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County Seat - Pauls Valley

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Samuel J. & Susan Garvin
Return to Whitebead Cemetery

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Samuel J. Garvin & his wife Susan are buried at Whitebead Cemetery
Tombstone photo submitted by Dennis Muncrief

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Mr. Samuel J. Garvin

Samuel J. Garvin was born Jan. 28, 1844 (?) In Kentucky, the son of John and Mary (Stithe) Garvin.
At the outbreak of the Civil War he migrated to Colorado. He joined a freighting caravan headed for the Southwest. There were seven wagons loaded with merchandise and each pulled by five or six teams of oxen. They were owned by Henry Myers. Experience gained on this trip from Colorado east down the Santa Fe Trail fitted him for his years as a freighter in the Indian Territory.  At Fort Arbuckle, he met and married an Indian girl, Susan Muncrief, and by so doing became an adopted member of the Chickasaw tribe. He gained control of large blocs of land, which were later relinquished when allotment by severalty was enacted.
He moved to Pauls Valley and operated a mercantile business. One of his employees was Walter J. Harris, who provides some clear impressions of the character of the namesake of Garvin County.   Mr. Harris regards Samuel Garvin as one of the best judges of character he has ever known - a man who could size up a customer's honesty, credit rating and future potentials with a glance. In the many years he worked for Garvin in his store and banks he does not recall this judgment ever causing his boss a loss.  Hard life as a freighter had been a good teacher,   Mr. Garvin became widely identified with the banking institutions of the area. With Calvin J. Grant, he first organized a private bank which was followed by the First National Bank of Pauls Valley, of which he was president at the time of his death on July 20, 1908. He was also president of the First National Bank of Maysville and a director and vice president of the State Bank of Elmore City. He was president of the Pauls Valley Mill and Elevator Company also, and retained extensive ranching interests. He married Susan Muncrief in 1870. Their children were Lizzie, Robert, John, Birdie and Vivian. Samuel Garvin was a Mason, 32nd degree, Scottish Rite, Odd Fellow and a member of the Knights of Pythias.
(Taken from the Garvin County History book dated 1957.)

A brilliant example of a self-made American citizen is found in Samuel J. Garvin.   His singular success is due to his own energy and to the high ideals which his laudable ambition placed before him, and his success in all the walks of life is an indication that untiring energy, persistent effort, executive ability and strict integrity were characteristics which Mr. Garvin possessed in an eminent degree.  His is now the vice-president of the First national Bank of Pauls Valley and the owner of extensive realty interests, and has also been actively identified with mercantile affairs in his section of the Indian Territory.

Mr. Garvin was born in Fleming County, Kentucky. Kamuary 28. 1846(?), and when eleven years of age accompanied his parents on their removal to Missouri, where he acquired his education.  He was in Denver, Colorado, at the time of the inauguration of the Civil war; at Bent's Fort he joined the Confederate army, but was captured at Big Bend, while on his way to Fort Smith with A.B. Miller, who had organized a company for service with sourthern troops.  After being taken prisoner he went with the quartermaster's department of the Union army, worked for the government and after the close of hostilities coninued in the government service.  In 1867 he was sent to Fort Arcuckle and since that time has resided in the Indian Territory.  Here he became interested in the live-stock business and his efforts in that direction were crowned with a high degree of success.  He gradually extended the field of his operations, becoming the owner of a large herd, and upon the market his cattle found a ready sale, bringing to him a handsome income.  His resourceful business ability prompted him to embark in other enterprises, and today he is a leading stockholder and a vice president of the First National Bank in Pauls valley.  In connection with C.J. Grant and W.G. Kimberlin he erected the courthouse in Pauls Valley and rented it to the United States.  He engaged in merchandising at Whitebead, Pauls Valley, Rush Springs, Paoli, Purdy and Beef Creek, his operations along that line being very extensice but at the present time he is not associated with mercantile affairs. On March 1, 1899 he sold his mercantile interests to the Hart Drug Company.

In the year 1870 Mr. Garvin was united in marriage to Miss Susan Mouncrief, of Choctaw blood, a daughter of William Mouncrief, who was a prominnent stock man.  Unto Mr. and Mrs. Garvin have been born five children, but Lizzie, the eldest, is now deceased.   The others are Robert, John B., Birdie, and Vivian.  Mr. Garvin was made a Mason at Erin Springs, Indian Territory, and now belongs to Whitebead Lodge, No. 73, F. & A.M. membership being with Wichita Consistory, No. 2.  He also belongs to Whitebead Lodge, No. 3 I.O.O.F, and Crescent Lodge, No. 15, K. of P.. Mr. Garvin has had a creditable business career, while he has met with some difficulties and obstacles the tide of prosperity with him has been largely uninterrupted, and he is today in control of several business interests and investments.  He is very approachable, showing courtesy to all with whom he comes in contact, and is a conspicuous young man, having a host of warm friends.  He acts from honest motives and in all relations of business affairs, and in social life he has maintained a character and standing that has impressed all with his sincere and manly purpose to do by others as he would have others do by him.
(From History of Indian Territory)

Kentucky is Samuel J. Garvin's native state, and his father, John Garvin , was also a Kentuckian.  The mother, whose maiden name was Mary Smoot, was born in Virginia.   John Garvin was a farmer, and the greater part of his life was spent in that occupation in Kentucky, but before his death, which occurred in 1855, he had removed with his family to Missouri.  His wife survived him only a year.

Our subject was born in 1846, and was therefore but ten years old when the death of his parents left him to make his way in the world as best he might.  His boyhood was passed in various portions of the West, and as there was no one to make his education their special care, it may readily be supposed that his school days were of brief duration.  He eventually drifted into the Indian Territory, and as the cattle business was about the only one followed there, he took it up as a matter of course, and his first engagement of consequence was in the capacity of cowboy.  In 1866 a herd of cattle started from Old Cherokee Town, in the Chickasaw Nation, bound for Fort Union, New Mexico, where it was to be delivered to the United States commissary officials, and Mr. Garvin hired to accompany it, receiving $60.00 a month for his services.  Nearly all of the other hands employed were 'blanket' Indians, a wild and unruly crowd, but capable riders for all that.  The trip comsumed several weeks, and Mr. Garvin remained in New Mexico until the following fall.  Returning then to the Indian Territory, he commenced the next day to work for a Mr. Harlan, who had a great many cattle on the range and was in need of a steady and efficient hand.  Mr. Garvin only remained with him one season, however, though the wages paid were the same as he had received on the range.   Giving up his position he went to Fort Arbuckle, and there arranged to take and hold a herd of about 3,500 cattle on shares.  Mumford Johnson was the owner of this herd, and being a man of experience and sagacity, he was quick to recognize and value the sterling qualities of this new aspirant to the title of cattleman, while young Garvin fully appreciated the chance given him to work his own advancement, and applied himself zealously to the task of watching over and caring for the herd which had been intrusted to his care.  His aim in life was now to get a start of cattle of his own, and with this end in view he invested every spare dollar in stock, and was continually making trades, each of which added to the size of  his herd.  Luckily, cattle were cheap at that time, and their owners were generally glad to dispose of them for almost any consideration.  On one occasion Mr. Garvin traded a saddle pony for twenty head of cattle, and similar exchanges were of frequent occurrence.

Managing as described above, Mr. Garvin soon acquired quite a nice little herd, and under his attentive care it prospered and grew in numbers.  He kept the Johnson cattle two years, and then returned them to their owner and bought 1,000 head from J.C. Loving.  This herd was purchased on credit, and was delivered to him by Lee Dyer, at a point on the Little Washita, near where the "Western Trail" afterward crossed it, though at the time of which we write the idea of driving cattle across the Indian Territory that far west had not yet been evolved.  Mr. Garvin had already become quite well known as a cattleman, and in 1869 he commenced handling the cattle furnished by McKee & McDonald, the beef contractors, to the different forts and Indian agencies.   In those days the holder of a government contract in the Indian country had a fat thing of it, to use a slang phrase, and Mr. Garvin's salary was high in proportion.   While receiving and delivering government cattle he was receiving $150.00 a month, and consequently was enabled to pay up for his own cattle and purchase enough more to bring his holding up to 2,000 head, all good cattle and free from debt.  This was not a period of idleness to him, however, for he was continually in the saddle, almost night and day.

While his prospects were the brightest, an added ray of sunlight was cast upon his life through his marriage with Miss Susan Moncrief, daughter of a prominent citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, who had been the largest cattleman in all that region prior to the war.   Miss Moncrief was born in 1855, and was raised and educated at old Fort Arbuckle, which had been in its time the most important trading post in that entire section of the West.  She was a young lady noted for her beauty and mental qualities, and she has made Mr. Garvin a most estimable helpmate, sharing as a good wife should, in his joys and sorrows, and lending her smiles and sympathy to cheer him over the rough places of the pathway of life.  After his marriage, Mr. Garvin located his home on the Little Washita, and resided there continuoulsy until 1884, holding his cattle on the adjacent ranges.  He then moved his family to Kansas, in order that they might have the benefit of better educational facilities, but finding that he could not well conduct his business at a point so remote from his home without losing too much time in traveling back and forth, he brought his family back to the Indian Territory after the end of the first y ear,and settled at White Bead Hill, where he still resides.  His children were not the losers by this change of location, since there are excellent schools at the place last named; as good, in fact as any that they had attended in Kansas.  Mr. Garvin's eldest child, Lizzie, is now married to a Mr. Burch; the other children, Robert, John,  Bird and Vivian, are living at home with their parents.  The sons are in the cattle business for which they have a pronounced fondness, and they will hardly turn to any other occupation so long as this continues profitable.

Mr. Garvin's cattle interests have occupied the greater portion of his time, and have added greatly to his prosperity.  In 1884 he bought the Murray stock of cattle, one of the oldest and best herds in the Territory, for $96,000, and two years later he became the owner of the "Triangle" brand, which was then worn by 2,700 cattle.  He bought them from their original owner, Jim  Rennie, of White Bead Hill, at $20 per head, all counted.  He has since been raising cattle, and fattening a good many annually for the spring market, and while he has made a good deal of money, he has suffered some severe losses.  At one time he sold a herd to some parties on credit, and lost $52,000 on one note, but his profits from the business have since made this loss good.  He has frequently driven cattle to markets further north, buying them in Texas and localities in the Indian Territory, and it is a rare thing to find him without some enterprise on foot calculated to increase his prosperity.  He uses cotton seed largely in fattening his stock, and has found it better adapted for that purpose than anything previously tried. His cattle are invariably placed on the market in good condition, and bring the top prices.  During the past winter (1894-95) he fed 500 head of beef steers, which brought him $40.50 each, sold and delivered at his pens.   He has now about 3,000 head of cattle, all told, and he carries on his ranch about 100 head of horses and a great many hogs.  A good number of fine porkers are slaughtered for the market each year, and his sales of mules are also a considerable source of income.

A life passed amid the wild surroundings of the Indian country must naturally be an eventful one, and it is to be regretted that Mr. Garvin can not be induced to relate some of the incidents and adventures through which he has passed.  He has always been a bitter enemy of lawlessness in all its forms, and the horse-thieves, whisky peddlers, and others of that class which have overrun the Chickasaw Nation in the past, quickly learned to regard him as their foe and to shun him as such. He is a man who has earned and possesses the respect and esteem of every right minded citizen of his section, and not a blur can be found upon his reputation for honesty and fair dealing.   (A Historical and Biographical Record)

submitted by Susie Williams

 

susangarvin.gif (10413 bytes)Mrs. Susan Garvin

Mrs. Susan Garvin, wife of Samuel Garvin and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Muncrief, was born at Fort Arbuckle but established a residence at Pauls Valley after her marriage in 1870 to Mr. Garvin. She platted and dedicated ‘Garvin Addition to Pauls Valley'.   She remembered as a child her parents defending their homestead against attacking Kiowa Indians who succeeded in burning a portion of their property and driving off their livestock. Mrs. Garvin was a true pioneer and her influence in Pauls Valley was wholesome and progressive. She stood on the high red bluff at Purcell, Okla., and witnessed the opening of old Oklahoma and the run from that point on April 22, 1889. She gained state-wide publicity and prominence after the first World War for encouraging aviation and as often as she could, she made airplane rides with Earl Witten, son of Cody Witten, a lifelong friend of Mr. and Mrs. Garvin.

(Taken from the Garvin County History book dated 1957.)    submitted by Susie Williams

 

Biographies of Isaac and Samuel Garvin
Submitted by Nick Cimino  ncimino@hotmail.com

ISAAC GARVIN (More on Isaac)
Chronicles of Oklahoma Vol. 17, 1939 p. 202
A Story of Choctaw Chiefs by Peter James Hudson-
In 1878 Isaac Garvin was elected Principal Chief of Choctaw Nation but he died in February 1880. His father was Henry Garvin, white man. I do not know where Isaac Garvin was educated. He was born in Mississippi and emigrated to Indian Territory, locating in Red River County for several years; Supreme Judge for several years.
He was buried at his home place and a monument is standing to mark his grave. I do not know who his first wife was but his second wife was Melvina, daughter of Capt. Miashambi, and sister of Peter J. Hudson's mother.
Peter J. Hudson tells about Isaac Garvin coming to his father's house when he was just a little child. The father and mother were both out when he arrived and as the children didn't know who he was and he looked so much like a white man, on Mr.Hudson's sisters said in Choctaw "No count white man come to our country." They felt very much ashamed when they found he was a Choctaw and knew what had been said.
By his second wife, Isaac Garvin had one daughter, Francis, who married a man by name of Dr. Shi. They emigrated to Chickasaw Nation with Isaac Garvin's widow and have all died out with exception of one son, Isaac Garvin Shi now living in Chickasaw Nation.

Billie
Isaac Garvin
I saw your post to Indian Terr. Roots L. I am very interested in Isaac Garvin. We have just started researching my husband's family. Family lore has it that my husband's grandmother , Melvina Carnes who married John Goode , is related to Isaac Garvin. I don't know just how. Did you see any Carnes/Karnes surnames in the Chronicles ? On a Choctaw Census, her parents are listed as John and Lizzie Carnes of Boktukle.I THINK Lizzie and Isaac's mother were supposed to be sisters. Boktukle is in McCurtain Co., Okla. . My father-in-law was Willie F Goode and he was born at Matoy , Ok. in 1898. Melvina and John lived around Caddo, Ok.

D JONES djones113@juno.com
I would like to know who Chief Isaac Garvin's mother is? Also if you happen to know who are his brothers & sisters? I was told that we are indirectly related to him. The following is how: My great grandmother was Melvania Carnes her mother was Lizzie Carnes. Lizzie Carnes is suppose to be either the 1/2 sister or sister to Isaac Garvin.
Melvania always referred to him as Uncle. Chief Garvin had the dragoon run off Melvania's 1st husband Killingsworth (don't know his 1st name) clear out of the State of OK. Said if he ever came back that he would be killed. All I need is some proof that Lizzie was Isaac's sister. We have some information on Isaac's father. I will be glad to share what ever we have.
Isaac Garvin & Henry Garvin.
Isaac Garvin is buried in Waterhole Cemetery in McCurtain County. Part of the description is cut off so I will leave ______ where there was more words.
The waterhole Cemetery is located about _____ miles south of Garvin. this burial ground dates from the-----s just after the arrival of the Choctaws.   The Washington and _____e families of Choctaws were associated with this site __ally but it later became one of the first community-type cemeteries in the county area. It was used as a burial place for ____ers of all races. Among those buried here are Louis LeFlore, _____e L. Washington, James Wood Kirk and Leslie Teel.   Across the road from the cemetery is the Waterhole Indian Methodist Church which also dates from the earliest days of the Choctaw presence in the area.
There are 2 pictures below 1. Waterhole Cemetery south of Garvin. 2. Waterhole Indian methodist Church.
Name Born Died Sayings
Emma Garvin 7/2/1872 7/20/1876 Dau of E. L. & Melvina
Isaac L. Garvin 4/27/1832 2/20/1880 verse on headstone
Isaac Levi Chief Principal Chief of Choctaws, 1878-1880
James H. Garvin 10/31/1858 11/15/1878 Son of I. L. & Melina
Maggie Garvin 9/16/1870 10/31/1880 Dau of Isaac L. &
Melvina
Mary Jane Garvin 5/31/1861 10/24/1885 Dau of I. L. & Melvina
Sarah M. Garvin 11/2/1867 8/11/1885 Dau of Isaac & Melvina
In the same cemetery is
Martha K. Carnes 1/13/1879 10/14/1880 Dau of Melvina Carnes
Melvina Carnes is Donna's Great Grandmother. This helps establish a relationship between Carnes & Garvin. from Norma Jones her mother

SAMUEL J. GARVIN. [CHOCTAW]
Leaders and Leading Men of the Indian Territory, 1891--- Samuel was born in Kentucky in 1844; emigrated to Fort Arbuska [Arbuckle?], Chickasaw Nation, in 1866 and commenced the business of stock raising which he has pursued ever since. In 1873 Mr. Garvin moved to Little Washita near the Comanche line, and held his large herd in the neighborhood of these Indians, who, however, were peacefully disposed except on one occasion in 1874, when he was obliged to move his family and send them east, owing to an outbreak among the wild tribes.
In 1884 the subject of this sketch came to Whitebead, and in 1889 purchased James Renne's interest in the mercantile business in that town--shortly afterward opening branch houses at Beef Creek and Peola. Besides this he has two thousand acres of land under cultivation and forty-five renters. Recently he has been disposing of his large herd of cattle, but has still twenty-five hundred head bearing his well-known brand. In 1869 Mr. Garvin married Susan, daughter of Mr. Muncrief, and thus became a citizen of the country. His residence at Whitebead is one of the handsomest in that part of the Territory.

GEORGE H. SHIRK
The Chronicles of Oklahoma Vol. 26 No. 2 and Vol. 27 No. 3---
Samuel J. Garvin for whom Garvin County was named was a native of Kentucky. He came to Fort Arbuckle soon after the Civil War period, and married a Choctaw girl, the daughter of Sam Muncrief who was a well known cattleman living in this vicinity in the Chickasaw Nation. In 1889, Mr. Garvin purchased the mercantile interests of James Rennie at White Bead Hill, and soon afterward established branch trading stores at Paoli and Beef Creek (present Maysville, Garvin County). Mr. James Rennie had been appointed postmaster at White Bead Hill when this post office was reopened on January 15, 1877, having been closed for a month. The first post office at White Bead Hill had been established on May 5, 1876, with Albert Smith as postmaster; the name of the post office was changed to White Bead on April 26, 1895.

Submitted by Nick Cimino  ncimino@hotmail.com

 

see  ROBERT GARVIN FAMILY HISTORY (not know if related to Samuel J. Garvin but seeking information)

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