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Penwell Papers


I was born July 15, 1940 at Hoyt, Oklahoma in Haskell County. The town of Hoyt was named for Milo Hoyt, a Cherokee Indian who ran a ferry across the South Canadian River which is the dividing line between the Cherokee and Choctaw Nations. The ferry began on the North side of the river at Younger's Bend and ended on the South side at Hoyt's Landing in the Choctaw Nation. Younger's Bend was home to such characters as Thomas Starr, the only individual the Cherokee Nation with whom the Nation had a separate peace treaty. Samuel Starr, Thomas' son also lived there with his paramour Myrabelle Shirley. After Sam Starr was shot to death Myrabelle became associated with Bluford Duck.

My father was Joseph H. Penwell and my mother was Emma Gann.


Joseph H. Penwell

Joseph H. Penwell was born August 23, 1906 at Brooken Township in the Choctaw Nation. He died in 1982 and is resting in the Brooken Cemetary near Lake Eufaula. His father was Joseph Travis Penwell 1859-1938. His mother was Nora Lytle 1871-1956. Nora Lytle, was born at Huntsville, Madison County, Arkansas.


Emma Gann

Emma Gann was born Feruary 14, 1905 at Texanna, Creek Nation, Indian Territory. Her father was William Samuel Gann born 1869 in Conway County, Arkansas. W. S. Gann died in 1925 at Brooken, Oklahoma. Her mother was Louise Tolliver 1870-1915. William Samuel Gann and Louise Tolliver married in April 1891 at Briartown, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory. Emma Gann Penwell died in 1992 and is interred at the Brooken Cemetary.


Joseph Travis Penwell

Joseph Travis Penwell was born April 12, 1859 in Volusia County, Florida near Enterprise Post Office. His father was Moses Penwell and his mother was Sylvania Widener. Joseph Travis Penwell was brought to Madison County, Arkansas in 1874 by the Reverend James Taylor Stockton and his wife Harriet (Barco) Stockton. He never saw any of his family again from 1874 until his death at Hoyt, Oklahoma in 1938.


Moses Penwell

1860 Census of Volusia County, Florida
Enterprise Post Office June 5, 1860
Page 863 Dwelling 28 Family 28
Moses Penwell Age 37 Itenerant Methodist Preacher South Carolina
Sylvania (Widener) Penwell Age 24 South Carolina
Samuel Wesley Penwell Age 4 South Carolina
Joseph Travis Penwell Age 1 Florida

Note: I placed the marriage of Moses Penwell and Sylvania Widener in South Carolina in the year 1855 based on the age and birthplace of Samuel Wesley Penwell as 1856 in South Carolina.

Note: I placed the move of Moses and Sylvania Penwell to Florida in the year 1857 or 1858 based on the fact that Joseph Travis Penwell was born in Florida in 1859.


Moses in South Carolina

August 12, 1850 Barnwell County, South Carolina Household # 626

Moses Penwell Age 26 Planter South Carolina
Lidia Penwell Age 25 South Carolina
John Penwell Age 6 South Carolina
Sarah Penwell Age 5 South Carolina
Eliza Penwell Age 2 South Carolina

1850 Barnwell County, South Carolina Household #625

Jacob Beck Age 30 Planter South Carolina
Martha Beck Age 30 South Carolina
Elizabeth Kirkland Age 15 South Carolina
Teretha Penwell Age 16 South Carolina
Thomas Penwell Age 19 South Carolina

These two households were side by side on the 1850 Census of Barnwell County, South Carolina. In my opinion, Martha, Teretha and Thomas were Moses' brother and sisters.


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Wendell Penwell