Route 1, Weleetka, Oklahoma
Investigator, Grace Kelley
Indian Pioneer History
October 22, 1937
(vol. 49, pages 232-236)
My grandmother , Elizabeth Fisher was the ancestor whom I remember telling about coming to this country. The Indians had a very disagreeable trip with much hunger, sickness and trouble of all kinds. When they finally got here they settled on the Candian River. They built little houses similar to this one except they did not have porches, and were only one room log houses without any windows and with only one door. Every house had a fire place for they had no stoves. By the time the War broke out the Indians had good homes, cattle, hogs, horses, little farms of corn, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and things like that. They had little patches of cotton for their own use. The seeds were picked out by hand and then made into thread and cloth. They made clothes and quilts out of it. They made chairs and other furniture.
When the Civil War broke out the Fisher family went north with alot of others leaving their homes and posessions behind. They stayed up north at least a year and the ones who were still alive came back to where their homes had been. The government helped them because when they got home everything they had was gone - their homes, stock and everything.
Uncle Jim Fife had a store between where Springfield and Weleetka are now. We were on Isparhechar's side and when they had a battle over there close to where Okemah is, lots of us went over across the North Canadian River and stayed until the war was over. We took all the groceries out of the store with us. There was a big camp of us and we stayed along time, a year or more.
William Sullivan was the judge at the court house close to Okemah.
If someone stole or broke into a house the culprit was tied in a chair and watched until time came for his trial or for a council. Then he was tied up and whipped. There were five Light-horsemen whose duty it was to do the whipping, guarding , and arresting. I only remember two of them but hey are all dead now. Jack Andrew and my husband, Billie West, whose Square name was Spokokee Harjo.
My husband, Spokokee Harjo - Billie West, was a Lighthorseman and his duties were similar to those of a United States Marshal. He watched for whiskey peddlers, thieves of any kind whether they stole stock or broke into some house, arrested them and guarded them until trial and then acted as one of the executioners. Some were whipped and some were killed, according to their crimes.
After his work was through as an officer he was baptised into the Baptist Church and then went to preaching. Sometimes he went on a pony and other times he went with other men. Sometimes we went with him but not always. He preached wherever he was called and at many churches including : Arbecca, Hutchachuppa, Alabama, Thlewathle. No Indian church pays its preacher as they preach for the love of God and humanity. So my husband farmed for a living.
On Fridays we load quilts, mattresses, food and what kettles we will need and go to the church. Some people do not take these things back and forth as they have cabins and everything is left there. It is much handier but it costs more. Friday and Saturday are used to work, cook, and get ready for Sunday.
Sunday morning they have Sunday scool and preaching. Sunday night they have three or four preachers. They have preaching and singing all night, first, one preacher talks then another and on Monday morning they come home.
My father, George Sullivan, was a District Judge of Deep Fork District for several years.
Spring Town was four or five miles west of Weleetka. Some call it Springfield. It was the Indian town where my husband was clerk when Joe Siah Looney was Judge.
Joe Siah Looney was a Light-Horse Captain when George Sullivan was judge; then he was elected Judge, then he was converted and preached like my husband did wherever called and he started the Arbeca Church south of Bryant because of the inconvienence of going to Alabama church when the weather was bad.
The Asberry graves are three miles south of Bryant on Mollie Asberry's allotment.