Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Johnanna Faye (Fannin) Lee Original Enrollee #8162 Submitted by: Nancy Lee Smith of Norman, Oklahoma, daughter

        Faye Fannin was born in Skullyville, Indian Territory in 1898.

She was the eighth of nine children. Choctaw family names include Ainsworth, Brashears, Juzon and Treadeau. Her paternal grandfather, Henry William Franklin, a physician, came to Indian Territory from Canada.

        The fanning family moved to Spiro in 1907 into a new story

home with a porch around the front and sides. The garage, built for the car was mostly used by Faye and Alice, her younger sister, for a playhouse. Transportation ranged from horse and buggy to the first automobile in Spiro. Faye learned to drive as a teen. The family often traveled by train to Ft. Smith to shop, or to Hot Springs, Arkansas, to take the baths.

        Faye attended grade school in Spiro and high school in Ft.

Smith, Arkansas. She took piano and voice lessons. After graduating from high school, she went to Ward-Belmont College in Nashville, Tennessee for one year. Her roommate and lifelong friend later became the wife of General Douglas McArthur. They carried on a correspondence for the next sixty years. When her mother became ill, Faye left college, stayed in Spiro and worked in a bank. She later married Lucien Proby Lee from Mississippi. They had one daughter, Nancy Adeline Lee.

        Faye was known for her wit and good cheer. When telling

stories about her childhood, she usually recalled the funny things that happened. A sense of humor was a way of life for the whole family. When her father went on business trips, he always brought back gifts. Dolls or teddy bears would be wrapped so that only the feet would show and then Faye and Alice would choose one of them. She also recalled spending many hours playing with corn cob dolls or dressing their cats in doll clothes. Food most commonly mentioned was fudge. She used to tell how fudge was the only thing she could cook when she got married.

           Although the family suffered the loss of two sisters in

their young adult years, as well as the only brother, who died from tuberculosis, the lively humor of this family gave them a unique style that was known among their friends. This way of life is still found among many of their heirs.

        Faye’s grandchildren are Keith and David Brown. She lived to

see only the first one of her six great grandchildren. Their names are Heather, Josh, Andrew, Michael, and twins, Julia and Matthew Brown.



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