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Atoka County Indian Territory Newspapers


Published Weekly by The Indian Citizen Publishing Co.

Editors and Proprietors: M. ANTISKE & NORA B. SMISER

Thursday, May 04, 1899


The schools in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations are to be conducted under a new system. Instead of being conducted under and by the tribal governments, according to tribal laws, and run by tribal appointees and paid by tribal officials, they will be managed by the Interior Department of the United States government under a system, formulated by the Secretary of the Interior, identical with or at least quite similar to the system now in use in connection with other Indian schools which are managed by the Interior Department. changes are always attended with friction and delay and they need not be unexpected in this instance.

A Mr. Benedict of Illinois has been appointed Superintendent of Schools for the Indian Territory. Mr. C. E. McArthur comes to us as Supervisor of Schools for the Choctaw Nation, and Mr. John M. Simpson for a similar position in the Chickasaw Nation. Mr. McArthur is said to be an accomplished and up to date practical school man, and we doubt not Mr. Simpson is also. The appointment of these officials relieves the Board of Education of the Choctaw Nation and the school authorities of the Chickasaw Nation of all duties.

They are and will be officially in office, but without duties and without pay. The spirit and letter of equality, equal distribution and equal division which crops out in all of the treaties between the United States and the Choctaws down to and inclusive of the Atoka agreement seems now about to be literally enforced, but it is coming about sooner and in a different way to what was generally expected. The Choctaws anticipated the warning to some extent, and withdrew the scholars from the States. Acting upon the same theory and foresight they could reason that lighting would strike the boarding schools, unless there was a belief that there would be enough school funds to place all Choctaw children in boarding schools.

The school funds being common property and belonging to all members of the nation alike and equally, and having been declared to be so by treaty, by agreement and by law, the Secretary will have to distribute them equally for the benefit of the Choctaw children of school age. One who has no children of school age may complain that his share of the funds is being diverted and is going to others; the answer to that is, education of the youth is a public charge, a public necessity, and a public benefit.

In our opinion the boarding schools will not be opened again, except they shall be opened under rental or lease contracts to private parties, authorized by Choctaw legislation, to be conducted as private schools.

As to the orphan schools the case is quite different. Public enlightened sentiment everywhere makes the maintenance and education of dependent orphans a public responsibility, and the Choctaws and Chickasaws will not form an exception to the rule, unless the Secretary of the Interior should determine that orphans are not entitled to the exception.

Under this outline the impression must follow of course that the orphan schools and the neighborhood schools are the only ones which will be run under the new system.

We can further safely assume that the superintendent, teachers and other employees of the orphan schools, and the principals and teachers of the neighborhood schools will be selected under the new system.

The General Superintendent and the Supervisors of schools will be required to have everything done in 'apple pie' order, according to modern methods and satisfactory to them.

A new system, new men and new ideas must be expected to bring many changes. The atmosphere and spirit of the times are surcharged with change. If the new officials get the neighborhood schools opened up on the first Monday in September next under the new system they will have to hustle and rustle in the mean time.

Those who are looking for employment in those schools should begin early to find out the required standards and rules they must measure up to.

If the new system shall be attended with less expense, prompter payments, and better results, the effect will be extenuating.

The less expense is promising, the prompter payments have not materialized yet, and the better results will be awaited with anxiety.

Both Sides

In solving the townsite problems the commission has a double, a two-sided duty, justice to the non-citizens and to the Indian and his interest. This is the Indians heritage--the estate of the Red man to be equally divided between the descendants, the heirs.This landed estate being larger than the heirs could made use of, the white man drifted in, agreed with the heirs, the legal owners, to pay them certain amounts for the privilege of, just living on or having use of certain portions of this land.

On one Indians ground number of settlers came and located, each one paying this man a sum, agreed upon by those two, "for right of occupancy," only; for this one heir could not "sell" any portion of the estate until the "equal division" of the whole or "allotment" to each his portion, was agreed upon by all the heirs. These settlers know all this and upon these conditions a town grew. Does the fact of a town growing upon a portion of an estate lesson the value of that portion to its legal heirs? Because a man has allowed another man to live upon his property and charged him rent__(another term for right to occupancy in this instance)__does that lessen the value of the land to the owner, when the renter wishes to purchase the rented part and to secure to himself a fee simple title?

The owner has received only a compensation for usage of land, and if the renter wasn't being profited by remaining he was free to go elsewhere to fields of clover. The towns in this Territory have been built upon portions of the Red man's estate, which were under control of individual heirs to use, have and hold as a home; but with no right to sell one inch. the town residents bought the right of occupancy, for a time, knowing the uncertainties attending the final settling to this estate, and knowing all title to land was held in common and owned by the Nation. The great day has come, the latest and new Testament of the Choctaw people is known as the Atoka Agreement.

In the framing of this, the U. S. Government sent its representatives here, the Dawes Commission, and the Choctaw Nation had her representatives, This body of men, each true to his party, with common justice to all, finally signed the Atoka Agreement as being the best and most just measure that could be obtained or arrived at for the good of all.

The non-citizens were represented by the Dawes commission and their rights looked after. The United States Congress ratified it and surely a congress of the United States citizens would not have ratified an Agreement with town site provisions which were hard, unjust and against it own representatives living here. these facts are old to all, but even yet you hear men say, "I don't think I should pay twice for a lot. Why did you rent the right of occupancy? You knew you were not getting a fee-simple title, and at some future day, if you wanted one, would of necessity have to buy it. The Nation did not agree to accept rent as installments upon a fee-simple title. If you paid $100.00 for right of occupancy, it not a fee-simple title worth 62 1/2 percent additional? Would you not pay more for a homestead than you would for rent? Whose land is this any how? A high system of rent naturally indicates a high "market value" of same property.


The Townsite commission is rather at a standstill this week, waiting for their previous work to be approved by the Secretary of the Interior, and to be furnished with materials to work with, office fixtures, and furniture. They will commence work at Cale and Colbert because they are small towns whose close location to each other gives the Choctaw and Chickasaw Commissions opportunity to work in conjunction and , according to instructions, make their work uniform and be benefited one by the other. At present there will be not general office, because only one set of officers and field men is furnished and the commission is instructed to begin and complete a town before leaving ti. No decision has been made as to the next town they will work. Some of these red hot, booming towns will have time to cool off before their turn will come, and th frost of fall may nip in the bud some of the now promising schemes.


Mr. BENEDICT, School superintendent for the Territory, arrived in Atoka Tuesday to look into the management of the Baptist Academy here and arrange to secure back pay for work done about a year ago, and authorize a continuance of this school work. Mr. Benedict called at our office and is a most thorough gentleman of a frank, honest manner, and has very practical and common sense ideas about the school system here. He says the way is rough and for a time all that can be done is to look into the situation and open up a way or plan. He holds a new view as to the policy of the government toward the academies or National Boarding Schools. They will most likely be continued with these changes, viz: the parents will be required to clothe their children, and the primary branches of departments excluded and confined to the neighborhood schools. At present there are more primary pupils at the academies than advanced ones. Confining this work to the neighborhood schools will be a means of building them up, and then higher and better work can be done by the academies. Mr. Benedict has a wide experience and deep interest in educational work, and is a fine man for our work. He has visited all the boarding schools in the Nation except Armstrong, to which place he will go from here.


Atoka has the best location on the M. K. & T. between Muskogee and Dinison. She is the only town on this road that is favorably located upon a water course, the only town that can have sewerage, the only town located to accommodate and supply water for a steam mill and a fine location for a cotton gin. Protected from cyclones by mountains on the north, northeast and northwest, but open to all the balmy south breezes which make our summer nights like the California climate. Atoka is the town to come to. Bring your business interest here an also your family's best interest will be in good keeping___safe, comparatively speaking.

Some visitors in Atoka said to us last week, "Why don't you build Ewing a good roomy house on a better location? A house that has the reputation his has is a big thing to a town, and you ought to stir this matter up." Now we will give this as a first stir. Who will give the next?


Isaac HAAS, the fur dealer, was in Talihina last week and informed The News man that the long expected has happened, and that on the 16th instant he was married to Miss Ida STEERS, of Dallas, Texas. Mr. Haas will make his home at Antlers in future.__The News extends congratulations.

The above we clip from the Talihina News. For some time we have been on a look out for an announcement of this event, and our only regret is the briefness and lack of detail in the above. Mr. Isaac HAAS is a well known man throughout this country. Only one reputation follows him, and that one is the very best. He is a fine business man and has accumulated quite an independent foundation upon which to build a home and offer a wife a share of this together with his name and affections. Being a man of years and means, he is that much more competent to protect and care for a helpmeet.

Miss Ida STEERS lived in our town for several years and attended school at the Baptist Academy. She was highly esteemed and much beloved by all who knew her. She is a self-made young woman, industrious, of domestic tastes and well worth the choice she has made. Our best wishes for their prosperity, happiness and journey through life are tendered them.

The Choctaws are most fortunate in the choice of the new officials for schools and townsites, sent here by the United States Government. They are all fine, first class men.

Washington Letter.

Washington, D. C. April 29, 1899.

The question of directing the appraisement of the lands of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations to be begun as soon as practicable is now before the Interior Department. There are more lands in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations than in all the balance of the Indian Territory put together. There is more contiguity of lands to railroads and towns, and more of useful and valuable timber and minerals in and on the lands, and a greater variety of lands as to fertility, than any where else in the Indian Territory. These things add to the importances of difficulty of the appraisement and make the time necessary to do the work longer in proportion.

And besides these things the Atoka agreement requires more care in the execution of its provisions as to appraisement of the lands than is found anywhere else. The lands are not to be put into grades or classes with iron clad values on those grades; but they are to be valued on their respective merits.__To say that lands which are now, or will be as soon as individual titles can be had to them, worth from $25.00 to $40.00, shall be knocked off to certain fortunate individuals at $5.00 per acre, and at the same time fix such values on other lands where the increase in value will be less in proportion as the other lands are less fertile, is to work the grossest inequality under the forms of law and under promise of fairness. These lands should have their actual values placed upon them, and the more fertile the lands are, the more the values should be pressed to the limit.


Joe SLET or SELF and wife spent Monday in Atoka. Commissioner G. T. RALLS took in the K. P. banquet at Vinita this week.

Rev. J. S. MURROW and wife returned from a trip to South McAlester last Tuesday.

Mr.and Mrs. D. N. ROBB went up to Muskogee last week and returned home Monday on the Flyer.

Jim PATE and Walter CLOWER returned from the Chickasaw Nation last Saturday.

Mrs. C. E. CULBERSON and children are the guest of Mr. B. F. ROGERS and family this week.

Martin CHARLESTON, Edmond BILLY, Taylor DURANT, and Isaac BURRIS, were among the many Choctaws in town Monday.

Miss Anna RATHBURN was the guest of Mrs. CLAPPER Sunday. Miss Rathburn is quite a favorite with the young men of Atoka.

The claim of Sir John HILESWECK of Atoka Camp W. O. W. for $1000.00 has been approved and will be paid to his widow, Mrs. Eula HILESWECK, at Ashley, Illinois.

Mrs. Dr. LOOMIS of Wapanucka came in Friday to meet her husband wo was returning from the north. During her short stay in Atoka, Mrs. Loomis was the guest of Mrs. Fulton.

Dr. Laura Davis leaves on the Flyer today for Kansas City where she expects to remain about two months attending lectures. Her practice has built up so here, she is contemplating employing an assistant.

Alex Haas and W. A. McAlester went to Vinita on Monday's Flyer to attend the Territorial K. P. [???] there. Alex went as representative from the Atoka Lodge and McAlester from the Lehigh Lodge.

Little Marie Davis voluntarilly decided she did not want to go to Kansas City with her mother, bt wanted to stay with Miss Ellen Rice. Miss Ellen came in Tuesday and today left for hre home, taking little Marie with her.
We are endebted to Miss Ellen Rice for a beautiful boqut of spring flowrs she brought us last Friday. The flowers in their sweetness and beauty remind us of the simplicity and purity possessed by the attractive donor.

R. M. COFFER of Lehigh was in our office the first.

Mocha Java coffee, former price 35 cents now 25 cents at D. N. Robb & Co.

The Ladies Pioneer Club met at the home of Mrs. G. A. Pate last Tuesday. They had an interesting program, a profitable meeting and a full atendance. Mrs. J. G. Ralls being the only absent member and her absence was on account of sickness. Mrs. Pate served most delicious refreshments and her kind genial nature wlcomes all to her threshold.

Miss Mamie PHILLIPS returned from her Shawnee trip last Monday

The Katy Flyer is on again much to the delight and convenience of all travelers.

J. G. ALLEN of Oconee was in our town Monday and remembered THE CITIZEN substantially.

A. M. MERRILL has had charge of the telephone office at the Hodges house for the last ten days.

Capt. Chas. LaFLORE, accompanied by his handsome wife, spend Monday in Atoka. Mrs. LaFlore was here consulting with Dr. J. S. Fulton.

Typhoid fever and all kindred ailments prevented and cured by the use of Beggs' Little Giant Pills. We keep them, Jno. M. HODGES.

Miss Belle MARSHAL will conduct the B. Y. P. U. service Sunday evening next. All are welcome to attend. Subject, Patient Continuance is well doing, Roman 2: 1-11.

Judge John HARRISON did not hold court last Monday as his little daughter, who is attending school in Dinison, was quite ill. He came up on the north bound Flyer to notify those in attendance at court of the circumstances; but returned on the south bound Flyer an hour or so afterwards.

Dr. John A. STERRETT of the Townsite Commission spent sunday with the family of B. S. SMISER; and to be assured that he is an all round Christian gentleman of broad intelligence, wide and varied experiences, governed by a keen sense of justice tempered by charity, you have but to know him. Making his acquaintance was a source of pleasure and gratification to each member of the family.

The boys in town gave a picnic in the "Atoka Park" last Thursday evening. They served refreshments and afforded an enjoyable evening to all present. We are very grateful for their kindness in extending us an invitation and sorry 'tis seldom possible for us to accept these courtesies. We fuly appreciate "being remembered" in any event. About fifty gathered to participate in the joys and pass times of the evening.

Failing to agree upon a contract with Mr. HODGES for the Hodges house, Captain and Mrs. WADE went up to South McAlester last week in answer to a telegram from Col. SORRELLS who was anxious to secure them to take charge of the commercial House at that point. This week finds Captain and Mrs. Wade at the Hodges house in full charge. South McAlester has tried hard to get Atoka's hotel managers, first, Mr. and Mrs. Ewing and soon as they learned that Mrs. Wade was in Atoka contracting for the Hodges house, here came a telegram to get her to south town. Atoka has them both yet and expects to keep them. Business men who have been on a dead level rush and routine to work all week, delight to strike Atoka for sunday and her quiet, peaceful atmosphere. Good hotels, good schools, and good churches, good people you strike in Atoka. There is to a device of evil to tempt at every corner. We expect Mr. Hodges is fixed to make about as good a contract as Col. SORRELLS and we know he will do as much toward the up building of Atoka as the colonel will for South town. we have naught against the progress of South town; but we are more praticulary zealous and interested in Atoka's general good and growth.

The U. S. District court is in session at South Cagester and Muskogee this week.

Jimmie RICE is again able to be up and about after quite a succession of misfortunes. We hope he is done with such experiences for a while.

Parties desiring to locate a gin in Atoka, will do well to see John M. HODGES, as he has a location, building and some machinery he will sell at a bargain.

Fifteen negroes came down on train No. 3 Monday night, they were met at the depot by several guards armed with Winchesters, and carried to Lehigh in wagons. They will take the places of the striking miners there.

Rev. Joseph MURROW from Atlanta, Ga. is the guest of his cousin Mrs. W. A McBRIDE. Rev Murrow was an operator, but became impressed with the desire "to tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love," and went to the Baptist Bible school at Louisville about two or three years ago. He has fitted himself to undertake his new work and desires to locate in the Territory. He preached at the Baptist church Sunday morning and night and we are informed is a fine speaker, a good thinker with an altogether pleasing style. He will move his wife and son six years old, out here as soon as he selects a location.

The friends and patrons of Miss Ann L. MOORE'S music class enjoyed a treat at the music room of the Academy last Tuesday night. the program consisted of the best selection__the music which speaks to the inner, better nature and calls forth noble, elevating and refining thought or reflection. Between parts first and second of the program delicious lemonade and flakes were passed by the Choctaw girls. The last but by no means the least pleasant surprise in store for the audience was having Mr. BENEDICT, the school superintendent for the Indian Territory there; and being favored by a brief, yet wholesome and popular talk by him.

Harry SMITH gave his little friends and schoolmates quite a treat last Monday. It was a birthday anniversary, and he invited about two dozen boys and girls to come and have fun after which they could enjoy refreshments. Mrs. SMITH, Mrs.SISSON, Miss HORNEY, and Miss WILLIS went with the children to a nice cool nook in the woods and there they played, had real fun as children should; after which they spread a nice picnic supper and made ice cream. All the children enjoyed themselves innocently and beneficially and returned home just tired enough to sleep sound and dream of their childlike and innocent amusements. Keep the children childlike as long as possible, for care and responsibility upon young shoulder is a sad mistake.



Where as it has been the will of the All wise God to remove from among us our devoted friend and highly esteemed charter member and first Banker of the Atoka Camp, Woodman of the World, No. 82, sovereign John HILSEWECK. And whereas we always found him willing to lend a helping hand to the upbuilding of Atoka Camp, always responding to duty willingly and a true sovereign and companion at all times;

Therefore be it resolved:

That we as sovereigns of Atoka Woodsmen of the World, bow in humble submission to the Devine will, cherishing the hope that we will meet him again;

That we deeply sympathize with his wife and friends in their sad bereavement and herein extend to them our sincere condolence.

That those resolutions be spread upon the minutes of our Camp, a copy of the same be furnished The Indian Citizen for publication, and also a copy to Mrs. Eula HILSEWECK, the widow of our deceased friend and brother.

A. Telle
J. H. Chambers
W. R. Wade