Muriel H. Wright
An interesting story of Perryville, Choctaw Nation, was written by Mr. John Y. Bryce, Secretary of the Oklahoma Historical Society, and published in the CHRONICLES OF OKLAHOMA for June, 1926. Mr. Bryce's family lived at Perryville when he was a boy, from 1870 to 1873, so he is an authority on much of its history during that period. The following notes and the plat appear in this magazine as additional material for those who may be interested in the story of Perryville.
After the establishment of Fort Arbuckle in 1852, Perryville was important as the point where a military trail from Fort Smith to that post crossed the Texas Road. Emigrants traveling from Missouri to Texas were familiar with the village, for a stage stand was kept there until the construction of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad in 1872. The site of Perryville is now in portions of sections 27, 26, 34, and 35 of Township 5 North, Range 14 East, Pittsburg County. This location is on Highway 73, about three and one-half miles southwest of the City of McAlester, Oklahoma.
None of the original buildings of Perryville are standing today, but their locations, as they are shown on the plat, were personally pointed out by Mr. Bryce, during a recent visit to the site of the village in the interest of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The following numbers correspond to the numbers of the buildings as they are indicated on the plat:
1. STAGE STAND—according to personal information secured by the writer in 1922, from the late Emerson Folsom, of Durant, Mr. Perry kept the stage stand at Perryville in 1868. For several months during that year, Mr. Folsom clerked in the store of William Chunn, in Perryville. Mr. Folsom also said there were two other stores in the village at that time, one of which was owned by a man by the name of Johnson. Some years later, Jim Johnson kept a toll bridge over Peaceable Creek, about one and one-half miles southwest of Perryville on the Texas Road.
2. BLACKSMITH SHOP.
3. WHIPPING TREE—not standing to-day.
4. INN—built about 1860 by Sam Baumgarner and later purchased by Rev. James Y. Bryce, father of Mr. John Y. Bryce.
6. CHILD'S GRAVE—child of emigrant bound for Texas.
7. NEGRO CABIN—probably built at the same time the cabins across the road were erected. Used as Confederate barracks during the Civil War.
8. CABINS—Confederate barracks during the War.
9. SAM BAUMGARNER'S STORE—according to personal information secured from Mr. George Mayes, of the Cherokee Nation, this store was standing in 1868. Mr. Mayes and his father visited Perryville for three weeks during that year. Sam Baumgarner was from the Cherokee Nation, his wife being Peggy Vickery, of Cherokee descent.
10. DWELLING—used for schoolhouse.
11. INGRAM'S HOUSE—originally Perry's home. Afterward owned by Osborne Fisher. Ingram clerked for William Chunn about 1870.
12. TOBAKSI COUNTY COURT HOUSE—originally Perry's store, subsequently owned by Osborne Fisher. When the first counties in the Choctaw Nation were organized in 1850, the site of Perryville was included within the boundaries of Perry County, Chickasaw District. After the Chickasaws and Choctaws settled the long continued dispute over the eastern boundary of the Chickasaw District, in 1854, Perryville was east of the new line. The following year, the region that had been included in the eastern part of Perry County was organized as Tobaksi County, Mosholatubbee District, Choctaw Nation. At the same time, the Choctaw Council designated Perryville as the county seat of Tobaksi County.
13. WILLIAM CHUNN'S STORE.
14. WILLIAM CHUNN'S RESIDENCE.
15. TOM RYAN'S RESIDENCE.
16. LOG CHURCH BUILDING.
17. TACKETT'S RESIDENCE.
18. ROBINSON'S RESIDENCE.
19. DR. D. M. HALEY's RESIDENCE—Dr. Haley, William Chunn, Tom Ryan, and John Dawson were all sons-in-
law of Mr. Robert McCarty, who lived near Fort Smith. Mr. McCarty's wife was Mary Ann Moncrief, of Choctaw descent.
20. CHOATE'S RESIDENCE—original site of Colbert Institute, 1852-57. Colbert Institute was established at Perryville in 1852, by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, with Ezekiel Couch in charge. In 1857, the school was moved west to the Chickasaw Nation, near the present site of Stonewall, in Pontotoc County. In later years it was known as Collins Institute.
21. GRAVES—Mr. Perry's grave is marked by a pile of stones. The Perrys were members of a prominent Choctaw-Chickasaw family. It is thought at this time that Perryville was named after James Perry who emigrated from Mississippi to the Indian Territory in 1838. His wife was of Chickasaw descent, on which account he more or less identified himself with the interests of the Chickasaw people. He was one of the four delegates who signed the Treaty of Doaksville in 1837, in behalf of the Chickasaws.
22. SITE OF THE BATTLE of PERRYVILLE—after the defeat of the Confederate forces in the Battle of Honey Springs, or Elk Creek, on July 17, 1863, Colonel Cooper's troops fell back to the valley of the Canadian River. A month later, Major General James G. Blunt, U. S. Army, crossed the Arkansas, preparatory to an attack on Brigadier-General William Steele, C. S. Army, who had concentrated his troops south of the Canadian River. On account of scarcity of supplies and facing a superior number of Federal forces, the Confederate troops were again forced into a retreat, their rear guard making a resistance at Perryville. This skirmish was known locally in the Indian Territory as the Battle of Perryville. Immediately after the battle, the Federals burned all the Confederate supplies stored at the village, as it was a regular military post and an important depot. Seeing that they were to be repulsed, some Confederate soldiers poured a large quantity of salt into the village well before their departure.
23. JOHN DAWSON'S RESIDENCE—John Dawson was the Government blacksmith stationed at Perryville. His assistant was Henry Norman, a former Texas Ranger.
—MURIEL H. WRIGHT.