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Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date:  28 Jul 1937
Name:  Mrs. Lizzie Gibson
Post Office: Eufaula, Oklahoma  
Residence Address:   
Date of Birth:  04 Jul 1858
Place of Birth:  Mississippi
Father:  Iza Garrett
Place of Birth:  don't know
Information on father: I don't remember him
Mother: Sarah Garrett
Place of birth:  don't' know
Information on mother: 
Field Worker: Margaret McGuire
Interview #6961  

An interview with Mrs. Lizzie Gibson, Eufaula, Oklahoma

Her Life Story in Pioneer Days in Oklahoma

I was born in Mississippi. My father and mother died when I was a baby. My uncle, General John Garrett, brought me to the Territory when I was two years old. I was a Cherokee by birth, but when we came to Oklahoma I was adopted into the Creek Tribe at the grand Council at Okmulgee, more than fifty years ago.

When the Civil War came, all the women and children were moved down South on the Red River on a reservation. We lived in little huts made of mud or logs. I remember how terrible the War was. We went hungry and cold. The Northern Soldiers would come in and take everything we had to eat. My uncle, General John Garrett, fought with the South. He was in the Elk Creek battle near Honey Springs when the North burned down old North Fork town. That was southeast of Eufaula. The soldiers from the North built barracks, with the negro soldiers on the bank of the creek. After the battle was over, those who had not been in battle were killed by the soldiers and pushed in the Creek. There were so many that the water was red with blood. Many died from want of food and clothes.

After the War was over, I don't remember how many years, we moved back across the South and North Canadian Rivers, and lived on a piece of land where Cathay is now. The railroad had been built through there. They built the railroad bridge after we moved there. It took them about two years.

Then my husband and I (I had married there) sold everything and came back to where Eufaula is now. There were no houses. We lived in a camp for a number of years until the government gave me an allotment of land, that was west of Eufaula. But when we got town property we had to buy it. We bought a home in town. There was hardly a house here when we built our home.

John Garrett was the first superintendent of the Five Civilized Tribes. He was a thirty second degree Mason, and was buried with the Masonic rites. He was buried in Muskogee, near where the Government Hospital stands. Judge Stidham had a daughter buried there, as that was his home at the time. There were only two graves and I don't know whether they are there yet or not.

Sam Checote was chief of the Creeks, and the town of Checotah was name for him.

Several years after the battle at Elk Creek we went back, and the ground all around looked white with human bones, there were so many killed in that battle.

There were only two doctors anywhere near for a long time after we came to the Territory after the War. There were Doctors Lindsay and Griffenwell at Texanna. Jackson Louis was our last real Indian Medicine Man. He was a fine man and also a Mason.

I have lived through many changes. I have seen Oklahoma grow up from a bare country to good farms, an it grew fast. I was in Tulsa when it was a very small town. It began to get oil wells and soon grew into a city. Our schools improved very fast, also farming and industries of all kinds.

When Alex Posey was drowned in the North Canadian River, my son, Pearl Gibson, made desperate efforts to save him at first. Then when he went down he dived after him until he was exhausted. 

[Submitter's Comments: The above is a re-typed, facsimile version of an Indian-Pioneer History interview of Lizzie Gibson. All punctuation, spelling, page format, and type style are a faithful attempt at being accurate reproductions of the pages from the microfilm copy of the Works Progress Administration's Indian Pioneer History, at Volume 84, pages 138-141. See also Interview 7767, Vol. 30, pages 38-41, for a joint interview with Lizzie Gibson, John Hubble, and C. E. Foley regarding Old North Fork Town near present day Eufaula, OK. Submitted by Greg James, May 3, 2002.]

Transcribed for OKGenWeb by Greg James, great grandson of Lizzie Gibson, May 2002.