Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date: June 17, 1937
Name: Andrew J. Langley
Post Office: Westville, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: 1860
Place of Birth: Georgia
Father: Andrew J. Langley
Place of Birth: Georgia
Information on father: Came to Cherokee Nation, I.T., in 1893
Mother: Naomi Hide
Place of birth:
Information on mother: She was white
Field Worker: W. J. B. Bigby
Andrew J. Langley, a one thirty-second Cherokee, was born in the state of Georgia in 1860. His father, Andrew J. Langley, was a Cherokee citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Georgia. His mother, Naomi HIDE, was a white woman. He has one sister in Georgia. Langley's folks were of the few Cherokees that remained in the East after the Removal in 1838. The Langley family came to the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma in 1893.
The family settled on Ballard Creek about four miles north of the town of Westville. They rented a farm the first few years at this community from an old Cherokee named George KETCHER. Later they bought a small farm for themselves in this same community.
Among the Old Timers that lived in this community at that same time are George Ketcher, Tom MORRIS and Jim RUSSELL. This country was not thickly settled.
Farming was the chief occupation among the people at that time. Langley operated about an eighty acre farm located in the Baptist Mission Community.
Wheat, corn and oats were the principal crops then. Corn was the most raised. There were mostly fullblood Cherokees lived here then. The machinery was not very well known in this country then. Most of the tools used was home-made. Ox teams were still used.
Trading and Milling Points
Siloam Springs, Arkansas, was the chief trading point for the people in this part of the country. This town was about fifteen miles to the north of us. Cincinnati was another trading point which was a lot nearer than Siloam Springs, only it was a small place. This town was only eight miles away. There was a big mill located at Cincinnati at that time. A Mr. MOORE was the operator of the mill. There were three stores at Cincinnati. One was operated by a Mr. CRAIG, who at the present time operates a store at Westville. Bill RAY was also an early day merchant at Cincinnati. A grist mill was located on the Illinois River near the Proctor Ford, about three miles north of where the town of Watts is now.
Another mill was located on Flint Creek in Delaware District. Most of the fullbloods went to this mill on the Illinois River. Zeke PROCTOR, later a notorious outlaw, owned a farm in that community. At that time Zeke was a well respected person. He was a successful farmer it is said.
The fullbloods were not in favor of the railroads. The Kansas City Southern came through the Goingsnake District the next year after the Langleys came to the Territory.
The Cherokees at the time the Langleys came to this country were doing well. Every family had a good living. Everything was owned in common. A person could claim a certain portion of a country, stake it off, or mark it by blazing the trees. He would not be molested by another Cherokee for a quarter of a mile on each side. But the Langleys came too late to do that, so they had to rent the land that they cultivated.
The Baptist Mission was already a well established church when the Langleys came to the Indian Territory. This place was also used for a Mission school for Cherokee children.
The old timers who lived near this place were Bill CROWDER, Adam LACIE, an old Cherokee preacher, Mr. Bushyhead and several other old Cherokees.
Mr. Langley was acquainted with several United States Marshals during that time. Among these were Tom JOHNSON of Fayetteville, Mr. BRUNER of Siloam Springs, and Mr. COPELAND. He does not know where he lived.
He was living in this community when Wash LEE was killed by the GRANT boys sometimes called DUNOWOSS Boys. They were twin brothers. The boys were tried and convicted for this murder and they were hung. Wash Lee was a former sheriff of Goingsnake District.
Transcribed and submitted by Wanda Morris Elliott <firstname.lastname@example.org> April 2000