|EXCERPTS FROM AN UNPUBLISHED MANUSCRIPT OF THELMA NOLEN CORNFELD BEFORE HER DEATH IN 1996.
BERRYHILL FAMILY, Richmond, Jefferson, Jasper, Pike, Montgomery Cos. GA,
Chambers, Tallapoosa, Randolph Cos. AL, Mecklenburg Co. NC, Creek Nation (OK),
Nacogdoches, Rusk Cos. TX, Amite? Co. MS: The Story of JOHN BERRYHILL and ELIZABETH DERRISAW and Their Descendants
Elizabeth (Self) Bridges died in Van Zandt County, Texas, in 1871, leaving her
four little girls orphans. The youngest, Lucy, was to become the mother of my
dad, Jesse James Nolen.
Okmulgee, Indian Territory 1896
Statement of BETTIE MCCAUGHAN after being duly sworn ---
What is your name? Bettie McCaughan. Where do you live? Checotah. In what nation
is Checotah situated? In the Creek Nation. What was your mother's name?
ELIZABETH SELF. Was that her maiden name? Yes sir. My grandmother was a
BERRYHILL. What nationality was your father? He was not an Indian. I base my
claim to citizenship from my mother. Did your mother have any sisters or
brothers? She had two brothers. Who were they? Buck Self and John Self. So you
are a descendant of a sister of Buck and John Self? Yes sir. How much Indian
blood had your mother? She had 1/4. How much Indian blood do you think you have?
1/8. My mother had two sisters that I know of and don't know whether she had any
more or not. Are they alive? One is alive and other one is dead. Where does your
mother's sister live? In Texas. How many children have you. 3. How many sisters
have you? I have two, one of them is here and the other one is in Texas. What
are their names? LUCY NOLEN and LOUISA LASATER. Which one is present? LUCY
NOLEN. Has she any children? SUSAN, BOB, JESSIE, SAM and BILLY. What are the
names of your children? TOM, NELLIE and MAMIE. Are you and Lucy full sisters?
Yes sir. Have you any grand children? No neither of us have any grand children.
W. B. SELF being duly sworn as follows:
Do you know BETTY MCCAUGHAN and LUCY NOLEN? They are both nieces of mine. Their
mother was born in this nation this side of the Ark. River about 5 or 6 miles
from where Muskogee now stands. What was their mother's name? Elizabeth. Were
these their only children? No there is another sister in Texas but I have
forgotten her name. Is she married and got children? She is married and has
children but I don't know how many. Have Lucy and Bettie any children? Yes. How
many has each? One has 3 and I wont be positive but I think the other has four
or five. How much Indian blood have Lucy and Bettie? They are 1/8. Where is your
home? 20 or 20 odd miles from here - 10 miles S.E. of Sapulpa. What is the ages
of Bettie and Lucy? One is 35-36 and the other is younger about 32 or 34. Is
their mother living? No she is dead. Where are applicants living? Checotah.
TOBI BERRYHILL being duly sworn testified as follows:
ELIZABETH SELF was a citizen of the Muskogee Nation. She was a Creek on her
mother's side. Did you know Elizabeth? I Never saw her. There were BUCK OR W. B. SELF, JOHN
SELF AND LUCINDA SELF all brothers and sisters. Do you know these applicants? I
know them now. My father used to correspond with these people before he died and
I was acquainted with them thru this correspondence when they came here. Did
Elizabeth live in the Creek Nation? She was born in the Creek Nation and moved
to La. [Louisiana]. And where was Buck Self? He also lived here around about the
Agency and went away. I think to La. Then you don’t know that these are the
children of Elizabeth? No I would not say for certain because I was not present
when they were born - putting what I have always heard about them in the
correspondence I spoke of and what they told me when they came have reason to
believe they are the same children and are children of Elizabeth.
SOLOMON MCINTOSH being duly sworn:
I knew Buck Self’s sister. What was her name? Mahala. Where was she born? She was
born in the Old Country. Was she the only sister Buck Self had? There were 3 of
them. I don't know their names. Did you know Elizabeth? I believe one of them
was name Elizabeth. It has been so long I have forgot their names. There were
ELIZABETH, SALLIE AND MAHALA. I knew them. Was Elizabeth’s mother Indian? She was
part Indian. How much Indian blood had Elizabeth? I don’t know how much but she
was of Creek blood. Did she have any children? No she had none then. Did you
ever hear that she had any children? No she went away from here and I never
heard. Then you don’t know whether these are children of hers or not? No.
LUCY ELLISON BRIDGES
Lucy Ellison (Bridges) McCoy
Lucy Ellison (Bridges) McCoy, Nolen
Lucy Ellison (Bridges) McCoy, Nolen, Sividge
Lucy Ellison Bridges was born in Van Zandt County, Texas, 10 December 1860. She
was the fifth and last child born to Ellison Walker and Elizabeth (Self)
Bridges. Lucy grew up in the Wills Point area. When Lucy was three years old her
father, Ellison Walker Bridges, died in the Civil War. Lucy's mother, Elizabeth
(Self) Bridges, died in Van Zandt County, when Lucy was ten years old. After her
mother's death, Lucy lived with her Aunt Fannie Johnson. Aunt Fannie was Lucy's
father's youngest sister, Frances Talithia (Bridges) Anderson, Johnson.
Lucy Bridges grew up with her three cousins, Felix Walker Anderson (Fannie's son
by her first husband) and John Ellison Johnson and Susan Mary Frances Johnson
(Fannie's children by her second husband).
Lucy, in her older years, lived with her son, Jess Nolen, and his family. Lucy
told her grandchildren many stories of her childhood. Lucy talked of her cousin
Felix, and her cousin, Lydia, who was the daughter of Fannie's and Ellison's
brother, Jefferson Bridges and his wife, Lucinda (Self) Bridges. Since Ellison
Bridges and Jefferson Bridges had married sisters, Elizabeth Self and Lucinda
Self, this made Jefferson's and Lucinda's children Lucy's double first cousins.
Lucy and her sisters, Louisa, Tennessee and Lucinda Elizabeth "Bettie"; and Aunt
Fannie's three children, Felix, John E. and Susan Frances; and her Uncle
Jefferson's and Aunt Lucinda's children all grew up living near each other in
Wills Point, Texas.
Lucy told of her mother dying, leaving four little girls and of her Aunt Fannie
raising them. Times were very hard for Fannie, as about a year after taking in
Ellison's and Elizabeth's four daughters, Fannie's second husband, John B.
Johnson, died. This left Fannie with seven children to raise alone, her own
three fatherless children and her brother's four daughters.
Lucy told of the times that she and her cousin Felix carried water from the
river, as in those days there was no water piped into the homes, and they didn't
have a well. She and Felix rigged up poles to go across their shoulders, and
hung large buckets of water on them to carry to the house. They had sheep and
Aunt Fannie did spinning and weaving of the wool and sold her wool to feed her
seven charges. There were times that they only had parched corn to eat through
the winter as there were no fresh vegetables. Lucy and her sisters loved Aunt
Fannie and she was very good to them, and with all of the hard times they were
happy and had good times together. These sheep that they raised would jump the
rail fence and knock the top rails off, and Lucy and Felix would spend all day
finding and rounding them up, then taking them home; then the rails would have
to be put up again and the fence repaired.
Lucy was very tiny when grown, not even five feet tall. Lucy was very proud, and
even in her eighties and nineties, her carriage was very good and her posture
straight. She could bend over from a standing position and put her hands flat on
the floor. Lucy's hair was long and had never been cut. In her older years she
wore it in a bun. Her grandchildren would watch her comb this long hair every
Lucy Bridges married Joe McCoy when she was sixteen years old. Lucy Ellison
Bridges and David Thomas "Joe" McCoy were married 13 December 1877. Following is
a copy of their marriage license:
THE STATE OF TEXAS TO ALL WHO SHALL SEE THESE
Van Zandt County PRESENTS - GREETINGS:
KNOW YE, That any Person Legally Authorized to
Celebrate the -RITES OF MATRIMONY- is Hereby Licensed to Join in Marriage as
Husband and Wife
D. T. MCCOY and MISS LUCY E. BRIDGES
and for doing this shall be his sufficient authority IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I, W.
A. WILLIAMS, Clerk of the District Court, of Van Zandt County, Texas, hereunto
subscribe my name and affix my Seal of said court this 12th Day of Dec. A.D.
W. A. WILLIAMS, Clerk
THE STATE OF TEXAS
*<* Van Zandt County *>* This Certifies that I Joined in Marriage as
Husband and Wife
D. T. McCoy AND LUCY E. BRIDGES
on the 13 Day of Dec. 1877
Clayton Williams, J.P.
David Thomas "Joe" McCoy was born in Texas 17 April 1851. He was the son of
Flora A. McCoy, a widow. I don't know the name of Joe's father.
After Joe and Lucy were married they lived with Lucy's Aunt Fannie Johnson. Lucy
inherited a quarter portion of her father's one hundred acres of land. I don't
know if this was the land that Fannie lived on when she took over the raising of
Ellison's and Elizabeth's daughters. I have never found the document of Lucy
disposing of her portion of this land, but she may have sold her share to her
uncle, Jefferson Bridges, as her sister, Louisa Lasater, did. Joe was a
cattleman and he was away from home at times, on cattle drives.
Joe and Lucy didn't have any children for the first two years of their marriage.
In 1880, Joe's and Lucy's daughter, Susan Ellen McCoy, was born. Their son,
Robert Ellison McCoy was born in 1882. When Robert "Bob" was two months old, Joe
McCoy had been on a cattle drive and was returning home to Wills Point, to his
wife and babies. Joe was in the depot at Weatherford, Texas, waiting to board a
train to Wills Point, when he was shot and killed by a man. I have never found
any of the details of his shooting and even though Lucy talked of it when we,
the children of Jess Nolen, were growing up, none of us remember the details
that Lucy told us. This death of Joe McCoy happened 17 August 1882. Lucy Ellison
(Bridges) McCoy was left a widow at the age of nineteen, with two young
After Joe McCoy's death, Lucy and her two children continued living with Aunt
Fannie Johnson, in Wills Point, Texas. Her sister, Bettie McCaughan, and
Bettie's husband, lived close by on their farm.
When Bettie and John McCaughan were moving to Indian Territory, they wanted Lucy
and her children to go with them. John McCaughan was going to Indian Territory
as a Deputy United States Marshal. Lucy refused at first as she didn't want to
leave her Aunt Fannie alone with Fannie's young children, and she didn't look
forward to the hardships that they would encounter in the Indian Country.
Finally Lucy decided to go with her Uncle Buck Self, and his family. John and
Betty McCaughan had already gone to Indian Territory. Lucy and her children
stopped in the Choctaw Nation. Lucy met General Lee Nolen there.
Mrs. Lucy Ellison (Bridges) McCoy married General Lee Nolen in Indian Territory
9 October 1887. General Lee Nolen was born in Nolensville, Tennessee, 1 March
1842. Lee was the son of William, Jr., and Margaret (McCarroll) Nolen, and he
was the grandson of William Nolen, Sr., and Delilah (Cantrell) Nolen. William
Nolen, Sr., and his second wife, Sally (Cantrell) Nolen, had taken their
children to Davidson County, Tennessee, in 1796 and established the town of
Nolensville, which still stands near Nashville, Tennessee.
Lee Nolen had gone to Indian Territory in the 1880s. He was a brick mason and
did the brick work on the Choctaw Indian Council House at Tuskahoma, that was
erected in 1883 and 1884. Lee and Lucy lived in Tuskahoma. They had the
1. Jesse James Nolen.
2. Samuel Edgar Nolen.
3. William Walter Nolen.
4. John "Lee" Nolen.
In 1896 Lucy Nolen applied for Creek Citizenship for herself and her children.
Following is her application:
Sept 5, 1896
To the Hon. Citizenship Commission of the M.N.
We the undersigned petitioners respectfully make an application in the Muskogee
Nation by blood and make the following statement in support of our claim to wit:
We are direct descendants of ELIZABETH SELF who was a recognized citizen of the
Muskogee Nation and a member of Broken Arrow Town. The said ELIZABETH SELF was a
full sister to W. B. SELF and was born in the Creek Nation about 5 or 6 miles
from Muskogee, I.T. in the year of 1837. We propose to establish the above facts
by reliable witnesses to the satisfaction of your honorable body.
Witness LUCY NOLEN
W. B. SELF SUSAN CAMPBELL
DOLLIE LYNCH ROBERT MCCOY
Bond for Seventy five dollars in favor of Lucy Nolen as Principal and J. H.
Lynch as surety was filed and approved.
M. McI James Colbert
Clerk. Pres. Commission
Following is a letter Lucy wrote to her husband, General Lee Nolen a few months
before he died:
Checotah April 2, '97 
Dear Husband I will write a few lines to let you no that we are all well at
present and hope this will find you the same I am out at Sussies now But I will
go back to Bets in a day or so Mr. hunter Susie and I went over to a neighbor
house and as we went over there Sam said By George ant this high grass and he
walked all the way Bill was not feeling well and I had to carrying him Jess
likes to stay here very well Susan’s boy is as fat as a pig and the boys thinks
he is a grand thing But they don’t want me to take him I wish you was here
they are taking up the land rite smart now and that piece of land west of John
that I was talking a bout is not taken up yet I could get 100 acres some
timber and some prairie there is a bout 75 or 85 acres that wont do to
cultivate if I take it I will have to put a little house on it to hold it I
would like to have it for a home place to live on then we could have a place or
to put in somewhere else Bob is going to put in a bout 6 acres of corn and a
bout that much cotton and he is no account to put out to build a house John,
Albert and Mr. hunter said they would help you to put up a little house if you
was here I want you to take care of what things I left that is worth bring and
fetch them for we will need them and if you cannot get some money bring some
While until you can strike some work well I will close for this time Write as
soon as you get this Your wife
NOTE: Albert was Albert Campbell, Lucy's daughter, Susan McCoy's husband. Bob
was Lucy's son, Robert E. McCoy, by Joe McCoy. John was Lucy's brother-in-law,
Lucy was expecting her fourth child by Lee Nolen. General Lee Nolen died in
Tuskahoma, Indian Territory, 28 June 1897. He was buried in the "Old Burying
Grounds" at the Choctaw Council House in Tuskahoma. Lucy's and Lee's last child
was born five months after Lee's death.
After Lucy's and Lee's last child was born, Lucy and the children made several
trips to Okmulgee, where the Creek Indian Capital was located, to get their
Creek Citizenship settled. Lucy's son-in-law, Albert Campbell, took Lucy and the
boys and his wife, Susan, and their child with his team and wagon. The hotel and
all of the rooming houses were full, as there was a lot of activity with the
Creek Indian's enrollment. The area all around Okmulgee was a city of tents.
Lucy and her family set up tents near a stream of water and camped there for
several months, while waiting for their citizenship case to be settled. Al and
Susan Campbell took Lucy and the boys on several trips and traveled all over
Following is the information on the Old Creek Card, and the Creek Census Cards,
of Lucy Nolen and all of her children, except Lucy's daughter, Susan:
Family No. 182 OLD CREEK CARD NO. 468
HEADS OF FAMILY MEMBERS OF FAMILY AGE POST OFFICE DISTRICT
Nolen, Lucy 36 Tuskahoma Coweta
son, Jesse 8 Tuskahoma Coweta
son, (twin) Samuel 3 Tuskahoma Coweta
son, (twin) William 3 Tuskahoma Coweta
son, McCoy, Robert 15 Tuskahoma Coweta
son, Nolen, Lee 9 months Tuskahoma Coweta
Born Nov. 15, '97
Remarks: Full sister of Betty McCaughan, (wife of John McCaughan) Broken Arrow
Widow of Lee Nolen, father of first 3 children (Non Citizen).
Robert McCoy, son of Lucy Nolen by her first husband, Joe McCoy (dead) Non
Lee Nolen enrolled Aug 12-'98
Transferred to New Creek Card No. 1022. BL 1 Dawes
Dawes Name age sex DIB Father Mother
Card No 1020 P.O. Checotah 20 October 1899
3291 Nolen, Lucy 38 F 1/8 Ellison Bridges Elizabeth
3292 Nolen, Jesse 10 M 1/16 Lee Nolen No. 1
3293 Nolen, Samuel 5 M 1/16 Lee Nolen No. 1
3294 Nolen, William 5 M 1/16 Lee Nolen No. 1
3295 Nolen, Lee 2 M 1/16 Lee Nolen No. 1
3296 McCoy, Robert 17 M 1/16 Joe McCoy No. 1
Notations on card: Nos. 1,2,3,4 and 6 admitted by Colbert’s Citizenship
Commission, Aug 1896
See Creek Citizenship Record Pages 8 to 12
No. 2 admitted by Colbert Commission as Jessie Nolen
No. 3 admitted by said Colbert Commission as Sam Nolen
No. 4 admitted by said Colbert Commission as Bill Nolen
3/13/19 For Birthday of No. 5 see Old Creek Card No.468
Nos. 3291 - 3296 inc. hereon
approved by the Secretary of the Interior
March 13, 1902.
Citizenship Certificate. issued Oct. 20th 1899
Lucy (Bridges) McCoy, Nolen married for the third time. Mrs. Lucy Nolen married
John G. Sividge in Indian Territory 4 February 1901. John was born in North
Carolina 26 January 1834. John was twenty six years older than Lucy. He was very
good to Lucy's and Lee Nolen's boys and they were very fond of him. He was the
only father that John Lee Nolen ever knew. John Sividge was sixty six years old
when he and Lucy married. He had snow white hair and a long white beard.
Lucy and John Sividge continued to live in Tuskahoma, Indian Territory, until
after Oklahoma Statehood in 1907, then Lucy and John Sividge moved from
Tuskahoma and settled in Checotah. Lucy was again widowed in 1920. John G.
Sividge died in Checotah, Oklahoma, 13 August 1920. He was buried in Checotah.
After John Sividge's death Lucy lived most of the rest of her life with her son,
Jess Nolen, and his family.
In Lucy's last years she lived in Checotah, Oklahoma, and her son Bill Nolen
lived with her. Lucy Ellison (Bridges) McCoy, Nolen, Sividge died in Checotah,
Oklahoma, 18 July 1954. She was buried in Green lawn Cemetery at Checotah,
Lucy Ellison Bridges' children by David Thomas "Joe" McCoy:
1. Susan Ellen McCoy was born in Wills Point, Texas, 10 April 1880. Susan Ellen
was named for Lucy's grandmother, Susanna (Berryhill) Self, and Joe McCoy's
sister, Ellen McCoy. Susan was about two and a half years old when her father
was killed. Susan was six years old when her mother, Lucy, moved to Indian
Territory. They first settled in Checotah, Creek Nation, then her mother, Lucy,
remarried when Susan was seven years old. After Lucy's marriage to Susan's step-
father, Lee Nolen, they moved to Tuskahoma, Indian Territory, where Susan
Susan Ellen McCoy married Albert Campbell in 1896, when she was sixteen years
old. Al and Susan Campbell lived in Checotah, Indian Territory. Al Campbell was
born in Arkansas in July 1873. He was a teamster and owned a large wagon with a
team of Clydesdale horses. He worked all over Indian Territory with this team
and wagon. After Susan's step-father, Lee Nolen, died, Al and Susan moved to
Tuskahoma, Indian Territory, near Susan's mother, Lucy Nolen.
Susan was of Creek (Muskogee) Indian blood. Her mother, Lucy Nolen, had applied
for Creek Nation Citizenship for herself and her children. After they were
accepted, Susan's children were put on the rolls and Susan and two of her
children are on the Final Rolls of the Creek Nation.
Following is the Creek Census Card for Susan Ellen (McCoy) Campbell and her
Dawes Name age sex DIB Father Mother
Card No. 929 P.O. Checotah Oct 10, 1899
3011 Campbell, Susan 19 F 1/16 David T. McCoy Lucy Nolen
3012 Campbell, William 2 M 1/32 Albert Campbell No. 1
3013 Campbell, Fannie 1 F 1/32 Albert Campbell No. 1
The Creek card shows that Susan's father was dead and a non Indian, mother Lucy
was living and a Creek Citizen.
Albert and Susan Campbell moved back to McIntosh County, near Checotah, by 1910.
Susan and her two older children had each received one hundred and sixty acres
of land as their Creek Indian Land Allotment.
Albert and Susan later moved to Nuyaka, Oklahoma, near Okmulgee. They had a farm
and lived there until Albert died. In about 1937, Albert Campbell was run over
and killed by a car while he was crossing the highway. Susan continued living at
their farm. Susan Ellen (McCoy) Campbell died in a nursing home in Okmulgee,
Oklahoma, 30 July 1971.
Albert and Susan Ellen (McCoy) Campbell's children:
A. William Campbell was born in Checotah, Indian Territory, in February 1897. I
don't know when or how William died, but it was after 1910. I believe it was
B. Fannie Campbell was born in Tuskahoma, Indian Territory, in April 1900.
Fannie married William Hughes. They had several boys and two girls. For many
years they only had boys and I remember that they used to visit us at the
Preston Lake, outside Okmulgee. Will and Fannie and their boys lived at Beggs,
Oklahoma. They took me home with them a lot when I was a little girl, until they
had girls of their own. I can't remember the names of their children and I
haven't been able to get information on them. Fannie (Campbell) Hughes died in
1974 in Beggs, Oklahoma.
C. Cly Campbell. I know nothing more on her. She did live to adulthood.
D. Ada Campbell was born in Checotah, Oklahoma, about 1907. Ada married Dink
E. Bernice Campbell. I know nothing more about her except they called her
F. Johnny Campbell married a Mr. Luster. She was living in Beggs, Oklahoma, in
1980 and was a widow. Johnny (Campbell) Luster has Lucy Ellison (Bridges) McCoy,
Nolen, Sividge's Bible.
2. Robert "Bob" Ellison McCoy was born in Wills Point, Texas, 18 June 1882. Bob
was given his middle name, "Ellison", for his mother's father, Ellison Walker
When Robert was two months old, his father, Joe McCoy, was killed. Robert was
about four years old when his mother, Lucy, moved with him and his sister,
Susan, to Indian Territory. When he was five years old his mother married again
and the family moved to Tuskahoma, Indian Territory. Robert probably attended
school in Tuskahoma.
Robert "Bob" Ellison McCoy is on the Final Rolls of the Creek Nation as a
citizen by blood. Bob received one hundred and sixty acres of land as his Creek
Land Allotment. I don't know where Bob's land was located, but it was probably
in McIntosh County near Checotah or Eufaula.
Bob McCoy was married and divorced by 1910. I don't know his first wife's name,
but Bob's cousin, Ninon (McCaughan) Beck, said that Bob had a son, Claude McCoy,
and that Claude's mother was almost a full blood Choctaw Indian. The 1910 Census
shows that Bob was living with his mother, Lucy Nolen, in Checotah, Oklahoma,
and that he was divorced.
About 1911, Robert McCoy married Minnie Berry. Minnie was born in Missouri 27
September 1896. She was the daughter of Samuel and Frances (Doyle) Berry, both
born in Missouri.
Bob and Minnie McCoy settled in Checotah, Oklahoma, after their marriage. Bob
farmed in Checotah, Oklahoma, until 1940 when they moved to Glendora,
California. Bob McCoy died in Pomona, California, in 1953. He was buried in the
Oakdale Memorial Park Cemetery at Glendora, California. Minnie (Berry) McCoy
died in 1963. She was buried in the Oakdale Memorial Park Cemetery.
Robert Ellison "Bob" and Minnie L. (Berry) McCoy's children:
A. Beulah McCoy was born in Checotah, Oklahoma, 3 July 1912. Beulah married
Roscoe West on 12 December 1931.
B. (twin) Pauline M. McCoy was born in Checotah, Oklahoma, 25 July 1916. Pauline
married Raymond L. Stone 11 June 1933.
C. (twin) Irene L. McCoy was born in Checotah, Oklahoma, 25 July 1916. Irene
married Joe Storm on 28 May 1934.
D. Cecil R. McCoy was born in Checotah, Oklahoma, 5 December 1918. I don't know
who Cecil married. He died in 1970.
E. Edith McCoy was born in Checotah, Oklahoma, 26 February 1923. Edith married
Gene Bartlett on 17 July 1939.
F. Betty McCoy was born in Checotah, Oklahoma, 23 January 1931. Betty married (-
Lucy Ellison (Bridges) McCoy's children by General Lee Nolen:
3. Jesse James Nolen was born in Tuskahoma, Indian Territory, 25 April 1889.
Jess grew up in Tuskahoma and attended the Tuskahoma Girls Academy at Tuskahoma,
as a day student. When Jess was eight years old, his father Lee Nolen died.
Jess was eleven years old when his mother married John G. Sividge. Jess
continued school at the Tuskahoma Academy and when he was a little older he
worked at the school before and after classes. Jess continued at the academy
until he graduated from the eighth grade. In those days an eighth grade
education was equal to a high school education. After graduating from these
schools, which only went through the eighth grade, you could receive a teaching
certificate. These were Indian schools and only students of Indian blood were
accepted. Jess had beautiful handwriting which was the envy of many people,
especially his children.
Jess Nolen was as much a prankster as any young man in those days. One Halloween
Jess and some of his friends dismantled a wagon and took it to the second floor
of the academy and reassembled it. Even though this was considered a harmless
prank in those days, the academy head master was angry and the boys were
punished, and of course, they were made to dismantle the wagon and take it to
the school yard and put it together again.
Jess Nolen loved to hunt and fish and he had all of the Kiamichi Mountains, in
the Choctaw Nation, in which to hunt and fish. Jess Nolen always loved the
Kiamichi Mountains and in his older years wanted to return there to die.
Jess Nolen received one hundred and sixty acres of land near Eufaula, Oklahoma,
as his Creek Indian Land allotment. After 1907, Jess's mother, Lucy, and his
stepfather, John Sividge, moved the family to Checotah, Oklahoma. Jess attended
school at Bacone University for a while. His mother, Lucy, was appointed
guardian of her and Lee Nolen's boys after Lee died. Jess' uncle John McCaughan
acted as Lucy's advisor and attorney. John McCaughan had a lot of influence on
Jess Nolen while he was growing up. Jess was very fond of his Uncle John and
Aunt Bet McCaughan. Lucy leased out the boy's land and received a portion of the
crops that was grown on the land.
I don't know when Jess sold his land, but I believe it was before he married.
Jess owned a shooting gallery, but because of the objection by his wife's
mother, of this type of business, Jess sold it either before or just after their