Indian Pioneer Papers - Index
History Project for Oklahoma
Date: May 20th, 1937
Post Office: Belzoni,
Date of Birth: Don't
know, Year: 1881
Place of Birth: Near
Eagle Fork, Choctaw Nation
Father: Houston Labor
Place of Birth: Louisiana
Information on father:
Mother: Parmden Labor
Place of birth: Mississippi
Information on mother:
full blood Choctaw Indian
Field Worker: Johnson
I was born near Eagle
Rock, Nashoba County, Indian Territory, Choctaw Nation, some time in the
year of 1881.
My fatherís name was Houston
LABOR; my motherís name was Parmden Labor. My father was of Spanish descent.
He came from Louisiana and settled near Smithville, Indian Territory, Choctaw
Nation. My mother came from Mississippi when she was small girl and she
and my Father married. She was a full blood Choctaw Indian.
Father was about seventy
six years old when he died.
Father moved from Nashoba
County and located in Blue County, which is now Bryan County.
We used to do our trading
at Smithville and sometimes went to Arkansas for our groceries.
When I was a boy, we had
plenty to eat. My father had lots of hogs, cattle and ponies. We had a
small farm that we worked and we made enough corn to do us for bread. My
mother made corn meal by putting the corn in a mortar, and beating it with
a pestle; she would make sour bread, hominy, sour hominy and the like.
We lived in the mountain,
Eagle Fork is the name of a river that flows south and runs into Little
River. It is not a big river but it is very treacherous. It heads
back in the mountain. We lived not far from this river. There were lots
of deer, turkeys and squirrels and some bear, and the creeks had lots of
fish floating on top of the water. We used to catch all the fish we wanted
in a little while and if we wanted some venison all we had to do was to
get out away from the house and get what we wanted. We did not want for
any fresh meat at any time. The only thing we ever run out would be bread
stuff, coffee and sugar. We did not use white sugar, it was all brown sugar.
My father killed two bears
that I can remember of. Of course he killed all other games at any time
he wanted but he went out and killed these bears close to our house. The
bears sometimes would come up to the house and catch a hog or a pig from
us; they were hard to find when we went out looking for them.
One day another boy and
I went out fishing. I had a rifle; it was one of those old timers which
had to be loaded every time it fired. It was a good shooting gun. That
day I did not figure on seeing anything but squirrels so I had it loaded
for squirrels. Before we got down to the creek where we were going to fish,
I saw a bear coming down the mountain. He got pretty close before I fired
at him. I donít know whether I hit him or not for I was scared when I saw
him and knowing that he would fight if I wounded him, I took pretty good
aim at him. When I fired he ran back up the mountain but I did not follow
him for I was afraid to, so we just turned and went back home without fishing.
My father was appointed
Deputy Sheriff by Tom WATSON, who was the last Sheriff under the Choctaw
Government. He was Sheriff when the last man was executed at the District
Court at Alikchi. The United States Government tried to interfere but the
Choctaws had already tried him and found him guilty of murder and sentence
had been pronounced and the day set for his execution, so when the day
came for his execution, they took him to the court ground and executed
him. My father did not hold any official position except this one term
as a Deputy Sheriff.
The Indians were not bad
people; there were no outlaws among them; of course they would fight and
kill one another once in a while, but so far as stealing they did not do
much of this. They knew that if they got caught they would get thirty nine
lashes on their bare back, which was the penalty for minor offenses under
the Choctaw laws.
My father was a part Choctaw
Indian, and also had some white blood in him but most of his blood was
Spanish. He could speak English, Choctaw and Spanish. He was just
like one of those full-blood Indians in his ways and actions. He was considered
a leader among the Choctaws where he lived, they came to him for advice
on anything they wanted to know.
I am part Choctaw Indian
part white and a part Spanish. I have been reared among the Choctaws and
have lived among them. I have been to their big meetings and have been
to their cries and have seen them play Indian ball. I am now living twelve
miles east of Antlers, Oklahoma.
Transcribed and submitted
by Cindy Young <CindyYoung@aol.com>