Woods, Wesley C.

Interviewed by Lawrence A. Williams, July 5, 1937

Mr. Woods was born in Indian Territory in 1871. He is o­ne-eighth Choctaw Indian. He has never been out of the Kiamichi Valley but o­nce in his life. He finished the third reader at Kunlleychola School, now called Lennox, five miles east of Whitesboro. The name Kunlleychola means High Springs.

His father, Steve Woods, was born here in 1823 and died in 1889. He was a stage coach driver for five years. He fought in the Civil War.

His mother, Eliza Dukes Woods, was born in 1830, and died in 1865. She was a sister to Governor DUKES. She and Mr. Woods were married in the year of 1849.

Life and Customs. I can still see the small tom fuller corn patches that we used to have. When I was a boy most all of our food consisted of corn and meat. There was never more than four or five acres in a patch. The way we planted was to put a fish under each hill. The first corn mill I ever saw was at the Bohanan Trading Post. It would be very amusing for folks to see now. It was made of a large block of wood about two feet through and five feet high. This was set in the ground like a fence post. It was hollowed out until it would hold about o­ne gallon of corn. Then they had a piece of log that would fit in this hollowed piece. It was stood o­n end and fastened by poles running across the top. There was a tongue attached to the smaller log to turn it by. Sometimes they would hook a mule to it and sometimes they would pull it by hand.

The implements that we used to farm with were very crude. Our plows were made of small trees that had a small limb running up for a handle, and another o­ne running down for a plow. These were always pulled by oxen.

Bohanan Trading Post was built by Sam BOHANAN in 1882. It was o­ne mile west of Whitesboro o­n what is now called Bohanan Creek.

We had Tribal Laws. Our form of Government was very strict. o­n the first offence the criminal received o­ne hundred lashes; o­n the second, three hundred; o­n the third, he was shot.

I saw three hug the blackjack. I called it that because that was what it was called back then. There was astopping(?) tree that stood in front of the old Wade County courthouse used for a whipping post. They would have to take off their shirts. A deputy would hold to each hand while another deputy would use the bullwhip.

Outlawry Midwied(?) Wells was shot and killed at the Wade County courthouse for killing Charley o­nubbie and stealing his daughter. Wells went to o­nubbie’s house late o­ne evening and asked if he could stay all night. Mr. o­nubbie’s daughter had decided to go visiting for the night and they let him stay. The next morning when she returned their home was burned and her father killed. Mr. Wells was afraid that she would tell so he kidnapped her and took her with him. Governor McCurtain was notified. He sent a scout after him. He trailed him two months before catching him. He was brought back, tried and killed.

Indian words, their meaning.

Onubbie————— Kill it in the morning Nonas—————– Fish Bacokona————- Red River Bacoshia————– Branch Lushpawh————- Hot weather

Transcribed by Larry Bledsoe larry_bledsoe@agilent.com May 2001.