Florence McAlvain Thomas Submitted by: Lucille Thomas Blackard
Florence Alice McAlvain (1892-1982) was born the beautiful blue-eyed daughter of Polk and Louisa McAlvain March 22, 1892. She was one-fourth Choctaw Indian, her father being one of the most prominent Choctaws of the vicinity. As a young girl at home, she helped her mother with the home chores and the cooking as she had eight brothers. Her brothers were: Stonewall Jackson, Robert, Lewis Riley, Walter, Richard, Jay, David Warren, and Audie. She later attended Tuskahoma Indian Girls Academy. Florence McAlvain had a very happy childhood, as the family was an extremely active and talented group. She had a beautiful singing voice and played the organ, piano, and different string instruments at church gatherings, singing classes, and celebrations of all kinds. Her brothers loved music, played instruments, and sang. They also were all extremely skilled athletes. The family was very civic minded, highly valuing their friends and neighbors in the community. A change in the life of Florence McAlvain came early. Samuel P. Thomas, who with his parents, moved to Kennedy from Mt. Pleasant, Texas. His father was a minister and also ran a country store. Samuel made friends instantly with the brothers of Florence McAlvain, not knowing they had a sixteen-year-old sister in school at Tuskahoma. When there was a break in school at the Academy and Florence came home, Sam Thomas met her and made sure that she never went back. Florence McAlvain married Sam Thomas in 1908. Although her land allotment was at Stringtown, Oklahoma, the couple made their home at Kennedy. They were the parents of three children: Denver Thomas (deceased), Doris Loftin, and Lucille Blackard. The Thomas family, in later years, resided in southeast Oklahoma in McCurtain County. Grandchildren and great grandchildren of Florence McAlvain Thomas are: Kenneth Thomas (deceased) and Jan Goad (children of Denver), and their children: Kimberly, Mitchell, Dee (deceased), Bryan and Danny. Mary Ann Childers, Nancy Childers, Cathy Davis and Billy Sam Loftin (children of Doris) and their children, Brad, Susan, Jay and Kyle. Joey Blackard (son of Lucille) and his children, Collin and Garrett. There are seven great-great-grandchildren. Florence McAlvain Thomas sincerely loved her Indian heritage. She strongly upheld all Tribal governing principles, unwritten laws or rules and the rights of her people. She passed this desirable Indian standard on to her children. True Indian culture, handed down from her ancestors, was her greatest love and tradition. She believed and held in her heart, that Indian nature is very loyal, strong and trustworthy. Her life was a beautiful example of all she believed.