Lost In Time: The First Ladies of the Choctaw Nation, from 1857 – 1907 statehood

In 1857, when the first principal chief was elected, up until Oklahoma statehood in 1907, eighteen Choctaw Chiefs held office during the time period  Plus the eighteen First Ladies who stood by their side; even more if you count the multiple marriages.

How much do we know about these women who were married to these eighteen men? How many of the photos do you recognize? Stay tuned as we find out about these women who are truly “Lost In Time”.

1857 Alfred Wade A-Ho-Yo-Te-Ma (adopted name Nancy Dukes), who died in February 1860. See her Memorial Page, Wadesville Cemetery.

To learn more, read my blog At The Edge of the Wilderness.

1858 Tandy Walker His wife was Cillen Krebs, daughter of Placide Krebs and Rebecca Folsom. She died in 1884. See her Memorial Page, Skullyville Cemetery.

To learn more, read my blog Choctaw First Lady: Cillen Krebs Walker.

1859 Basil LeFlore First wife: Narcissa‘Nancy’ Fisher, who died in 1852; sister of Osborne Fisher.

Second wife: Martha Bacon, who died at the beginning of the Civil War

Third wife: Caroline Gooding, daughter of the sutler George Gooding at Fort Towson military fort. They were married Feb 7, 1863 at Fort Towson, where Mr. LeFlore was managing the commissary for the soldiers. See her Memorial Page, Goodland Cemetery

To learn more, read my blog: A Sutler’s Daughter

1860-1861 George Hudson Unknown; one surviving daughter, Nancy Hudson Watson, who died before enrollment; for her son, Rampsey Watson, see Enrollment Card #785. Further information at MY CHOCTAW FAMILY.
1862-1863 Samuel Garland His wife was Mary Pitchlynn, daughter of the interpreter Major John Pitchlynn and Sophia Folsom, and younger sister of Chief Peter Pitchlynn. She died in 1886; see her Memorial Page, Garland Family Cemetery.

See my blog THE*PITCHLYNN*SISTERS. Besides Mary Garland, the four other sisters were:

  • Rhoda Pitchlynn Howell (1814-1911), buried Howell Cemetery – Memorial and photo.
  • Eliza Anna Cornelia Pitchlynn Harris (1818-1860), buried Harris Mill Cemetery – Memorial Page.
  • Elizabeth Pitchlynn Harris (1820-1890), buried Antlers Cemetery – Memorial Page.
  • Keziah Pitchlynn Poland (1824-1859), buried Garland Cemetery – Memorial Page.
1864-1865 Peter Pitchlynn First wife: Rhoda Folsom, youngest daughter of the Englishman Nathaniel Folsom and a Choctaw woman, Aiahnichih Ohoyo. Rhoda died in 1844 in Mississippi.

Second wife: Caroline Matilda Eckloff, widow of the tailor Francis Lombardi, of Washington, D.C. She died in 1894; see her Memorial Page, Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C.

1866-1867 Allen Wright His wife was the evangelist Harriet Newell Mitchell, of Scotch-Irish descent. She died in 1894; see her Memorial Page, Boggy Depot Cemetery; includes her photo.

To learn more, read my blog The Missing Obituary

1870-1873 William Bryant Unknown; there is very little information about Chief Bryant and his family ties. For a daguerreotype of a young William Bryant, see my blog on The Pitchlynn Sisters, which also discusses early types of photography.
1874-1878 Coleman Cole First wife: Unknown; she and two children died in Mississippi before he left in 1844.

Second wife: Abbie; she passed away Sep 1878, at the end of Chief Cole’s term – no surviving children; According to historian Peter Hudson, Cole had a grandson Logan Cole (father Nicholas), who died before 1910; see his Dawes Card #1839. Logan’s children: Sampson Cole, A WWI veteran; Johnson Cole Felihkatabbee; and Caroline Cole Horton.

1878-1879 Isaac Levi Garvin First wife: Unknown

Second wife: Melvina Miashambi, daughter of Capt. Miashambi (from Peter Hudson’s account of the Choctaw Chiefs.); she died before the Dawes Census Rolls.

1880-1881 Jackson F. McCurtain First Wife: Marie Riley, sister of Judge James Riley, one of the Choctaw delegates to Washington for the Treaty of 1866.

Second wife: Jane Frances Austin, daughter of Lewis Austin and Mollie Webster. She died in 1925; see her Memorial Page, Tuskahoma Cemetery, including several photos.

To learn more about her life, read my blog BIG*LOVE.

1884-1885 Edmund A. McCurtain First wife: Susan King, daughter of McKee King (a son of Chief Musholatubbee) and Ou-tim-ho-ya (Eliza Folsom). She died in 1876; see her Memorial Page, Rock Creek Cemetery.

Second wife: Harriet Austin, sister of Jane McCurtain; she died in 1880, burial place unknown.

Third wife: Clarissa LeFlore, who was remarried to Russ Vance. She was the daughter of Israel LeFlore. She died in 1915; see her Memorial Page, San Bois Cemetery; includes a photo.

1886-1887 Thompson McKinney Unknown; at his death in 1889 at Wilburton [per Peter Hudson], two children were taken to an orphanage in Atoka, with Jackson James appointed as their guardian.
1888-1889 Benjamin Smallwood First wife: Sinai LeFlore. One known child, Daniel, who died 1898 [before enrollment].

Second wife: Annie Burney, a Chickasaw, who died in 1863; seven children, of which five are known. See blog The Four Daughters of Choctaw Chief B. F. Smallwood about their daughters: Lorinda, Mary Jane, Amelia, and Elmira.

Third wife: Mary Abigail ‘Abbie’ James, daughter of Benjamin James, who later married Judge Charles S. Vinson, Atoka in 1892.

1890-1893 Wilson N. Jones First wife, Rachel Pickens, daughter of Edmund Pickens. She died in 1855; see her Memorial Page.

Second wife, Louisa LeFlore, daughter of Thomas LeFlore and Sukey Pusley. She died in 1864; see her Memorial Page, Jones Cemetery.

Third wife Eliza Bell Hastings, who later married W. H. Ainsworth and died in 1918; see her Memorial Page, Gethsemane (Caddo) Cemetery.

1894-1895 Jefferson Gardner Several wives with vague details; here is the best I could assemble…

First wife: Lucinda James, who died in 1863.

Second wife: Lucy Christy, daughter of Joe Christy. She died in 1882.

Third wife: Julia Judy Christy, daughter of Joe Christy. She died in 1897.




Green McCurtain First wife: Martha Ann Ainsworth; after one child, they divorced and she was remarried to Thomas Drennon Ainsworth. She died in 1904; see her Memorial Page, Skullyville Cemetery; includes several photos.
Second wife: Rhoda Folsom, daughter of Rev. Willis Folsom. She died in 1874, leaving one child.

Third wife: Kitty Spring, daughter of John Spring. She died in 1934; see her Memorial Page, San Bois Cemetery; includes a photo.

1900-1901 Gilbert Wesley Dukes First wife: Angeline Wade, daughter of Chief Albert Wade. She died in 1870.

Second wife: Isabelle Woods, daughter of Horace Woods, originally from Massachusetts but adopted by the Choctaws, and Sarah Nowahoke. She died in 1922; see her Memorial Page, Old Talihina Cemetery; includes several photos.

Stay tuned for more!

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