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Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Name: Florence Stephens Evans
Residence Address: 1020 15th Street, Boulder, Colorado

Mrs. Evans Story: 

My ancestors came to Oklahoma from Georgia with the early settlers in 1838 (?), I think.

While singing professionally in Boston, I was invited to be a member of the Worlds Congress of Representative Women at the World’s Fair in Chicago.

In 1894, The Mattie Rhodes Memorial Group gave a benefit performance in the Coates Opera House, Kansas City, Missouri, and Julia Marlow Sethew (sp) and I were the artists chosen (sic). She giving the acts of ‘The Belle’s Stratagem’ and I singing a group of songs between sets.

I could give one or more very interesting and outstanding experiences which for my children’s sake I should like to have recorded-but I hesitate to do so feeling that hey would hold no interest to others.

My father and mother were both graduates of the National Male and Female Seminaries. My mother was valedictorian of her class I think in 1859 (?).

My father was of the same family of Stephens in Georgia as Alexander Stephens. He had a cridibuble [sic] Civil War record and was buried in the Officers Circle in the National Cemetery in Fort Gibson in 1911.

My father was a scholarly type and was active in locating the oil fields in Oklahoma.

He compiled an interesting history of the Cherokees, which was never published. The manuscript was loaned to a young writer who was killed in a (aysleme?) in Kirksville, Missouri. His widow sold all his papers to Edwin Markham, Poet Arthur and my father was never able to regain his manuscripts. There are many things I could recount regarding his activities in the educational history of the Cherokee Nation.

I think he was on of the Founders of the Teachers Institute that used to meet in Tahlequah for Normal instruction to the young teachers.

I could give an account of the visit of the Dawes Commission to the Cherokee Council to negotiate the sale of the Cherokee Strip in 1889 or 90. My father was the Supt. At the time of the New Seminary and the Commission was entertained by him. He had the gift of prophecy, really. Always a friend to the Cherokee but not always understood by them he looked into the future and gave them good advise. A wise warnings which were sometimes mis-construed at that time.

My mother, Sarah Rosalie Hicks, was the daughter of the last hereditary Chief of the Cherokees in Georgia-William Hicks who had the blood of an English Church man. Missionary in his veins.

He also had the privilege of assisting George Guess in his invention of the Cherokee Alphabet.

William Hicks was a friend and admirer of John Ross and is was his wish and direction that John Ross and not one of his, should succeed him.

On the Maternal side, my mother was a Foreman and it was though Major _____ Foreman that my mother was a D.A.R. ( Mrs. Walker in Ft. Gibson can supply some information on this subject).

My mother was an orphan at a very early age and was taken into the family of Dr. Samuel Worchester - Grandfather of Alice Robertson. Her brother Abijah Hicks married Dr. Worchester’s daughter, Hannah.

I have photographs of both my parents, which you might care to see. Mrs. Walker or Miss Emma Hicks should have a poem that my father wrote. Mrs. M. Smith, Claremore has written two poems which have been published. She is Spencer S. Stephen’s Granddaughter.

I should like to mention one outstanding impression I got from my mother’s account of the Removal from Georgia, that was that these people who were being driven from their homes, some of them were loaded on to rotten steam boats that were known to be unsafe and not expected to reach their destination, which they did not.

Transcribed for OKGenWeb by Catherine Widener <catz@kcisp.net>  March 2002.