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Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date: June 18, 1937
Name: Nancy Miashintubbee
Post Office: Corinne, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: August, 1872
Place of Birth: Near what is now Ludlow, Oklahoma
Father: John Durant
Place of Birth:
Information on father: Near Eagletown, Indian Territory
Mother: Celey Durant
Place of birth:
Information on mother: Near Eagletown, Indian Territory
Field Worker: Johnson H. Hampton
Interview: #632
Nancy Miashintubbee Interview

I was born some time in August 1872, that is I have been told so, at what is now Ludlow, Oklahoma. At the time I was born there was no Post Office in that county and there were no stores of any kind-it was then way out in the mountains. There were few Indians living in that community.

My father's name was John DURANT, and my mother's name was Celey Durant. They lived out about twelve miles form Talihina at the time of their deaths, but they lived near Ludlow, Oklahoma, before they moved to Talihina, in what was known as Wade County. They had moved form Eagle County to Ludlow or Nashoba County then.

I did not know either of my grandparents. I have been told that they lived in Eagle County near the Arkansas line and that they lived there until their death. After their death my father moved near Ludlow, in Nashoba, County and that is where I was born and reared.

I don't know whether my father was in the Civil War or not, I never heard them say anything about his being in the war. There was lots of talk of the war at that time, but I don't know about my father's being in the war.

Our trading point at that time was Fort Smith, which was the nearest place we had. When they got ready to go to Fort Smith after groceries, they would get together and set a date when they were going, and when the day arrived for them to start there would be several wagons drawn by oxen with some grub to eat on their way their and back. It would take them several days to get back. Some times it would take them nearly a month to get back if it got to raining, as this would get the creeks up so they had to wait until the creek run down so they could get across. There were no bridges nor much road at that time. When they came home we would get some flour bread.

We had a little farm where we raised some corn for our bread and we did not have flour to eat all the time, so we had to save our flour for it was a long way to go to get it. We had to eat corn bread most of the time but the corn bread then was made out of meal that we beat in a mortar and it was different from the corn meal we get now. There were no grist mills anywhere close and, in fact, I don't know whether there were any in the country for I never did hear of one anywhere. We made hominy and other things out of corn.

Where I lived, the Indians were in pretty hard shape but everybody would help one another to get by until we could make a small crop of some kind. The place where I was raised was right between two high mountains, in a valley and a pretty good size creek ran through this valley, where we went fishing whenever we wanted to. There were lots of fish in this creek. The only thing that was lacking was lard to fry the fish in after we caught them, so we would go out and borrow lard from our neighbors. There was lots of wild game. There men would kill deer and turkeys, so we had plenty of meat to eat, the only thing we had to have was lard and there were lots of wild hogs in the mountains so the men would go out and kill a fat one, then we had some lard for our meat.

We had no spinning wheel nor a weaver. There was a woman that lived near us that had one, and she made cloth and sold it to other Indians when they wanted it. Mother used to get her to make our dresses for us. We had about two dresses apiece that we had to save in order to get to wear them to meeting. During the summer we did not need to wear dresses like we did in the winter. The country was wild and in the wilderness and no one to come around so we did not have to wear our best dresses. The boys had a couple of breeches to wear but in the summer they wore britch-clout and by doing this they saved their breeches to wear for Sunday to meeting. We had shoes to wear too, but we did not wear them while we were at home. We went barefooted there and the only time we wore our shoes was when we went to some meeting. When we came back we would pull them off and go barefooted.

The Indians at that time built log houses to live in, and we lived in a log house with dirt floor. Our chimney was a wide one-it nearly took one side of the house. Some of the Indians floored their houses with split logs which made a good floor at that time.

We attended Indian churches. The church house was built but of pine logs hewed on two sides, and floored it with split logs; and the benches were made out of split logs. They had camp houses built of logs and boards made out of red or white oak trees. They would feed and take care of the people who came to attend the meeting, which would last about four or five days. They had these camp meeting about every three months.

My father was a gunsmith and a blacksmith. He did lots of work for the people who came and wanted work done on a gun or plow. He made everything that went with a plow, and he used to make guns over. He would re-bore the gun and make it as good as a new gun for them, and could make a plow from stock to plow shares. He did not make much out of his work for the Indians at that time not have anything much and had no money, so he would take anything they would give him.

I never did see a ball game, I have heard of them but I did not go to any games. My father would go and play the games but he would not let us go to see the games. They said that he was a good ball player and he played in every game they had in our community.

I am a full blood Indian and never went to school so I am not able to speak nor read nor writhe English, and I am not able to read nor write in my own language, and I am too old now to try to learn to speak English.

I live now about 30 miles east of Antlers, Oklahoma; the Post Office is Corinne, Oklahoma.

Wade County
#486-Durant-John, 38 MI
#486-Durant-Sarah, 30 FI
#486-Durant-Isaac, 16 MI
#486-Durant-Nancy, 14 FI
#486-Durant Emiline, 7 FI
#486-Dlurant-Albert, 2 MI
#486-Dlurant-Wilsey, 2 FI
#493-Durant-Lewis, 1 MI

Submitted to OKGenWeb by Rusty Lang 07-2000.