Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date: March 8, 1937
Name: George T. Candy
Post Office: Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: June 3, 1878
Place of Birth: Salina, Indian Territory
Father: Tom Candy Place of Birth: Information on father: full-blood Cherokee, died in 1878 Mother: Julia Compton Place of birth: Information on mother:
Field Worker: Breland Adams Interview: #5146
My folks way back came from Candy Creek, Tennessee, close to Lookout Mountain. Most of my folks in this country were raised around Garfield (now known as Greenleaf post office). I was born June 3, 1878, in Salina, Indian Territory. It was known as the Saline District. I was raised from the time I was about six months old by my Aunt Jane Candy in Tahlequah, Indian Territory.
My father, Tom Candy, a full-blood Cherokee, died in 1878, at the age of 35. His death occurred seven miles east of Tahlequah. The original Candy family were English. I do not know how my father came to be a full-blood. My sister is on the Rolls as a half-blood, my sister is a three-quarter blood, and myself as a full-blood.
My mother's maiden name was Julia COMPTON. She was a Digger Indian. Her home was in Gridley, California. She married an Indian by the name of Looney Rattling GOURD, and came to Oklahoma with him. She was afterward married to my father. After my father's death, she married Dick WALLS. There was one child by this marriage. They were later separated.
I went to the Baptist Mission at Tahlequah for five years. Some of my teachers were Mr. BACONE, Mrs. NEWTON, and Miss ELLIOT, who afterward married J. S. MURROW, a missionary at Atoka. W. P. KING was superintendent at the Baptist Mission. I went to the male seminary at Park Hill two terms, and to Bacone one term.
I was in the army during the Spanish American war, and during the Philippino Insurrection. My army time was three years, seven months, and 21 days.
My great-great-grandfather, John Candy, was a printer, and set type for the first Cherokee Advocate with Samuel Worcester in Tennessee, before it was moved to this country.
I am a printer, and worked for Watie HUDSON when he ran the Tahlequah Arrow. I cam to Muskogee with Gulick and Bishop, when they moved the Tahlequah Times to Muskogee, and consolidated with the paper "The Brother in Red", which business was located south of the old Captain Servers store. There was a large well in front of the print shop in the middle of the street. Some of the first printers in Muskogee were Bill CANUP, Oris MCNEARY, Frank SHERMAN, and Joe RICKARDS, who was the first person that I ever saw that could write shorthand.
J.T. (Jeff) PARKS ran the Tahlequah Telephone (a newspaper) and I worked for him. There was also a side line paper of the Telephone, The Times.
I have been an oil driller in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas, for a number of years. However, I am not working at the present time.
There used to be a cemetery in Tahlequah, between the Ford Agency and the County Superintendent's office. All trace of this grave-yard is gone now. The Lewis Downing grave-yard was where the ax-handle factory now is (east of the county jail). I think that this grave-yard was moved and it is said that when one of the bodies was moved, that it was found on its stomach; indicating that the person was probably buried alive. The Hendricks grave-yard was north-east of the present Northeastern State Normal. There are no stones there now. The first man ever buried in the cemetery at Tahlequah was L. JONES, who killed himself accidentally in a livery barn, while cleaning a pistol. There is no head-stone at his grave.
Archilla Smith was the first man that was hung after the Indians came to this country. The hanging was in Tahlequah.
I was playing marbles when Cornelius BOUDINOT (Editor of the Cherokee Advocate) passed us kids on the way to the Telephone office, where he shot B.H. STONE, Editor of the Telephone. We children tried to get him to stop and play marbles with us (as he did some times) but he said that he was in a hurry. The Telephone office was where the Reed and Culver funeral home now is. The trial was held in Fort Smith under Judge Parker, and Boudinot was cleared.
When I was a boy, a very large panther was killed by Jim HENDRICKS, about where the North- Eastern State Normal now stands.
The first telephone in Oklahoma was from Fort Gibson to Tahlequah. The telephone company was composed of Ed HICKS, Hooley BELL, John STAPLER, and John THOMPSON. The first message over the telephone line was in the Cherokee language.
The printing press that Holden had in Fort Gibson came from Muldrow.
Campbell FINLEY and myself were counting up about two years back, and we counted two-hundred eighty men that had been killed in Tahlequah and vicinity. There were probably many more. Some one was always killed at Christmas time. There was lots of drinking. The men used to joke before Christmas and wonder who would be the next one killed when Christmas time arrived. Everyone carried a pistol. If someone got shot and did not get killed or afterwards die, there was no trial; there were trials only if a man was killed. If one Indian killed another, the trial was held in this country. If a white person were involved, the trial was held in Fort Smith under Judge Parker.
Tahlequah's first mayor was George HUGHES, a white man. Jim NAKEDHEAD was the first chief of police, (he was afterward made an Indian police and killed at Checotah). J. D. WILSON was the first city clerk.
J. A. Lawrence put up the first cotton gin. Among the stores I remember were Johnson Thompson's Bill Johnson's, Stapler's; Walter Evans drugstore, where Crow's drug store now is-there has been a drug store on this corner as long as I can remember; Darius Ward's jewelry store (opened up about fifty years ago, and owned at one time by Watie Hudson); John Carden's meat market; Tom Adair's store; Blue Foreman's store and barber shop; and a bakery, owned by a Dutchman by the name of Weasner. Afterwards this bakery shop sold to George Weams, then to George Brim, and then to Bill Harnage. There were three blacksmith shops; Vic Humphries, (a negro), Tom Trainers and Al Stevenson.
There was a garden, when I was a boy, between Billy Johnson's store and the First National Bank.
The council yard was in the Court House square, in the south-east corner, and the Senate chamber ws in the north-east corner. The two houses were built of logs.
Bullet Foreman had a boarding house, (he was the son of old Johnson Foreman). Puss Woods also had a bording house. Mrs Alberty started the national hotel, when Bushyhead was chief. The name was afterwards changed to the Thompson hotel.
THE PROCTOR BECK FIGHT.
Old man KESTERSON ran the old Helderbrand mill, up on Flint creek, in the Flint district. Kesterson married Zeke PROCTOR's anunt, whose maiden name was BECK. Proctor and Kesterson had an argument at the mill, and Kesterson went upstairs over the mill where he and his wife lived, to get a gun. As he came down stairs, Mrs. Kesterson got in front of him (her husband), and was shot on the stairs by Proctor. The bullet killed her instantly, and wounded Kesterson in the arm. The Becks were furious about Zeke Proctor killing their aunt. While the trial of Zeke Proctor was going on at the Flint court house, the Becks went to Fort Smith and got a warrant for the arrest of Proctor, for shooting Kesterson who was a white man. They came back to the Flint court house with four United States marshals to arrest Proctor. When they arrived at the Court House, the trial was in progress, and Johnson Proctor, (brother of the defendant), went out to talk to the Becks and the Marshals, and upon learning that they had a warrant for the arrest of Zeke, he told them if his brother came clear, they would turn him over to the Becks. Sam Beck said " We are going to take him now". Johnson Proctor walked back to the court house, stopped upon the porch and turned around. Then Sam Beck shot him and the fight started. One of the guards gave Zeke Proctor a gun so that he could take part in the fight. Four Becks were killed in the fight, Bill, Sam, Sutt, and Double-head Bill). Four marshals were killed, also the solicitory, Judge, and two jurymen.
Submitters comments: George Candy's year of birth was hard to read, but it looked liked 1878, if this is wrong please contact me and let me know.
Transcribed and submitted by Lynda B. Canezaro <LBCane@aol.com> 07-2000