Fifth Generation (Continued)
Family of Elizabeth PRILLAMAN
(152) & William Riley GRAY
444. Charity GRAY.
Indian Pioner Papers - Charity Hartigan
Submitted by Brenda Choate email@example.com
Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: September 17, 1937
Name: Mrs. Charity Hartigan
Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: 1863
Place of Birth:
Father: W.R. Gray, born in Virginia
Mother: Elizabeth Prillaman,
born in Virginia
Mrs. Charity Hartigan was born in 1863 in
I came to the Indian Territory with my father and mother in
My father settled on Wild Horse Creek west of Fort Arbuckle in
Chickasaw Nation. We came from Texas in covered wagons working
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
corn. The first year my father raised two or three small
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
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
discharge from the Cavalry and we started a dairy farm near
Fort Sill on Medicine Creek. We sold milk and butter to the
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.
only half Comanche Indian. His mother was Cynthia Ann Parker,
who was captured by the Comanche Indians and was made the squaw
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
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
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.
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.
Parker has told us that dog meat was better than bear meat.
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
see if they should lease their land to the cattlemen. The
cattlemen brought several steers and put them in our pen for the
Indians so they could have a big barbecue. They danced and ate
two days and the cattlemen got the lease. That was in 1883.
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
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
my brother owned. There were two stores and a stage
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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