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Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date: March 15, 1938
Name: William H. Hern
Post Office: Westville, Oklahoma
Residence Address:
Date of Birth: November 4, 1873
Place of Birth: Washington County, Arkansas
Father: William Hern
Place of Birth: Kentucky
Information on father:
Mother: Helen Wilson
Place of birth: Tennessee
Information on mother:
Field Worker: Jesse S. Bell

I was born in Washington County, Arkansas, November 4, 1873. I acquired my schooling principally in Goingsnake District, Cherokee Nation, at a school known as the Williams School. This was a Cherokee school and white children had to pay tuition. Jimmie BATES, pioneer resident of Indian Territory, was the school teacher. School was held in a boxed building and the children sat on seats made of lumber.

My first wife was named Minnie PAINE, and we raised four children. My second wife was named Cassie Belle COSTON and we had six children.

My father, William Hern, Sr. came from Kentucky. My mother, Helen WILSON, was born in Tennessee and was about one-sixteenth Cherokee.

I have been in business part of my life and have also engaged in farming in the Indian Territory and Arkansas. I owned and operated a water-mill at Cane Hill, Arkansas, and all the Indians from Indian Territory as far back as Fort Gibson came there to have their corn ground. Many Indians claim their lives were saved because a mill was operated there.

Besides my mill, I operated a big farm where I had livestock and a big orchard. During the Civil War I furnished meal and other food among the Indians and to the soldiers of the South.

Submitted to OKGenWeb by Wanda Morris Elliott <jwdre@intellex.com > November 2000.