Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

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Rosa Lawrence Story as told to Rose M. Poole, daughter

I was born on 09-03-1902 in Stuart, Indian Territory. My father was Osborne S. Lawrence (Bun). My mother was Pikey (Wolf) Lawrence. They had three children, myself and my two brothers. Papa had another daughter from an earlier marriage, which I met later. I was very young when my mother and one of my brothers passed on with pneumonia. I went to stay with my grandpa and his wife for a while after that. (He and grandma were not together any more). They lived in Comanche, Oklahoma. Papa remarried a white woman. I went to live with them, then. We were in Marlow for a while, also in Legal and Bohannon. They had one son, Frank. I remember one time, we were moving from Marlow, I believe to Legal in a covered wagon. The top was made out of white duckin’. The bows went across and they were made out of wood and it was pretty strong. We would stop and camp out. Papa would get his old rocker out and Mollie would get hers out. Then, maybe we would start out again. I was about ten then and Frank was five or six. We would get stuck in ah ole and Papa would take a shovel and dig under the wheels. I remember us crossing water on a ferry. It took us about ten days or so but we made the trip. I had started to school in Marlow and also when we moved back to Legal. I went there and Bohannon, too. I just went to the third grade. “I went through the front door and out the back.” When I was growing up, we grew almost all of our food and Mollie canned all of it. We fished and hunted for part of it. Papa would butcher hogs for our meat. We just bought a few things like sugar, coffee, flour and cloth. Mollie made some of our clothes and taught me to make a few things in sewing. Sometimes, I would go spend time with my grandma. She taught me how to cook ‘Banaha’, ‘Pashofa’, ‘Tomfulla’ and ‘grape dumplings’. She would make me some clothes but she sewed things by hand. Joe, a cousin, and I would stay with her so she wouldn’t be by herself. Wed take the dogs out hunting squirrels and rabbits. The dogs would ‘tree’ the squirrels and wed throw rocks at them when they would come down. The dogs would catch tem then we would get them. The rabbits were easier to catch. We’d chase them in logs or stumps and we would twist them out. One day, we were over there riding horses and were going to take them down to the water. Well, mine wanted to go faster and I tried to slow him down but that didn’t help. Just as we got to the creek, he just sat down with me!! My cousin and I had fun over there when we were getting along. When we didn’t, grandma would sure get after us. She’d tell us, in Choctaw, wed better be careful or we would get spanked. She didn’t speak much English. I remember the ‘stickball’ games wed all go see. Pap, Mollie, green, Frank and I would all go. Sometimes they would get rough and they would get into a fight!! I played a little at home. Papa use to make the balls and sticks for us. At that time, Green McCurtain was Chief and they knew him. They named my older brother after him. I remember Papa riding horseback to the Council meetings. He was a member. He rode from Legal to Tuskahoma and would be gone a couple of days or so. Papa got a car one day and Frank thought it was time for him to learn to drive. Well, they had just came in from somewhere with Frank driving. He got out to open the gate and told Papa to drive through. He started off but then didn’t know how to stop it. He pulled back on the steering wheel and all he could say was ‘WHOA, “WHOA”. He went under the clothesline, lost his hat and was still yelling “WHOA”!!! Frank ran and told him how to stop the car. I don’t think he ever learned to drive. He just liked his horses. I spent a lot of time in the woods walking. One day I was out and I heard a noise. I looked and there it was, a snake! I ran; it ran; I sopped; it stopped; there was a fence close by so I jumped on it and the snake went on under. We would always see the snakes out in the fields. They’d stand up and look around over the crops but that was the firs time one ever got after me. I was so scared!!! It’s no wonder that I don’t like snakes. I was growing up, years passed and I met William Harvey Huddleston (Bud). We married 02-15-1920 in Stuart, Oklahoma and we had three girls. Bud was a lineman and would spend a lot of time traveling. The girls and I would spend a lot of time with Papa and Millie. They had been in Plainview, Texas for a while. We were there with them when Bud was killed in 1931. He was killed on his job. We all moved to Oklahoma City and they helped me with the girls. I did odd jobs and even sold strawberries. Then, I decided to go to beauty school and Frank was going to barber school about the same time. So I went but had no luck getting a job. Frank and a friend had as hop close to Capitol Hill in Oklahoma City. One day in their shop a man walked in, got a haircut, then went out and waited in a car while another man came in and got a haircut. When he was getting ready to leave, turned and said, “The police think they have Pretty Boy Floyd and Birdville trapped over here in Capitol Hill but when the police come by tell them we were by. “That was them!! That was about 1931 or 1932. Frank said he would never forget that. Some years passed and I met a man by the name of Lee McNutt. We got married but wasn’t together very long. We lived mostly around Pauls Valley before we were divorced. Then, in the late thirties, I sent the girls to St. Elizabeth’s Boarding School for girls at Purcell, Oklahoma. They were there until they went out on their own. A few years passed and I met Lorenzo D. Gilbreath. We were married in Sublette, Kansas on 08-19-1942. We stayed there for a while then moved to Hagerman, New Mexico. We were the re about 13 years then we lived in California for a few year. During the time I was in New Mexico, Pap passed on in 1944. Lorenzo and I divorced. I moved to Oklahoma City and I have been here since. I am 93 years old now, live alone with my bird and dog. I’ll always have my memories of when I was growing up. Children: Cleta I. Huddleston Bennett, born 01-02-1931; Glayds L. Huddleston Cook, born 04-28-1923; Ruth L. Huddleston O’Neal, born 07-18-1925; Grandchildren: Rose M. Huddleston Poole, born 12-12-1940; John D. Bennett, born 09-10-1956; Mickie L. Bennett Sutton, born 08-09-1958; Rosemary Cook Damson, born 05-01-1943; Harvey R. Cook, born 01-23-1947; Patricia A. Gardner Mayes, born 03-30-1945; Barbara J. Gardner Elcyzyn, born 02-26-1947; Michael A. O’Neal, born 12-28-1956. Great Grandchildren: Billy W. Poole, Jr.; Teresa L. Poole Adams; Eric W. Poole; Eugene L. Tacheco; Ashley K. Tanner; Kenneth P. Tanner; Daniel M. Tanner; Jeffrey L. Brown; Savannah R. Sutton; Carrisa L. Sutton; Brandon L. Hester; Denise K. Damson Singley; Michael P. Damson; Jon M. Damson; Rebecca L. damson; Leanders K. Dow; Melissa B Cooper; Mark S. Hayes; Michelle A Mayes Quintero; Ronald G. Couch; Marion R. Elcyzyn; Richard J. Elcyzyn; Barbara A. Elcyzyn; Michael J. O’Neal; Anthony O’Neal; Amanda O’Neal. Great Great Grandchildren: Candace R. Poole; Ryan A. Poole: Sarah J. Poole; Nickalaus S. Poole; Shawn D. Adams; Christina M. Adams; Emily R. Adams; Joseph M. Adams; Jordon L. Adams; Chance A. Quintero; Kaci R. Quintero. Forefathers of Rosa Lawrence: Grandmother: Annie (Frazier) Lawrence, Grandfather; Sid S. Lawrence born in Mississippi; Father: Osborne S. Lawrence born 10-31-1872 at Boggy Depot, Indian Territory; Mother: Pikey (Wolf) Lawrence; Siblings: Azzie A. Lawrence born 10-23-1889; Green D. Lawrence born 02-12-1898; Gilbert M. Lawrence; Frank Lawrence born 02-25-1907.

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