Fifth Generation (Continued)

Family of Elizabeth PRILLAMAN (152) & William Riley GRAY (248)

444. Charity GRAY.

Indian Pioner Papers - Charity Hartigan
Submitted by Brenda Choate

Charity Hartigan

Interview #8495
Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: September 17, 1937
Name:   Mrs. Charity Hartigan
Residence: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth:  1863
Place of Birth:  Virginia
Father:  W.R. Gray, born in Virginia
Mother: Elizabeth Prillaman, born in Virginia 

Mrs. Charity Hartigan was born in 1863 in Virginia.

I came to the Indian Territory with my father and mother in 1879. 
My father settled on Wild Horse Creek west of Fort Arbuckle in the
Chickasaw Nation.  We came from Texas in covered wagons working oxen. 
My father had two wagons and worked four oxen to each wagon.

My father and brother set to breaking land and getting it ready to
plant corn.  The first year my father raised two or three small
patches of corn and that winter all we had to live on was deer,
bear neat and corn bread.

In the spring of 1880 I met a soldier from Fort Sill named James J.
Hartigan and we were married.  He was a private in the Fourth
Cavalry then stationed at Fort Sill. My husband had been in the
army ten years at that time and I have heard him say the Fourth
Cavalry had fought the Indians from Mexico to the Black Hills of
Dakota.  After we were married I went to live at Fort Sill.
A short while after we were married my husband received his
discharge from the Cavalry and we started a dairy farm near
Fort Sill on Medicine Creek. We sold milk and butter to the
officers at Fort Sill. 

Chief Quanah Parker of the Comanche Indians was one of our best
friends.  Everyday or so he would come and eat with us.  He was
only half Comanche Indian.  His mother was Cynthia Ann Parker,
who was captured by the Comanche Indians and was made the squaw
of the Chief of the Comanches at that time. Quanah Parker has
told me that he and his sister were the only children his mother
had and he said his mother grieved herself to death over his
father who was killed in a fight.  When his mother was taken
from the Indians, Quanah Parker brought his family to visit us
one evening and he had a new hearse working tow horses to it. 
My husband asked him why he bought a hearse to haul his family
in and he said because it was so shiny. Quanah Parker only had
two children when I knew him, a boy and a girl.  His girl took
ill with some kind of disease and he took her to a hospital in
Texas but she died at the hospital.

The Indians were friends to us.  Many times my husband would
be gone to the Fort to sell milk and butter and I would be at
our home alone.  Sometimes two or three of the Indian men with
their faces painted and carrying tomahawks would stop at our
house and try to talk to me.  I couldn't understand them but my
husband could, so I would point to a bench in the yard and they
would sit there and wait until my husband came home.  When he
came home they would laugh and talk and sometimes the Indians
would eat with us.  Then away they would go.

They lived in wigwams and slept on bear and deer skins and blankets.  
Right in the middle of their wigwams they would place a dug out
where they built their fires and they had a pot or two.  This was
all the cooking utensils they owned.   Many a time I have seen the
squaws set the pot out in front of their wigwam and let the dogs
eat out of it and never wash it.

Quanah Parker has told us that dog meat was better than bear meat. 
I will never forget one time my husband promised Quanah Parker
we would come and eat with him and we went.  he had a pot of some
kind of meat cooked up but before time to eat I played off sick
and had to be taken home.  I was afraid it was dog meat. 

We were living on Medicine Creek near Medicine Bluff when the
Comanches, Kiowas and Cheyennes held their council meeting to
see if they should lease their land to the cattlemen.  The big
cattlemen brought several steers and put them in our pen for the
Indians so they could have a big barbecue.  They danced and ate
for two days and the cattlemen got the lease.  That was in 1883.
My husband sold our milk cows and we went over in the Cherokee
Country and thought we would try farming.  My husband knew
nothing about farming and this didn't suite us, so we came
to Whitebead Hill, in the Chickasaw Nation where my brother,
A.C. Gray, ran a shoe shop.   My husband made a barber chair
and opened up a barber shop in the front end of the shoe shop
which my brother owned.   There were two stores and a stage
stand there.  At that time James Rennie owned one of the stores
and he was postmaster and the post office was in his store. 
There was a stage line running from Caddo to Fort Sill.  
They worked four horses, and the drivers would sit on top of
the stage and the horses would go in a trot most of the time. 

445. Abraham C. GRAY.

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