Ward, Jane Davis

Interviewed by Etta D. Mason, at Atoka, Oklahoma, April 19, 1937

Aunt Jan Ward “as she is called by every o­ne,” says she is 118 years of age. She is the mother of 21 children – ten girls and eleven boys. o­nly o­ne living. Her master’s name was Gim Davis. Davis owned 21 slaves. He was a good kind master and the slaves had everything they wanted. She said the Indians were contented and happy at Ft. Towson. She is half Choctaw. She “doctored” the Indians and Negroes with the herbs growing in the woods. Some of these herbs are: Cherokee cough weed, numba weed, corn root and butterfly root. She had a yellow gold ring which she has worn 50 years. She also has the cards that she used to card cotton for the quilts she made for her mistress. She has the musket her husband used in the war. Her first husband was killed in battle. His name was Willis Harkins. He was Choctaw. She has a gold cup that is 75 years old. She is still active and colored people all over Oklahoma bring their babies to her when they are sick for her to treat. She still uses herbs. o­ne of these herbs grows in her daughter’s back yard. Her daughter with whom she lives is Mrs. Fay Croones. Aunt Jane, the day I visited her, was piecing o­n a quilt block. She does not wear glasses. she was very much pleased when I made known my business and was ready to talk. She is very much bent but her eyes are bright and her mind is alert and she smiles while she talks. She has forgotten many things that happened to her, but she told me to come and see her again and she would tell me something more.