Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation
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David Randall Swink. Intermarried Lena B. “Leona Betrace” Harris Swink Florence Swink Henry David Swink Burt Randall Swink J.W. “Jourdan Wilbur” Swink William Lewis “Preacher” Swink

David Randall Swink, was born on August 15, 1840 in Madison County, Tennessee. He was the third of eleven children, his families saga has been traced from Rowan County, North Carolina to Madison County. David Randall’s father Jesse Wilburn Swink and his Grandfather Peter J. Swink lived in and around Medon, Tennessee. Peter J. owned a famous and successful stagecoach line. David Randall’s father Jesse W. married well and received ½ of the large land holdings of his father-in-law. He built and operated a cotton gin, which remained in operation until 1900. The gin was so vital to the local economy that he was allowed to pay a substitute to serve in his place in the Civil War. David Randall came to the Choctaw Nation in the fall of 1885. He married his first wife Fredonia Elizabeth Harris in the spring of 1887. Fredonia, known as Bettie, was the daughter of William Gordon Harris and Amanda Jane Lee. She gave birth to Robert Joseph Swink and died on January 6, 1888. Bettie is found on the 1885 Territorial census with her brothers, they were living with their Aunt Margaret E. “Lee” Harris and her husband also their cousin, Judge Henry C. Harris who had formally adopted the three children after the death of their parents. Joseph Gordon (Joe) Harris died in March of 1891, but John Robert Lee (Bob) married Amanda Elizabeth Warren on November 26, 1893, they had seven children and he died in Rocky Comfort, Arkansas. Betty Harris Swink is thought to have been buried next to the headstone of her brother Joe in the old section of the Harris Cemetery. Robert Joseph Swink, Fredonia’s son, although related to both the Lee and Harris families had no Choctaw blood and even though he was adopted by Lena he was not enrolled. David Randall Swink married his second wife, Lena, the daughter of Judge Henry and Margaret Harris, in the house where she was born at Pleasant Hill on December 23, 1891. Rev. William Marshall Keith performed the ceremony. In tribal records for enrollment David Randall stated that he had no living wife and had paid the license fee of $100 to marry into the Choctaw tribe, furnished a certificate of good moral character signed by eleven Choctaw Citizens, one more than required, and renounced the protection of the laws and courts of the United States. Lena’s father Henry Churchill Harris was a prominent citizen in the Choctaw Nation, related to the powerful Pitchlynn, Garland, and Folsom families. The Pitchlynn family like the Folsom family came to America from England and married into the tribe. Chief Peter P. Pitchlynn, and Chief Samuel Garland were his uncles while a Folsom cousin married President Grover Cleveland; he has been related altogether by blood and marriage to some 20 of the Chief’s of the Choctaw Nation. Henry Harris owned the Harris Ferry and Store at Harris Crossing on Pecan Point on the Red River. In 1866 a flood washed his home and everything else away. He rebuilt on higher ground, a new home, gristmill, sawmill, cotton gin, and coal claim and was the postmaster at Pleasant Hill. He owned 400 acres of bottomland, cattle, horses, mules, and hogs. IN 1868 he was elected representative from Red River. In 1868 he was elected representative from Red River County and served six year, later he was elected senator. He was author of the bill that created Wheelock Academy, and Sheriff of his county. He served in the confederate Army, and represented the Choctaw Nation numerous times in Washington, D.C. He was a Charter member of the Doaksville Masonic Lodge #2 and Supreme Judge of the 2nd Judicial Tribal Court, giving the Oath of office to Chief Ben F. Smallwood. Chief Smallwood appointed him to the commission that successfully prosecuted a claim against the U.S. Government known as the “Leased district” affair, which resulted in a payment of $103 per capita. He was both district and lumber Royalty Collector and served on the Choctaw Nation Education Commission. In 1892. Judge Harris’ death on October 26, 1899 was noted by the Choctaw Nation General Council in bill #10, dated October 14, 1901, which read in part; “WHEREAS, we recall with pride his zealous devotion to the interests of his people, and WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that we should pause in our labors to pay a tribute of respect to the memory of those who in positions of honor and trust faithfully served their country long and well” the Council adjoined from Wednesday until the following Monday, the bill was signed by Green McCurtain and Principal Chief Gilbert W. Dukes. The Pleasant Hill home of Judge H. C. Harris still stands today, and is a State Historical Landmark in McCurtain County. Leona Betrace Harris, known, as “Lena” was a twin, born on March 23, 1872, her twin sister, Maggie Amanda died four days after their birth. The twin’s names and date of birth were place on small concrete vaults near where their parents were interred. The name Leona was never use, she was known throughout her life as “Lena B.” She was Choctaw by blood through her father and the fifth of the eleven natural children born to Henry C. & Maggie. Lena and David Randall had eight children, legend says that, “The boys were all born in the Chief’s house”. Florence was born in 1893, Henry David in 1895, Maggie Florence in 1896, Burt Randall in 1898, J.W. (Jourdan Wilbur) in 1899, and William Lewis (Preacher) in 1902. Maggie Florence lived only a short time and was buried in the family plot. The year of Inman Swink’s birth is 1907. Inman is remembered as being crippled from Polio. He died in his teens and is buried in the Swink Cemetery. Their last child, a daughter Josie Elizabeth, was born July 26, 1910, just two months before the death of her mother. Lena B. Swink died on September 29, 1910 during a measles epidemic. Josie died on November 5, 1910. Her name is on the south side of Lena’s headstone. It is uncertain when David Randall bought the Chief’s House. He likely was attracted to the property because of its location on the “Little Rock to Ft. Towson Military Road.” Chief Peter Pitchlynn related to Lena, had owned the property after the Civil War, and another cousin, Calvin Howell had lived there David also knew of the property form Parson Keith who traveled the “Doaksville Circuit” for the Methodist Episcopal Church, south, he had held services in the House, and married David and Lena. David Randall’s grandfather had owned a stagecoach stop on just such a road in Tennessee, and he undoubtedly knew of the coming of the railroad to the area making growth and prosperity inevitable. David Randall was enrolled on April 29, 1903. The oldest son Henry David Swink received the allotment of land on which the District Choctaw Chiefs House was located. Bert Randall received allotment on which old Swink stood. Because Burt Randall was a minor child, federal regulations made no clear title to the land possible for the residences or businesses, at that time. David Randall was Choctaw by inter-marriage, he then gave a town site on his allotment, it is the present location of the Town of Swink, today. Many of the houses and businesses were moved to the new town site rolled on logs, pulled by teams of horses and mules. The Swink Cemetery was on the allotment of Burt Randall whir it has remained. David and Lena decided to build a house in town and began construction in 1910. Ozella Byram McBrayer, a cousin of Lena’s, told her daughter Ethel that she took the train from Idabel to Swink in the early fall of 1910 and visited Lena and saw the new baby, Jose. Dr. McBrayer’s wife remembered that Lena was not well and with the measles epidemic she wondered if Lena would live to move into her new home. As it turned out Lena died on September 29, 1910 and didn’t live to see the house completed. Florence Swink was born in November of 1893, probably in the District Choctaw Chief’s House at Swink, which her parents had bought. She was known for her auburn, naturally curly hair. She attended Swink School and spent her early life n the pioneer community of Swink. She married John A. Curby on July 19, 1916 in the Ft. Towson Baptist Church. John was probably the son of S.S. Curby and his wife Callie who lived in Swink in 1915. He was Postmaster and a notary public in town. Florence and her husband moved to the community of Crosby, Texas near Houston where they had a farm that turned to have a vast amount of gravel, which the turned into profitable gravel pit. Florence never had nay children and she died and is buried in Texas. Henry David Swink was born on July 9, 1895 in the District Choctaw Chief’s House. He was the oldest son of David and Lena. Part of his Indian allotment land was the section on which the Chiefs House still stands today. He farmed his land and married Virgie Garrison, they had one son named David. His son was still an infant when Henry died as the result of a gunshot wound at he age of 21 years, 9 months, 25 days. He was buried on May 5, 1917 in the Swink Cemetery. Bert Randall Swink was born on January 13, 1898 in the District Choctaw Chief’s House. He attended Swink School and the Paris Business College. He married Ina Lou Stroud, the daughter of reverend William Lowery Stroud, and Reverend Leoana Sabinea Gertrude “Hitchcock” Stroud on August 14, 1917. William Lowery as one of the first ministers in the firs church built in Swink. It is said that David Randall built the church for William Lowery to preaching. Burt and his brother William L. Swink bought their father’s store “Swink Mercantile”. Ina Lou’s brother Leonard was World Champion Trick Rider and Roper for many years and traveled to Europe with Ringling Bros. Wild West Show. Leonard Stroud was inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. Burt was called to serve in WWI, but the war ended before he had to leave for camp. Buying his fathers store was the beginning of a life long merchandise career. He moved his fathers store down to Highway 70 and enlarged it, adding living quarters and the first gas pumps in town. Burt had five different store buildings that he built and owned in the Town of Swink over ht years. Ina Lou and Burt had three children, Leona Beatrice born June 15, 1918, W. Randle born March 19, 1922 and D.R. born August 14, 1928. D.R. died from appendicitis on August 31, 1940 at the age of 12, and was buried n Swink Cemetery. Leona, know as “Bea” married John T. Webb, the author of “Never On My Knees” and taught school at Frogville on the Red River in Choctaw County. They were divorced and she moved to California becoming an Interior Decorator. She served in the “WAC’s” during WWII. She remarried Clark Rockwell but never had any children. She died June 23, 1988 and is buried in the Swink Cemetery. Randle Swink attended Swink School and Ft. Towson High School. He has been involved in construction all during his life, traveling all over the world. He married Betty McGehee and they had three sons, Burt R. Swink II, Jack R., and David Radd Swink. He divorced his first wife and married Lila Douglas, they have no children. In 1993 they moved back to Swink and formed the Swink Historical Preservation Association that administers the District Choctaw Chiefs House owned by his grandfather and the house where his father was born, which is now the oldest house in the State Oklahoma still on its original site. The Choctaw chief’s house is open to the public by appointment. Burt Randall often referred to himself as a farmer and stockman, but his life long commitment to the Swink Community was well known. He served as Choctaw County Commissioner from District 3 for 6 years; he was on the Swink School board for at least 12 years; served n WWII even thought being on the Selective Service Board he could have been exempted; and was employed in the Triple-A Federal Farm Program for 16 years. Burt R. Swink was responsible for the first stock ponds in the area; he surveyed the terraces and then built most of the early ponds around Swink. Burt and Ina Lou were divorced after the death of their youngest son, but remarried on November 10, 1960 in Yuma, Arizona. Ina Lou died on April 12, 1964. Burt died on September 14, 1964 and was buried from the church originally built by his father in the community he loved and lived in all his life and is buried in Swink Cemetery. J.W. Swink born November 10, 1899 in the Choctaw Chief’s House. The initials J.W. stood for Lourdan Wilbur. He was probably named for Lena’s brother-in-law W.M. Jourdan Whiteman who was a business partner of David Randall’s. His Indian allotment was east and south of the town of Swink. He married a local girl whose family lived north of Swink, but has had been born near Soper in west Choctaw County. Sallie Austin Powers was the daughter of James Levi Powers and Ann Austin Pope. They were married on December 27, 1921 by Rev. T.P. Barrett in the Ft. Towson Baptist Church. Jourdan was a rancher; he owned large native hay meadows, and raised cattle and hogs. Jourdan and Sallie had six children: Albert Lester, Dora Jean, David Wilbur, Retha Beatrice, J.W. and Kenneth Ray. Albert Lester born April 6, 1922 attended Swink School and Hugo High School. He married Donna Ruth O’Brien and they had two children, Gayle Marie Mortinson and Brian John Swink. Albert was a businessman and Donna served as Mayor in Santa Monica, California. After the death of his first wife, Albert married Mildred McDougal Fogelstrom in 1993 and they moved back to their childhood home Town of Swink, where he was elected to the Board of Education. Dora Jean Swink died from appendicitis at the age of 12 and is buried in Swink Cemetery. David Wilbur, known as “Rooster” was born on November 9, 1926, he married Jo Ann Mahon. David and Jo Ann were married on November 28, 1946 in Amarillo, Texas and they have two children, Laura Joan Sizemore and David Melton Swink. David retired from the Southern Pacific Railroad. Retha Beatrice was born in February of 1933; married Billy Murrell Guinn and they had three daughters, Theresa Roberts, and twins, Jeanette Brown and Jeanelle Robertson. Reatha died on December 29, 1991 and is buried in Borger, Texas. J.W. was born on December 5, 1934 and married Jo Helen and they have three children, Cheryl Lynn, Belinda, and J.W. Jr. Kenneth Ray, born on August 22, 1936, married Mary Louise Benefield on August 23, 1963 in LaPuente, California. Ken and Mary have two sons, Steven Ray and Benny Royce. In 1935 Jourdan owned a Restaurant & Dance Hall in Hugo on W. Jackson St. “The White Way” Cooney Cauldwell and a cousin Katherine Harris Martin worked for Jourdan there. It is remembered for having a slot machine in the back room, a novelty at that time. Jourdan and Sallie lived at their ranch on “Pilot Knob” the highest point of land in the area. He returned home one evening and was shot and killed before he could get out of his car. John and Joe Kiser, two neighbors were found guilty of the murder. He died on April 25, 1936 and is buried in Swink Cemetery. William Lewis Swink, William Lewis known for most of his life as “Preacher”, was born on November 19, 1902 in the District Choctaw Chief’s House at Swink, Oklahoma. He grew up with his brothers and sisters in Indian Territory and then the early days of statehood on the pioneer community of Swink. His Indian land allotment was just east of the town of Swink. His nickname of Preacher is said to have come from his habit of dressing in suits and ties of a dark color at a young age and his dignified and sober manner. He graduated from Swink School. He and his older brother Burt bought their grandfathers store on Main St. in Swink. Preacher grew tired of the quite life in Swink and sold his interest in the store to his brother and went off to seek his fortune in the oil fields of Oklahoma. The oil fields did not hold his interest for long and he returned to Choctaw County, went into business in Hugo and married a lively redhead with whom he had grown up, Daisy Lee Lick. Daisy’s family lived on a ranch south of the Town of Swink; her parents were Willie and Aunt Pink Lick. Aunt Pink, naturally also had red hair and was known for her dignity. She often was driven through town in her touring car, sitting straight as an arrow in the back seat. Preacher and Daisy had five daughters, they were all born in Choctaw County. Lena Mae; Billie Joyce, August 24, 1933; Wilma Lee, January 25, 1935; Nancy Carolyn, February 14, 1936; and June Naomi Swink. William L. Swink was a lifelong rancher and businessman. He always had cattle and owned the Blue Moon nightclub, Rock Gables Restaurant, and the Texhoma Club next to the Red River Bridge on Highway 271, among others, in the early days in Hugo. The Rock Gables was famous for its BBQ, which was made by Sam Hall. Sam Hall, was a black man whose family had worked for David Randall Swink and Jourdan Swink in the Swink community but had moved to Hugo to work for Preacher when they died. Sam was a Choctaw Freedman whose father belonged to Robert Jones at “Rose Hill”. In the 40’s and 50’s Preacher owned the Dixie Theater, Stagg Club next door and the Brown Jug and Horton Courts Motel in Hugo. IN 1960 he moved to Wichita Kansas where he owned and operated two Shipley Donut Shops. In the late 60’s he moved back to Choctaw County and Hugo and opened a Shipley Donut Shop & Bakery on LaMar Avenue in Paris, Texas. He was managing the Paris Shop when he had a stroke and died on September 19, 1971. He is buried at Mt. Olive Cemetery in Hugo with his wife. Descendants of David Randall Swink David Randall Swink, Inter-married #92 Parents: Jesse Wilburn Swink and Mary Elizabeth “Robinson” Swink. Born: Jessie Wilburn Swink, Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina Mary Elizabeth Robinson, and North Carolina. Family of 11 children, 4 brothers and 7 sisters: Mary Catherine “Swink” Butler, b. February 23, 1844. Sophia Elizabeth “Swink” Nesbitt, b. February 25, 1844. Sophia Elizabeth “Swink” Nesbitt, b. February 25, 1846. David Randall Swink, b. August 15, 1848. Susan B. “Swink” Harris, b. August 29, 1850. Sarah J. “Swink” Mays, b. September 7, 1852. Gertrude Thomas “Swink” Stone, b. December 9, 1854. John Malcolm Swink, b. February 28, 1857. Ella Britton “Swink” Pacaud, b. October 9, 1860. Florence Iscemna Swink, b. January 10, 1863 (never married) Albert Robinson Swink, b. May 17, 1865. William Wilburn Swink, b. December 9, 1867. All 11 children and Jessie W. were living when Mary Elizabeth, David Randall’s mother, died on January 30, 1877 after 44 years of marriage. She died in Chester County, Tennessee. David Randall Swink, first wife, Fredonia Elizabeth “Bettie” Harris, m. Spring 1887, d. January 6, 1888. Children of David Randall and first wife, Fredonia Elizabeth “Bettie” Harris: Robert Joseph Swink, b. January 4, 1888 (not on Dawes Roll) m. Hettie Lou Little. David Radall Swink, second wife, Lena B. “Leona Betrace” Harris, m. December 25, 1891. Lena B. “Leona Betrace” Harris Parents: Judge Henry Churchill and Margaret Elizabeth “Lee” Harris. Born: Henry C. Harris, Harris Mill Plantation, Eagle County, Choctaw nation. Margaret Elizabeth Lee, Cherokee County, Alabama. Family of 11 children, 6 brothers and 5 sisters: William Henry Harris, b. February 18, 1865. James Edward Harris, b. April 14, 1867. Charles S. Harris, b. February 22, 1868. Walter Churchill Harris, b. January 22,

  1. Lena B. “Leona Betrace”, b. March 23, 1872. Maggie Amanda Harris, b. March 23, 1872. Laurel Isabel Harris, b. September 10, 1874. Anna Cornelius Harris, b. September 10, 1874. Bert S. Harris, b. April 8, 1877. Little Rip Harris, b. December 4, 1878. Mattie Jane “Harris” Whiteman, b. July 26, 1880. Children of David Randall and second wife, Lena B. “Leona Betrace” Harris (original enrollees): Florence “Swink” Curby, b. November 1893. Henry David Swink, b. July 9, 1895. Burt Randall Swink, b. January 13, 1898. Maggie Florence Swink, b. 1896, d. 1896. J.W. “Jourdan Wilbur”, b. November 10, 1899. William Lewis Swink, b. November 19, 1902. Inman Swink, b. 1907 (died as a teenager, never married) Jose Elizabeth Swink, b. July 26, 1910, d. November 5, 1910. Grandchildren of David Randall and second wife (Choctaw by blood): David Swink, Leona Beatrice “Swink” Rockwell, W. Randle Swink, D.R. Swink, Albert Lester Swink, Dora Jean Swink, David Wilbur Swink, Retha Beatrice “Swink” Guinn, J.W. Swink, Kenneth Ray Swink, Lena Mae “Swink” Mays, Billie Joyce “Swink” Garett, Wilma Lee “Swink” foster, Nancy Carolyn “Swink” Payne, June Naomi “Swink” Mallinson. David Randall and first wife had 15 great grandchildren. David Randall Swink married a third time, a widow, Metha Young Cauldwell Swink, they had no children. David Randall Swink died on May 6, 1926 and is buried in the Town of Swink Cemetery.

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