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Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date: April 5, 1938
Name: L. A. Mobley (Mrs.)
Post Office: Heavener, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: February 14, 1877
Place of Birth: Hartford, Arkansas
Father: Dr. Schiethel Copps (Dr. Salathiel Capps)
Place of Birth: Iowa
Information on father:
Mother: Betty Copps (Elizabeth Capps)
Place of birth: Arkansas
Information on mother:
Field Worker: Kenneth C. Black
Interview Number: 13540 

Mrs. L. A. Mobley is an old timer in Heavener, Oklahoma.  She moved here with her father Dr. Schiethel Copps (Dr. Salathiel Capps) in 1880.  Heavener was not in existence for years and Monroe was the nearest trading post.  Many herd of cattle ranged the place where the streets and residences of Heavener now are.  An Indian played a great part in getting Dr. Copps (Dr. Capps) and his family settled.  The Indian, Hampton PERRY, now deceased, owned some land and it was from him that Dr. Copps (Dr. Capps) leased land.  This land was located northwest of Heavener on Highway #72 on its eastern edge and the Heavener memorial park is on a part of Dr Copps (Dr. Capps) lease.  On this land Dr. Copps (Dr. Capps) founded a home and combined the practice of medicine with farming.  Dr. Copps (Dr. Capps) was the only physician for miles around.  He had many interesting experiences attending the Indians.

An account of one experience follows;  One evening while Dr. Copps (Dr. Capps) and family were having their evening meal, a young Indian came running to tell Dr. Copps (Dr. Capps) that his sweetheart was ill and that he wanted Dr. Copps (Dr. Capps) to come with him to see her.  It was a very cold night and Dr. Copps (Dr. Capps) had to ride miles to reach this Indian maiden.  When he arrived the whole tribe with the Medicine man were grouped around her beating tom toms and carrying on their mythical cure.  Dr. Copps (Dr. Capps) saw that the girl was very ill; he cleared the room except for one old squaw, who held the torch for him.  He examined the patient and found she had pneumonia.  He told them to keep the room cleared of people and gave her medicine.  He called the young Indian and told him that his sweetheart was very ill and also told him he would be back to see her soon.  With Dr. Copps (Dr. Capps) care the maiden recovered.  On these long cold trips Dr. Copps (Dr. Capps) contracted a severe cold and was a sick man.  During this time the Doctor had heard nothing more of the Indians and his wife told him that he should not risk his life to save an Indian girl.  Several days later the same young Indian came for Dr. Copps (Dr. Capps) again, telling him that his Indian sweetheart was gone.  He explained to him that the Indians thought the girl had caused the doctor's illness and they thought because of this the girl possessed an evil spirit and the only way to rid the tribe of this curse was to dispose of the girl.  The Indian also told Dr. Copps (Dr. Capps) that the Chief had come to present him with a gift because he had saved one of their tribe.  The Chief called a Council meeting and they decided to take her away and leave her at a place where no one except the Chief knew where she had been left.  Dr. Copps (Dr. Capps) decided that the only way to find out where she was, was to take the Chief by surprise.  He went with the Indian lad to the camp and began a conversation with the Chief.  He brought the missing girl into the conversation very casually and the Chief told him where she was so Dr. Copps (Dr. Capps) and the young man hurried to this place.  It was a cave infested with rattlesnakes and was located in the mountains many miles away from anything, without chance for escape.  They reached the cave and went in after the girl.  She was faint and they carried her out into the air.  When she revived enough to ride, Dr. Copps (Dr. Capps) sent her and her sweetheart on their way rejoicing.

Submitted to OKGenWeb by Brenda Hickman Dias <bdias@inreach.com>   March 1999.