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Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
April 27, 1937
Name: John P. Brownlee
Post Office: 
Sulphur, Oklahoma
Residence Address:   
Route 1
Date of Birth: May 17, 1870
Place of Birth: Stewartsville, Indiana
Name of Father: Hugh Brownlee
Place of Birth: Princeton, Indiana
Other information on father: Medical Doctor
Name of Mother: Mary F. Parks
Place of Birth: Princeton, Indiana

Field Worker: 

Interview #

My parents were both born at Princeton, Indiana. Father's name was Hugh Brownlee. He was born December 13, 1836. Mother's name was Mary F. Parks. She was born August 6, 1846. I have two brothers and one sister. Father was a doctor of medicine.

I was born at Stewartsville, Indiana, May 17, 1870. We moved to the new state of Texas, August 15, 1880 locating near Bonham.

I moved to the Indian Territory in 1895. My parents remained in Texas. I came with a family as a hired hand. We made the trip in a covered wagon in three days. We crossed the Red River near Old Fort Washita (no longer in existence), on a ferry which was a flat boat pushed by oars and pulled by wire cables. We settled near the old fort. After living here for one year I returned to Texas to help move some of my friends to the best country on earth. There were thirteen families in thirteen wagons. We were five days on the road.

These families settled from Old Fort Washita to Tishomingo. The farms on which they settled were leased from the Indians. The land was very fertile and produced heavily each year, anything we wanted to raise. There was grass for our cattle, and we turned them out on the range. there were no taxes to pay.

The first house in which we lived was a two room log cabin with dirt floors, no windows and a cat chimney. We used wood for fuel and cooked in a dutch oven on the fireplace. We got water from a spring. I lived here for two years and moved to Nebo, near Sulphur, in Murray County, and farmed here until 1906. Then I entered the mercantile business at Nebo, and ran this store for six years. We received our mail on a Star Route out of Daugherty, every other day. While I was in business I learned to know several full blood Indians, who were my friends. Among them were Scott Hawkins, Grandma Chinchetubby, whose English name was Greenwood, Eastman and Joe James, Tom Thompson, Ex-Governor Harris, and Douglas H. Johnston, the last governor of the Chickasaws. I also had a friend who was a deputy United States Marshal Ben Collins. I was married in 1904 to Mrs. Cleveland, a widow. We had no children.

I married again in 1923, as my first wife died in 1909. We have three small boys.

Submitted to OKGenWeb by Deonna Henderson, August 2001.