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Zachariah Taylor Gardner
Company A, Caddo Indian Battalion
Born August 15, 1829 in Mississippi
Died January 14, 1917 in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma from pneumonia
Buried in Oaklawn Cemetery In Wynnewood, Oklahoma
In 1867, he settled on the Washita River east of Pauls Valley. He farmed for several years there and in the early seventies he built the first grist mill. This was a turbine wheel mill run by water. He ground corn into meal for the soldiers at Fort Sill and for the surrounding community. The Gardner's lived in this area before there was a Wynnewood. Zach owned over 1300 acres of land on which he also ran cattle.
Around Pauls Valley he was known as Uncle Zach. The community would meet at his place for picnics on Sunday. He is said to have had a beautiful home, painted white with a white picket fence. His home and mill were some of the sights you wouldn't want to miss seeing if you visited Pauls Valley.
A large portion of the Indian Pioneer Interviews done by the WPA at least mention Zach Gardner and many of the interviews have quite a bit of information about him. See Jennie Campbell Reel's biography of him from this collection. She does say he was Choctaw while most other accounts say he was Chickasaw and she lists wifes and children.
Betty has documents on the Choctaw Trading Post which do show that Zach was indeed Choctaw.
Zach was married to Annie on November 4, 1906 in Pauls Valley. Annie was born February 6, 1849 (this date was taken from her tombstone).
Some sources say Zach served under "Major George Washington, who was in charge of a Caddo Indian Battalion" while others say he served in a Chickasaw Battalion.
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