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Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma

Date: September 18, 1937

Name: Eliza Coker Breeding

Post Office: Holdenville, Oklahoma

Date of Birth: February 1865

Place of Birth: Chickasaw Nation on Red River

Father: Lundon Coker Place of Birth: Information on father:

Mother: Place of birth: Information on mother: Mother's father: Washburn

Field Worker: Mary J. Stockton

Mrs. Eliza Coker Breeding, Holdenville, Creek Indian, was born in February 1865, in the Chickasaw Nation on Red River.

Her Grandfather WASHBURN, on her mother=s side, was a white man. He married a Creek Indian girl in Mississippi.

It was against the full blood Indian=s laws to let the Indians marry into the white race. They had lived together more than two years and had one child when the Indians decided he must leave and not live with his wife and baby any longer. He was told by the full bloods what to do. He loved his bride and baby daughter and did not want to go. For several days he would carry his baby in the yard crying because he had to leave them. Finally the day came when he must leave, so he went away into a new country and was never heard of any more.

Her father, Lundon COKER, came from Mississippi when he was a small boy, settling near Eufaula.

When the Civil War broke out, they packed everything they could in their wagon. They drove an ox team, left their home and everything that they could not take. They went south into the Chickasaw Nation. While there, they had an epidemic of smallpox. Several died. Mr. Coker helped to bury two women that had died of it. They had no coffins. They just dug the grave and wrapped the bodies in a quilt or blanket, put them in the grave and covered them with dirt.

After the close of the war they returned to the Creek Nation. Father Lundon Coker was a cattleman, raising lots of cattle. Cattle men would come from Kansas and buy cattle. He would raise steers to be about three to five years old. He kept all the cows possible to raise calves from. The cattle would be driven in large droves and it took several days to take them to market.

When Mrs. Breeding was ten years old she attended school at Eufaula. A Miss SHAW was her teacher. She later attended the Shawnee Mission. Ella COLDEN was her teacher. The last school she attended was Wewoka. A Mr. CROME taught. Later he married one of Governor John F. Brown=s daughters.

Mrs. Breeding married Robert G. BROWN, a brother to Governor John F. and Jackson Brown. They lived in Sasakwa. Robert worked in the store for Governor Brown. They had two little girls.

Robert got killed December 10, 1885, leaving Mrs. Brown with her two small daughters. They continued living for a while at Sasakwa, but she became so lonely she decided to move back home with her father, near Holdenville. Governor Brown told her he hated to see them move so far off, he would miss them so much. He came to see the children quite often and helped with them in many ways.

When the children were six and eight years old, they entered school at Shawnee Mission. After they had finished their schooling at Shawnee, the oldest girl entered school in Virginia. Mrs. Breeding said it was very lonely having to stay away from her small children while they were in school but she was interested in their future education and there were no schools close. The teachers would write to let her know about them. Several years after Mr. Brown=s death Eliza Coker Brown married J. H. BREEDING, white. They had one son, Bland Breeding, who was killed in France during the World War. The American Legion Post No 32 of Holdenville is named for him.

Transcribed and submitted by Roberta Duvall Hammer <> 10-99

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