Indian Pioneer Papers - Index
Indian Pioneer History
Project for Oklahoma
Date: August 16, 1937
Name: Jennie E. Hines
Post Office: Westville, Oklahoma
Residence Address: Section 29, Twp. 18, Range 26
Date of Birth: February 3, 1883
Place of Birth: Goingsnake District, Cherokee Nation, I.T.
Father: James E. Phillips
Place of Birth: Georgia
Information on father:
Mother: Mary Martha Parris
Place of birth:
Information on mother:
Field Worker: Gus Hummingbird
Jennie E. Hines, a Cherokee, was born in
the Goingsnake District, February 3, 1883. James E. PHILLIPS was her father,
who came to the Cherokee Nation in 1829 with the immigrants. And her mother
was Martha PARRIS, who came from Georgia with the Immigrants in 1836.
After the marriage of the Phillips they
settled on a farm near the present town of Westville, Oklahoma. Here, Jennie
was raised and still lives on the same farm that her father settled about one
hundred years ago.
Most of the early life of said Jennie Phillips was spent on the said farm. She
was not raised in poverty as most of the Cherokee children were in her time.
She had a fair chance to receive an education.
The principal crops in those days were
corn, oats, wheat and beans. The Phillips' family was considered well to do at
Trading and Milling Points
Cincinnati, Arkansas, was their main trading point at that time. People did
not go to town as often as they do now. They raised all the food that the
family could consume at home. Money was scarce in the Cherokee Nation and
produce was cheap. Those that had money always lend to neighbors when they
Some Cherokees that lived along the
Illinois River went to Siloam to do their trading. Siloam was about twenty
miles from the Phillips' home. This was the only large town at that time.
Dutchtown was another town that the
Cherokees frequently visited. There was also a mill located at this place. a
colony of Dutch people settled at this place long time before the Cherokees
came to this country.
The early day merchants at Cincinnati were
Bob and Bill RAY. These men were brothers. Another man by the name of CRAIG
was also in business at this place. Moore Brothers operated the mill. The mill
at that time was located in what was known as Rag Hollow. A Mr. CHAPMAN was a
blacksmith at Moore's Mill. There were camp grounds at Moore's Mill. Many
Cherokees from all over the Cherokee Nation came to this place to do their
milling. The chief source of transportation was horseback and ox teams.
Jennie was educated at an old school called Shiloh, which was located about
two miles southeast of the present town of Westville. She finished the fifth
grade at this little school.
Twinley ALBERTY, Pug BUSHYHEAD and Tom
BAGGETT were the early day teachers. Baggett was a permitted white man in the
Cherokee Nation to teach school. He later married a Cherokee girl by the name
Among the Old Timers that attended this
small school at that time were Eddie BUFFINGTON, Lula ALBERTY, Roxie FOLSOM,
Ellis WILLIAMS, Fred Williams, Earl Holt and Grover Buffington.
The Cherokees at that time lived on the simplest food that they raised at
home. Bean bread could be found at almost every table. Hominy, dried corn,
dried fruits, and wild meats were their chief food. They did not can much
food. There were no fruit jars in this country yet. They usually dried their
fruit and meats.
Most of the wild meats at that time were
deer, turkey, squirrels and many other small animals. There were a few buffalo
in this country at that time. There were several to be found around Pryor. She
recalls the times when the Cherokees including her father would go on hunting
trips. They usually went to the Grand River just south of Pryor, Oklahoma,
now. She remembers at one time these Cherokees killed four of those animals at
one trip. The custom of the Cherokees at that time was to call all of their
neighbors together when they had something good to eat. Mr. Phillips, after
arriving home, called several of his neighbors to share in the feast. The meat
tasted something similar to beef. These hunting expeditions would generally
last about two weeks.
Deer sometimes would leave this part of
the country and go to the Salt Springs near the Grand River to lick the salt.
Buffaloes did the same. It was when this happened that the Cherokees went on
The meat was dried so it would keep during
the summer months. In the winter they would hang this up as they do beef. She
recalls at one time Uncle Adam PALONE, who lived on Ballard Creek, would come
and trade some sorghum for buffalo meat. Palone was the molasses king at that
time. Prairie chickens were numerous in the prairie where Westville is now.
The Palone molasses mill was located on
Ballard Creek. This was a queer outfit as we would call it now. The juice was
squeezed through wooden rollers into a barrel and boiled in kettles. This
usually sold at forty cents per gallon. Usually this was a means of exchange
for Mr. Palone. People those days traded among themselves. This was known as
the old barter way. If you had any surplus you traded that for something that
others had and you needed.
The Cherokees made their own dye. They made the dye from weeds and barks of
trees. It seems that the yellow, brown and red was their chief colors.
Copperas mixed with soap made yellow dye.
Yellow Prairie Weed bloom mixed with Alum made brown dye. They used this dye
to dye home-spun cloth. Yarn was also sometimes dyed.
The medicines at that time were herbs from the woods. There were many Cherokee
faith doctors at that time. Most of the common diseases were cured by herbs.
For Chills they used Hickory Tea, this was taken immediately after a Chill.
This was supposed to stop the other which usually came the next day.
There was only one white doctor in the
country at that time. That was Dr. LACIE, at Cincinnati. Dr. Lacie was killed
by Knute NOBLIN, about 1889.
James Phillips was struck with paralysis
followed by an epileptic fit about 1889. He was doctored by some fullblood
that lived on Baron Fork Creek but she does not recall the name.
Arts and Crafts
The old time Cherokee women were good basket makers. They made baskets of
broom brushes and barks of white oak trees. They sold these goods for
groceries at Cincinnati. The prices for these baskets were from a nickel to a
Most of the Cherokees at that time lived in log houses. The poorer class lived
in single room homes. The middle class usually lived in double log houses. But
those who considered that they were rich had houses built with lumber. The
Phillips' family lived in a frame building. The house is still in good shape
that Phillips built about 1885.
The lumber used in this building was
worked out at a saw mill on Tyner's Creek near the present village of Proctor,
Mr. Phillips worked for a man named Lew
Williams, a white man permitted in the Cherokee Nation for the saw mill that
She does not remember the Cherokees ever
living in tepees.
James Phillips was a teamster at Fort Gibson during the Civil War. This part
of the story was told to her by her father. Mr. Phillips never took part in
any battle. But he was near when the battle of the Cross Hollows was fought.
He drove the supply wagon for the Union Army. This battle was fought just over
There was always a Camp Meeting at Shiloh which lasted for two or three weeks.
Another Camp Meeting site is at Alabama Springs. She does not remember any old
time preachers at that time.
Cantrell KIRBY and Bob MEDARUS were the leading cattlemen at that time. The
shipping point was Fort Smith. They usually drove their cattle through the
Strip Settlers of '93
This was a settlement made to the Cherokees by the government the sum of money
received per capita was Two Hundred and Sixty-Five Dollars. At this payment
most of the Cherokees built their frame homes. They built their houses almost
alike, two story buildings. Some of these buildings are still to be found in
this part of the country.
The Baptist Mission was the earliest church that the Phillips family attended.
The exact date she does not remember when she first went to this church. She
has been told that a white man by the name of John JONES was the first
preacher sent to this place to preach to the Cherokees. He edited the first
paper that was printed in this part of the Cherokee Nation. The name of the
paper she does not remember.
Mrs. HINES' folks came up on a steamboat to Fort Smith when they came to the
Indian country. From Fort Smith they came overland to the prairie where they
Many people died on the road to the Indian country. If any person died on the
road they usually buried him just anywhere they could. She has been told that
thousands of Cherokees are buried along the road when the immigrants came
over. It has been told by the old timers that a number of babies have been
carried all day long on their mother's backs until night. When they rested for
the night their tired fathers would bury their little ones in a shallow grave
near their camp. This was why they called this journey "The Trail of
After the Cherokees came to their new home every family started a family
cemetery. They were strong believers in staying with one another. Therefore
they did not care to mingle with other families. At each home place of these
old timers are to be found one of these old cemeteries.
The Cherokees loaned money to one another without any security. John M.
Phillips borrowed from Mose Phillips Five Hundred Dollars without a note or
mortgage. A man's word was his bond at that time. Another time Mrs. Phillips
herself loaned this same John Two Hundred or almost all of her Strip Money.
John agreed to pay this back in a year. At the end of the time she got her
money. An honest man had no trouble getting help.
Westville is the only frontier town in this part of the country. This town did
not start until after the Kansas City Southern Railroad was extended south
from Siloam Springs. This was in 1894.
She remembers the first building that was
built at Westville. T. B. Alberty was the first man that sold good at this
place. Before that time the place was just a prairie.
The Phillips' family was not in favor of the Allotment when that law went into
effect. They claimed a good home on the prairie. The people that favored it
were the ones that came here after the immigrants came. The mixed bloods also
favored this allotment. After the passage of this law the Cherokees were given
a chance to vote this law out but there was a class of Cherokees called Night
Hawks that did not vote in this election.
The Phillips' consisted of the following
children: John M. Phillips, William M. Phillips, Margaret Malinda Phillips,
James Rufus Phillips, Sarah Mary Lou Phillips and Jennie E. Phillips.
This lady has an old Day Book that her father brought from Georgia with him.
The book contains dates from 1812 until they came to the Cherokee Nation. It
seems from the reading of this book that the owner, Malachi Parris, was a
timekeeper in some mine back in Georgia. It gives many names of the old time
This book also gives the date of the birth
of Bob Parris, the grandfather of Mrs. Hines. He was born in 1804.
It gives the dates of the deaths of Mose
DOWNING and Henry Parris. Downing died August 15, 1819. Parris died June 10,
The writing is very poor and almost
Submitted to OKGenWeb by Wanda Morris Elliott < email@example.com
> November 2000.