Biographies


Transcribed by G McCall from:

A HISTORY OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA

By Luther B. Hill, A. B., With the Assistance of Local Authorities, Volume II, Illustrated, The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago / New York, 1910, Page 257

J. H. Eiffert. Distinguished not only as one of the oldest and most venerable residents of Muskogee county, but as on of its earliest settlers, the venerable J. H. Eiffert, of Webbers Falls, is an honored representative of the early pioneers of this section of the Union, and a true type of those brave and hardy men who dared the dangers of frontier life at a time when the risk was great. He was born, in 1814, in South Carolina, where his earlier years were spent. During the Civil war he served four years in the Confederate army, being under the command of Generals Bragg and Johnston, and taking part in many engagements, including those at Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge. He was much of the time an officer in the commissary department, at the close of the war having full charge of that department at Macon, Georgia.

Coming to the Indian Territory in 1868, Mr. Eiffert settle in the Cherokee nation, in what part now included within the boundaries of Webbers Falls, and soon after erected the house in which he now resides. The country roundabout was then in its primitive wilderness, the cane-covered bottom lands giving but scant promise of being developed into the beautiful agricultural regions now everywhere in evidence throughout this section of Oklahoma. The white people were few and very far between. The Starr family, which was one of almost international fame, lived in the territory, and at Webbers Falls the only house in the place was occupied by a Mr. McDaniel. Many of the men in this part of the country were desperate characters, boot-leggers, escaped convicts from the States, unruly negroes and a few Indians. The nearest post office was at Fort Gibson. The mails were not then very heavily loaded, the real citizens of the county, mostly Cherokee half-bloods, having but few correspondents.

Mr. Eiffert married, in Tennessee, Margaret A. W. (Morgan) Hanks, a daughter of Colonel Gideon Morgan, who married Margaret Sevier, a grand-daughter of Governor Sevier, the first governor of Tennessee. Mrs. Eiffert was a widow when he married her, her first husband having been R. T. Hanks, who died in Tennessee. Mr. and Mrs. Eiffert became the parents of two children, namely: Henry and Maud. By her first marriage Mrs. Eiffert had five children, namely; Bettie M., wife of Dr. H. Lindsey, of Texanna, Oklahoma; Calvin J., deceased; Margaret P., widow of Captain W. W. McClelland, who enlisted in the Twenty-ninth Tennessee Volunteer Infantry during the Civil war, and died in the service; Robert T., of Muskogee county; and Gideon M., who was accidentally killed by his horse during the Civil war. Margaret P. Hanks, Mrs. Eiffert’s second daughter, and Captain McClelland were married the day after the battle of Manassas. Subsequently going to the front to nurse her husband when he was ill, both Captain and Mrs. McClelland were taken prisoners by the Union troops, and were confined in the prison at Lebanon, Tennessee, for three months.



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