Ultima Thule (Latin words, meaning "The Last Line") is just across the line from the Choctaw Nation in Arkansas. The Choctaw people could not pronounce Ultima Thule so they called it Yakni-Vlhpisa, meaning "measured land," or "boundary line." Rock Creek flowed by Ultima Thule. The Choctaw people called Rock Creek "Tali Bok." There was a postoffice, blacksmith shop, general store and a gin at Ultima Thule. The store was kept by John McKean. I remember being at Ultima Thule when I was about eight years old, having helped my Cousin Ebahotema to carry a cow hide there on the promise that she would buy me a straw hat. That was my first hat. John McKean's store was probably 150 yards from the boundary line. Just across Rock Creek into Indian Territory about one mile was an old settled place which I believe was the William Harris place. William Harris was a white man who married one of the sisters of Peter P. Pitchlyn.
Going west from Ultima Thule about two miles is what is known as Death Valley where three men were recently killed. In 1880, Jim Billy and Abel Thomas, Choctaws, killed another Choctaw, in this valley, for which they were tried, convicted and sentenced to be shot. There was no jail and the prisoners were kept at the home of Thomas Amos, Sheriff of Eagle County. Just three days before the date of execution Jim Billy ran away. Abel Thomas had the same chance to escape but refused to take it, and was executed. He was the last man to be executed at the Eagle County court house. In November 1897, my brother, Wash Hudson, and my brother-in-law, Thomas Amos, were killed in that valley. They had been to DeQueen, Arkansas, on business and were on the way back home late in the evening, unarmed, when they were attacked by Foster Fobb and Jonas James. Wash Hudson was killed instantly but Thomas Amos was able to drive two miles to Buck Creek where he died. I suppose that is the reason for calling the place Death Valley. The spot where my brother was killed is about one hundred yards from the highway on the right side as you come west from DeQueen. The
outcome of this shooting was that Foster Fobb, several years later while awaiting trial at the U. S. Jail at Antlers, committed suicide by slashing his throat two times with a borrowed pocket knife. Jonas James was sent to the penitentiary for this crime.
Going west from Ultima Thule on the military road, about four miles, we come to a creek called Buck Creek, or in Choctaw language, "Lapitta Bok." On the east side of that creek by the side of the road a Presbyterian Church about 25x36' was built of hewn logs. This church was organized by Rev. Cyrus Byington immediately after he located near there in 1836. This church was called Lappita Bok Aiittanaha, or Buck Creek Church. It was located about one fourth of a mile north of the new modern highway going east and west. The old military road paralleling said road has been abandoned. Many Indians lived around this church and many of them attended the meetings on Sundays and other days. East and southeast of Buck Creek Church, there was a large settlement known as Six Town Settlement. There was another settlement south of Eagletown and east of Mountain Fork and Little rivers, which was known as Apehkah Settlement. Buck Creek Church was an important church in the early days, as so many Choctaws lived around it. The Choctaw Presbytery and big camp meetings used to be held at this church, at which time many prominent Choctaws gathered there. Among those who attended these big meetings were Cyrus Byington, John Edwards, Alfred Wright and Charles C. Copeland, white men and missionaries to the Choctaws; Governor Allen Wright of Boggy Depot one hundred miles away; Pliny Fisk, first Choctaw ordained into Presbyterian ministry, and who took charge of Mt. Zion Church in 1848 when it was organized, Jonathan Dwight, Elijah Brewer, Charles J. Stewart, George L. Williams, etc.
The Choctaws in Mississippi were very clannish. The Apehkah Clan made an effort to stay together at the time of the immigration. My mother was an Apehkah, so according to Choctaw custom I belong to the clan to which my mother belonged and am therefore an Apehkah instead of Haiyip-Atukla, the clan to which my father belonged.
Cyrus Byington was called by the Choctaws, Lapish (Horn) Olahanchi (keeping blowing) or (keeping blowing
horn), from the fact that all the churches caused a cow horn to be blown to bring the Indians to church at that time.
About three miles further west was Cyrus Byington's home place. It stood on a knoll and one could see for ten miles to the north. It is said that when he came in 1836 the Choctaw Indians got together and helped him build his house, which was a story and a half high, out of logs. It had one large flue made out of rock with a room on each side of the flue, making a fire place in each room. There was another room attached to the north side of the main room. The middle room was a big sitting room. The house faced southwest with a porch across the three rooms on the west. The room on the north side was cut up into small rooms, dining room, store room, etc. The whole house was under one roof. A stairway went straight up to the flue and then turned to the right to go to one room and to the left to go to the other room, and another stairway went from the north room to the room above it. About one hundred yards north of the house was a big barn built out of split pine logs, with a hay loft. There was a smokehouse near the house, also built of logs; also a well and other outhouses. Between the front of the house and the military road, there was a fine orchard. It was not large but contained a variety of fruit trees apples, peaches, pears, plums, etc., which bore an abundance of fruit each year. This was an ideal location for a home.
There Cyrus Byington worked, translating, preaching, doctoring, etc. He had three or four churches. He remained there until he was an old man. The Civil war came on but Mr. Byington remained until 1867. My father bought the home place of Cyrus Byington and we lived there until we children became grown and scattered. The house burned down about 1905. There is a pile of rocks where the house stood that can be seen from the highway on the right hand side of the road as you go west.
Forty acres of the old Byington place was allotted to Jackson Hudson, my brother. He died about six years ago and I then had about a sixth interest in it. That forty acres was sold with the understanding, and it was so stated in the deed, that at any time the heirs wanted to place markers on the ground to show where Cyrus Byington lived, it could be done. Cyrus Byington died in Ohio in 1868.
About one-half mile west of the Cyrus Byington home
the Stockbridge Missionary School was established by Byington when he came to the Choctaw Nation in 1836. The name of Stockbridge was given to this school because Cyrus Byington was born in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. It was under the auspices of the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions of Boston, Mass., until 1842, when the Choctaw government for the first time in history took charge of the boarding schools. Stockbridge was a girls' school and was continued as a girls' school under the name of Iyanvbbi Female Seminary. The Choctaw government built the three buildings of Iyanvbbi, each a story and a half high, and the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions continued to give aid until they withdrew their support from all schools in Choctaw Nation in 1859 on account of the slavery question. But the school was continued for one more year when all the schools were closed. I can't account for naming the school Iyanvbbi. But possibly in 1842, when they passed the law authorizing the establishment of boarding schools, they intended to establish one at or near Iyanvbbi Creek which is about three miles west of Mountain Fork, as there was a large settlement on both sides of the road and the place would have been desirable and accessible to many Choctaws.
I was born in 1861 at Stockbridge or Iyanvbbi Mission. All the men had gone to war and my mother was taking care of the buildings of the mission when I was born. Mr. Byington was still there as I was told that he doctored me for some ailment when I was a baby. He left in 1867.
Upon emigrating to this country my father located just across the road on the south from Cyrus Byington's home place and he was a co-worker with Cyrus Byington as long as Byington lived there. My father was an elder all his life and visited all the churches nearby. My father was born in Mississippi and emigrated to this country when he was about twenty years of age. He died on October 25, 1875. At one time he took me with him on horse back to Hochatown, 15 miles north on the Mountain Fork River. I rode behind him. There being no wagon road we went by the trailway over the mountainous country. The trailway went by what was known as Conser slate mine. We stayed Saturday night with Timothy Jefferson and the next morning, Sunday, we went to the Hochatown Church where my father preached. Hochatown was a full blood settlement of about twelve families. Hocha-
town is surrounded by mountains but up and down the Mountain Fork River about one mile wide and four miles long was a very fine piece of made land in which this settlement is located. Hochatown was named for a Choctaw named Hocha. That family name was changed to Bob later on and Hocha's son was called Joseph Bob. At twelve o'clock, the Choctaws got together for their dinner; they spread a deer hide on the ground and put the food on it and we all squatted down in Indian fashion, my father said grace and we ate. The food consisted of Tafula, Banaha, sour bread, barbecued venison, wild honey and coffee, all of which was provided for the use of the Indians by nature, with the exception of the coffee.
My father used to have many cattle, hogs, etc., and our home was the meeting place of all the Choctaws in the neighborhood. I have seen as many as twenty-five eat at our table. Sometimes they would stay all night, sometimes a week, and my father never objected. I remember that my job was to grind the corn in a hand mill for the bread; one of the little orphans, Simpson Colbert, whom my father reared, helped me. We had to grind corn until all the guests were fed and then we ate at the last table. And as we lived on the Military Road, many people passing by, stopped with us. I remember well two fullblood Choctaws from Hochatown who spent a night with us. They had been to Arkansas trading and had been caught in a storm on the return trip. One of them had buckskin leggings on and that was the first and last time I ever saw a Choctaw wearing buckskin leggings, and we children stood around and watched him with much curiosity.
In 1869 Chas. C. Copeland, one of the early Choctaw missionaries, stayed all night with us on his way to Arkansas and the next morning he performed the marriage ceremony of my sister, Harriet Hudson, to Thomas Amos. Copeland was tall and slender and rather stooped. I understand he died at Washington, Arkansas in 1869, on this trip.
When I was about seven years old a man came to our house. My father and mother were out at the time and we children stood around and watched him very closely as we thought he was a white man and were scared, and my sister, in his presence, said in Choctaw, "No count white man come into our country." When my father came in they started talking in Choctaw and we children quietly slipped out. He was Isaac Garvin, a half breed, and his wife, Melvina, was
my mother's sister. Later in 1872, my mother and I spent the night at his home which was located 4 miles south of Wheelock Academy. He was Chief in 1878 and 1879, dying in office, February 1880.
One time a man stayed with us by name of Battice. He said he was at Balbacha Aiittibi in 1812. In English, that means he was at the Battle of New Orleans in 1812. Balbacha is the Choctaw name for Mississippi River, and the Choctaws called the town of New Orleans, Balbacha Tamaha, as they were unable to say New Orleans. Afterwards I learned that this Battice was Battice Farver. He was the great grandfather of W. J. Farver of Muskogee and Pero Farver of Seminole.
When I came to know anything my father was living about one mile north of the Byington place on Luksukla Creek where his field was. The name Luksukla is derived from two Choctaw words, "Luksi" (Terrapin or Turtle) and "Okla" (People), (Turtle people).
Another creek empties into Luksukla Creek at the same point where the highway crosses about one mile east of Mountain Fork River. That creek in Choctaw is called "Peteri'Bokushi," which means "Little Creek that belongs to Peter," and must refer to Peter Pitchlynn. This creek in English is called "Lick Creek," from the fact that there is a salt lick near there. I believe the Pitchlynns, Howells, and others, made salt for their own use at this lick. But there were many wild horses and cattle in the mountains to the north, and many of them, also deer, used to come to the lick for their salt. They were very troublesome as many times the domestic cattle and horses would stray off with the wild ones. So at one time the neighbors got together and built a high fence around this lick, enclosing in all about ten acres. This fence had three gates. Inside this enclosure was another fence enclosing about an acre of ground. The cattle and horses would come there at night, find their way into the big enclosure, and then were driven into the smaller enclosure, lassoed and tied. The cattle and horses thus caught, were auctioned off. Wild horses, after being broken, are really broken, spiritually and physically, and are of no good to any one and usually are killed. In this way, the wild cattle and horses were eventually stamped out.
Peter P. Pitchlynn lived in Eagletown. His sister, Rhoda
Pitchlynn, married Calvin C. Howell, a white man, in Mississippi. I think he was a doctor from New Orleans, but I don't think he practiced after he married. They emigrated in 1832. Peter Pitchlynn and the Howells each had a big farm and many slaves. Their farms joined each other on the east side of Mountain Fork across from where Beth-a-tiara was located. Peter Pitchlynn's Choctaw name was Hachutakni (Logger Head Turtle). The Choctaw people always called him by that name. I saw Peter P. Pitchlynn for the first and only time in 1873 when he visited at our home. He was very tall and slender and wore long hair. Rhoda Pitchlynn, who married Calvin Howell, was called by the Choctaw people, "Pashhuma" Pash (Hair) huma (red) (red haired woman). Dr. Thomas Howell, youngest of the Howell children, lives at Davis, Oklahoma. He is now an old man.
When I was six years old I started to school at Stockbridge which was about one mile southwest of our home on Luksukla Creek. Rhoda Pitchlynn, daughter of Peter P. Pitchlynn, was my first teacher. She opened the school in one of the old Stockbridge or Iyanvbbi school buildings in 1867, being the first time they had been used for school purposes since the war. The buildings were run down. I appeared bare footed and bare headed. When Rhoda Pitchlynn started to enroll me as a pupil I refused, just like any other good Choctaw, to tell my name. Not being able to induce me to tell my name, she proceeded to suggest certain names that might be mine. Among other names, she suggested that probably Peter was my name, which I admitted as correct by nodding my head. Her next trouble was to induce me to tell my surname, and she suggested that it might be Peter Pitchlynn. I admitted that it was by nodding. The school broke out in laughter and of course I laughed too as I thought I had put something over the teacher. I understand that Miss Ellen Howell, daughter of Rhoda Pitchlynn, (Pash-Humma) sister of Peter P. Pitchlynn, gave me the name of Peter in honor of her uncle, Peter P. Pitchlynn. This was a neighborhood school now, the Choctaw Nation paying the expenses. In the latter part of that year I remember going from Byington's old home to school so for that reason I believe my Father bought the Byington place in 1867.
In 1869 I attended neighborhood school at a place known as Bohannon Spring, two miles south of the Byington place.
My teacher's name was John Austin. I walked back and forth by a trailway. At that time there was still quite a lot of wild game. I used to see deer early in the morning and was afraid of them. While attending that school I remember three sisters who attended; Emma, Mollie and Minnie. They were daughters of Lycurgus (Push) Pitchlynn, son of the noted Peter P. Pitchlynn. Minnie Pitchlynn later married a white man named Semple and William F. Semple of Durant, Oklahoma, is their son. The old Push Pitchlynn home stood on the exact spot where the Eagletown High School now stands.
There was a church near Stockbridge Mission which I believe was the Mountain Fork Church, and if so, many early emigrants, such as Nathaniel Folsom and others, are buried in the big grave yard in the hills around where that church stood.
Coming on west to Eagletown we cross Mountain Fork River, which is called by the Choctaws, "Nanih Hacha," "Hacha" being the old Choctaw word for river. Pearl River in Mississippi is called "Hacha" in Choctaw.
We are now on the west bank of Mountain Fork River where Rev. Loring S. Williams who came with the early emigrants, established a mission school in 1832 which he called Beth-a-tiara, a Hebrew name, meaning "a crossing," that being the only crossing on Mountain Fork River up or down for miles. Rev. Williams went to Mississippi among the Choctaws in 1820 and emigrated with them to Indian Territory but was compelled to leave in 1837 because of ill health. He had learned the use of the Choctaw language and had done some translating. Beth-a-tiara School ended when he departed. He went to Iowa from the Choctaw Nation where he preached the remainder of his life. He died at the age of 88 years. My father's brother, George Hudson, upon arriving in the Choctaw Nation, located in the vicinity of Beth-a-tiara, and died there. His home place can be seen to the left of the highway on the west bank of Mountain Fork River and his grave is on the right side of the road going east. When we were living north of Cyrus Byington's place when I was four or five years old I remember hearing that George Hudson was dead. He was born in 1808 and died in October or November 1865 at the age of 57 years. He was Principal Chief of the Choctaw Nation in 1860 and was called by the Choctaws "Miko Sipokni," meaning "old king" or old chief.
The first Eagle County Court house also stood on the west bank of Mountain Fork River near where Beth-a-Bara once stood and where George Hudson's home was located. It was built about 1850 of round pine logs. I can remember it well. In 1884 a frame building replaced the original log structure and was used as the Eagle County Court house until the Choctaw Government was abolished in 1906.
The first Eagletown postoffice was established in 1834 on the west side of Mountain Fork River in the vicinity of Beth-a-bara, with Rev. Loring S. Williams, as its first postmaster, which position he held until he left the country in 1837. To my knowledge the location of the Eagletown postoffice has been changed four times.
In 1874, Jefferson Gardner, formerly of Wheelock, opened a general store in a log building on the Howell place two miles east of Mountain Fork River. He also acted as postmaster. In 1876 I clerked for Postmaster Gardner and remember buying cotton for him. Men would bring it on horseback from Hochatown about 15 miles away in a sack weighing from 75 to 100 pounds. They would also bring it in wagons with ox teams. We also bought lots of snake-root which smelled like turpentine. The buyer who picked up the hides and snake root was a Jew named Julius Haas, of Atoka. Jefferson Gardner also operated a gin. He ginned the cotton and threw away the cotton seeds not knowing at that time that they were of any value. The cotton was baled in 500 pound bales and were hauled to Paris or Clarksville, Texas, about fifty miles away. Two yokes of steers could haul four or five bales at a time. It took about a week to make the round trip. One time it took us two weeks to make the trip as the rivers were all up. It took us one day to cross Little River on the homeward journey. We first carried all our provisions over in a skiff, after which we took our wagon to pieces and carried it by pieces across the river in the skiff; then we drove the steers into the river and they floated down the river and finally managed to reach the other side; then we crossed in the skiff. After which it was necessary to put the wagon back together and load the provisions.
Gardner stayed at the location until 1884 or 1885 when he moved over to the west side of Mountain Fork to the vicinity of the Eagle County Court House where he put up a larger store, a frame building, also a story and a half residence,
T shaped. James Dyer, a Choctaw, built this store and house. He learned the carpenter trade at Nashville, Tennessee. Gardner lived there until he was elected Principal Chief. Immediately on the expiration of his term as Principal Chief in 1896, he lost all he had. He had owned several stores, the one at his home place, one at Alikchi and another one at Bon Ton on Red River. White men ran the stores at Alikchi and Bon Ton. About this time, 1896, Eagletown postoffice was moved back on the east side of Mountain Fork River about one mile and a man by name of Pinckett was appointed Postmaster and Jefferson Gardner acted as Clerk for him, having left his home on the west bank of Mountain Fork. When the railroad first went through Eagletown from Valliant to DeQueen, Arkansas, about the year 1915, the depot was established about one mile southeast of Eagletown settlement, the postoffice being moved to that place where it is still located.
When speaking of Eagletown I mean a settlement of about two miles square there being no town except a postoffice, depot and general store. Of approximately 17,000 Choctaw emigrants coming from the State of Mississippi, many of them entered Indian Territory at Eagletown for the reason that it was the nearest point or gateway frown the State of Mississippi to the new Choctaw country. Each immigration started in the Fall and severe winter weather found them on the road, transportation was poor, supplies were hard to get, so when they reached Eagletown they were nearly starved and frozen and many were ill. So, of course, when they found they were in Indian Territory they stopped to recuperate. It happened that there was much game in the country, both in the cane brakes in the river bottoms and in the mountainous district north of this road. There was and still is no settlement for forty miles from Eagletown north to Smithville. (On that account, this community was thickly settled with Choctaws.) I can remember when I was a child, thirty years after immigration, that there was much wild game, deer, wild ducks, wild turkeys, wild pigeons, wild hogs, wild cattle, coons, squirrels, oppossum, fish, etc. Eagletown was called by the Choctaws "Osi Tamaha."
Just down the hill from where the Eagle County Court House stood there stands a cypress tree which is said to be the largest tree in Indian Territory. The Little Rock Military road ran right by it. In Choctaw that tree is called "Shakolo."
Leaving Mountain Fork going west about two miles the road passed the home of John Mullin, an intermarried white man, who emigrated with the Choctaws from Mississippi. He ran the grist mill using a yoke of steers.
Leaving the Mullin place, going west on the road, we come to a church called "Oka Chukma," meaning "Good Water." Probably this church was organized by Cyrus Byington. In 1868, Alex R. Durant, who was a young man at that time, taught neighborhood school at "Ok-Achukma," which is two miles east of what is now Broken Bow. The school was right on the military road. Mrs. Sallie Durant, wife of Alex R. Durant, was my cousin, her mother, Eliza, being a sister of my mother, Ahobatema. I went to school there in 1868 and I stayed with Alex and Sallie Durant.
Leaving that church, coming on west about two miles we come to the creek called Iyanvbbi (Iron Wood), which was named for a clan of Choctaws in Mississippi. Three prominent Choctaw brothers lived on that creek, namely Pesachvbbi, Mihataya and Atuchinvbbi. It is said that they married four sisters, Atuchinvbbi having two wives. The family name was Pesachvbbi but one of the sons named William went to Spencer Academy in 1870 and instead of William Pesachvbbi was named by the school superintendent William Wilson. So the name Wilson was then adopted as the name of the whole family and all the Wilson's around Broken Bow and Smithville are of that family.
Going on west to where Broken Bow now is there was another Choctaw church which was called "Coon Chito." Not many years ago I asked Hleotabbi, who was an old resident of Broken Bow and member of that church, what Coon Chito meant and he said he did not know. I assume that the church was named for a large clan of Choctaws who lived in Mississippi. There are two words in Choctaw very much alike. One is Koi which means "panther" and of course Chito means "big." Another word, Kowi, means "forest." All the historians say that Coon Chito means "big panther" and applies to the name of that clan, but I believe that Kowi Chito was the right name, "big forest" people, and that his church was named for that clan, and the spelling corrupted. Of the forty or forty-five clans of the Choctaw Nation in Mississippi, not one was named for an animal.
That church stood about where Broken Bow is now and
that was one of the places where Cyrus Byington preached. Hleotabbi told me he heard Cyrus Byington preach in Choctaw his farewell sermon and he said that when he was telling the Choctaws that that would be the last time he would preach to them, tears came in his eyes. Immediately after that Cyrus Byington left the Choctaw Nation. Hleotabbi father's name was Ilihomachi. A sister of Ilihomachi married a Choctaw named Chafataya. This Choctaw emigrated to this community and then emigrated north to the source of the Kiamitia River near where Lennox Church stood. This man Chafataya acquired the name of John Pitchlynn. There was another John Pitchlynn, a white man, who was the father of Peter P. Pitchlynn and others. The fullblood John Pitchlynn named his children Peter Pitchlynn, Thomas Pitchlynn Alex Pitchlynn and Davis Pitchlynn. This has caused much confusion.
The old military road ran through the center of the large lumber plant of the Choctaw Lumber Company at Broken Bow.
Leaving Broken Bow going west a mile we come to Yazoo River, which is the boundary line between Eagle and Boktuklo counties and which was named for the Yazoo River in Mississippi. Historians of Mississippi have failed to recognize the origin of the word "Yazoo." When the French writers recorded names of places they did not use the letter "H" but used the letter "Y" in its stead and I believe Yazoo is a corruption of the word "Hashuk" meaning "grass."
On the west bank of Yazoo Creek the highway now run over the ground where I remember seeing a Choctaw ball game played between Boktuklo and Eagle counties about 1870. My brother Daniel Hudson, then 18 years of age, played for the first time in the game. That game was the beginning of the end of the old fashioned Choctaw ball games. In this ball game, Isom Going, who was reputed to be the strongest man physically, in Choctaw Nation, played with the Eagle County team. He was about fifty years old and weighed about 200 pounds. Hik-i-tabi, the hero of the Boktuklo County ball team played also. He was small of stature but he was a fighter and was not afraid of Isom Going.
Leaving Yazoo River going West one mile you come to Lukfatah, a settlement and postoffice. Rev. Loring S. Williams, who started Beth-a-Bara School, also started a school there and called it "White Clay." The word "Lukfatah" is a trans-
lation of "White Clay." Lukfi means "dirt" or "clay" and Hatah means "white," "white clay."
Previous to 1855 there was a white man by name of Skelton who kept a store at this place, and his store became headquarters for any payments made to the Choctaws in that part of the country. It is said that during the payment of 1855 he paid out in gold all the money that was paid to Choctaws in that part of the country. The place became known as Skelton Depot. Skelton Depot, White Clay and Lukfatah are all one and the same place. I visited the place in 1868 after school at Goodwater when I was about eight years old. Alex R. Durant lived about one-half mile down Lukfatah Creek. I visited his wife Sallie Durant. I remember two stores at the place and I remember seeing the Hodges family. The father of the Hodges was an intermarried white man whose first wife died. He later married the widow of Thompson McKinney, of Skullyville, grandfather of Major Locke. Thompson McKinney's oldest child, a daughter, married V. M. Locke, Sr., a white man from Tennessee. A younger daughter of Thompson McKinney by name of Mattie, when about 16 years of age was a beautiful girl. She married John Hodges her step-brother. Thompson McKinney of Skullyville was educated at the Choctaw Academy in Kentucky, was a lawyer and was a delegate to Washington in 1852. He ran for Governor of the Choctaw Nation in 1857 but was defeated by Alfred Wade. There was another Thompson McKinney who lived and died at Wilburton. He was the son of Judge Mintanvbbi, at one time County Judge of Nashoba County. He was Chief of the Choctaw Nation from 1886 to 1888. William McKinney Yale graduate, now living at Smithville, is a brother of Thompson McKinney of Wilburton.
A short distance north of Lukfatah I saw George Durant, father of Alex R. Durant. George Durant was one of the students of Choctaw Academy in Kentucky. I also saw a man by name of Richard Crowder, who had married a daughter of George Durant named Fannie. Durant was candidate for Principal Chief in 1874 but was defeated by Coleman Cole.
Some of the Choctaws who emigrated and located in this part of the country, travelled to the north. It was a rough country and in order to travel in wagons they followed a trail which was the backbone of the country between Mountain Fork River and Glover Creek. Williams' Highway, running
from Broken Bow, to Bethel, Oklahoma, a distance of probably twenty miles, follows that old trail. This highway was built about fifteen years ago and is named for Federal Judge Robert L. Williams, former Governor of the State of Oklahoma. One time I heard an Indian say that a long time ago the Indiana made a road with only their eyes, and that years later the white man came along and made a road with a compass, and that their road follows the old Indian road.
A Choctaw man by name of Felekatvbbi kept a little store many years ago at Bethel. He was the only Choctaw I ever saw who wore long hair braided and hanging down his back. He travelled this old trail back and forth between Lukfatah and Bethel. His grandson, Eben Certerby, lives at Antlers now.
When I was about nine years old, my father took me to an Indian ball game between Eagle and Red River Counties. The old missionaries taught the Choctaws that it was a sin to play or even watch a ball game. My father was an elder of the church and at that time he was Judge of Eagle County. He said he had some business with a Choctaw who was to be at this ball game. The only thing I remember is that the people were all gathered on the prairie where the game was to be played and a man went and sat down. He wore a long thin black coat and spread an umbrella over his head. That was the first time I ever saw an umbrella. I asked who he was and they told me it was Hopaiishvbbi. I have heard since that George Hudson's first wife was a sister of Hopaiishvbbi.
Coming on west of Lukfatah on the Little Rock Military Road about ten or twelve miles we come to Little River. The Choctaw people call it Bok-Lusa which means Black Fork, while Little River translated into Choctaw means Bokiskitini. I don't know how to account for the difference in these names. There is another Little River which empties into the Canadian River from the north. It is in Seminole Nation near Holdenville, Oklahoma. There was a river called Boklusa Chito in Mississippi and I believe that the Choctaws named this river for that river in Mississippi.
Glover Creek also emptied into Little River. The Choctaw tame for this creek is Chalakki Bok, meaning Cherokee River. So they do not correspond either. It is said that a long time ago the Cherokees settled on that river for farming purposes.
Just above where Glover Creek empties into Little River there is a cane brake and it is good farm land. Further north it is very rough and there are many panthers in this mountainous region. It is thought that probably Glover Creek was named for a man by name of Glover who was with George Gaines in Mississippi.
Going west after crossing Little River we soon crossed the boundary line of Bok Tuklo and Towson Counties. Wheelock is is Towson County. In 1877, while working for Jefferson Gardner he sent me up to Wheelock to take care of the store of his brother, Jimmie Gardner, which had formerly belonged to Major Micheal LeFlore of the Confederate Army. Jimmie Gardner had been a schoolmate of mine at Spencer Academy in 1870. At the time I was at Wheelock, the large store building was in a dilapidated condition, and the home place of Michael LeFlore, at which I stayed, was very much in need of repairs. Michael LeFlore was dead and his daughter, Sarah, was only there.
Wheelock Academy is just a short distance west of the Michael LeFlore home. I was at Wheelock Academy in 1893 when Rev. John Edwards was superintendent. He sent for me to come from Tushkahoma Female Seminary where I was superintendent, to assist him in his work of revising the New Testament. He was undertaking to correct some of the spelling and grammar of the New Testament. Some of his coworkers contended that it was not worth while at this time to expend money to print his revision for the reason that the Choctaw language would not be used much longer, but he insisted, and proceeded to revise the New Testament. I agreed with John Edwards that the revision should be made. John Edwards read a chapter of the Old Testament in Hebrew each day, and a chapter of the New Testament both in Greek and Choctaw each day. He wanted to be enrolled as an old missionary to the Choctaws but he failed to be enrolled on the ground probably that he left the Choctaw Nation in 1860 and never returned until after 1880. He left the Choctaw Nation for the last time about the year 1885 and went back to California and died there. After his death, his widow wrote to me and advised me that he had left some papers, books, etc., and that she didn't know what to do with them. At that time I was busy with my school work and I didn't know what to do with them and I never answered the
letter and lost her address. I understand these papers were secured for the Oklahoma Historical Society last year.
About a mile west from Wheelock Academy was located the home of Thomas LeFlore. He was District-Chief of the Second or Apuckshunubbee District, Choctaw Nation, from 1834 to 1838 and from 1842 to 1849. Brazil LeFlore, son of Louis LeFlore, and cousin of Thomas LeFlore, acted as his clerk as long as he was District Chief. Thomas LeFlore's home was one of the buildings provided for under the treaty of 1830 and still stands today. It is constructed of hewn hardwood logs dove tailed together, is a story and a half high. There are two big rooms separated by a hallway with a gallery across the south side and what would be a gallery on the north side, cut up into small rooms, all under one roof. Some of the logs are six inches thick and twelve inches wide. Some of the foundation has been washed from under it, causing one room to start to fall down. The old military road passed to the south of the house. I visited the old home of Thomas LeFlore in 1926 and it was unoccupied. He died about 1850 and is buried about a quarter of a mile from the house in an old field. It is about one-half mile north of the present highway, going east to Idabel.
I saw Brazil LeFlore in October 1879 when I was on my way to Drury College, Springfield, Missouri, at Old Goodland where he was postmaster. He was a fleshy man and looked like a white man. That was the first and last time I ever saw him. After leaving Wheelock going west we come to Clear Creek. A Methodist Church used to stand on the east bank of Clear Creek, and down Clear Creek about two miles was where John Wilson, Sr., lived and owned and operated a grist mill by use of water power, there being a natural dam at that point. His oldest son, Willie Wilson, attended Spencer Academy in 1870 when I did. John Wilson, Sr., was a nephew of Greenwood LeFlore.
Going west about two miles on the old military road, from Clear Creek, we reached the prairie. That was the first prairie I ever saw and was very interesting to me. I remember passing the place of a Freedman, named Crittenden, a former slave of Robert M. Jones. He lived on the prairie and from the appearance of his place he must have been very thrifty.
Fort Towson was about six miles west from Clear Creek. I understood that Brazil LeFlore lived just east of Fort
Towson. The military road passed on the north side of old Fort Towson and just down the hill is Gates Creek. Old Doaksville was about one mile from Gates Creek. I remember passing the home place of Sim Folsom just before reaching the town of Doaksville. My brother, Jackson Hudson and Sim Folsom belonged to the same company in the Confederate Army. When I was at Doaksville in 1870, there was just one store and a blacksmith shop. The town of Doaksville and all the farms nearby were abandoned during the Civil War. I remember we could see from the store the home of Henry N. Folsom. My brother Daniel Hudson and I rode up to his house and talked with him. Sim and Henry Folsom were sons of old Colonel David Folsom.
Leaving Doaksville going west we passed an old cemetery after which we went in a northwesterly direction. We were then on the Fort Smith—Fort Towson Military Road. About a mile from the old cemetery we could see to the right of the road, the tops of the buildings of Pine Ridge Seminary which Cyrus Kingsbury, a missionary, established in 1836. I never was at Pine Ridge.
On Boggy Depot road going west about six miles west of Doaksville, the sister of Joe Everidge, former Superintendent of Public Instruction of Choctaw Nation, lived. It is said that she had seven husbands and that they all were killed with their boots on.
In June 1874, my father who was a member of the Board of Commissioners to enroll net proceed claimants, upon returning from a session of that board held at the home of Burnett Davenport in Cedar County, stopped at Spencer Academy and picked me up. We had to ride the same horse and on the road four miles west of Doaksville we met Coleman Cole, who was then a candidate for Principal Chief. He was an old man then and was riding a little mule. That was the first time I ever saw him. I remember him asking my father who he was going to support for principal chief but do not remember what my father told him. He was elected chief, however.
In 1870, the Old Spencer Academy was reopened, there having been no school there for ten years. I was then nine years old. The Choctaw law provided that promising students should be selected out of the neighborhood schools to attend the boarding schools that they might have better advantages.
I can not understand in my case where that promising student came in because I could not talk English and not knowing English I suppose I couldn't read the First Reader at that time. I suppose my father had a good deal of influence in Choctaw politics. Old Spencer Academy was located on the Fort Smith—Fort Towson Military Road, nine miles north of Old Doaksville, which was just a mile north of where Fort Towson now is. Daniel Hudson, my brother, did not take advantage of these schools himself, but he would insist that I go. He took me to Spencer the first time on horse back. J. H. Colton was the Superintendent of Spencer Academy at that time. There were five buildings and not being in use for ten years they were badly in need of repairs. There were about sixty pupils the first year. Supplies were hauled from Paris, Texas, by mule team and in times of high water, sometimes it would take four or five days to make the trip. So our meals were sometimes somewhat limited. We lived on beef, corn bread, milk and a cup of coffee in little tin cups. Biscuit was given to us only on Sunday morning because of difficulty of getting flour from the market at Paris, Texas. We were always anxious for Sunday to come so that we could have biscuit. We used to play marbles and we would bet biscuits on the games. I believe that Johnnie Spring of Hugo, William McKinney of Smithville and I are the only ones who attended Spencer Academy during the period from 1870 to 1876, living.
The buildings of Old Spencer Academy covered an acre of ground probably. Each of the four buildings on the corners were two story buildings, each having a porch both upstairs and downstairs, facing the inside of the grounds. The fifth house was two story across the front, but the back where the dining hall and kitchen were located, was one story.
Old Spencer Academy was built and ready for operation in 1844. One of the four buildings on the corners was named for Peter P. Pitchlynn, one for Robert M. Jones, one for Thompson McKinney, of Skullyville, grandfather of Major Victor Locke, and one for William Armstrong, Indian Agent, at that time. Armstrong Academy was also named for him. The first three men named were three of the members of the Board of Trustees appointed in 1845 to look after the boarding schools; the other member was Zadoc Harrison.
In 1842 the Choctaw Academy in Kentucky was discon-
tinued and the money formerly appropriated for that school, used in establishing Spencer Academy, the idea being that Spencer Academy was to do the work that the Choctaw Academy in Kentucky had been doing. Spencer Academy was to be the best school in Choctaw Nation.
1. Ultima Thule, Arkansas.
2. Home of Lorenzo G. Harris.
3. Death Valley.
4. Buck Creek Church.
5. Home of James Dyer built in 1884.
6. First home of Cyrus Byington, 1836 to 1843.
7. Second home of Cyrus Byington, 1843 to 1867.
8. First home of James Hudson.
9. Home of James Hudson, 1856 to 1867.
10. Iyanvbbi Female Seminary, 1842-1860.
11. Home of Calvin C. Howell, Sr.
12. Home of Lycurgus "Push" Pitchlynn.
13. Home of Joshua Bohannon.
14. Home of Job.
15. Home of John Thompson.
16. Salt Works.
17. Bohannon Spring.
18. Home of Joe Christy and burial place of Jefferson Gardner.
19. Home of James Wall.
20. Home of Capt. Shoni.
21. Home of Elikanchitabi or "Sheki."
22. Store of Charles J. Stewart in 1870.
23. Beth-a-bara Mission School.
24. First Eagletown postoffice.
25. Home of George Hudson.
26. Grave of George Hudson.
27. Eagle County Court House.
28. Jefferson Gardner's store and home in 1884.
29. Eagletown railroad station.