Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Name: Joseph Moncrief
Post Office: Chickasha, Oklahoma
Residence address: South 5th Street
Date of Birth: August 22, 1857
Place of Birth: Choctaw Nation
Father: Sampson Moncrief
Place of Birth: Texas
Information on father: Died at the age of 78
Mother: Sophia Brashears
Place of birth: Alabama
Information on mother: Died at the age of 69, one-fourth Choctaw
Field Worker: Jasper H. Mead
I was born August 22, 1857 in the Choctaw Nation. I an one-eighth Choctaw on my mother's side. My mother was one-fourth Choctaw.
The closest town to the place where I was born was called Skullyville, sixteen miles west of Forth Smith, Arkansas and one mile north of Spiro.
There was a little log house in later years which was used for a school building and for a church house. I have heard my oldest sister talk about the Blue Back speller and the slate and pencil; everybody in those days went to church with their pistols on.
The Indians in those days were pretty bad. My mother has taken us children many a time and has run and hidden with us. The Indians who were the wildest were the Comanches and the Apaches. I have seen them dance around a pole and make a funny noise for days and nights at a time.
The land around here was rather scrubby and everybody drove an ox team.
After we all drew our land, my sister’s place was down by Ninnekah and the old Chisholm Trail came through her place, coming out of Texas going north into Kansas. Traces of the Chisholm Trail are still to be seen.
Back up where I was reared, north of Scullyville on the Johnson Prairie I have seen lots of wild deer, buffalo and wild horses.
The water supply came from dug wells, and from springs and the Arkansas River.
I remember when the women would use red clay dust to put on the children in the summer time when they would break out with heat.
Ben JONES, my half brother was a sheriff under the old Indian law but the old Indian Court did not call them Deputy Sheriffs, they called them Lighthorsemen.
When an Indian had a charge against him all they had to do was to let him know when he was supposed to come to trial and he would be there; then after he was sentenced he was sent back home to get his business straightened up, then after he had done this, regardless of what the sentence was, he would nearly run his horse to death getting back to receive his punishment. I have seen them ride that way when they knew they were going to get shot. One time there was an Indian boy who was to be shot and the first ball hit him but did not kill him; his mother patted him on the back and told the man who was shooting the gun that it would take more than one shot to kill her boy. I stood by my oldest sister and saw this take place.
Very nearly all the Indians wore their native garb. The men wore what they called their breach-clouts; they did not paint up much unless they were on the war path but they certainly did paint up then.
Some of the Indians wore what they called the coon tail, that is, the hide part came around in front of their bodies and the tail hung down behind.
Submitted to OKGenWeb by
Sandi Carter, Moncrief relative <SandKatC@aol.com>