Ida Austin Original Enrollee
Written by: Margaret Riley Santhanam, her great-granddaughter
Ida Austin original enrollee # 1145 was born February 2, 1890 to Levicey Garland Austin and Henry Austin. Levicey was also an original enrollee # 1141 and the granddaughter of Thomas LeFlore, Apuckshanubbee district chief, who took his cousin Greenwood’s place as chief after removal. Levicey lost her first husband, Richard Harkins, when he was shot during Independence Day festivities at Wheelock in 1877. They had 4 children, Salina, Frances, Brown and Isaac. Salina died without marrying. Frances married Julius Hampton. Brown was a mail carrier who died of pneumonia after swimming Litter River to deliver mail. Isaac married Alice Romines. Around 1881, Levicey married Henry Austin. They had 5 children; Minerva, Phoebe who married Spencer Lucas, Narcissa who married John Luther O’Bannon, Ida, and Sam who married Margaret Elizabeth (Maggie) Dickerson. Levicey was widowed a second time and later married Tom Lucas. Levicey’s land allotment was in and around Valliant and her home was near where the Valliant library stands today.
Ida attended Wheelock Academy. She married John Grover Whitfield in 1906. They had 9 children: Johnie Mae, Sam, Sue, Phoebe (Betty), John, Dell Marie, Guy, Mary and Gene. Ida lived in the Valliant area her whole life. She raised her family through hard times and her children never went hungry. She and her family farmed and always had barnyard animals. Ida quilted, gathered turkey eggs, worked on the farm and in the home, and raised her children. Education was very important to her and she encouraged her children to become educated. They all grew to have successful lives.
Ida Austin is remembered as a kind and gentle person. Hummingbirds landed on her outstretched hands. She was a religious woman who worked hard and raised her children well. She has 7 children living, 19 grandchildren, over 30 great-grandchildren and several great-great-grandchildren. She died November 1, 1948 and is buried in the Valliant Cemetery.