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Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date: June 29, 1937
Name: Mrs. Louvina Trent
Post Office: 
Residence Address: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: 1865
Place of Birth: Missouri
Father: Thomas Southad
Place of Birth: Missouri
Information on father:
Mother: Mary Boxley
Place of birth: Missouri
Information on mother:
Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson 
Interview #4704

I was born in 1865 in Missouri.  My father and mother died when I was fourteen years old, leaving me and two brothers older than me.

We three loaded our wagon with what few things we had and left Missouri for Texas, working two oxen.  We passed through the Indian Territory.  We stopped one night and camped at Eagletown, in the Choctaw Nation.

My cousin had married a Chickasaw Indian named Wyatt Love.  They lived near Tishomingo, in the Chickasaw Nation, at that time, so my tow brothers took me there and left me.  They went on into Texas.  I never saw them anymore until 1900, when we all finally met again.

I helped my cousin with her housework.  She was a white woman but she could speak the Chickasaw language.  We would go to the Indian stomp dances.  I can remember watching them dance.  They would make music by beating on a drum of some kind and around in a big circle they would go stomping and singing.  I guess they were singing, they were making funny noises.  The Indian boys would try to talk to me and I would ask my cousin what they were saying.  She would say, "They want to marry you."

My cousin and I would get wild grapes and dry them.  We would make jelly out of the wild plums.  There were lost of these Chickasaw plums.  They grew on small bushes on sides of hills and I have seen them nearly as large as a hen egg.  

The full blood Indian women didn't know much about cooking. About all they could fix was corn and meat mixed together.  I forgot what they called it. 

After I had been there about four years, I met a white man at one of these Indian stomp dances and in a few days we were married.  I have often wondered whether I was really married to him or not.  We didn't have any marriage license.  We all went to the preacher's home, my cousin and her husband went with us.  The preacher, who was a Chickasaw Indian, spoke in Chickasaw and after he was through talking to me, my cousin told me to say yes.  Then he said the same thing to the man I was marrying and he said yes in the Indian language.  Then my husband paid him two dollars.  We might have been married under the Indian laws, I don't know.   Anyway, we lived together fifty-two years.

After we were married, my cousin's husband gave us some land.  We built a two-room log house and my husband farmed some.  He raised four or five acres of corn and a few acres of cotton.  He would have to haul the cotton to Denison, Texas.  We were living about a mile from where they later built the town of Milburn.   People moved there and put up tents and log houses.

I had lots of jelly and dried grapes and our smokehouse was full of meat and lard, so when the people went to building at Milburn, I sold jelly, grapes, meat and lard to them.  We owned two good milch cows and a flock of chickens, so we made a good living selling things to people settling at Milburn.  Back in that time I have raised cabbage heads that weighed five pounds each.  We raised nearly everything we are and always had some to sell.

After I was married my cousin and I started the first Sunday School.   There were several log houses empty that someone had built and had moved off and left so we fixed one of these houses up and sent the word around that there would be Sunday School the following Sunday and that everyone was welcome.  We had about forty children - whites, Indians and Negroes.  As my cousin could speak the Indian language, I let her teach the Indian children and I read to the white and Negro children.   We always had a good class.

I now live at Pauls Valley.

Transcribed for OKGenWeb by Brenda Choate.