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Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma 
Date: January 25, 1938
Name: Mintie Tannehill
Post Office: North McAlester, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: 1878
Place of Birth: Scullyville
Father: Ward Folsom
Mother: Elizabeth (?)
Field Worker: Charline M. Gulbertson
Interview Number: 12877

I was born at Scullyville in the year of 1878. My parents were Ward and Elizabeth Folsom. Father was known by all his friends as Uncle Watt. He is buried at Scullyville; mother is buried at Marlow.

We lived at Scullyville until I was eight years of age. I recall very little of this little territory town. I do remember that Scullyville was then located about six miles from the Arkansas line. Father built a hewed log house to live in, which burned only a few years ago. I am in possession of a picture of this old place. The only stores I recall being there were two, operated by Jack BELT and one by a Mr. HARPERS; both were general merchandise stores.

When I was but nine years of age two brothers, mother and I moved to Perryville, which was located about three miles north of Savanna; making the trip in wagon drawn by an ox team. We passed through what is now South McAlester; at that time it was nothing but a Tom Fuller  patch. We were on the road eight days going a distance of ninety miles. We lived at this location five years then moved six miles from Perryville to a place called Deer Creek. My next move in the territory was to the Tannehill Prairie which was named for my husband, who was the first settler in that district.

I received my higher education at Tuskahoma Indian school when I was fourteen years of age. I attended three years. It was while I was at Tannehill Prairie that I attended. My transportation was on the Rock Island to Wister and from there on the Frisco to Tuskahoma. I am in possession of a picture of the old school house which burned four years ago. One of the girls who attended the school at the time, now owns the land where the school stood. I cannot recall her name. At the time I attended there P. J. HUDSON was Superintendent and Nell WAKEFIELD was Principal. The old darkie cook was known and called by all "Old Aunt Rose". She occupied rooms near the school. The Superintendent and Principal occupied rooms in the school building. The school was located on the prairie and there were many Indians living all around. The council house was two and a half miles from the school. It seems that most of the Indian children who came to the Indian school and those which were full bloods always had "tubbie" on the last of the name, and this would be dropped. Since I am one-quarter Choctaw my clothes were furnished while in school.

After I returned to my home at Tannehill Prairie and was married to Mr. TANNEHILL I attend a few of the Choctaw Indian affairs. My marriage license was written in the Choctaw language. 

Besides being the first settler on Tannehill Prairie, Mr. TANNEHILL also had the first ranch in that district. He handled about fifteen hundred head of cattle a year. At this time the grass was waist high and cattle ran out on the range. I could go to my front door in the morning and see from thirty to forty deer playing on the prairie. The prairie chickens were thick. The quail had nests in the yard. The wolves were plentiful and we were bothered with them catching the hogs.

My husband traded with the full blood Choctaws; the way they traded was not unusual but only in the usual custom.

We had no school here at Tannehill until after statehood. We attended the church meetings called the Zion Church.

I have attended the Choctaw Pashofa dances which were for the sick. Their ceremony was performed by dancing around the patient's bed. If the ceremony was held indoors there would be a big fire in the fireplace, and each time they would go around, they would stir the pot of pashofa that they would have boiling on the fire. No white person was allowed in the circle.

I have also attended the Choctaw camp meetings which would be held weeks at a time. They would have a big fire which everyone would cook on and each day someone would donate a beef which would be distributed about the camp.

We had no bridges, telephones or roads. The only toll bridge I remember was 
across Perryville Creek, near the old Civil War battlefield. 

Submitter's Comments: Mr. Tannehill's name was Joseph David Tannehill. Although this is not in my direct line, I have come across these names frequently.]

Submitted to OKGenWeb by Vivian McKnight <mikenviv@pocketmail.com> February 2001.