Noah, Frances

Interviewed by Johnson H. Hampton, Interview No. 12253, November 22, 1937

I was born near what is now Daisy some time in September 1872. My father’s name was Stephen Noah and my mother’s name was Isbell Noah. I do not remember what my grandparent’s names were. My father was raised in this country. I am not sure but I think that he was born in Nashoba County and they then moved to what was then Jackfork County. My father was not in the Civil War but I have been told that my grandfather was in the Civil War. He served only a short time until he came home with smallpox and died in a few days.

One of my uncles was in the war. He served until he was arrested by the Northern soldiers and was carried away be them. They kept him for about a year when he ran away from there and came home. It took him about a year to find the way home. He could speak good English when he came home. His name was Aaron Johnson before he was taken away by the soldiers, but when he came back his name had been changed to Aaron Wilson so he went by the name of Wilson the balance of his life. He was elected County Judge for Jackfork County several times. He had a pretty good education when he came back home. My other uncle was not in the war, he was a Presbyterian preacher, he preached all over the Choctaw Nation; he could not speak English at all so he preached in Choctaw, his native tongue.

My family moved from Nashoba County to Jackfork County to Fisher Stand as it was called then; it is called Daisy now. This Fishers Stand as it was called, was a small store put up by a white man named Fisher. About a quarter of a mile from this store was the County Court house of Jackfork County. We lived about two miles south of this store on a small creek called Sandy Creek and on this creek was the church house built of logs; it was a Presbyterian Church and after awhile a school as opened at this church house where I went to school for several years. It was first taught by an Indian then after he quit teaching a white man came and taught this school; this school was under the Choctaw Government. This church house has been out of existence for a long time and the logs have been all rotted down.

When I was a small girl the country was full of wild game, deer, turkey and bears o n the mountains and panthers; we could hear the panthers all during the night. I remember at one tome late in the afternoon when our hogs came home, there was a bear following them up and eating on one of them on the ham so one of the kids went and told my Uncle Aaron Wilson who came with his gun and killed the bear and we had bear meat for breakfast.

We had a small farm where we raised a little corn for our bread; we did not have any stock at all only work horses, for my father had died when I was a small girl and our mother raised us so we did not have any stock at all. Mother just worked around for the neighbors for what we got to eat except corn meal; we made that by beating the corn in a block of wood with a bowl on the end of it; that was the way all Indians made their corn meal at that time and not only meal but hominy as well.

My mother had a spinning wheel, which she used to spin cotton and wool into threads and make socks and mittens for us and for the neighbors; she would knit these threads and make the socks and mittens. I never saw her make any clothes. I heard that an old Indian woman who lived in the neighborhood did make them but I never saw her make any and this old woman made baskets, large ones and small ones that she sold to the people who wanted them they were all kinds of colors.

We used to camp at the Indian meeting held at the Sandy Presbyterian Church; we would get ready for the meetings; we had a few hogs so we would kill o ne for the meeting. It was held every three months; the Indian would come from everywhere to this meeting. Brother Allen Wright from Boggy Depot would come over and hold the meeting and sometimes my uncle would preach there also; we sure used to have good meetings; it did not cost us very much to camp at the meeting and we fed lots of Indians who came to the meetings.

I never saw and Indian ball game nor many dances as my mother was a Christian woman so she would not let us girls go to dances nor to any ball games; if we went anywhere it was to church as that was the only place she would let us go.

I never knew of any Indian Agency until after the enrollment; I do not remember what year that was, but we did enroll, then after awhile we took our allotment of land, then Found out that we had an Agency located at Muskogee and the first payment that I remember was when we got our $103.00 payment some time in 1893. We did not have any more payments until later years; we then got several payments. The last payment was $10.00 and since then we have never had any more.

I went to school for several years at the Sandy neighborhood school, then I went to New Hope for about three terms; both of these schools have been out of existence for several years. New hope Seminary burned down and was never re-built and Sandy neighborhood school had to quit because there were no children to go to it any longer. I can speak very good English and can read it but I can read and speak better Choctaw than I can English although I went to school for several years.

All of my ancestors were Choctaws and all of them died in this country and are all buried here. We lived among our own tribe and never were anywhere else and do not know anything about other tribes only the Choctaws. I am now living in Antlers. I was born and raised in what is now Pushmataha County.


See also story Written in 1891 by Lenora Ryan age 13 (Choctaw Indian) Student in New Hope Seminary Skullyville Indian Territory. Click here