Memories of Chester Benn
This week’s Indian Pioneer Paper was recorded by John F. Daugherty on June 12, 1937.
My parents were J.J. Benn and Mary Collier Benn. Father was born in 1841 and mother was born in 1859. Both were Texans. Father was a farmer and tanner. There were four children. I was born in Texas in 1882.
Father moved to the Chickasaw Nation in 1887. We came in covered wagons, crossing Red River at Delaware Bend, and located near Thackerville. We later moved to Nebo, south of Sulphur. Here we lived in a log house with one room, dirt floor, no doors, and no windows. We used a cowhide for a covering for the doorway.
Father leased two hundred acres for ten years from a fullblood Chickasaw woman named Jane Brown. He was to pay no rent, but improve the place instead. He built a good three-room house and a good barn on the place and every year he hauled Mrs. Brown two loads of corn. He broke the land with oxen. He paid the Chickasaw Government a five-dollar permit and had about sixty head of cattle.
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