McCurtain County Court House). Died August 20, 1962, Talihina, LeFlore County, Oklahoma. Burial was August 22, 1962, Harris cemetery, McCurtain County, Oklahoma. Their Issue: Lillian – her issue; Jewell – her issue, one son, Jockey Dale Martin. Maggie Elizabeth, born March 30, 1891, Harris, Indian Territory. Married John William Storey May 14, 1907 (License were issued in Antlers, Pushmataha County, Oklahoma.) Died April 19, 1948, Temple, Belle County, Texas. Burial was in Denison Cemetery, Idabel, McCurtain County, Oklahoma. Their issue: Harris O. b., March 12, 1908, d. February 16, 1962, m. Ila Mae Franks; John William, b. September 24, 1910, d. February 9, 1995, m. Doris L.; Franklin A., b. September 2, 1915, d. September 23, 1967; Juanita, b. November 14, 1914, d. March 17, 1985. m. Herbert Flowers; Marshal, b. m. Gladystine Fuller; Paul, b. m. Peggy; Luke, b. m. Chlora Dee Williams; Betty Faye, b. m. William Riley, born December 14, 1892, Harris Indian Territory. Married Margaret (Maggie) Stinson. Died on March 10, 1984 and is buried in Harris Cemetery, Harris, Oklahoma. Their issue: Hastings, b. 1920, McCurtain county, Oklahoma d. November 24, 1985, buried in Harris Cemetery, burial November 27, 1985, m. Pauline; William Riley, Jr., b. June 3, 1927, Pleasant Hill, Oklahoma, m. Lorene Pearl Harrison on August 28, 1945, Idabel, Oklahoma Their issue: Four Children Mattie Mae, born August 29, 1894, Harris Indian Territory, m. Addy Milburn Power on September 7, 1913, Pleasant hill, McCurtain County, Oklahoma. Died January 3, 1961, Idabel, McCurtain County, Oklahoma. Buried January 5, 1961, Denison Cemetery, Idabel, Oklahoma. Their issue: Ruth Evelyn, b. June 18, 1914, Pleasant Hill, Oklahoma, m. Austin A. Arnold, August 1934, Haworth, McCurtain, Oklahoma. (divorced) Issue of Ruth Power Arnold: Virginia Arnold, b. February 22, 1936 m. Ruben Fields Nelson David Power, b April 30, 1916, Pleasant Hill, McCurtain County, Oklahoma, m. Irece Odom, May 8, 1945, Texarkana, Miller County, Arkansas (divorced) Their issue: Darius, David, Deanna and Denise Wallace Churchill Power, b. July 17, 1918, Pleasant Hill, McCurtain County, Oklahoma m. Taketa R. Barnes, April 1, 1944 Texarkana, Miller County, Arkansas Their issue: Patricia (step-daughter), Eugene and Phillip Addy Milburn Power, Jr., b. February 22, 1921, Pleasant Hill, McCurtain County, Oklahoma m. Alta V. VanLandingham, August 22, 1951, Ada, Pontotoc, County, Oklahoma. Their issue: two children five grandchildren, Mattie Margaret Power, b, June 21, 1923, Pleasant Hill, McCurtain County, Oklahoma, m. Lonie Lee Melson, December 29, 1941, Idabel, McCurtain County, Oklahoma (divorced) m. Donald Glenn Gillenwater, June 23, 1956, Redmond, Jefferson County, OR (divorced, June 11, 1965, Coravallis, Benten County, OR) Her issue: two children Bessie L. Harris, b. Harris, Indian Territory, died at age five at Harris, Indian Territory, buried in Harris Cemetery, Harris, McCurtain County, Oklahoma.

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