Pitchlynn, Evertt

Interviewed by Lula Austin, May 26, 1937, INTERVIEW 5949
An Interview With Evertt Pitchlynn, Caddo, Oklahoma.

I was born in Eagletown, Choctaw Nation, January 8th, 1860. When I was very young I was taken to Washington, D.C., with my Father, Peter Pitchlynn, who was the Chief delegate of the Choctaw tribe of Indians. I received my education in Washington and obtained work there in the United States Government Printing Office. Major J. W. Powell was head of this printing office. I was also employed in the post office in Washington for twelve years under D.B. Auger, Thomas L. Tullock, Harry Scherwood and Frank B. Conger, we were asked to make bond. W.J. Ward signed my bond for $5000.00.

At the age of thirty-six years I returned to my old hunting ground in Indian Territory and worked in the post office in Caddo, when Harry Bates was postmaster. It was then that I ran the post office with everything locked in the safe. The postmaster would get o n a drunk and leave town sometimes for two weeks. I would borrow from the Durant post office and the Atoka post office and manage to keep the post office at Caddo open. The citizens of the town reported Mr. Bates and the Federal men came and inspected the post office at Caddo, but found everything in A-1 condition. They asked me if it was true that MR. Bats was off o n a drunk. I told them I did not know; I supposed he was just taking a vacation. So in that way I helped him to hold his job.

I was married to Sue Maytubby, Choctaw, who lived at Maytubby Springs. Calvin Robinson, a Presbyterian minister, married us. Her father, Peter Maytubby, owned a forty-room hotel at Maytubby Springs. Visitors used to come from all over the southern part of the country to partake of the waters. There were four or five different springs. The water contained salt, sulphur and magnesia. We reared nine children; all are living. My wife died February 22nd, 1920.

My second wife was Harriett Woodal, daughter of Aliade Wooddal, who was the wife of a Union Officer, and after her husband’s death an employee of the Interior Department and returned with a pension of $5000.00 a year. She died January 10th, 1935 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery beside her first husband, being the o nly woman to be buried there. The United States Government gave her children that privilege.

My brother, Lee Pitchlynn, came from Washington to visit me; the train arrived at 1 o’ clock A.M. I met him at the depot and we walked o ne mile to my home. He said, “Brother you are a martyr to live like this.” I said, “No, I love the people and the country.

Indians used to come to Caddo from forty miles around to trade then; Caddo then had four stores and o ne cotton gin. The Indians would trade yearlings and hogs for groceries and merchandise. That is the way most of the merchants got started in the cattle business. They would brand cattle and turn them out. Every fall they would have a big round up to separate the cattle, selling what they did not want to keep.

When war was declared between the North and South father was in Washington and President Lincoln granted him a pass to go through the Confederate line to get to this country. It was said in Washington that my mother looked so much like Abe Lincoln that people thought she was his sister. My father came home to attend the Indian Council near Double Springs. Different Indian delegates would visit in our home while they were in Washington. They would sit out under the trees and smoke their pipes, passing them around. My father could understand all the languages of the different tribes. My father was also given permission by Abe Lincoln to put a tent o n the Smithsonian Institute grounds so he could be out in the open air. Charles Lombardy was my father’s secretary.