Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date: August 18, 1937
Name: Wyly Beavers
Post Office: Route #1, Watts, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: April 2, 1877
Place of Birth: Goingsnake District,
Cherokee Nation Father: George Beavers
Place of Birth: Information on father:
Mother: Rosanna Kelly Place of birth: Information on mother: Cherokee
Field Worker: W. J. B. Bigby
Wyly Beavers, a three-eights Cherokee was born in Goingsnake District, Cherokee Nation, in April 2, 1877. His parents were George Beavers and Rosanna KELLY, a Cherokee woman. Mrs. Kelly=s folks came from Georgia as old Settlers, about 1829. The Beavers family consisted of four children, namely: Joel, Wyly, Tom and Ellis MOUNCE half-brothers.
Early Life Most of his early life was spent on a farm that the father operated near the old New Hope Church on Tyners Creek, in what is now north Adair County. The farm consisted of about thirty acres. Joel Kelly, the grandfather of Beavers, claimed the land when they moved on the place. Corn was the principal crop at that time. The farms were small. If a man had a ten acre tract he was considered a large farmer in this part of the country. There was no machinery at that time. Almost every farm implement that was used was home-made. Ox teams were common.
School New Hope was the earliest school in this part of the Goingsnake District. It was located on the hill of the present New Hope Church now. Jim HOLLAND and Lula STILL were the early day teachers at this place. Another school he attended was on Oo-Nee-Skook Prairie. This was about four miles east of the present New Hope Church. A man by the name of THORNTON taught school at this place.
Church The New Hope Baptist was the earliest church in this part of what is now Adair County. He does not know exactly the date when this church was started, nor any old time preachers of this church. But he does remember that it was not any of the other churches. This was visited by white preachers at that time, although many fullbloods lived nearby. The early day church workers at this place were the Browns and the RAPERS. A cemetery was also started.
Old Timers The old timers or people who lived near this old place were John MORRIS and Jimmie BROWN, Tobe PARRIS, Bill WINTON and John KELLY. I think Kelly was one of the men who helped build this old church.
Trading and Milling Points Cincinnati, Arkansas, was the early day trading point for the Cherokees in this part of the Goingsnake District. The early day merchants there were Dr. BARNES, Bill and Bob RAY.
Mr. CATES was the early time blacksmith at Cincinnati. He did more business than any man of his time. This was the nearest blacksmith to the Cherokees who lived in the northern part of the Goingsnake District.
The merchants mentioned bought all kinds of produce. But the people at that time did not have much to sell. Most of the products raised were consumed by the family.
Cattle and Cattlemen There were hundreds of cattle to be found in the Cherokee Nation although everyone did not own in the hundreds. But they did own several heads to a family. They usually had some cattle to sell every fall. An early day cattle dealer was George WILLIAMS. He usually bought all the livestock in the Goingsnake District, that is the north part of it. He sold all of his stuff to the Arkansas buyers.
Court House The Court House was located at that time on what is known as Peacheater Creek about seven miles west of Westville, Oklahoma. Mr. Beavers did not attend court much at that time. It was an annual affair with many of the Cherokees. Hangings were not held at this place. They usually took the prisoners to Tahlequah.
The voting precinct was at the Old Shiloh School House, about a mile and a half east of Westville. He was eighteen years old when he first voted, but he does not remember who ran for chief the first time he voted.
Military Post Sites The only military post site in the Goingsnake District was the old Fort Wayne Post, which was located east of where Watts, Oklahoma is now. Part of the town is on the site of Fort Wayne, but Oklahoma Histories give the location of this fort on the Spavinaw Hills. The Spavinaw Hills are about thirty or forty miles to the north of this place.
Post Office The first post office was Baptist, Indian Territory. This was at the old Baptist Mission. Carrie QUARLES was the first postmaster at this place. The next post office was at Oil Springs, which is now Cherokee County, just across the river about four miles from where Mr. Beavers now lives. The Cherokees did not correspond with each other much. The only letters the Cherokees wrote were to their old folks back in the old country. Their earliest post office was Cincinnati.
Newspapers There were not any newspapers in the Cherokee Nation. The Cherokee Advocate was the only paper printed for along time. This was printed in both English and Cherokee languages. Some copies may be found in some of the old timers=homes today.
Pioneer Towns Westville was the pioneer town in the Cherokee Nation. This town started immediately after the survey was made to extend the Kansas City Southern lines southward from Siloam, Arkansas. The depot was the first building at Westville. Then a store building was erected by the ALBERTY boys, Tuck and Ell. They also started a lumber yard at this place. Bates Hotel was the next building to be built at Westville. The hotel is still there, but the Alberty lumber yard burned down just a few years ago.
Revenue The Cherokee Nation paid her officials with the money collected from revenues on timber, permits and the interest on money that was given by the United States.
Allotment A law was passed by the council and the senate, allowing land in the Cherokee Nation to be divided among the people and abolishing tribal laws which made it a public domain. The Cherokees were not in favor of this law, that is the fullbloods, but it was passed without their approval. Ben FLETCHER, Flint District, was the councilman who untied the vote. They were deadlocked for several days on the question. Fletcher gave in and voted the Ayes@to the law. Fletcher was not much Indian. Just such people voting for the allotment law was the reason the President issued a proclamation calling another election. The Night Hawks did not vote at this election and the allotment law again passed.
Strip Settlers This was a payment made to the Cherokee people by the United States Government for the land sold for settlement by the whites know as AThe Cherokee Outlet.@ This was a piece of land left after the Cherokees had laid claim to all the land after coming to the Cherokee Nation. It was called an outlet because they wanted an outlet to their western hunting grounds left in the treaties which were made with them. The money received per capita at the sale of said land was $265.00. Beavers bought a claim with his payment money. Almost all of the Cherokees built good home for themselves.
Roads There were no good roads in those times. In the winter time, the roads were almost impassable for several weeks at a time. The main road was the ATahlequah Road@as we called it then. It started at New Hope, on Tyners Creek across the flats to Pumpkin Hollow, from Pumpkin Hollow across Badger Flats, to near where Eldon is now. From there it ran across the hill to the Bill Boudinot place, then on five miles west to Tahlequah.
Ferry There was a ferry at the Boudinot place but Mr. Beavers does not know who operated the ferry.
Transportation Transportation of that day was by horseback and ox teams. Horses were used later. Most of the old timers went to the mill on foot, sometimes traveling several miles. Walking was another way of transportation, but all of the peace officers went on horseback.
Transcribed by Wanda Elliott <email@example.com> 10--99