Indian Pioneer Papers - Index
History Project for Oklahoma
Date: September 30, 1937
Clarence Granville Bearden
Post Office: Hugo, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: March
Place of Birth: Booneville,
Father: John J. Bearden
Place of Birth: Tennessee
Information on father:
Mother: Cynthia Tucker
Place of birth: Tennessee
Information on mother:
Field Worker: Hazel B.
My mother, Cynthia TUCKER
Bearden, was a sister to Mrs. Enoch NEEDHAM, and Mrs. Enoch Needham was
the maternal grandmother of Robin (Bob) BURNS, of screen and radio fame,
of Van Buren, Arkansas. Cynthia Bearden was buried at Hackett, Arkansas.
My father, John J. Bearden, is buried at Spring Chapel Cemetery, immediately
south of Hugo, about a mile.
My father was a native
of middle Tennessee but his family moved to Texas when he was quite a lad
and he enlisted in the army in time of the Civil War, from Texas. I don't
know how he came to be up in Arkansas, but anyway he was there, and married
a CONDITT, the mother of my half brothers, William and Charlie Bearden
and my half sister, Mrs. Eva MANNING, who lives no[w] about six miles southeast
of Hugo. Charlie and William are both dead.
Then he married my mother
who was Cynthia Tucker, and she was a sister to Mrs. Enoch Needham, nee
Mary Jane Tucker, who was the maternal grandmother of Robin (Bob) Burns
of screen and radio fame, of Van Buren, Arkansas.
After my mother died,
we came down through the Winding Stair Mountains from Booneville, through
this country where Hugo is now located, on our way to visit relatives in
Hopkins County, Texas. Towns and villages were far apart.Nobody expected
to stay at hotels when they started out on a journey in those days. They
either camped out wherever night over took them or depended upon the hospitality
of the scattered settlers along the route.
I was born in 1876, at
Booneville, Arkansas, and we made this trip before a
railroad was put through
the Choctaw Nation; one was put through here about 1885, I believe, so
I was a little fellow when we made it. Well, anyway, along down the road
about three miles south of the present town of Hugo, night overtook us,
and we spent the night at the home of a widow, Mary Tucker. She was the
widow of Frank Tucker, who was a machinist, and she had met him when he
was installing machinery for a gin at the Rose Hill Farm of Robert M. JONES,
millionaire Choctaw Indian. She was a housekeeper at Rose Hill when they
got married. He was killed by a negro helper, while installing machinery
in a gin for old Dr. MILLER, an intermarried citizen who was having the
gin built on his farm down on Roebuck Lake, about 8 miles south of Hugo,
After we made our trip
to Texas and returned to Booneville, Arkansas, father came down here and
married Mary Tucker and took her to Booneville, but she didn't like to
live up there, and did not live there very long. She owned her home down
here, and so we all came down here to live. We traveled the old military
road from Fort Smith, Arkansas, down across Winding Stair Mountains, as
far as about where Antlers is now. Thence south along about the route the
railroad came later, from Fort Smith Arkansas, to Paris, Texas. I was raised
right down there south of Hugo on my step-mother's farm. I first attended
school at Spring Chapel, a two story frame or boxed building. The upper
story was used for a lodge for the Masons and below was used for school
and all other kind of social affairs and church. My first teacher was J.
J. TERRY, a white man, who drifted in here from the north, somewhere and
hacked railroad cross ties for a living one summer, while waiting for time
for his school to open. He was a good teacher and a pretty good citizen,
and got to be a United States Marshall. He lived to be about 90 years old.
He just died about three years ago. A son-in-law of his was Bailey SPRING,
one of the leaders of the Choctaw people.
OKGenWeby by Jami Hamilton Feb 1999.