Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date: September 14, 1937
Name: Rolla Canard, Chief of Creek Nation
Post Office: Wetumka, Oklahoma
Field Worker: Grace Kelley Interview 7512
Wetumka Trading Post
The old trading post was on Section 27, Township 9, Range 10. That is northeast of this church, which is the Wetumka Baptist Church.
One of the old houses is still standing; it is two miles northeast of the Wetumka Baptist Church, which is one-mile south and a half-mile east of Wetumka. Colonel ROBERTSON was the Superintendent of the Wetumka Mission, then Luke MCINTOSH, and Joe ROBERTSON was the superintendent when I left school. The Mission was started by the Presbyterians and later the Creek Nation bought it. Mrs. WRIGHT was a teacher at this Mission.
There was a burial ground just south of the school but it has been plowed up.
There is a cemetery on the main road, one mile due east from Main Street. Colonel ROBERTSON started it before the Civil War but it has not been in use since the allotment. The ground where this cemetery is located is rough and hilly and difficult of access.
Father and Mother lived and died and were buried on the southeast quarter of the northeast half of section sixteen, ten, twelve. That place was allotted to Jackson ALBERT and I bought it from him. There are eight graves. Some of them have tombstones. This cemetery is in a field north of Wetumka on the North Canadian River.
That is a story, which is entirely secret, and of which nobody will ever get the complete details. These medicine men have songs for the different medicines, which are made for the different diseases. There is a medicine that a man can use to cause his wife to hate him if he wants her to leave him. There is another that will make her love him if she has hated him before and if he loves her and wants her to love him, too.
They can make themselves invisible, or turn themselves into animals. The knowledge of these things is handed down from one medicine man to another and nobody else knows how they are made or what they contain.
As I said before, the Medicine Men have songs, which they hand down to younger Medicine Men. These songs are not written but are handed down by word of mouth.
Each dance has its particular song; the Green Corn dance has its song and so have the other dances. These songs are not written but are handed down from one generation to another. These songs are the songs of their belief.
The Creeks have hymnals, which they use in their religious meetings. These hymnals are written in Creek and are similar to the hymnbooks in churches.
Indian Names and Towns
All Indians have their tribal citizen names. I belong to the THLOP THLOCCO TOWN six miles north of Wetumka, but everybody who belongs to that town is not my relation. The name of everybody who belongs to that town is kept on their Tribal rolls though. The husband has his own town but the children follow their mother.
Formerly, Indians did not use their names so much as they do now. When John SMITH'S grandmother died she had some money coming to her but he could not get it because he did not know her right name. Everybody knew her simply as John's Grandmother.
My grandfather was named Motey KENNARD and he was Chief before the Civil War and during 1861. There were years that I did not know his name and I do not know now why he spelled his name differently from my name. The Indians would say, "Mary's aunt," in an introduction instead of saying the woman's whole name as they do now.
They came after the Light Horseman but I do not know much to tell about them. I worked under the Field Clerk but did not make arrests; I just worked in Muskogee.
My father and mother died when I was ten or twelve years old so my brother allotted me as I was living with him.
The Way The Indians Pick Their Pastors
When for some reason a church loses its pastor they pick an active member, one whom is doing good work in the church and who thinks he would like to be their minister. They try him for six months or a year to see if he will make a good minister, and if the church progresses and gets along right they then ordain him a minister and he is their pastor from then on. But if the attendance begins to fall off, if there are not enough conversions, and the church is losing ground then they try another. That is, they make their ministers in the pulpit instead of in a university and choose them from men who hear the call of God instead of the call of the pay they will get.
My mother was a BEAVER, which is the same as BIRD. My father was a TURKEY, which is also a BIRD, so I am a fullblood BIRD as I get BIRD from both sides. That was for identification. A young man might go to a different part of the country and meet a pretty girl. He would not know he had any relations in that part of the country but when they found they both had the same Clan they would know they were related and being relatives they could not marry. But if they had different clans they could get married, as they were not related.
Robert CARR, the father of Mrs. Ada SMITH and S. A. ALEXANDER south of Wetumka were the biggest ranchers in this vicinity. They had mostly horses and hogs, not very many cattle.
I was in the Odessa and Arbem Towns ball game in 1926 or 1927. This ball game was played on grounds east of Spring Hill. It was not an old grudge fight but was to be a regular ball game when it started.
My father Lawrence Monroe HOGUE and my Aunt Sybil reminisced about the Hogue family living on Rolla Canards place, or "Roley's Place" during the late 1920's and 1930's. They said their dad Oscar Samuel Hogue was a good farmer and shared-farmed on Roley's property for a living. Share farming was farming the land of another and sharing the crop produced from it. Rolla Canard was a full-blooded Creek Indian and was Chief of the Creek Tribe and pastor of the outside church near Wetumka. The outside church had a wooden canopy and wooden benches for the people to sit. Dad and Sybil remember there were some good gatherings there. Dad said people use to line up table's end to end and there would be every kind of food you could think of on top of these tables. Sometimes the Creek Indians would swing a ham tied to a rope from a tree branch, shooting arrows at it. The first to hit the ham with an arrow got the ham.
Dad remembered one time on Roley's Place that an Indian walked into the house they were living in and hugged the heater stove to keep warm because it was freezing cold outside. The Indian never spoke a word and after warming himself, walked out and they never saw him again. Dad said they would never forget that Indian!
There was a barn on Roley's Place and the Hogue's kept a wooden storage chest in it. Inside the chest were many personal valuables that were kept for sentimental purposes. Dad remembers his father Oscar going into the barn to get the bible out of the chest. Oscar would spend time in the barn reading the bible.
One day the barn was struck by a bolt of lighting which was so powerful it tore through the roof, through the hayloft, and made a hole in the concrete floor. It was very loud. As a result, the barn caught fire and burned to the ground. The Hogue storage chest was completely burned. Dad and Sybil remember they stayed in the cellar during the storm and that someone had to run into the town of Wetumka to tell their dad [Oscar] the barn caught fire. I asked my dad if the fire department responded. He said that the fire department could not get there because the truck could not cross the flooded & muddy creek on Roley's property.
It wasn't long after the barn burned that Rolla Canard let Oscar Hogue "Go". It wasn't because Oscar was a bad farmer, but because Roley lost a good mare and probably didn't want to buy another one and without the mares you couldn't plow the fields.
My dad remembers Rolla Canard as always seeing to the Hogue Family while they lived on this property. "We never did without." Dad remembers that as a kid he would pick potato bugs off the potatoes for Roley and when finished, Roley would hand him a nickel. In those days a nickel was a lot to a kid.
Transcribed and submitted by Patrick Lawrence Hogue 02/00 <email@example.com> 02-2000