What does it take to hold a marriage together for 70 years?
Amison and Katie Mullin of Damon Valley have the answer to that question. The couple married on May 26, 1924. “When we got married you did it for life. I never thought of divorce, through the good and bad, I just never thought of divorce, “He was a handsome young man at 16.” “You weren’t so bad looking yourself,” Amison chuckled affectionately. Amison is an original enrollee of the Choctaw Nation. The land on which the Mullin family have built their homes is Amison’s allotted parcel of land. At the age of six, he was sent to board at Jones Academy for school. “I only got to come home for three months in the summer and it was pretty hard on me,” he said. On his arrival at the school, he could speak only Choctaw and no English. They wanted me to speak only English so I could learn it. If they caught me speaking Choctaw, I was sent to my room. At the age of 19, Amison asked 16-year-old Katie to marry him. A daring elopement on horseback to Clayton almost ended in tragedy. It had rained heavily the whole time we were in Clayton. When we started back, it was getting dark but we could hear the creek running swiftly. The horse was already losing footing in the rushing stream when I caught the reins and pulled it back onto the bank. We waited until noon the next day and I made Katie walk the railroad ridge across and I swam the horses across,” said Amison. Seventy years holds more memories than a person can share. The couple faced the depression together, although forced to leave his homeland to find work. They moved to Hartshorne and on to Seminole and eventually to Oklahoma City. Amison was employed for British American Oil Company for 25 years before retiring at the age of 55. He suffered two heart attacks, the last one requiring open-heart surgery. Mr. Mullin was the fifth man in Oklahoma to undergo open-heart surgery. Two men had not survived the surgery and two had lived. Following the surgery, he was told he would probably live only another five years and advised him that he not be too active and remain close to the hospital in Oklahoma City. “But Ame wanted to come home. I tried to talk him out of it because we had our home in the city. He wouldn’t hear of it. He had always wanted to come back home.” Katie remembered. “I was so frightened when we came back. He was weak and we were down in this valley all by ourselves at that time. “As you can see, she pointed to the flower beds, “We’ve made it home and it looks like he’ll outlive me,” she said with a laugh. The Mullins have one son, Billy and three grandsons, Mike, Mark, and Mitchel. There are two great grandsons, Mitchel and Mathew. The family celebrated Amison and Katie’s 70th wedding anniversary May 28, 1994. The grandson’s hosted a bar-b-cue dinner for family and friends. This has been rewritten from the “Latimer County Today” and is owned by their grandson, Mitch Mullin.