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MILLIE FISH GILROY

Grace Kelley,
Field Worker,
May 26, 1937
[Vol. 26, pages 62-67]

Little Fish

Little Fish was a great Medicine Man, the Micco of Nuyaka Town always until his death last year. His Clan Kin was the Bear. He believed in the Great Spirit. Everybody came to him to advise them about everything, from sickness, finances, trouble, to find something that had been stolen. He had a stick that was a little different than my husband's, that he used to write in the sand with when he wanted to know anything. He was an herb doctor as well as spirit doctor. Being a Micco he was also a member of the Council at Okmulgee. He was a Muskogee. He married Eliza Barnett, the daughter of Siah Barnett, and they had six children, five of them still living but not one of the a medicine woman or men. All of them are Christians though.

I know some of the names of medicines he used but you wouldn't know how to use them so it wouldn't do you any good.

Red Root, White Root was a substitute for Red Root, Hickory Elm, second bark, Poke Root, Blackberry Root, Wild Cherries - there were lots of things.

Fish Cemetery

The Fish cemetery is still in use 7-11-12.

Copy of paper left by Jackson Barnett:

Siah Barnett married Thlesothle, and after her death married Mary Goodenbeans, who took care of Jackson, step-child, until the death of Siah in 1888[1897]. Siah left:
Jackson Barnett, no children.
David, dead, 4 children living: Annie Beams, Melvina Detler[Ditzler], Nellie Barnett, Jimmie Barnett. 4 dead: Mary, Tom, Westley, and Hettie.
Eliza Fish, dead, 3 children: Charity Buckler, living, George Walker and Joe Bird, dead.
Ellen, dead, 4 children: Seborn Fisher, William, Lewis, Mariah Tomkin.
Siah Barnett had the biggest ranch. Nobody knew how many stock, horses, cattle and hogs, he owned. He owned the Neger Barnett store. He was intelligent, a leader and had money. His brand was a bar.

In slave times his father owned negroes. His Indian wife had Siah but his negro slave-girl had Jim.

Jim just run the store for Siah who owned everything and had to be consulted before any business was done.

Barnett cemetery

This cemetery was started before 1888. We don't know how old it is but we know there were others buried there when he died in 1888. There are two or three hundred graves there. Might be more for it is still in use and in good condition. It is one and a half miles west of Bryant on the Weleetka Highway.

Old Negro [Sarah Jacobs]

One of the Barnett slaves is still living and her mind is pretty good though she gets mixed up some. The other day she walked from Okmulgee to see Milley for she loves her. This old woman is a hundred and ten or more years old. She comes here about once a month and the next time I'll let you know for she would like to talk to you. I don't know where she lives.

Civil War Story

During the Civil War, grandma, Mary Barnett, found two little girls in a hollow tree in the woods. They were too small to tell who they were or where they come from. She named them Nancy and Patsy and kept them until they were grown. Both are dead now. They were found in the Creek Nation is all I know.

Sending for Supplies

About once a month the Indians would gather and select the men to go for supplies. Each family would decide what they needed to send after. At first they used oxen, and five or six wagons made the trip. Sometimes they would suffer with the cold for the trip was a hard one in the winter. They went to Muskogee until the Severs store was built at Okmulgee, then they only went to Muskogee when they couldn't get what they needed at Severs. We have a receipt from Severs store to William Sullivan, my uncle, dated 1896. They used horses about that time for teams.

They would get flour or coffee in sacks or barrels by the hundred pounds. Salt was the hardest thing to keep and sometimes they would buy the hard kind and break off pieces at a time. It didn't ruin in the rain like sack salt did.

Matches

Sometimes when they wanted to build a fire they would put some gunpowder in a skillet with some cotton, then knock a rock against the skillet to make a spark which would ignite the powder, setting the cotton afire, that was used in the place of our matches.

High Chair

The Boney Randall place is near the Jackson Barnett place on Salt Creek. When his children were little, he made a high chair and I don't suppose he ever had seen one in his life. At least it didn't look as if he had. It's high, the seat is about three feet from the floor. The seat is of buckskin and the posts are about four inches in diameter, made of Hickory. Sam was one of the youngest children and he was seventy years old when he died a year or two ago. Some of the chairs he made were made with a hatchet. Clemmons Gilroy has the highchair.

Indian Ponies

The Indians captured the wild Colorado ponies and tamed them, then they were known as the Indian ponies. They would make a corral of log poles, on the praire, chase them all day or until they got the leader into the corral. When he was in, the rest would follow and all would go in. Some were buckskin but most were spotted. They were so tough that you couldn't kill them. They were always fat and it didn't take much to feed them. We have some descendants yet.

Old Crop Eared John, Little Fish's horse.

Everybody knew old Crop Eared John. He was fourty-six years old when he died in 1926. He had been stolen any number of times but he was always followed and brought back. A couple of times he was taken to Kansas and once to Arkansas. He was an extra good sadle horse.