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Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date: 1937 (?)
Name: Dennis Hendricks
Post Office: Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Residence Address: Rural Route 2
Date of Birth: July 8, 1854
Place of Birth: City of Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory
Wife: Eliza Jane Fish
Father: James R. Hendricks (1/2 Cherokee)
Place of Birth: Cherokee Nation East, GA
Mother: Nancy "Nannie" Jane Woodall I (White)
Place of Birth: Cherokee Nation East, GA?
Field Worker: Frank J. Still
Interview Number: 498

I, Dennis Hendricks, was born south of the old Cherokee Advocate Building in the City of Tahlequah (Cherokee Nation) Indian Territory on July 8, 1854. I will be 83 years old on July 8, 1937.

My father's name was James R. Hendricks, who came to the Cherokee Nation when he was 12 years old, was born Nov. 23, 1819, in the State of Georgia (Cherokee Nation East) and died May 3, 1901 ( in Tahlequah Dist., Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory). He was in the Union Army stationed at Fort Gibson (Fort), I. T., during the Civil War as a wagon maker and wood worker; there was an old darkey who worked in the shops with him that did the blacksmithing or iron work.

My father, James R. Hendricks, was Dist. Judge for Tahlequah for two terms; he held many places during Cherokee times. He served as a member of the Council and I don't know what all. One time, while father was Judge, he had one of those small medicine pots and three ducks. Old man Ben Grimmett, living out west of town (Tahlequah), stole the pot and ducks. So father and another man went out there and told old man Grimmett that they had come after the ducks and pot; he said that he had not seen the stolen goods. So father told him that a certain man saw Grimmett steal the ducks and pot; and after he found out that they had the proof on him, he went and got the stolen goods. They arrested Grimmett and brought him to town (Tahlequah); and father got a man by the name of Reece to set (sic, sit) on the bench in his place and try Grimmett. Mr. Dobson Reece sentenced him to ten lashes on the bare back with hickory withes. They taken (sic, took) him down just west of the Advocate Building where the old Light Plant stands; there were some walnut trees there, they tied his rists (sic, wrists) together, put a rope through his arms, and pulled his arms up so that he had to tip toe, pulled his shirt off and gave him ten lashes with some large hickory withs (sic, withes). When they let him down, he said that some man owed him and he was going to look for him; and if he did not pay him, he was going to whip him. So a bunch of us watched to see if we could see them fight, but he did not find the man--but father got his pot and ducks!

The same man, Reece, that set (sic, sat) on the bench in father's place, lived up on the East Hill in town (Tahlequah). He had a grown man staying with him; and during the Civil War, he and this young man just stayed at home. When they would see soldiers or the "Pin" Indians coming they would hide. Mr. Reece has some small boys, and they would keep watch out for the soldiers and "Pin" Indians.

I would play with these children; we would get in some of the caves on the branch over on the East Hill and hide in the caves and watch for those "Pin" Indians who camped down south of where the (Cherokee) Jail is now. They would ride up and down the street and shoot people. One day when they were riding up the street, old man Tom Woodward had his arm leaning against the door in plain sight of them; and the "Pin" Indians shot Mr. Woodard in the elbow. The bullet ranged up and lodged in his wrist. So some men pressed on the bullet and pressed it out of the hole where it went in his elbow.

My mother's name is Nancy Woodall; I don't remember much about my mother's people.

William (H.) Hendricks (Sr.), (my grandfather) was born in the state of Georgia (should be North Carolina) Aug. 25, 1797; he was an Old Settler who came to the West before the Cherokee Drive of 1838 (Trail of Tears). Grandfather died on Jan. 21, 1868, and is buried in the Hendricks Cemetery, 1 mile west of the Indian Training Schools.

My grandmother's name was Susana (sic, Susannah Sokinny) Hendricks (an orphan full-blood Cherokee); she stayed with the children until they drove the Cherokees in 1838 (Trail of Tears). She came with the Children to what is now Cherokee County; grandfather had come and settled a place for them just south of the Hendricks Cemetery. She was born in the state of Georgia Jan 25 (?), 1798, and died Jan 25, 1866, and is buried in the Hendricks Cemetery.

NOTES: Submitted by Alice Huitt Preston at apres@attg.net , genealogy website: http://www.tribalpages.com/tribes/a91844 : (descendant) 4th cousin of Dennis Hendricks.

William H. Hendricks Sr. (Dennis's grandfather, and my ggggrandfather) was born Aug. 25, 1797, in North Carolina; we have been unable to trace his ancestry. Susannah Sokinny Hendricks was an orphan full-blood Cherokee girl; in 1832 they were living in Hightower, GA, Cherokee Nation East. William had signed up 4 Indians on a wagon train headed west of the Mississippi (IT, OK) after GOLD was discovered in Georgia; but we don't know if he or his family made the trip or not. Dennis says that William came ahead of his family, and they came over the Trail of Tears. William and Susannah Hendricks had 13 children: 9 born in the Cherokee Nation East, Georgia: James R., Anna, Jane R., Margaret, John, Nancy, Susannah (Susan), Catherine, William H. Jr.; 4 born in the Tahlequah District, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory: Willis Robin, Franklin H., Elizabeth H., and Thomas Hendricks Sr.

William H. Hendricks Sr. and Susannah's first child and son was James R. Hendricks, father of Dennis Hendricks. James R. was born Nov. 23, 1817 in the Cherokee Nation East, Georgia; and died May 16, 1901, at the Woodall Community, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory; he is buried at the Hendricks Cemetery, Cherokee Co., OK. He is found on the 1835 Census of the Cherokee Nation East, GA: Long Swamp, Cherokee Co., GA; 1851 Old Settler Roll: Tahlequah, 123 (1896, page 11); 1880 Census Cherokee Nation: Tahlequah, 1054; 1890 Census Cherokee Nation: Tahlequah, page 11,475); Occupation: 1890, Farmer; Residence: 1842, about 5 miles west of Tahlequah. James married Nancy Jane "Nannie" Woodall; they had the following children:

(1)Jennie Greene Hendricks was born in 1850 in Tahlequah Dist., Cherokee Nation, IT; she is found on the 1851 Old Settler Roll: Tahlequah, 123 as Green Hendricks (1896, p. 11); 1880 CN Census: Tahlequah, 1972 as Jane Ragsdale; Old Settler Payroll: Tahlequah, page 11 as Green Ragsdale; Dawes Roll: card # 2152, roll# 27408 as Jennie Ragsdale; Blood: 1/2 Cherokee. She married John Ragsdale son of Benjamin Ragsdale I and Rebecca Terrell, b. 1851 Cherokee Nation, IT; he is listed on the 1851 Drennan Roll: Tahlequah, 538, 1880 CN Census: Tahlequah, 1971; 1890 CN Census: Tahlequah, 3380; Dawes Roll: card# 2152, roll# 27407; Miller Roll: Metory, OK, ap# 835, roll# 21919; Blood: 1/2 Cherokee; Occupation: 1880 Farmer; 1890, Laborer. Jennie and John Ragsdale had the following children: Lizzie, Benjamin II, Sarah, Lucy, Alice, and Margaret Ragsdale.

(2) Jonas B. Hendricks was born in 1852 in the Tahlequah Dist., Cherokee Nation, IT; he is found on the 1880 CN Census: Tahlequah, 1001; 1890 CN Census: Tahlequah 3646; Dawes Roll: card# 6976, roll# 16650; Occupation: 1890, Farmer; Blood: 1/2 Cherokee; died 1922 in Chouteau, Mayes Co., OK, buried at the North Cemetery, Chouteau, Mayes Co., OK, by his wife Laura Westbrooks Hendricks. He married Laura Westbrooks (Adopted White); they had the following children:

(a) Nancy Jane Hendricks b. Jan. 01, 1884, Cherokee Nation, IT, d. May 19, 1967 in Muskogee, Muskogee Co., OK, married on Sept. 15, 1903, her 1st cousin, George Washington Craft Jr., (son of George W. Craft Sr. and Minerva Hendricks) b. 1879, Cherokee Nation, IT, listed on the 1880 CN Census: Tahlequah, 474; Dawes Roll: card# 6160, roll# 14673; Blood: 1/4 Cherokee. Nancy Jane is listed on the 1890 CN Census: Tahlequah, 3648; Dawes Roll: card# 6976, roll# 16651; Blood: 1/4 Cherokee; Buried at North Cemetery (under the name of Nancy Jane Clover) Chouteau, Mayes Co., OK. Nancy and George Craft Jr. had the following children: Flora Belle Craft, and Dorothy Delilah Craft. After the death of George Jr., Nancy married Harry Clover; no children.

(1) Flora Belle Craft was born in 1905 in the Cherokee Nation, IT.

(2) Dorothy Delilah Craft b. Sep. 12, 1911, Tahlequah, Cherokee Co., OK, d. May 30, 1990 in Muskogee, Muskogee Co., OK, buried at Greenhill Cemetery, Muskogee, OK; married William "Willie" Byrd, Sr. on Mar. 28, 1931. He was b. on Nov. 27, 1906 in Poteau, Leflore Co., OK, the son of William J. Byrd, Jr.; he died on Nov. 20, 1983 in Muskogee, Muskogee Co., OK, and is buried at Greenhill Cemetery, Muskogee, OK. [His father, William Jackson Byrd Sr. and his wife, Dorothy Craft Byrd are both buried at Greenhill Cemetery, Muskogee, OK] William Byrd Sr. and Dorothy Craft had one known son: (1) William"Billie" Jackson Byrd Jr. b. Sept. 27, 1934, Muskogee, Muskogee Co., OK, (Still living in 2003) who married Bertha Lee Davis b. Feb. 15, 1938 in Boone Co., AR (Still living in 2003). They had several children and one daughter: Patty Jean Byrd (Living) b. Dec. 28, 1958, in Muskogee, Muskogee Co., OK, who married on Sept. 28, 1978, William Applegate; they had the following children: Amy Applegate, Melissa Applegate Majors; Amanda Applegate; Elizabeth Applegate, and Ann Applegate. Patty Jean Byrd Applegate divorced William Applegate and married on Mar. 02, 1990, Kevin VanZant; they have no children.

(b) Lydia Hendricks, b. 1886, Cherokee Nation, IT.

(c) Martha Hendricks, b. 1888, Cherokee Nation, IT.

(d) Frederick Hendricks, b. 1890, Cherokee Nation, IT.

(e) George W. Hendricks, b. 1892 Cherokee Nation, IT.

(f) Ada Hendricks, b. 1893, Cherokee Nation, IT.

(g) Flora Hendricks, b. 1895, Cherokee Nation, IT.

(h) Nelly Hendricks, b. 1897, Cherokee Nation, IT.

(i) Charles R. Hendricks, b. 1899, Cherokee Nation, IT.

(j) Addie B. Hendricks, b. 1901, Cherokee Nation, IT.

(3) Dennis Hendricks (person who gave this interview) was b. July 08, 1854, in the Tahlequah Dist., Cherokee Nation, IT; he is listed on the 1880 Cherokee Nation Census: Tahlequah, 1046; 1890 Cherokee Nation Census; Tahlequah, 2369; Old Settler Payroll: Tahlequah, page 475; Dawes Roll: card# 6094, Roll# 14539; Blood: 1/4 Cherokee; Occupation: 1880-1890, Farmer. married Eliza Jane Fish (Cherokee name: Caw-le-cha) before 1877. She was the daughter of Nathaniel Fish (a full-blood Cherokee who came on the Trail of Tears) and Mary Spicer (White) and was born in 1844 in the Flint Dist., Cherokee Nation, IT. Dennis and Eliza had the following 4 children:

(1) Thomas J. Hendricks was born in 1877 in the Tahlequah Dist., Cherokee Nation, IT; he married Susie McLain, b. Mar. 19, 1878 in the Illinois Dist., Cherokee Nation, IT, daughter of Jesse McLain II and Jennie Smith. Thomas and Susie had one son: Nelson L. Hendricks II. Thomas also had two children by Electra "Leckie" Britton, daughter of Joseph Wesley Britton and Mary Ann Evans, (it is not known if they were married, the children used her maiden name): (1) Mary Erlaine Britton, b. May 21, 1916 in Chelsea, Rogers Co., OK, d. Aug. 5, 2000 at San Antonio, TX, married Martin Doyle Hargrove about 1933 in CA; they had one child a Living (female) Hargrove; married her 2nd husband in 1952 in TX, Robert Frank Deodati; they had one child: Living (male) Deodati; and (2)Jimmy Britton. Thomas J. Hendricks is found on the 1880 Cherokee Nation Census: Tahlequah, 1052; 1890 Census CN: Tahlequah, 2372; Dawes Roll: card# 6274, roll# 14962; Miller Roll: Ahniwake, OK, ap# 25487, Roll# 13792; Blood: 1/2 Cherokee; Occupation: In 1920: Railroad Foreman; 1920 OK Census: Chelsea, Rogers Co., OK; states his race as "Indian," he was 42 years old at the time of the census (Source: Britton/Hendricks/Hargrove on ancestry.com).

(2) Levi Hendricks: b. 1879, Tahlequah Dist., Cherokee Nation, IT.

(3) Nelson L. Hendricks, I: b. 1881, Tahlequah Dist., Cherokee Nation, IT.

(4) Mary Ann Frances Hendricks: b 1887, Tahlequah Dist., Cherokee Nation, IT.

Eliza Jane Fish had been previously married to a cousin of Dennis's , Joseph Hendricks; he was the son of John Hendricks (Dennis' uncle) and Pretia Tiesky. Eliza and Joseph had the following children: John Hendricks II, William Hendricks, Che-a-nu-na Hendricks, Patsey "Nakey" Hendricks Easkey, and Franklin Marion Hendricks. After Joseph died in 1873, she married Dennis Hendricks. Eliza Jane Fish Hendricks is found on the 1851 Drennan Roll: Tahlequah, 364 as Betsey Fish; 1880 CN Census: Tahlequah, 1047 as Eliza Jane Hendricks; 1890 CN Census: Tahlequah, 2370 as Eliza J. Hendricks; Dawes Roll: card# 6094, roll# 14540 as Eliza J. Hendricks; Miller Roll: Tahlequah, OK, ap# 2105, roll# 13763 as Eliza J. Hendricks; Cherokee name: Caw-le-cha; Blood: 1/2 Cherokee.

(4) Minerva Hendricks was born in 1858 Cherokee Nation, IT; she is listed on the 1880 CN Census: Tahlequah, 1060 as Minerva Hendricks; Old Settler Payroll: Tahlequah, page 475 as Minerva Craft; Dawes Roll: card# 6100, roll# 14547 as Minerva Craft; Blood: 1/4 Cherokee. She married George Washington Craft Sr.; they had 3 children:

(a) George Washington Craft Jr. who married Nancy Jane Hendricks [See above]; b. 1879, Cherokee Nation, IT.

(b) Dennis Craft, b. 1881, Cherokee Nation, IT.

(c) James Craft, b. 1883, Cherokee Nation, IT.

(5) Mary "Cornelia" Hendricks, b. 1861, Cherokee Nation, IT; listed on the 1880 CN Census: Tahlequah, 1067 as Cornelia Hendricks "living with Thomas Ross but not married;" Dawes Roll: card# 6096, roll# 14544 as Mary C. Spencer; Old Settler Payroll: Tahlequah, page 475 as Cornelia Manuel; Blood 1/4 Cherokee.

(6) Louisa Laura Hendricks, b. 1868, Cherokee Nation, IT; listed on the 1880 CN Census: Tahlequah 1055 as Laura Hendricks; Old Settler Payroll: Tahlequah, page 475 as Louisa Poorboy; Dawes Roll: card# 6097 roll# 14545 as Louisa Miles; Blood 1/4 Cherokee. Married an Unknown Poorboy in 1895; married an Unknown Miles in 1896--one child: Betty C. Miles, b. 1896, Cherokee Nation, IT.

Dennis Hendricks is listed on the


Transcribed and contributed by Alice Preston apres@attg.net September 2003.

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Updated:  08 Apr 2008