Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

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Sullivan Lewis Submitted by: Ima Gene Lewis Kilpatrick

Daughter of Sullivan Lewis. My father was born September 1887, Ti Valley, Indian Territory. Passed away March 1950, buried in Ti Valley, Oklahoma. Went to school in one of the private homes at Sardis, Indian Nation. Am not sure of the number of years he went, but Dad had a good education. There was talk that he could have taught school. He was born in a large log house and heard him and his brothers and sister talk about the house. Had fireplaces at each end of the house with a breezeway through the center. There was a kitchen outside of the house but heard him speak about his mother cooking in the fireplace, such as roasting sweet potato in the hot coals, also wild birds roasting in the hot ashes. There must have been an iron rod to hold pots as he talked of pashofa cooking in the iron pot. They ate a lot of wild meat, as the deer were plentiful. The 1885 census list his parents with several cows, hogs, goats and horses with hay and corn. His mother planted an orchard in about 1873 and last year (1995) there was still two of the old pear trees still had some green limbs on them. In the early 1980’s there were three of the trees and just happened that when we were there the pears were ripe. We had to stand on the trop of the truck to reach them but they were some of the best pears we have ever eaten. The juice ran down our arms as well as our chins. Their place was on the East and West road that ran from Hartshorne across to Pittsburg. My Grandfather, Isom Lewis, was full blood Chickasaw, died before my father was born. He was riding home after dark, a storm came up, his horse was spooked by lightening and threw him off. His gun went off hitting him in the leg. It was quite sometime before he could crawl and get close enough to get back on his horse and ride several miles home. Was in February, he took pneumonia and died in a few days. He is buried in Ti Valley. My grandmother, Emoline Pulcher Lewis was ½ Choctaw and ½ German. Born in Ti Valley, Old Gaines County. After the death of Isom Lewis she married a white man, Sam Snider. My grandmother was enrolled on the Choctaw rolls but passed away before they were finalized, so the stepfather took the under aged children’s allotment near Lindsay, Oklahoma. Since he was a farmer he wanted the more level lands in the Western part of Oklahoma. Dad never liked that part of the state so when he was old enough and was married he sold his land and moved back to Ti Valley, where he was near relatives and the part of the country he knew so well. During WWI, he was an inspector for the Government on having the animals dipped for ticks. There were cement tanks made just for this purpose and the one at the old Lewis place was still there in the 1980’s but was filling up with tree branches and leaves. His job was to see that each farmer had dipped al the animals he owned, as well as the dogs ran through the vat. After the depression and the drought in the late 1930’s my folks moved to California. That is were Dad passed away but his wishes were to be buried back in Ti Valley and that is where he is buried. Brothers and Sisters: Overton Lewis, Corielia Maye Lewis Sparks, Anderson Lewis, Emma Lewis Barnhill Smith, William Franklin Lewis, Loren Lewis all were enrolled. There are half sisters: Nettie Snider, Bula Snider both enrolled. All the Lewis children had good educations. I do not know where each one of them went to school. Cornelia May Lewis taught at Tuskahoma for two years and also at a place called Newburg. Her allotment was near Calvin and Atwood. She also had a rooming house in Calvin for several years. Anderson Lewis was a deputy sheriff and was shot and killed at Kiowa in 1905. William Franklin Lewis was shot trying to break up a fight in a gambling house in Hartshorne. Hew as also a deputy sheriff. My great grandmother, Phoebe Pusley Pulcher, was about five years of age when they came from Mississippi. There were four children that we have data on and there could have been five. One was John Pulcher who was sheriff of Old Gaines County and later on was judge of Gaines County. My great great grandparents were George and Vicy Pusley. George Pusley listed on the census before they left Mississippi as having 17 members in his family. George Pulsey arrived in February 1832 with 11 of his family and Vicy came in May of 1833 with 5 more. There were no deaths or births on the trek west. George had a blacksmith shop on the Natchez Trace before moving west. They settled along Gaines Creek and some call Pusley Creek. Each family settled about two miles up and down Gaines, as there were family cemeteries near their homes. Salis Pusley operated a stagecoach stop for the changing of horse for the Butterfield Stage. One of the Pusley boys swerved with the Choctaw Chickasaw Mounted Rifle as a blacksmith during the Civil War. George Pusley’s name is on one of the treaties between the Choctaws and the Chickasaws. We have been to the place in Mississippi where George Pusley lived on the Natchez Trace and the land record in the courthouse shows George with 160 acres of very poor land. One only needs to see what good land he had there. My older sisters went to Tuskahoma to school, as well as my cousins, all Lewis children. My cousins finished school there with good educations. Some went on to be schoolteachers, nurses and one boy was in the Air Force and was lost on the Normandy landing of WWII. My father also talked of going to Tuskahoma for some meeting and they went in the wagons and took their food to be cooked out over the fire. This could have been for one of the early day Labor Day meetings. They took quilts and slept in the wagon, also taking some food for the animals. I remember seeing a stick ball game near McAlester in the 1930’s as Dad was the one who threw up the ball and my sister and I were afraid Dad was going to be hit by one of the players sticks. We ate pashofa cooked in a large iron kettle. Sidney White was a visitor at our house several times and I remember he and Dad talking for hours about going to school and getting into trouble when they spoke Choctaw. Frost Long was another visitor at our house that went to school with Dad.

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