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County Seat - Pauls Valley

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OKGenWeb Indian Pioneer Papers Collection


Garvin County Indian Pioneer Papers



Jennie Campbell Reel


Interview #1079-A & 1079-C
Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: February 19, 1937
Name: Mrs. Jennie Campbell Reel
Residence: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: March 22, 1879
Place of Birth: Texas
Father: Hugh A. Campbell, white
Mother: Julia Gardner, Choctaw


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1079-A  Biography of Zach Gardner, furnished by Mrs. Jennie Campbell Reel (Choctaw)

Story furnished from record owned by Mrs. Jennie Campbell Reel, born four miles north of Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, March 22, 1879.

Of her Great Uncle Zach Gardner, born August 15, 1829, in Mississippi, his father Isaac Gardner, white man, and his mother Rebecca (Johnson) Gardner, Choctaw Indian, came to Indian Territory with the Choctaw Indians in 1832.  Settled in the Choctaw Nation, followed the occupation of farming.   In 1850 Isaac Gardner moved on the east side of the Washita River in what is now Murray County.  Zach Gardner did not move with his father.  He married  Elsie Mackey, a Choctaw Indian.  They had one child who later died and after the death of his wife he married Miss Lavinia McKinney, a Choctaw Indian, September 8, 1852; who was born in the Choctaw Nation December 25, 1836.  They had four children, Joseph Nail, born October 24, 1859, Zach, born October  2, 1858, Atkinson Maxwell, born December 9, 1859 and Lavinia, born 1860.

Zach Gardner moved from the Choctaw Nation where his father lived east of the Washita River, a short time before his father died in 1859.  His father and mother were the parents of nine children all of them now deceased.  Silas D. Gardner, brother of Zach Gardner, died in Yorktown, Pennsylvania where he was taken a prisoner of war during the Civil War.  Zach Gardner was in the service of the Confederacy, serving under the command of Major George Washington, who was in charge of a Caddo Indian Battalion.  He remained with the army through-out the period of hostilities, acting with the troops upon the plains of the territory, guarding the frontier here and in Texas.  He received his education at Spencer Academy in the Choctaw Nation.

In 1867, he settled on the Washita River east of Pauls Valley.  He farmed for several years there and in the early seventies he built the first grist mill.    This was a turbine wheel mill run by water.  He ground corn into meal for the soldiers at Fort Sill and for this surrounding community. 

His mother passed away at his home in 1884, east of Pauls Valley on the Washita River.

He has once said, Pauls Valley was once known as Rush Creek Valley before anyone settled in it.

He was at one time the owner of 13 hundred acres of land.   Prominent in the Masonic fraternity, Mr. Gardner was made a mason in the Electric Lodge F & A M at Warren, Texas.  He became a charter member of Pauls Valley Lodge No. 6 and later in life, was the only original member living.  Several years before his death he put aside the more arduous duties of farm life in order to enjoy a well earned rest.

Mr. Gardner lived east of Pauls Valley, from 1867 until his death February 1913.   He was buried in the Wynnewood Cemetery, Wynnewood, Oklahoma.

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1079-C    Hugh Campbell told by his Daughter Mrs. Jennie Campbell Reel

Story told by Mrs. Jennie Campbell Reel of her father, Hugh A. Campbell.  Borned in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, February 21, 1843.   His early educational privileges were those afforded by the public schools of his native city.  He was but 18 years of age when at the country's call for aid to crush the rebellion, he joined the "Boys in Blue", becoming a member of company H of the eighteenth, Pennsylvania Infantry in April 1861.  Hardly had the smoke from Fort Sumter's fun's cleared away when he offered his services to the government and for three years remained at the front, loyally fighting the battles whereby the union was preserved entire.  He took part in the engagement at Ball's Bluff, Fair Oaks, the seven days fight in front of Richmond, the battles of Antitum, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness and Petersburg.   At Antitum he was wounded.  With a military record which he was proud of, he returned to his home,having on many a field of carnage displayed his loyalty to the old flag.

After the war, Mr. Hugh A. Campbell went to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he worked at the trade of stove molder until 1867.  It was in the year 1867 that he came to Indian Territory settling at Pauls Valley, in the Chickasaw Nation.   He engaged in hauling freight for the government from Leavenworth, Kansas to Fort Gibson, by Pauls Valley, and to Fort Sill, for two years, then he went to work for W.G. Williams who was known as, Caddo Bill.  Subsequently he turned his attention to farming and stock-raising, meeting with creditable success in both branches of his business.

In 1872 Mr. Campbell was united in marriage to Miss Julia Gardner, a niece of James Gardner of Choctaw Blood.   In 1873 Mr. Campbell received a letter from his mother in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and in 1874 he was in bad health and the doctor told him he would have to make a change to some other climate.  At this time he was the owner of 500 head of thorough-bred Poland China hogs.  He hated to sell out his stock but being in bad health he did sell out and went back to his place of birth, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and lived there until 1878 when he returned and settled four miles north of Pauls Valley, Indian Territory.  He was owner of over a thousand acres of land.   It was at this home in 1879 that a daughter was borned.  He was named Jennie, now she is Mrs. Jennie Campbell Reel having married Mr. William E. Reel October 30, 1899. 

Mr. Campbell was a member of Whitebead lodge No. 73 F & A M and served as its master which position he held for several years.  A fact which indicates his high-standing among his brethren of the fraternity.  He attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite, holding membership in the Consistory at Wichita, Kansas.  He also belongs to Whitebead lodge No. 13, I.O.O.F; Whitebead encampment, No.3, Wagoner No. 1, Chevalier, and Crescent lodge No. 15, K of P. of Pauls Valley, in which he was honored with the office of Chancellor.  In all measures and movements pertaining to the welfare and advancement of his adopted town he took an active interest.  He has witnessed much of its growth and development and has labored earnestly for its improvement along substantial lines.  He served as Second Mayor of his adopted town, Pauls Valley.

Mr. Campbell lived in and around Pauls Valley since his return from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1878 until his death December 29, 1902.   His wife died May 29, 1928.

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Jennie Reel, Pioneer,Dies

Mrs. Jennie Campbell Reel, 87, of Pauls Valley died at 8:00 p.m.,
Wednesday, June 15, 1966, in the Valley Estates Nursing Home in Pauls Valley.

She was born March 20, 1879 in the Whitebead community and was a
lifelong resident of Garvin County.

Her husband, William E. Reel, preceded her in death in 1960. She
was a member of the Methodist church.

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m., Friday, in the Stufflebean
Funeral Home chapel with Rev. E.E. Gregory, pastor of the First
Methodist Church in Pauls Valley officiating. Burial will be in
Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

Survivors include one son, Cecil E. Reel of Belmont, California;
three sisters, Mrs. Rebecca Bell of Sunneyvale, California, Mrs.
Amanda Rivers of Lauderdale, Miss., and Mrs. Juanita Moore of Little
Rock, Arkansas

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