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 152-153

F. H. Nash, the largest general merchant in Fort Gibson, was born in Louisiana in 1837, and received his education in New Orleans. His father, N. H. Nash, was a native of Massachusetts, who came to Louisiana when a young man. The family emigrated from England in the seventeenth century and settle in Massachusetts, and the grandfather of F. H. Nash served in the war of the Revolution. N. H. Nash died in 1854, at Van Buren, Arkansas, whither he had moved in 1852. He married Sarah J. Smelser, of German parentage, in Louisiana, and they reared the following children: F. H.; Augustine, widow of Ephraim Whitman, of Massachusetts; William S., who died leaving a widow in Fort Gibson; twins, Alfred and Albert, the former of whom died in infancy; Florence, wife of Connell Rodgers, the present treasurer of Muskogee county; and Clara, wife of John D. Curtis, of Massachusetts. Albert served in the Confederate army and was killed at Vicksburg, Mississippi, in 1863.

F. H. Nash removed to Van Buren, Arkansas, in 1853, having completed his education, and in August of the same year removed to Fort Gibson, of which city he is now the oldest white inhabitant. On his arrival the place was one of the most quiet country towns he had ever visited, and he was first employed by the sutler of the army post. He had a personal acquaintance with every commander of the post from the time of his arrival until the post was removed in 1858; it was returned eight years later and re-established. Among the most prominent of his acquaintances before the Civil war were: H. M. Black, now United State quartermaster; General William L. Coble, of Dallas, Texas; Colonel Pitcairn Morrison; Captain Henry Little; Colonel Ed Brooks, who afterwards served in the Confederate army; Lieutenant Henry, who was cashiered in 1856 and afterward went to Nicaragua in the Walker Expedition; and many others whose names he cannot now recall, but among whom was General Baxton Bragg, who afterward joined the Confederate army. Conditions in the community during the war were exceedingly disturbing, and Mr. Nash says a person was not safe outside the garrison. The Cherokee Indians divided, the half-bloods going into the Confederate army and full blood Indians into the Union army, thus causing much discord and strife. Mr. Nash served a short time in the Confederate army as aide de camp to Colonel Cooper, and arrived at the battle of Pea Ridge too late to participate. In 1864 Mr. Nash formed a partnership with Lewis and W. P. Ross and D. H. Ross, sutlers for the Third Indian Regiment, and this business was conducted until the close of the war. After the troops were disbanded Mr. Nash resumed mercantile business. Beginning with a small capital, by hard work and patience he was able to augment it until he had a very nice and profitable business. In 1874 he met with misfortune, and engaged in farming for several years. In 1887 he opened his present establishment, carrying a line of dry goods, clothing, boots and shoes, hardware, saddlery, and a full line of groceries; he has been very successful and does an annual business amounting to some seventy-five thousand dollars. During the years between 1880 and 1890 the James and Younger boys and Cherokee outlaws made frequent forays into Fort Gibson, and on two separate occasions robbed the store and cash drawers of Mr. Nash, taking a large amount each time; they did not, however, offer personal violence to any of the firm. He was met and known the most famous outlaws of the surrounding country in earlier days.

Mr. Nash is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Alpha Lodge Number 12; is a member of the Royal Arch Masons, Muskogee Chapter Number 3, as well as Muskogee Council Number 2 and Muskogee Commandery Number 1, and is a thirty-second degree Mason of the Southern Jurisdiction, United States. He became a member of the order at Leavenworth, in King Solomon Lodge Number 10, 1860. For there years, 1885, 1886 and 1889 Mr. Nash was grand master for the territory; this caused him to travel over the entire state. His sons, F. H., Jr., and L. R., are both members of the blue lodge, and the latter is a member of the Scottish Rite, the thirty-second degree in the order. Politically Mr. Nash is a Democrat, and in 1908 took advantage of the first opportunity to vote for the president of the United States. In contradiction to his political affiliations but in accord with his best judgment he cast his vote for William H. Taft.

In 1862 Mr. Nash married (first) Fannie R. Vann, a native of Muskogee county, and daughter of James S. and Araminta (Ross) Vann, her mother a daughter of Lewis Ross of the Cherokee Nation. She was a member of the Methodist church, South. Of this marriage three children were born, namely: Louis R., a druggist in Fort Gibson; Harraden F., deceased; and Ida V., wife of R. E. Coleman, of Fort Gibson. Mrs. Nash died in 1873. Mr. Nash married (second) in 1874, Lucy Morgan, daughter of Andrew L. Rodgers, an adopted citizen who had come from Georgia. The Morgans were relatives of the famous Morgan family of Kentucky. Of this marriage the children were: Fannie E., Francis A., F. H., Jr., Lucy M., Corinne, Hilda, Clarence E. (deceased) and Edwin O. Mrs. Nash died December 28, 1890. Mr. Nash and his family are all members of the old school Presbyterian church. In 1862 Mr. Nash was adopted a citizen of the Nation.

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