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Polly Barnett

Post Office: Wetumka, Oklahoma
Date: April 15, 1937
Field Worker: Nettie Cain
Interview _____ , Vol. 13 , page 449

Life of Polly Barnett
Wetumka, Oklahoma

Polly Barnett, Creek Indian, was born Nov. 13, 1854 in the Creek Nation, now Hughes county.

During the Civil War they went south to the Chickasaw Nation near Tishomingo and lived with an aunt Susan Fife, who was a widow. The reason they left their home was: One day several Northern soldiers came to their house. They had the wagons partly loaded with the things that they wanted to take and the soldiers broke the spokes out of the wagon wheels and then sarted in the house. One member of the family had the small pox and this stopped some of them but some had already had the smallpox so they went on into the house and got what they could find. There being no men on the place. Mrs. Fife's brother William Reed had gone to get the horses and when he returned, the soldiers had burned the smoke house with the meat and lard in it. After the soldiers had gone they finally fixed the wagon and started on the journey.

A young Indian boy about sixteen years old was driving one team and wagon and was only a short distance ahead of the other wagon when all of a sudden a shot was fired and when they reached the boy he was dead. They called him Little Daniel. It was a foggy day and they could not see who shot him. They drove on with his body for a few miles and buried him under a large tree.

They lived in the Chickasaw Nation until after the Civil War was over. There was a large Indian camp. Some lived in bark houses made from cotton wood trees, as they had no tents. After the war was over, they moved near Henryetta. This was Council Headquarters.

After Mrs. Barnett's aunt, Mrs. Fife, passed away with winter fever (pneumonia) they went home with her mother, horseback to Mill Creek, (close to Tishomingo) in the Chickasaw Nation.

She married David Barnett, son of Timothy Barnett. Timothy was a Captain in the Civil War.

Timothy Barnett was Mrs. Polly Barnett's father-in-law. He was killed by the Pin Indians, July 4, 1873. They were jealous of him because he had more intelligence than the average man of those days and he also had plenty at this time. He had a store and would always donate food for gatherings of the Indians. They came to his home and told him if he would go with them they wouldn't hurt him. His wife pleaded with him to go. They started and when they were about two or three hundred yards from the house, several shots were fired and when the family reached his body, he was dead and the men had fled. Bunny Jim and another Indian boy fled through an apple orchard but both were killed.

The home of Timothy Barnett was built in 1870. The lumber was hauled from Fort Smith, Arkansas. The sleepers and steading of hewed logs. The rafters are of several kind of timber, black jack, oak, cottonwood and sycamore. There are 10 or 12 bullet holes in the house where the Pin Indians shot, thinking Mr. Barnett was upstairs by a window.

The house is in very good shape and will stand many years.