OKGenWeb Notice: These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit or presentation by any other organization or persons. Presentation here does not extend any permissions to the public. This material may not be included in any compilation, publication, collection, or other reproduction for profit without permission.
The creator copyrights ALL files on this site. The files may be linked to but may not be reproduced on another site without specific permission from the OKGenWeb Coordinator, [okgenweb@cox.net], and their creator. Although public information is not in and of itself copyrightable, the format in which they are presented, the notes and comments, etc. are. It is, however, permissible to print or save the files to a personal computer for personal use ONLY.

Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Name: Zach Gardner
Post Office:
Residence Address:
Date of Birth:  August 15, 1829
Place of Birth:  Mississippi
Father:  Isaac Gardner, white man,
Information on Father:
Mother:  Rebecca (Johnson) Gardner
Information on Mother: Choctaw Indian
Field Worker:

Interview #1079-A & 1079-C
Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: February 19, 1937
Name: Mrs. Jennie Campbell Reel
Residence: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: March 22, 1879
Place of Birth: Texas
Father: Hugh A. Campbell, white
Mother: Julia Gardner, Choctaw

 Biography of Zach Gardner, furnished by Mrs. Jennie Campbell Reel (Choctaw)

Story furnished from record owned by Mrs. Jennie Campbell Reel, born four miles north of Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, March 22, 1879.

Of her Great Uncle Zach GARDNER, born August 15, 1829, in Mississippi, his father Isaac Gardner, white man, and his mother Rebecca (Johnson) Gardner, Choctaw Indian, came to Indian Territory with the Choctaw Indians in 1832.  Settled in the Choctaw Nation, followed the occupation of farming.   In 1850 Isaac Gardner moved on the east side of the Washita River in what is now Murray County.  Zach Gardner did not move with his father.  He married  Elsie MACKEY, a Choctaw Indian.  They had one child who later died and after the death of his wife he married Miss Lavinia McKINNEY, a Choctaw Indian, September 8, 1852; who was born in the Choctaw Nation December 25, 1836.  They had four children, Joseph Nail, born October 24, 1859, Zach, born October  2, 1858, Atkinson Maxwell, born December 9, 1859 and Lavinia, born 1860.

Zach Gardner moved from the Choctaw Nation where his father lived east of the Washita River, a short time before his father died in 1859.  His father and mother were the parents of nine children all of them now deceased.  Silas D. Gardner, brother of Zach Gardner, died in Yorktown, Pennsylvania where he was taken a prisoner of war during the Civil War.  Zach Gardner was in the service of the Confederacy, serving under the command of Major George Washington, who was in charge of a Caddo Indian Battalion.  He remained with the army through-out the period of hostilities, acting with the troops upon the plains of the territory, guarding the frontier here and in Texas.  He received his education at Spencer Academy in the Choctaw Nation.

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 this surrounding community. 

His mother passed away at his home in 1884, east of Pauls Valley on the Washita River.

He has once said, Pauls Valley was once known as Rush Creek Valley before anyone settled in it.

He was at one time the owner of 13 hundred acres of land.   Prominent in the Masonic fraternity, Mr. Gardner was made a mason in the Electric Lodge F & A M at Warren, Texas.  He became a charter member of Pauls Valley Lodge No. 6 and later in life, was the only original member living.  Several years before his death he put aside the more arduous duties of farm life in order to enjoy a well earned rest.

Mr. Gardner lived east of Pauls Valley, from 1867 until his death February 1913.   He was buried in the Wynnewood Cemetery, Wynnewood, Oklahoma.

(Submitter's Comments: This bio says Zach Gardner was Choctaw but all other accounts call him Chickasaw and I know the grist mill he owned was in the Chickasaw Nation just east of Pauls Valley on the Washita River)

Submitted to OKGenWeb by Brenda Choate <bcchoate@yahoo.com> November 2000.