Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation
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Fannie Myrtle James Submitted by: Myrtle Morgan

Fannie Myrtle James original enrollee was born December 8, 1905 in Weathers Indian Territory to Sally Clay (full-blood Choctaw) and Gilbert James (half-blood Chickasaw). Sally was born in 1888 and died December 12, 1908. She was the daughter of Louisa Clay and Grandy Clay. Gilbert was the son of full-blood Chickasaw Holson James, born 1831 and died April 11, 1919 at the age of 88. Holson’s Indian name was Jim-Ma-Na-Cha. Mary Jane Wheat James born July 5, 1865 and died January 7, 1929 was the mother of Gilbert. Her Indian name was Shin-Ma-Ho-Mey. Sampson James was two years younger than his sister Fannie. Their mother died when Fannie was three. Gilbert, their father, was a Baptist minister preaching his sermons in the Choctaw language. His work required a lot of travel therefore the children were left to stay with relatives until they were old enough to attend boarding school. Fannie attended boarding school at Bacone College. She had fond memories of being in charge of the younger girls. Her main concern was checking their head for lice, which was a real problem. The time spent during this period gave the girls a chance to bond and to share memories of homes they had left behind. Fannie married Cleve Sweet a farmer, horse trader and merchant. From this union came six children: 1. Myrtle Francis Sweet 2. Eugene Jacob Sweet 1927, has two sons; 3. Harvey Samuel Sweet 1929, father of three children; 4. Billie Maxine Sweet Montgomery 1931, mother of three living, one deceased; 5. Bobby Joe Sweet 1933 has five boys; and 6. Bernice Sweet Robertson 1935, mother of three living, one deceased. Fannie’s second marriage to James Corbett Leigh Sr. produced two sons: James Corbett Leigh Jr. and Orville Earl Leigh, father of one. Fannie had many talents. She was a homemaker, who loved to clean, sew, cook, garden and was quite a craftsperson. She loved nature and enjoyed so much the preservation of fruits and vegetables. Fannie was proud of her Indian heritage and culture. Being outside the house enjoying the sunshine and rain were sources of such contentment for her. Most of her life was spent in the southeastern part of Oklahoma. Hartshorne, McAlester, Ada and Boswell were towns she called home. There were numerous cousins including the Clays, the Andersons and the James. One of her favorites was Phoebe C. Kindred. During her lifetime she worked at the Talihina Indian Hospital, as a cook at various places and as a pathology technician assistant. She lived in an Indian home in Krebs, Oklahoma at the time of her retirement. She died in McAlester December 29, 1993. Fannie Myrtle James - Original Enrollee 12/8/1905 to 12/29/1993- Age 88. Sally Clay (Mother) – Original Enrollee 1886 to 12/13/1908- Age 20. Lizzie Clay (Aunt)- Original enrollee 1888 to 4/1903 – Age 15. Kizzie Clay (Aunt) – Original Enrollee 1891 to 7/1906 – Age 15. Gilbert James (Father) – Original Enrollee.

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