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Seeking info on John Franklin Lites/Likes. First shown in
1900 OK census McCurt Co. Allied names: Hugh Taylor, H.L.
Gooding, Walton Louis Reynolds and Sam Gresham. Wife name
Annie Ester Crosby Lites. Would like to have 1910 and 1920 info. Any help

Offie Lites
2824 Foxcroft Rd. #63
Little Rock, Ar. 72227

[OKMCCURT-L] McCurtain County Family

I am interested in anyone who might have information on Moses Skeen, and his wife Alice Haynes Skeen who lived in the McCurtain County area with their family (Oscar, "Dollie", Rosie, Andrew, John, Moses, and Isom) during the late 1890's and early 1900's. Andrew and Elsie Skeen also lived in the area in the early 1900's. In fact, a few of their children were born there, and one is buried in a cemetery somewhere near Wright City. Does anything sound familiar to anyone? Thanks!




Would like to know if there is any information on the ELKINS family in
McCurtain county. I believe that my grandparents are buried there. If I
am not mistaken isn't Wright City in McCurtain County? If so, any
information of James Preston Scott Elkins and his wife Martha Elizabeth
Elkins would be appreciated. She also went by the name Bettie.
Kay Elkins Squire


Is there anyone out there in Wright City, OK? My grandparents are buried
there and I could use any information on them that I can get.
Kay Elkins Squire


My mother-in-law, Lucy Frances HUCKABEE was born in Hope, ARK, on 11-30-1906. She was the younger daughter of 12 children of William (no middle name) HUCKABEE and Rachel Elizabeth CORNELIUS. After her birth, the family moved to McCurtain County, OK. Several of her younger siblings were born around Irebel. The family then moved from OK to west TX around Plainview and Olton. My question is: Why did they move to Oklahoma? There is family history that Rachel's father, Simion Lorenza CORNELIUS, claimed to be 1/4 Cherokee. I am having trouble establishing this as fact. Maybe if they moved to OK to be with other family members, there might be some evidence of this Indian connection.

Any help out there?





The exact origins of Bethel are lost in the mists of history, but there
was apparently a sizeable population of Choctaws living in that vicinity
shortly after the arrival of the tribe over the Trail of Tears in the
1830s. When the Choctaw constitution of 1850 was adopted, a court
ground was established for Nashoba County near the present site of

A small church and neighborhood school also served the Choctaw people in
the vicinity before 1907.

A post office was established January 24, 1900, with John A. Kirksey as

By the early 1920s, Bethel had three stores, a gin, sawmill and grist

Picture caption:
This is the earliset known photograph of Bethel which was a trading
center on the old Fort Smith-Fort Towson military road cut in the 1830s.
This was the Albert Addington Store whch stood near the Nashoba County
courtgroound and the Government School.

Page 37, two pictures:
Bethel School and students was made a short time after statehood in
1907. Note the board and batten-type construction which was prevalent
in both school and home buildings of that period. (Ernest Wilson)

Another group of Bethel School students is seen in the photo, exact date
unknown. (Idella Norwood)

Page 38, three pictures:
The Wilson family has long been prominent in the Bethel community
affairs. Shown in 1913 or 1914 are C.R. Wilson, Sr., Ernest, Mrs.
Wilson and Dovie James. Mr. Wilson came to Bethel in 1905 as a teacher
at Government school. He was elected the first county commissioner
from that district in 1907 and served until 1912. His son, Ernest, was
postmaster from 1936 to 1977. (Ernest Wilson)

Scene at Bethel in 1906 showing Mr. & Mrs. Wilson in the buggy with
their son, Clifford. Standing are Grover Witherspoon, Lawson Moore and
Joe Wilson. (Ernest Wilson)

Ernest & Edity Wilson operated the store at Bethel from 1941 to 1977.
The building was constructed in 1923 and was modernized by the Wilsons
when they bought it in 1941. Ernest became postmaster in 1936,
operating for the first five years at a site about one mile west of this
store. (Ernest Wilson)

Page 39, two pictures:
Many communities in the county did not have a church building during the
early years of our history. They did often operate non-denominational
Sunday Schools, using the public school building as a meeting place.
Bethel had such a Sunday School of which this was a class in 1922. the
members were Allie Carpenter, Sella Smith, Mamie Carpenter and Elsie
Pruett, Ernest Wilson, Archie Marton, Rufus Deadwiley, Hardy Hinton,
Frank Gates and William Christian. (Ernest Wilson)

Another of the Bethel School clases in 1922, but the names are not
available. (Ernest Wilson)



The community of Battiest in the northern part of the county was first
known as Ida, named for the daughter of Dan Griffin, when the post
office was established in June, 1909.

Griffin built the first store at Ida but James R. Knight was one of the
key figures in the development of the community. By the early 1920s
there were three stores, a sawmill, planer, grist mill, cotton gin, two
blacksmith shops, a broom factory and several church congregations in
the vicinity.

The name of the community and post office was changed November 1, 1928,
because of similarity of the former name to that of Ada, another town in
Oklahoma. The name Battiest was chosen in honor of Choctaw Judge
Byinton Battiest, father-in=law of James R. Knight.

Knight represneted the county in the Oklahoma Legislature in 1911-12,
was active in county government, and was associated with the publication
of newspapers at Valliant and Idabel.

Picture caption:
This Ida (later Battiest) School building is as it appeared in 1921.
The building was constructed in 1920 to replace a smaller, older
building which had been used since shortly after statehood. Battiest
was the second school in the northern part of the county to begin
offering high school - level classes. The first was Folsom Training
School at Smithville. (Louie Copeland)

Page 34, three pictures:
This is the Ida School and students in about 1924.
Two photograps of the Battiest School and student body in the 1940s.
(Kenneth Rhoten)

Page 35, two pictures:
The Battiest High School graduating class oc 1934. Superintendent Ed
Baker is in the dark cap and gown at the rear, also pictured are Ernest
Wilson, Woodrow Watson, Velma Stovall, Maude Stovall, Bryan Parsons,
Louise Green, Thelma McAlister, Opal Bowen, Binda Watson, Frances
Luttrell (English and Drama teacher and class sponsor. (Ernest Wilson)

Students of the Battiest School in 1943 with their teacher, Mrs. A.M.
Parker. (Mrs. Lester Griffin)



After Oklahoma Statehood in 1907, school district lines were drawn
within each county to accomodate the citizens. Generally, the district
lines were drawn to position school where the people were concentrated
so the school would be accessible to the majority.

One of the districts created in 1907 was at Cisco, centered about five
miles west of Idabel. A store had been opened in that vicinity and in
1913 a post office was established with Roy C. Clements as postmaster.

The post office closed on July 31, 1916, but the community continued to
be centered around the school, store and church.

One picture:

School and students in about 1930. (no names are listed)



This farming community two miles east of Idabel dates from the period
before statehood with the Denison family of Choctaws lived in that

When the school district was established in 1907, the name of Denison
was assigned. John Denison, a prominent member of the family, owned the
land where the Denison Cemetery was begun in the early 1900's.

The present Denison Elementary School occupies the original school site.

One picture:
Denison School students with their teacher in 1922:
Maggie Lee Pittman, Roberta Hamil, Hazel Pugh, Ruby Bright, Charles E.
Pittman-teacher, Imogene Blackwood, Sadie Wake, unidentified, Thelma
Hamilton, Maurice Street, Gaylard Clark, Leroy Bright, Clarence
Crawford, Hub Crow, Allie Billingsley, Ollie Hamil, Floyd Bright, Edna
Hamilton, Jessie Beth Hamil, Bill Blackwood, unidentified, Gifford Clark
and two more unidentified.


[OKMCCURT-L] cemetery lookup

Hi could someone do a lookup for me in Goodwater? I need the information
on the headstones of Pete Carter and Zona Carter Cox. They are both buried
in the Philadelphia cemetery in Goodwater. In advance thanks Penny


I am curious on something my dad told me yesterday. His father was
WILLIAM HENRY PITTS who was born in Indian Territory Sept 5, 1871 or
1868. My dad' name is Billy Alfred Pitts, born Nov 15,1923 . He said
he was born in Golden, OK. He told me a story about my grandfather
owning a store in Golden. A man was supposed to have come in
threatening everyone and as dad called it "raising cain" and granpa
shot and killed him. Is there any way I can confirm any of this? Is
Golden a very small town and would there be any old newspapers?



The Eagletown area is probably the most historic of any in southeastern
Oklahoma. The settlement began in 1832 when the first travel-weary
Choctaws arrived here from Mississippi over the Trail of Tears. Many of
them settled along the Mountain Fork River near the Bethabara Mission
which the Rev. Loring S. Williams established the same year.

The Choctaw name for the community was Osi Tamaha (Eagletown) and the
best information indates that the name was derived from the large number
of eagles found in the vicinity.

A post office was established by Williams in July, 1934, with him a
postmaster. That same fall he moves across the river and presumably
took the post office with him, this being one of several moves the
office would make before settling at the present site in 1921.

When the Choctaw Nation counties were organized in 1850, the Eagle
County courtground was situated on the west bank of the river and in the
meantime the post office had been shifted back to that site.

During the Civil War and for 20 years afterward the post office was
operated in a store at what became known as "Old Eagletown" on the
Little Rock - Fort Towson Military Road about a mile northwest of the
present town site.

The present town was platted in 1921 by H. L. Dierks on the Texas,
Oklahoma and Eastern Railroad which had just been connected with the
DeQueen and Eastern to reach from Valliant into Arkansas.

One picture:
An early Eagletown store. 6 people shown here, no names noted. (Larry

Page 61, two pictures:
Eagletown at its present siet as it appeard in the 1950s. The town was
platted at this site by H.L. Dierks in 1921 when the Texas, Oklahoma and
Eastern Railroad was completed to connect with the DeQueen and Eastern
to provide service from Vallian to Dierks, Arkansas. "Old Eagletown was
about a mile northwest of this site. (Soil Conversation Service)

The Eaglewon Railroad Depot which was constructed in 1921 on the Texas,
Oklahoma and Eastern Railroad. (Soil Conservation Service)

Page 62, two pictures:
Dennington's Grocery and Dry Goods Store at Eagletown in the 1920s with
display of ladies hats. (Donald G. Vanhoose)

Crutcher Hendon's Store and Butcher Shop with J. D. and Laura Watts.
(Sue Winship Fatheree)

Page 63, two pictures:
The Eagletown School somtime between 1908 and 1915. The man pictured on
extreme left is George Kemp, one of the pioneer citizens of Eagletown.
The man on the right with hat in hand is Rev. Ayers. (Ann Luttrell)

Students of the Eagletown School in 1923 with their teacher, Otis Pyron.
(Ann Luttrell)

Page 64, Students on the 9th and 10 grades at Eagletwon in 1929. Marie
Kemp, Irene Wright, Lorena Wright, Annie Laura Moore, Anna Cockrill,
Augustine Kemp, Laverne Graham, Jessie Hagans, Jessie Wright, Violet
Kennedy, Otis Pyron (teacher), Otho Joiner, Herman Blanche, Maurice Kemp
and Mrs. Jess Land (teacher. (Augustine Kemp McIntyre)

The Eagletown 5th and 6th grade students in 1929 with their teacher, Mr.
Axton. (Larry Taylor)

Page 65, two pictures:
Eagletwon School and students, year unknown. (Larry Taylor)

Ben Winship and his wife with Cruther Hendon's Chevrolet truck at the
state line. (Sue Winship Fatheree)

Page 66, two pictures:
Eagletown School and students in 1948 (Jo Ann Roan)

The Eagletown girl's basketball team in 1948. (Jo Ann Roan)

Page 67, one picture:
One of the few surviving examples of the early one-room schools in the
county is the Tiner School west of Eagletown. The building was
constructed in 1921 by Walter Tiner and named for him. He was the
builder of many of the early structures and schools in the county. The
building is now on the Nation Register of Historic Places.


At about the time of statehood in 1907, three small school districts wer
established to accomodate the citizens living in the area northwest of
Idabel and south of Garvin. In 1918 these three districturs were
combined to form the first such district in the county. Consolidated
District #1 taking a name from a combination of two of the absorbed
schools, Forst Hill and Oak Grove.

A contract was let in September 1918 to build a new brick school for the
consolidated district. Quintus Herndon, W.R. Merry and R.H. Settles
were the members of the school board at that time.

The community never had a post office, bing served by the Garvin and
Idabel offices.

The community has one church, The Forst Hill Missionary Baptist Church,
which was organized in December 1908.

The original trading center of Garvin was at a site within the Forest
Grove Community, about 1/4 mile northeast of the school. After
completing of the railroad in 1902, Garvin was moved to a point on the
railroad about a mile and a half northwest.

The Forest Grove Consolidated School students and teachers in the
1920s. Teachers were Robbie Rogers, Ruth Owens and Eunice Shultz.
(Dean Foster)

Page 69, two pictures:
Motorized school buses were a considerable improvement over the wagons
which were used in the early days to haul students to school. In this
photo are Billy Ray Coffman, to unidentified, Charles Womack, Leo Capps,
Roger Crank and Kerry Coppock.

The 4-H Clubs played a major role in training rural you of the county.
In this 1931 photo are Dean Foster receiving an award for the club from
Litha Travis a Home Demonstration agent, as Shawnee Brown, the County
Agent looks on.

Page 70, two pictures:
This is the Forest Grove School which was built in the 1930s to replace
the 1918 structure. This and similar building throughout the county
were built with the assistane of the Works Progress Adminisration which
was created by the federal government to provide employment.

The Forest Hill Baptist Church was organized in 1908 and this building
was constructed in about 1910. It is still in good repair and frequent
use. Adjacent to the hurch yard is the Forest Hill Cemetery in which
many of the pioneer citizes of this part of the county are buried.
(Soil Conservation Service, both pictures)


McCurtain Co OK families

I need help with the death of William H. WEEKS. I know he died in McCurtain Co
around 1914-1919 and is buried in the Parsons Cemetery (no stone).

His wife, Georgia A. [Philyaw] WEEKS died after 1932 (according to her
brothers obit). May have lived around Idabel with her daughter, Izzy MOORE.

Some names I'm researching in this area are:



Page 1

Lest we forget, there should be reminders that the Choctaw Nation held
sovereignty over what is now McCurtain County and all southeaster
Oklahoma for three-quarters of a century as long as we have now been a
part of the State of Oklahoma.

The Choctaws created a viable, function republic here in 1834 after
producting the first consititution west of the Mississippi River.

In 1842 the Choctaws created a nation school system, another first amon
the Indian tribes. The Choctaw concern for education placed them ahead
of many of the American states in that regard.

Christian missionaries such as Alfred Wright and Cyrus Byington had a
great impact on the history of this area during the pre-Civil War era.
Both were committed to educational as well as religious activities and
both established boarding schools for girsl, one at Wheelock and the
other at Eagletown. Evidence of their efforts is still to be seen in
physical structures such as the Wheelock Church and in the written
Choctaw language which Byington helped to create and preserve.

Encroachment by white settlers, invited and uninvited, led to the
downfall of the Choctaw republic. By the turn of the century there were
more whites than Indians in the Choctaw Nation. Law enforcement became
a tremendous problem because the Choctaw government had no jurisdiction
over many of these people.

The Choctaws had a totally different concept of the land than did their
white brothers. In their philosophy the land was an entity to which no
one individual could lay claim ownership. Each individual Choctaw used
the land he needed or could effectively use. Any improvements could be
owned and conveyed but not the land. Because of their attitude toward
land ownership, the Choctaws long resisted pressure from the Federal
Government to accept allotment of their lands to individual tribal
members. Being realists, the Choctaws finally bowed to the inevitable
and allowed an allotment program to proceed.

The importance of this area to the Choctaw Nation is signified by the
exceptional number of diplomats, jurists and executives who resided
here. Five of the sixteen Principal Chiefs of the Choctaws between 1860
and 1906 were residents of what is now McCurtain County. Others were
born here although living elsewhere when elected to the position of

The government experience of the Choctaws enabled many of them to take a
leading role in the formation of the Oklahoma State government in 1907.

Our Choctaw heritage is an important part of our past which deserves
preservation. These photographs are a contribution toward that end.

Page 2 pictures:
George Hudson, Samuel Garland
Page 3 pictures:
Peter P. Pitchlynn, Isaac Levi Garvin
Page 4 pictures:
Jefferson Gardner, Green McCurtain
Page 5 pictures:
Cyrus Byington and his wife Sophia
Page 6 pictures:
Garland Cemetery, Sophia Folsom Pitchlynn(widow of John Pitchlynn)
Page 7 pictures:
Judge Henry C. Harris' house, Judge Henry Churchill Harris and his wife,
Margaret Lee Harris.
Page 8 pictures:
John Garland & wife and mother, Sarah LeFlore Garland
Page 9 pictures:
Choctaw National Education Commission 1892, James Wood Kirk, Absolum
James, Edward Wilson, Raphael Wilson, Solomon Hotema, John Turnbull,
Henry Harris, John Wilson & Willie Wilson
Page 10 pictures:
Edna Jones, Liza Winship and Rena Wilson
Choctaw burial plot
Page 11 pictures:
Chief Jefferson Gardner's home
Log courthouse used in the county until 1920s
Page 12 pictures:
Waterhole Indian Methodist Church
Oka Achukma (Goodwater) Indian Presbyterian Church
Yoknokchaya (Living Land) Indian Methodist Church
Page 13 pictures:
Quintus Herndon Store
Indian Methodist Church in the Kullituklo courtground with Willie
Johnson and Joe Washington
Page 14 pictures:
James Wood Kirk with second wife, Sarah McClure Kirk
Cotton Processing & general store of James Wood Kirk
Page 15 pictures:
Oka Achukma Indian Presybterian Church east of Broken Bow
Big Lick Church of Smithville
New stone Big Lick Church built in 1976
Page 16 pictures:
Rev. Alexander Talley's Methodist missionary church
Courthouse near Clear Creek
Watherhole Methodist church

There are several more pages in this vein. I'll skip those for now and
begin the next post with the towns and communities.

Lou Ann

If you need captions under these pictures, let me know, otherwise, we
can save it for another time. and reference back to them.




Nothing remains of this once flourshing trade center which was located
on the Frisco Railroad, four miles from the Arkansas-Oklahoma boundary.

The town was founded in 1903 by William Spencer who had come to the
Indian Territory the previous year and settled at Goodwater, six miles
to the northwest. Realizing the advantage of being situated near the
railroad, Spencer moved to the new site. The town was named for
Americus Steward, wife of the first postmaster, Tom Stewart. The post
office began operating July 24, 1903.

Spencer built a sawmill to precess the lush stands of virgin timber
located near the new town site. He also built about 40 houses for rent
to employees of the mill. In addition he opened a general merchandise

By 1910 the town had a population of about 200 people but the best
timber in the immediate vicinity had been harvested. The next year
Spencer closed the saw mill and soon thereafter built a cotton gin. He
encouraged the raising of cotton in the community and became a cotton
buyer. He also bought cross-ties which were then resold to the

The Great Depression was the beginning of the end for America. There
was no longer profit in cotton farming and the gin closed in 1933. Most
of the residents had moved to other towns or other states. The post
office closed February 15, 1944. The town's founder had served as
postmaster from 1911 to 1936. His store remained in operation until

to be continued..............


Picture caption, page 31

This scene in America shows a swain helping his lady fair negotiate the
rutted road on their way to the business district. America had one main
street along which were located the Spencer store, the school, mill, gin
and blacksmith shop.

Picture captions, page 32 (3)

William Spencer founder of America, buit his first home there in 1903.
When that house burned, he built this larger home in 1907. The house
stood until 1980, although unoccupied for many years. It was razed to
make way for a new home for Susan Hall, Mr. Spencer's great
granddaughter, and husband, Gene.

Mr. Spencer is seen pruning some of his fruit trees near the home.

The America School, students and teacher, year unknown. The teacher was
Mrs. Alexander Posey, widow of the well known Indian poet. Names of all
the students are not available, but some were: Vesta Benson, Katherine
Spencer, Clyde Benson, Homer Benson, Harold Benson and John Benson.

Note: The photograps on these two pages were furnished by Susan Hall.


This small northern county community is centered around the former
school as seen in this early 1950's photo. (Soil Conservation Service)

This new school building at Bushy Ridge replaced the one above in 1956.
It was constructed on native stone by the school board members with the
help of patrons at a cost of only $2600. It contained a classroom,
assembly room and large kitchen. The school forest, tended and
harvested by the students help to furnish the kitchen. The school
forest was donated by J.D. Bates. (Soil Conservation Service)

[OKMCCURT-L] McCurtain County History

I don't want you to stop posting information, but I would like you to tell
us again where we can get a copy of the book and how much it costs.

McCurtain County names: Snead, West, Christian, Tyler, Phillips


I am curious on something my dad told me yesterday. His father was
WILLIAM HENRY PITTS who was born in Indian Territory Sept 5, 1871 or
1868. My dad' name is Billy Alfred Pitts, born Nov 15,1923 . He said
he was born in Golden, OK. He told me a story about my grandfather
owning a store in Golden. A man was supposed to have come in
threatening everyone and as dad called it "raising cain" and granpa
shot and killed him. Is there any way I can confirm any of this? Is
Golden a very small town and would there be any old newspapers?



McCurtain Co OK families

I need help with the death of William H. WEEKS. I know he died in McCurtain Co
around 1914-1919 and is buried in the Parsons Cemetery (no stone).

His wife, Georgia A. [Philyaw] WEEKS died after 1932 (according to her
brothers obit). May have lived around Idabel with her daughter, Izzy MOORE.

Some names I'm researching in this area are:




Looking for the family of James Elisha MOORE married Mirriah Isabelle WEEKS ca
1893 Polk Co AR or McCurtain Co OK. Thank you, Ginger



I'm hoping to find out more about Sarah SISSON, b: 1847 Alabama d: Abt.
1912 Liberty, Red River, Texas and her husband ??? (maybe Jim) CHRISTIAN. I
found Sarah in the 1880 Texas census, living with Herman ELDRED (presumably
her husband) and her three CHRISTIAN sons, Sidney A., Johnny F. and
Charlie, ages 13, 11 and 8. I figured if I could find her in 1870, after
Sidney and Johnny were born, but before Charlie was born, she should be
living with Mr. CHRISTIAN. They disappeared off the face of earth in 1870.
The 1870 census isn't soundexed, only indexed in book form, so I've pulled
microfilm for every county in Texas where anybody named CHRISTIAN lived. I
didn't find them in Texas, so I've looked at every CHRISTIAN family in
Arkansas. Still no luck. Oklahoma's next, hopefully tomorrow, and then I
think I'll have hit the stone wall.

We never heard the first name of the father of Sarah's children mentioned,
but when I got Charles' death certificate, it listed his father as Jim
Christian. The information was provided by someone named Jim Christian, of
Millerton OK, but I don't know if it was the same Jim Christian who was
supposed to be his father or somebody else.

Charles died in McCurtain County and is buried at Wheelock Cemetery.

I'd really appreciate any help anybody can give me on this.


Beverly Brown
1 William SISSON b: 1777 Union County, South Carolina
| +Susannah
|||| 2 Sterling SISSON b: Abt. 1798 d: Bef. 1860
|||||| +Ruth
|||| 2 Mary SISSON b: Abt. 1800 d: Bef. 1860
|||| 2 Obediah SISSON b: Abt. 1802 d: 26 Mar 1862 Green County, Arkansas
|||||| +Margaret
|||| *2nd Wife of Obediah Sisson:
|||||| +Harriet MALONE
|||| 2 William B. SISSON b: Abt. 1804 d: Bef. 1850
|||||| +Frances
|||| 2 Thomas SISSON b: Abt. 1808
|||||| +Ellen
|||| 2 Dannison SISSON b: 08 Apr 1810 d: 04 Jan 1885
|||||| +Lucinda STOCKMAN
|||| 2 Lemuel SISSON b: 1811 d: 1873
|||||| +Mary M. DONALDSON
|||| 2 Moses SISSON b: Abt. 1815
|||| 2 Elizabeth SISSON b: Abt. 1817
|||||| +Carroll LEE
|||| 2 John SISSON b: Abt. 1819
|||||| +Susan MITCHELL
|||| *2nd Wife of John Sisson:
|||||| +Nancy A. WILLIAMS
|||| 2 Andrew SISSON b: Abt. 1824 Georgia
|||||| +Margaret m: Abt. 1843 Alabama
||||||||| 3 Jim SISSON
||||||||| 3 Lucinda SISSON b: 1844 Alabama
||||||||||| +COPELAND
||||||||| 3 Hannah H. SISSON b: 1845 Alabama
||||||||| 3 Lucinia Ann SISSON b: 1846 Alabama
||||||||||| +W.S. FRANCIS m: 05 Jul 1865 Red River County, Texas
||||||||| 3 Sarah S. SISSON b: 1847 Alabama d: Abt. 1912 Liberty, Red
River, Texas
||||||||||| +Jim (maybe) CHRISTIAN b: Texas m: Bef. 1867
|||||||||||||| 4 Sidney A. CHRISTIAN b: Abt. 1867
|||||||||||||| 4 John F. CHRISTIAN b: Abt. 1869 d: Abt. 1937 Hot
Springs, Arkansas
|||||||||||||||| +Molly BURROUGHS m: Bef. 1910
|||||||||||||| 4 Charles Edward CHRISTIAN b: 18 Apr 1872 Texas d: 07
Mar 1929 Millerton, McCurtain, Oklahoma
|||||||||||||||| +Mary Elizabeth "Miss Mollie" PHILLIPS b: Jan 1877
Tennessee m: 06 Aug 1896 Red River County, Texas d: 11 Feb 1967 Wilhaven
Rest Home #1, Idabel, McCurtain, Oklahoma Father: Andrew J. "Jack"
||||||||| *2nd Husband of Sarah S. Sisson:
||||||||||| +Herman ELDRED m: 1872-1880 (sometime after Charles was born
and before the 1880 census)
||||||||| *3rd Husband of Sarah S. Sisson:
||||||||||| +Alford DUVALL m: 29 Jun 1897 Red River County, Texas (MAYBE!
Alford Duvall married SOMEBODY named Sarah Sisson, but I don't know if she
was MY Sarah Sisson)
||||||||| 3 Nancy J. SISSON b: 1849 Alabama
||||||||||| +Jo GUEST m: 17 Jan 1869 Red River County, Texas
||||||||| 3 Henry SISSON b: 1852 Alabama
||||||||| 3 Ann SISSON b: 1853 Texas
|||| 2 Keziah SISSON b: Abt. 1829 d: Bef. 1860
|||||| +Pinkney F. BOX



I'm looking for Rachel (Williams) WISDOM. She was the widow of Jasper WISDOM.
She lived in Polk Co AR until after the 1900 census. Then she either went to
McCurtain or LeFlore Cos. It's possible she was in Heavener. She had kids and
gkids in both counties. I think she died ca 1915.

Some other names connected with her:



Garvin was platted at its present site in 1902 by the Townsite
Commission on the newly built Arkansas and Choctaw Railroad. A communit
and post office of the same name had existed since 1894 at a site about
one and a half miles to the southeast.

The original community centered around the store, gin and home of James
Wood Kirk, a native of Virginia who had come to the Choctaw Nation in
1871 and later married a daughter of Isaac Levi Garvin who served as
Principal Chief of the Choctaws from 1878 to 1880. When Kirk applied
for a post office charter in 1894, he chose the name Garvin in honor of
his former father-in-law. Kirk served as the first postmaster.

When the new site was platted on the railroad in 1902, Kirk moved some
of his business interest and the post office to the new site. Garvin
thrived for almost two decades, being the largest town in the county in
1907. In 1905 Garvin was designated as the provisional county seat for
the proposed county of McCurtain in the State of Sequoyah. The Federal
authorities declined to recognize and activite the proposed state and
the county seat was never established at Garvin.

At the height of its development, Garvin had several hundred citizens, a
bank, several stores, doctors, lawyers, a large school, newspaper and
large time processing plants.

With the decline of the lumber industry, development of better roads and
transportation facilities, Garvin lost ground to Idabel and by the time
of the Great Depression of the 1930s had lost most of its businesses and

Main Street in Garvin soon after the town was founded at the new site in
1902. The railroad depot can be seen at the far end of the street.
(Luther Newman)

Page 72, two pictures
The Hotel Kirk at Garvin was a mecca for traveling salesmen,
politicians, developers and promoters in the early years of the hown's

Goff, Gamble and Wright oprated probably the largest general merchandise
store in the growing town. It was also known as the "Big Rock Store".

Page 73, three pictures
By 1910 many of the wood buildings in Garvin's business district had
been replaced by brick structures. This 1914 photograph shows the Bank
of Garvin and adjacent stores. Professional offices occupied the upper
floor of the building.

By the 1930s most of the businesses and the professional people of
Garvin had moved elsewhere. The brick and other structures in the once
busy business district had been torn down or allowed to deteriorate. An
exception was this building which still stand. It now houses the post
office and city hall.

A promotional brochure for Garvin, published in about 1910 lists this "A
Typical Garvin Home", which may or may not have been the truth.
Nevertheless it was impressive and there were others equally as
imposing. When Garvin began to fade, some of the homes were moved to

Page 74, two pictures
Garvin's first school was typical of the early schools in the county.
Most were wooden, unsealed board and batten-type structures as seen in
theis early photograph. The teacher was Lillian Burke Pebworth. (Dean

The progressive citizens of Garvin soon replaced the wooden building
with a brick structure, the first school of that type in the county.
This 1910 photo is from a promotional brochure designed to attract more
settlers to the new town and surrounding area.

Page 75, two pictures
The brick Garvin School building served the district well until beter
roads and motorized buses permitted consolidation of the Garvin area
with that of Idabel. In this scene some of the Garvin students post
with their teacher at the entrance of the school on an occasion in the
1920s. (Betty Sue Sessions)

The Garvin Rock Church, constructed of native limestone in 1909-1910, is
shown hre as it appeared in 1921. It had stained glass windows. The
building still stands (1981) and is on the National Register of Historic
(My notes: This is a wonderful picture with the rocks jutting out in
all directions of towers and entrances, not laid with a flat face like
some stone structures were, and the windows, the stained glass ones are
shown tilting in at the top and pushed out at the bottom for ventilation
and air circulation I'm sure. But it's beautiful. I wish it was in
color. I gotta go see this place!)

Page 76, two pictures
Garvin's original railroad station was a small two room affair with sat
in the center of the south end of Main Street. The town's rapid growth
demanded a better facility and before 1910 the building was moved and
enlarged to the rather imposing structure seen above.

Twenty years later the station was still in good condition and seeing
much use as this 1930 photo shows. (Ella Murphy)



When the Choctaw people arrived in this area in the 1830s after
traveling the Trail of Tears from Mississippi, many of them settled on
the Glover River about 10 miles northwest of the present site of Broken

One of the first schools established by the missionaries was near this
siet. With the influx of white settlers in the late 1800s and early
1900s, Glover became a trading center. In 1901 a post office was
established with Joshua L. Merry as postmaster.

With the coming of statehood in 1907, a school district was organized
and a school buidling constructed. The photo below shos the students
and their teacher, Estelle Grigsby, sometime between 1909 and 1912.
(Hazel Russell)



The origins of Goodwater are lost in the dim mists of our history.
W.J.Whiteman established a general store and trading post there in 1893
near the Interseaction of two roads, one running north from Red River
and another east and west from Arkansas to Shawneetown, Garvin and
points west. Nearby was a spring, and a small stream called Goodwater

Soon there was a gin, blacksmith shop and grist mill in the settlement.
There was also a Choctaw church which doubled as a neighborhood school.

After passage of the Curtis Act in 1898, Goodwater became the seat of
the U.S. Commissioner who held preliminary hearings on major offenses
and trials on misdemeanors. This brought a number of lawyers to the
community, many of whom were later to have prominent roles in the
development of McCurtain County.

A Masonic Lodge, the first in McCurtain County, was organized at
Goodwater in 1900.

When the Arkansas and Choctaw Railroad was built through the county in
1902, it passed Goodwater and the U.S. Commissioner moved to Garvin.
The lawyers followed. Goodwater continued as a rural trading center and
W.J.Whiteman made it his home and headquarters while participating in
the development of both Haworth and Idabel.

The W.J.Whiteman home, seeen in the photo, was the center of activity in
the community for many years. Constructed before 1907, the home still
stands and is occupied by Mr. Whiteman's son, Lee. (Lee Whiteman)

Page 79, two pictures
W.J.Whiteman stands before his Goodwater home. He came to the community
in 1893 and lived there until his death in 1934. He was the first
postmaster and served in that post for 40 years. He helped organize
banks in both Idabel and Haworth. He also platted and developed early
additions to both of those towns. Whiteman served on the first
McCurtain Coumnty Grand Jury in 1907 and continued an active interest in
politics until his death.

The Whiteman store after it was moved from the original site to the
north side of the section line which became the road from Cerrogordo to
Idabel. (Lee Whiteman)

Page 80, two pictures
The Goodwater Masonic Lodge building which was constructed soon after
the lodge was organized in 1900. The building served as a school and
church for several years. In this photo may be seen Mandle Eavins,
Bertha Whiteman, Myrse and Ruby Earl. (Bertha Presson)
(My note: The four mentioned in the photo look to be about two years

The members of the Goodwater Masonic Lodge post before the lodge hall in
their official regalla. (Van Coffman)
(My note: This photo is interesting because all the men have on their
aprons, a chest award/ribbon and one holds the gavel and several, about
four are holding spears.)



This unusually named community was and is centered about three miles
east of Broken Bow on Highway 70. A community of Choctaws had existed
in that vicinity since the 1830s, but it was not until 1922, after a
large number of white families had settled there, that they Highway
School was built.

The Bankhead Highway, now U.S.70, had just been completed in 1922 and
the site was chosen for a school in the community. The site chosen was
adjacent to the new highway, thus the name "Highway".

After the Highway School was absorbed by the Broken Bow district, the
school building was sold but the people of the vicinity needed a place
for meetings. The result was that in 1935 they built, with the aid of
Dr. Simpson, the County Commissioner, a log building which still stands.

A half mile south of the Highway Community building is the Oka Achukma
(Goodwater) Indian Presyterian Church which had its origin during the
pre-Civil War era.)

These are students of the Highway School in about 1922. Miss Mildred
Paulk was the first teacher. (Mary Jane Keirsey Bates)
No names noted for this picture)



The original Haworth School shown here, was a multiple-use structure
which served as school, church, lodge hall and general meeting place for
the community. It stood near the water tower. The gentleman in the
foreground is Mr. J. B. Bolt. (Exa Bolt Coffman)

This is an early Haworth school class in the old frame building. The
teacher is Norvel Bailey. (S.B. Helms)

Page 91, two pictures
A Haworth school group at the old fram building sometime before 1910.
(Ruby Harris)

Summer singing schools were a popular activity for young and old alike.
This is the Haworth group in 1910, posing in front of the school
building. The teacher was Mr. Irving.
(My note: There is a blackboard hanging on the school with scales drawn
on it, my grandmother said they used those for warm-ups. Also is the
town's name written on the board, probably for the picture, it's
beautiful handwriting.)

Page 92, two pictures
Haworth's second school building was this impressive brick structure
constructed by John DeGroot in 1910. (Dudley Goolsby, Sr.)

Through the years the Haworth brick shool building was changed
considerably by additions and alterations. This 1950s photo shows the
building in its final form with a gymnasium added and the upper floor
removed. (Soil Conservation Service)

Page 93, two pictues
The newly constructed Haworth school building in 1910 and most of the
student body. (Bertha Presson)

A Haworth School class in 1910. Essle Self, Ibble Whiteman, Emma
Medford, Chris Lester, Rossie Goolsby, Pinkie Price, Ruby Bolt, Dollie
Price, Bill Woods, Norvel Bailey, Viola Howard. (Bertha Presson)

Page 94, three pictures
The Woodmen of the World was a fraternal order which had a large
membership in the county during the years shortly after statehood. This
is a Haworth group shown in front of the school building. (Dudley
Goolsby, Sr.)

Haworth has boasted some outstanding girls basketball teams over the
years. This is the first team, 1920. Ethel Johnson, Eula Kerley,
unknown, Ruth Goolsby, Elsie Bloodworth, Sammy May and Coach Bessie
Miller. (Dudley Goolsby, Sr.)

This was the Baptist Church at Waworth which was built in about 1918.
(Exa Bolt Coffman)

Page 95, two pictures
Rev. Martin Luther Matthews, shown here, came to Indian Territory in
1880. He was ordained an elder in the Methodist Protestant Church in
1903. He organized 15 churches. 10 of them in McCurtain County. He
built 17 church buildings. He was also an educator, serving 11 schools
of which four were in McCurtain County: Haworth, Pleasant Hill,
Eagletown and Idabel. (Alene Pyron)

D.C.Whiteman, his wife and grandson, D.C.Bearfield. Mr. Whiteman was
one of the first merchants to settle at Haworth. His sons, William J.
and Henry, were also pioneers who helped develop Haworth.
(My note: Mr. Whiteman's beard looks white or grey and comes to about
the third buttonhole on a man's shirt. His mustache blends to the beard
at the corner's of his mouth, but looks very smoothe around the lips
like he stroked it alot. His beard is full, not trimmed and reaches out
sideways to cover the straps on his overalls. Just thought you might
enjoy's a very impressive beard!)

Page 96, two pictures
this is one of Haworth High School's earliest graduating classes. The
teacher is a Mr. Gilder. (Dudley Goolsby, Sr.)

Another early Haworth High School group is sown in this photo. Norbit
Westmoreland, Enoch Johnson,Givings Miller. ?Shelton, Evelyn Shelton,
Mary grider, Constance Folsom, Beatrice Cargile and Jessie May.
Superintendent G.C. Anderson, Wright May, John Delaughter, John
Westmoreland, Unknown, Mrs. Anderson, Exa Bolt, Ethel McBrayer, Sammy
May, and another unknown.

Page 97, two pictures
Haworth High School basketball team, 1932-1933. Glen Bailey, Bill
Dollarhide, Jim Crenshow, Houston Martin, Joe Weems, Reginald Williams
(coach), Glen Martin, Adolphus Bozarth, Clyde Crenshaw. The team
reached the semi-finals of the state tournament that year. (Reginald

Haworth High School basketball team, 1931-1932. Jake Barham, Frank
Storey, Joe Meyers, Olen Martin, Robert Hughes, Reginald Williams
(coach), Clyde Crenshaw, James Marsh, James Crenshaw, Bill Dollarhide
and Bob Crain. (Reginald Williams)
(My note: You should see the legs on these boys, not to mention their
shoulders.....not a tan among 'em. Where do you suppose they practiced?
Not in the sunshine evidently )

Page 98, one picture
Haworth Boys Basketball Team in 1941. Zenoa Tidwell, Arthur mills,
Jimmy Blankenship, Luke Storey, Eugene Hill, Paul Storey, Robert
Williams, Forest Carter, John D. Green, John Barringer and Bill
Barringer (coach).

Concludes Haworth, Oklahoma information........


Haworth traces its origins to the trading center of Norwood which
existed about a mile west of the present town prior to Oklahoma
statehood. W.A.Coleman, C.J. Stewart and J.R. White had business
interest at Norwood and a post office was established there in March
1902 with Stewart as postmaster.

When the Choctaw and Arkansas Railroad was built through the area in
1902, the route bypassed Norwood and the Townsite Commison platted the
town of Harrington to the east of Norwood. When a post office charter
was sought for the new town, it was found that a town by the same name
already existed over in Oklahoma Territory. Finally in 1906, the new
post office charter was issued under the name of Haworth as it is know
today. One authority states that Haworth was named for an official of
the Frisco Railroad, successor of the Choctaw and Arkansas.

Little building was done in Haworth until 1907 but the influx of
settlers after statehood and the growth of the timeber industry made
Haworth thrive and grow. At the height of its development, the town
boasted two banks, a newspaper, four doctors, a large two-story brick
school, its own telephone, water and electric systems.

The Great Depression of the 1930s marked the decline of Haworth as a
trading center. Many of the businesses and professional people moved to
Idabel or Broken Bow.

A Haworth street scene in 1910 before any brick business buildings had
been constructed. The two-story brick school, then under construction,
can be seen in the left background. The building on the right is the
D.C. Whiteman and Sons store. Next to it is G.W. May's general
merchandise establishment. The large structure in the center background
is Pat Rankin's Skating Rink. Note the wagons loaded with cotton bales,
awaiting buyers. (Bertha Presson)

Page 82, two pictures
Another early street scene in Haworth shows the G.W. May Store and the
D.C. Whiteman and Sons Store, two of the earliest business
establishments in the new town. (S.B. Helms)

This early street scene was photographed sometime after 1910 since the
brick structures in the background were constructed after that date.
(Lorrie Williams)

Page 83, two pictures
Dr. W. H. McBrayer opened the first drug store in Hawroth in 1905. Here
he is seen in the store with John Storey. (S. B. Helms)

The Haworth Drug Store in 1918, then owned by Dr. McBrayer and S.B.
Helms. There are six people in this picture, but no names noted. (S.B.

Page 84, two pictures
Street scene in Haworth shows the Bank of Haworth and adjoining stores.
The bank building is the only surviving structue of the two-block long
brick business district which was built prior to World War I by John
DeGroot, Haworth builder. (Evelin Sanders)

The John Westmoreland tie yard at Haworth in 1910 with the railroad
depot in the background. (Harry Westmoreland)

Page 85, two pictures
By the early 1930s Haworth had faded as a business center and many of
the brick business buildings were vacant as this 1939 photo shows.
(Soil Conservation Service)

By 1946 many of the brick buildings had been torn down. This photo
shows the remnants of a once bustling business district. The two-story
building in the center background is the only surviving brick
structure. It once housed a bank, telephone system, professional
offices and later the post office. (Soil Conservation Service)

Page 86, two pictures
This spring, west of town was at one time a principal source of the
Haworth water supply. (Soil Conservation Service)

Haworth had a modern water system which included this water tank near
the site of the first school building. Water was pumped from a spring
which yielded 13,000 gallons a day. (Soil Conservation Service)

Page 87, two pictures
Haworth had two of the earliest automobiles in the county. The first
was that of Lester Walters, shown in front of the Walters Hotel.
Various members of the Walters family are also pictured. Anna Jane
Walters, is believed to have been the first woman driver in the county.
(Lorrie Walters Williams)

The Dr. W.H. McBrayer family in their automobile which was also one of
the earliest cars in the county. (Bill McBrayer)

Page 88, two pictures
During Haworth's heyday it boasted many impressive homes such as this
one of John Westmoreland, built before 1910. The home was later moved
to Idabel. (Harry Westmoreland)

The Wylie Lumber Company at Haworth, date unknown. Note the old
horsedrawn road grader in the foreground. This type of equipment was
used to maintain the gravelled roads from statehood until the 1940s.
(Joe Hendrix)

Page 89, two pictures
A photo of the Bolt Hotel at Haworth, year unknown though probably
before World War I. This was one of four hotels then operating in the
thriving town. A portion of the hotel building still stand though since
modified as a family dwelling. There are 13 people on the porch of this
building, no names noted. (Exa Bolt Coffman)

Sim Nelson's barbershop at Haworth in the late 1920s or early 1930s.
Nelson, who later served as Idabel mayor, is standing behind the chair
on the left and Tom Cox is in the chair. The other barber is unknown
but the man in the chair is John Denny. (Helen Mitchell)

To be continued..............


Re: [OKMCCURT-L] HANCOCKs in McCurtain Co

Hi Hank, I've been gone for a few days. I couldn't believe your post
when I read it. My father was born and raised in Smithville, OK. His
family came there in 1914. My grandfather had a general store there his
name was Gabriel Coleman Phillips, folks called him "G.C." or Gabe. My
father knew who "Newt" Hancock was had had several stories about him to
tell me for my family information. I will be glad to share those with
you and the list, but first I would need your permission.

My father was Troy Phillips, his brothers were Dewey, Herman, Fred, and
Lewis (the oldest boy), his sisters were Clara and Mildred. My
great-grandfather was Charles Alvie Phillips, he lived there also until
about 1949. All that's left of the family now is Mildred and she lives
in CA.

The stories I mentioned are wonderful and do explain a lot about the
times in McCurtain Co., in a small bustling community, however, they
relate difficut and a little unsavory business around those times too.
They aren't bad, mind you, but I don't want to share with the list
without your approval.

Lou Ann



Hank! Thank Goodness! I thought I had lost you forever!

I would love to post this to the list. It's not bad. Some people are
just really funny about their family notes and stuff. But my dad knew
your Newt Hancock and this story will relate some more information that
will help in your research regarding his kin to the MOWDYs. You'll like
this, I was thrilled when dad gave me more info for his history page on
Smithville. I can get, I think, a complete list of those buried in
Smithville other than my family. If I do I'll send it as soon as I get

Thanks again for getting back to me,
Lou Ann

Here's the story I promised:


We always called him Mr. Mowdy. To this day I don't know any other
name. Mr. Mowdy was usually alone when he rode into town, except for
two dogs following his horse. He was never without them. They were the
kind of dogs that you didn't go near. They were quietly following him
whenever he came to town, but they weren't quiet if you got too close.
They were different somehow from your ordinary dog, to me they always
looked like they were part wolf. They looked like a shepherd but their
ears were shorter and their eyes were like a wolf's eyes.

Mr. Mowdy would come into town, tie his horse to a tree in the persimmon
thicket by the ice house. Those two dogs would lay down there by the
horse and never move. Mr. Mowdy would catch a ride with his
brother-in-law, Newt Hancock and go to Idabel or Mena or where ever it
was he needed to go. Sometimes he would get back real late, but those
dogs stayed right there with his horse and waited, no matter how long he
was gone. Mrs. Mowdy was a friend of my mother's and she came to the
house a lot. Quilting, sewing or just visiting, that was their relaxing
time I guess. It's funny that I don't know any more about this.Newt's
wife and daughter belonged to the Baptist Church there, but Newt
didn't. I used to date Newt's daughter, I went with her for quite a

Newt Hancock was the bootlegger in those parts. Now he was particular
about his whiskey. He never would sell to minors and he only sold
bottled and bonded whiskey. None of that "white lightin" stuff,
strictly the genuine bottled (bonded) whiskey. He used to charge the
Indians (not much, but he had a fee) to take them to Idabel. Newt had a
1935 International truck and he was always hauling Indians with him
somewhere. Everybody knew him and his family and even though he was
what we called a "bootlegger", he had friends there, was polite, and
since McCurtain County was dry he was able to make a living with a
little farming and his other occupation, which to some was unsavory, but
so were other occupations in the area that I'm sure people didn't even
know about.

I enjoyed watching, as a kid growing up, these were part of my town and
I found it all interesting to watch. We all knew them, accepted them,
and their activities were part of our daily lives just as much as the
blacksmith, the barber or any others that came and went through the town
during the week and did their business there at the stores or ate at the
hotel. I had a good childhood, enjoyed being a boy, enjoyed my friends
and their families. Everytime I go back there, it feels like home just
to drive around even though it's barely a "town" now, I love it and I
loved the people that made my growing up so memorable that I can share
those times with a smile and lots of fondness.

One time Mr. Mowdy was coming back from Mena with his brother-in-law,
Newt Hancock, the truck was full, no tellin' how many Indians he had in
the cab that day, and I don't know what they were hauling, but Mr.
Mowdy was riding on the running board, holding on to the truck, on the
driver's side. I guess that's the only place he could ride. The truck
was side-swiped and Mr. Mowdy was crushed to death. They said they
found one of his ribs sticking through the door of the truck.

Troy O. Phillips, September 9, 1919 to February 4, 1998
Born in Smithville, Oklahoma, McCurtain County.


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