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Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date: December 5, 1937
Name: Mrs. Implin Nelson
Post Office: Finley, Oklahoma
Residence Address:
Date of Birth: 1861
Place of Birth: Near Moyers, Oklahoma
Father: Dixon Felihkatabbee
Information on Father: born Finley, Oklahoma
Mother: Eliza Walker
Information on Mother: born Finley, Oklahoma
Field Worker: Johnson H. Hampton

I was born in the year 1861. My Father's name was Dixon FELIHKATABBEE and my mother's name was Eliza WALKER. They were both raised in what was then Cedar County, Choctaw Nation. Neither of them came from the old country.

I was born in what was then Jackfork [Jack Fork] County near where Moyer, Oklahoma is now. Later we moved to Ceder County where I lived and am now living near where I grew up. I have never been out of the county since I was a small child when my parents moved from Jackfork County to Cedar County.

We were very poor people so we did not have a spinning wheel of our own but Mother used to borrow one and run it for some other Indians. She would card up the wool or cotton and make threads out of them, than she would put it on the wheel and I had to turn the wheel for her. She would make a big ball out of the threads and then she would get her knitting needle and knit socks and mittens out of the threads she had made. She did not make any cloth but some of the Indian women did. Mother made only socks and mittens and she dyed them with some roots, herbs and barks.

I don't remember what years it was when the Dawes Commission came to Antlers and enrolled the Choctaws, but they were here at Antlers when I enrolled with the balance of the Choctaws.

The first payment I remember of the Choctaws getting was somewhere in 1893. We got $103.00 per head. We then did not get any more money for a long while, then we got several payments. The last one was $10.00 I think.

We lived in a log house with one door in it. There was no window in the house and it was not a big house but we had a floor for our house and had about five acres of land in cultivation that we raised corn on for our bread. We used to raise enough corn to feed us. We did not have much wheat bread to eat at that time.

We would sometimes soak our corn in the ear and grit it for our meals. We did not have any meal on hand at any time but we made our meal as we wanted it. We beat our corn in a bowl on one end of the block just as other Choctaws did for making meal. We sometimes had to parch corn for our coffee. It was a good substitute for coffee. The Choctaws did that everywhere for they did not have the money with which to buy their coffee most of the time.

On this farm we raised our vegetables, including sweet potatoes. We did not raise Irish potatoes at that time for we did not know very much about them.

Mother had a few chickens, not many of them, though enough for our home use. We had only a few cattle and hogs but we did not have any ponies.

Our trading pint at that time was at Paris, Texas, but then the railroad went through we traded at a little place called Kosoma, on this railroad. It was a small sawmill town. We then moved our trading point to Antlers where we have traded ever since.

I never saw a white man in that country until the railroad went through; then they began to come into the country but they did not come out in the rural districts then; they were mostly around the towns.

I remember the LOCKE and JONES war for I had kinfolks on both sides and remember where the Locke men were camped. I used to go there to see my brother who was with this bunch of men. I don't know about the shooting up of Locke's house as I was not in town when this happened but I heard of it after it had happened and the men were all gathering down at the river getting ready to have a real war. The other, Jones men, were camped at Goodland. I did not go down there to see my kinfolks. In fact I was afraid to go down there for my husband and brother were with the Locke's. They were camped just across the river where the small lake is now on the highway. They stayed there for a good while, but when the soldiers came down they put a stop to the war and the warriors all came home.

Another time when a few of the Choctaws got bad was when some of the Indians went to Barton Jones's house and tore up his house and burned up his mattresses. He formed a little group of Indians, hunted the boys up that was into this, killed a few of them and arrested the balance of them and took them and put them in jail at Sulphur Springs. There was no jail there but he put them up in an old house and guarded them for several days before they were turned loose.

At this time they killed my uncle. He was sick in bed when they came over, took him out of bed and killed him. They then went over to Washington BALDWIN's and killed his son, Eli Baldwin, and took the father prisoner. They finally got into the Federal Court over Eli Baldwin, who it seemed was or had been a United States officer. They were put in jail until they could make bond and several of them died in jail. The others had their trail and got out of it and came home, and that was the last of the killings.

I used to see the Choctaw ball games and have attended their camp meetings. They still have those camp meetings like they used to do several years ago. They would kill hogs, beef and get everything ready and just move over to the church and feed the people. They still follow the old custom. One of the old churches is still there and they have their meetings at this church yet. It is a Methodist Church, called the Old Cedar Church. It was a log church house but they have done away with that one and built a lumber church house and it is still being used at this time.

I remember some years ago when the meeting was over and the Choctaws were getting ready to go home, the sheriff of Cedar County was going to arrest one Isaac REUBIN. The Sheriff's name was CAMPBELL and he went to this man and told him that he was under arrest, but this man resisted the officer. Then the Sheriff pulled his gun and shot at him but missed him. Then Isaac got his gun and killed the Sheriff. That was on Monday morning. He shot the Sheriff all to pieces with his own gun, then he got the Sheriff's gun and emptied it into him after he had him killed. There has been several Indians killed at this church.

They don't have the Indian cries that they used to have. When they used to have them I went and cooked for them most of the time. Then they would have the cries at their home where the grave was. The Choctaws used to bury their dead near the house. They had no cemeteries anywhere then, so they buried at their home and would have the cries at the grave. All the Indians took part in the cries but they have quit now on account of the white people making fun at them.

I am a full-blood Choctaw Indian and never went to school, not even one day, so I am not able speak nor read, nor write in English. In fact, I can't read nor write in my own language. I can speak the Choctaw language but that is all.

All of my parents have lived here and died here, they were all full bloods but I don't know what clan they belong to.

Transcribed and submitted by Brenda Choate < bcchoate@yahoo.com> December 2000.