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Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Name: Josh Impson
Post Office: Jumbo, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: January 01, 1896
Place of Birth:
Father: Morris Impson
Place of Birth:
Information on father: full-blood Indian
Place of birth:
Information on mother: Chickasaw Indian
Field Worker:
I was born near the place called Jumbo, Oklahoma. It was named Jumbo after they opened the mines; then they got up a post office and called it Jumbo, Oklahoma.

I was born in a log house on the first day of January 1896. The old log house is still standing there; of course, it is pretty rotted now but some of the logs are sound yet.

My father's name was Morris Impson. He was a full-blood Indian and farmer, having lots of cattle, hogs and lots of ponies running out on the range. In fact he had everything that goes with a farm. He was a little boy when the Civil War broke out so he was too young to enter the service and he was not bothered with the soldiers because they did not get down that far so he said, most of them were north of us.

My mother was a Chickasaw Indian. She lived and was raised at a place known as Burris Valley, but when she married my father she moved down to Jumbo, Oklahoma where my father was living. Burris Valley is now Pittsburg County, then it was Jack Fork County. She never told us anything about the war nor how the Indians lived during the war and after the war. When I was born and raised up we had plenty of everything to it. Our trading post was at Fort Smith, and mother said that they would go to Fort Smith about twice a year to lay in their groceries and other supplies they needed.

I went to school at a neighborhood school and attained the 8th grade. Still I didn't learn much at that. They have a fine school house now, something that they did not have at the time when I went to school. I can speak a little English but not enough to carry on a conversation with anyone. I can understand enough to make deals with a white man when they want to deal with me.

My father was sort of a leader among the Indians that lived in our community. The Indians used to live in communities. We lived in the north end of what is known as Impson Valley, about 23 miles NW of Antlers, Oklahoma. When I was a boy that country was all in wood, there was no fence to speak of, and the Indians living there had a small farm which were fenced. The balance of the country was open, no fences. The grass and the cane of the creeks was thick and high as your head. The stock would live fat all during the year, we did not have to feed them at all.

After the Frisco Railroad came through the country our trading post was at Kosoma, a little saw mill town. It was not far from our home so my dad did most of his trading there.

My father did not hold any office that amounted to anything. He was a deputy sheriff for several years and that is about the only office he held under the Choctaw government.

We did not camp at any of the Indian meetings but we would go to the meetings wherever they had one. There used to be lots of Indians then that attended the meeting and the campers would feed all that came to the meeting. They still have those camp meetings but the Indians are not many. All have died out; they are not what they used to be when I was a boy.

NOTE: Information has not been compared with a copy from the Indian Pioneer Papers. *ADDITIONAL INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY THE AUTHOR:
Jumbo is located in Pushmataha County, Oklahoma. The Post Office was established 8 Nov. 1906. It was named for the Jumbo Asphalt Company. Morris Impson was born in 1854. His father was Josiah Impson. Morris' parents died before 1899. Morris married Lucy, a Chickasaw Freedman. She was born 1878. They had at least one child, Susie Burris, born 13 Aug. 1902. This appears to be the father and mother of Josh Impson.

Josh Impson Census Card No. 999, Dawes Rolls No. 113

Source: Eastern Oklahoma Indians and Pioneers, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory, Vol. 3. Researched, indexed and published by Arlene
LeMaster.  Order from Family Heritage Resources P.O. Box 477, Poteau, OK 74953. Copyright applied for 1993.

Submitted by Rusty Lang <Rlang90547@aol.com>, great great grandniece of Morris Impson 11-1999.