Transcribed by G McCall from:


By Luther B. Hill, A. B., With the Assistance of Local Authorities, Volume II, Illustrated, The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago / New York, 1910, Page 151-152

Henry C. Meigs is one of the old settlers of Oklahoma and one of Fort Gibsonís leading farmers. He was born at Park Hill, near Tahlequah, Oklahoma, in 1841. His father, Return J. Meigs, was a native of Tennessee, of English descent. The first member of the family coming to America, by name Vincent Meigs, emigrated from England in 1634, sailing from Weymouth. The family grew very prominent in New England, and among its members were governors, United States generals, and many Revolutionary soldiers. They were also well represented in the war of 1812 and the Civil war; in the latter General Meigs, of the Union army, is a cousin of Henry C. Meigs.

Return J. Meigs married Jane Ross, daughter of Chief John Ross, of the Cherokee Tribe, who was chief for forty years. Mention will be made at length of the career of Chief Ross in the historical portion of this work. After his marriage Mr. Meigs came west with the Ross family and settled at Park Hill. He went into business, but the outlaws of the community in 1845 burned his residence and tried to murder him. He became much dissatisfied with this life, and in 1850 started overland to California. Upon reaching a place sixty miles west of Salt Lake he died of cholera, August 6, 1850; the place of his death is on the ground of the Mountain Meadow Massacre. He left a widow and five children, namely: John R., who served in the Union army and is now deceased; H. C.; Elizabeth Grace, deceased wife of Rufus Ross, who left two children--Gulielma, who married James Davenport, who served a term as member of Congress, and George F.; Submit, deceased, wife of John F. Lyons, also deceased, who left three children, Anna E., of Washington, and William and Charles, of California; and Return R., of Park Hill, a farmer. The widow of R. J. Meigs afterward married Andrew R. Nare, and of this union the children were: Andrew R., of Park Hill, and Henrietta J., wife of William Hunton, of Arkansas, who resides at Park Hill. Mrs. Nare died in June, 1894.

Henry C. Meigs received his education at Park Hill in the Cherokee mission schools and in the Cherokee public schools, and he spent one term in school at Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Since attaining his majority he has spent most of his time in mercantile pursuits. He was for fourteen years deputy postmaster of Fort Gibson, and also served two years as clerk in the district court, including the district circuit and supreme court of the Nation. He was later elected judge of the Illinois district court, trying mostly civil cases where the damage was not in excess of two hundred dollars. He has served several terms as alderman of Fort Gibson, and for one term was acting mayor. He owns a fine farm in the county, and for some years past has spent much time in the interest of its cultivation. He is a prominent man in public and social circles, and universally esteemed. He belongs to Alpha Lodge Number 12, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, has filled all the chairs of the lodge, and for several years has served as treasurer of the lodge. Politically he is independent.

In 1868 Mr. Meigs married Josephine L., daughter of Jerry and Ruth (Fields) Bigelow, and their only child. Her father was robbed and murdered about 1845, and she was left motherless at a tender age. Mr. and Mrs. Meigs have six children living, namely: Carrie Few, wife of Richard C. Adams, of Delaware Nation; Annie S., wife of Frank J. Bandinot, an attorney of Fort Gibson; Robert H., at home; James McDonald; Alice M., and Josephine L. Mrs. Meigs died in 1895. The daughters were members of the Presbyterian church with the exception of Mrs. Adams, who is a Catholic.

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