An interview with
Post office: Snow, Oklahoma
Investigator Field Worker's name: Johnson H. Hampton
Date of Interview: August 9, 1937
Transcribed & Submitted by Teresa Young
I was born near what is now Snow, Oklahoma, Pushmataha County, on the 16th
day of October, 1881. My fatherís name was William Eyechahubbee and my
motherís name was Jancy Eyechahubbee and they lived near Snow during their
life and they both died there. They were not from Mississippi but were
raised near Snow, Oklahoma.
My grandfatherís name was Eyechahubbee. I have forgotten his first name, and
my grandmotherís name was Tommila Eyechahubbee. I have been told that they
came from Mississippi and located near what is now Snow. My grandfather was
not in the Civil War. He was a Methodist Preacher. He lived near a church,
where he lived during his life time. This church house has been torn down
and there is no church house there he used to preach at the time he was
preaching, and while he was living. There used to be a good many Indians
around this church house, but they are now all gone. They have all died out
and the church went with them.
My father did not hold any office, only in the county; he was a Deputy
Sheriff of Cedar County for several years. That was about the only office he
ever held that I know of. They used to say that he made a good officer. Of
course, there was not much for an officer to do in those days for the
Choctaw Indians did not violate the laws very much. They were peaceable and
there was not much of any thing going on. They knew that they would get a
whipping on their bare backs if they violated the law, so they did not do
anything that they would have to be arrested for. There was not very much
whipping done; very few got whippings at the court ground. Our court ground
was at Alikchi, out near Smithville. They would hold court once every year.
Some time in the summer they would hold court for thirty days.
We had a farm of about 25 acres. We raised corn, beans, potatoes and some
oats for food, and we raised a little wheat for our bread, and we had a few
cattle, hogs and some ponies. We did not have many, but enough to get along
with, and we raised some vegetables in our garden. The Indians did not work
very much. They did not have to work much to make what they wanted to eat,
and the only thing they had to have was corn for their bread. We would
gather the beans and peas from the field and put them away for winter use.
The potatoes were dug before the first frost and put up in hills, in the
field, until it get cold enough to put them away. They would hill him up and
when they went through the sweat, then they would put them in the potato
house built for that purpose. They would keep all the winter; they would
open it up and get the seed out, and eat the bigger ones.
The cattle would run out on the range. The country was wild and people did
not live very close together. The grass was good in the valleys and there
was plenty of cane on the creeks, where the stock lived, and they did not
have to be fed very much during the winter seasons. The creek we lived on
was named Chowahla Boke (Cedar Creek). It is not a big creek, that is, not a
river, but it is a pretty good sized creek, which runs between the
mountains, which are called Kiamichi Mountains. These mountains are very
high in places and they are so rough that it is almost impossible to ride to
the top horseback. The grass on this mountain was good then, so the stock
ran on these mountains during the summer; then, they would go to the bottoms
during the winter season.
There used to be lots of wild game up in the mountains; deer, turkeys and
plenty of fish in the creeks; some bears on the mountain and some panthers,
too. We did not have to go camping to kill any thing at that time, for the
country was full of wild game. The Indians would just go out in the morning
with his gun on his shoulder and bring back a deer or a turkey in time for
breakfast. I donít know of any Indian who went on a camp hunt, for there
were lots of game right around his house, so he didnít have to camp-hunt. We
used to have lots of fun fishing. We would go down to the creek with our
bows and arrows, and kill all the fish we wanted in a little while. Some
times we would have a big fish fry. They would get together with a bundles
of devils or shoe-strings, which we used in the water. We would beat the
roots in the water, and pretty soon, the fish would get drunk and come to
the top of the water where we could use our bows and arrows. We would kill
enough of them to have plenty of fish to eat, and have enough left to take
home. It used to be lots of fun for us at that time.
I was enrolled and allotted land when the Dawes Commission was located at
Atoka; that is where the land office was. We had to go there to file on our
land. The Choctaws from every where had to go there to file on their land.
It was very hard to get there for some of them, for they had to come a long
way to get there and would have to wait their turn to get to the office, for
they had to let one or two get in the office at a time to file on their
land. I did not know of any agency at that time, but after the land office
opened and we had filed on our land, then I learned that we had an agency
located at Muskogee. I learned that this agency was called at that time
Union Agency. The agency covered all the Five Civilized Tribes and it is
there yet. My fatherís trading point at that time was at Fort Smith. He
would go with a bunch of Indians. They would all go together. It would take
them some times a month to get back. Most of them drove oxen to their
wagons; some of them would have horse teams. It was long ways to Fort Smith
when they had to drive a yoke of oxen. After the Frisco railroad went
through, my father traded at a little place called Kosoma. It was a sawmill
town on the Frisco. It was a lumber town where they shipped lumber. After
that he traded at Antlers, another small town on the Frisco. It was a small
town then and it is not a big town now.
My mother used to beat corn to make corn meal, just as other Indians were
doing, until a gristmill was put up at Antlers, then we would go there to
get our corn ground. That was the first gristmill I ever saw in my life.
Mother had a spinning wheel. She would run it and make threads out of
cotton, then she would make us socks and mittens. I donít think that she
ever made any clothes; if she did, I did not know anything about that, but
she would make us socks and mittens during the winter, and she would sell
some of them to neighbors in our community. I donít know what she did with
her spinning wheel. She hung it up on the wall at home, but it was gone, so
I donít know what went with it.
I never played the Indian ball game and never saw one, but I have heard of
them playing the game. I attended the camp meetings and we used to camp and
help feed the people that came to the meeting. My father was a very
religious man and of course, he would not let me go to the ball games nor to
any dances they had in the community. My grandfather was a preacher. The
whole family were all Christian people. All of my kinfolks were Christian
I never did hear of any cow trails nor cow towns in this part of the
country, nor ghost towns nor ceremonial grounds. I donít think that the
Choctaws had anything like that in this country.
I never did attend school of any kind, so I am not able to speak English nor
read nor write in English, and I am not very good in reading and writing in
my own language. I am a full blood Choctaw Indian. All of my people were
full-blood Choctaws, and have lived among the Choctaws until they all died
out. I am now living about two miles from Snow and about twenty-five miles
northeast of Antlers.
Transcribed & Submitted by Teresa Young
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