Field Worker's name Gus Hummingbird     March 21, 1938 

An Interview with Mrs. Margaret Ann Hill, Stilwell, Oklahoma


Margaret Ann Hill, born Sept 7, 1856, Murray Co., Georgia.

Father was Hardy Mattox, born New Jersey.

Mother was Fabitha Garden, born Georgia.


I am a pioneer white woman who came to the Cherokee Nation on a permit made by a Cherokee citizen named Charles Patterson who at that time lived about a half-mile east of the present town of Stilwell.

I was born in the state of Georgia but when I was three years of age my father, Hardy Mattox, moved his family to Tennessee, to the city of Memphis. Seventeen years later I moved to the Cherokee Nation.  At that time I had been married to a man named Hill.



The church in the Cherokee Nation at that time was located at New Hope.  This was a Methodist Church established about 1878 and Reverend C. S. Jones was the first pastor. Reverend Jones was followed by Reverend Butler.



Cherokee school in the community at that time was Muddy Springs.  The school stood in the field now owned by James Johnson about a half-mile southeast of Stilwell.



The trading post for most people in this community was at Evansville and at Flint Post Office, the latter place being already at Hew Hope when I came to the Cherokee country.  Henry Dannenberg operated a store at this place and he was also the postmaster.  Most of the Cherokees did their trading at this place.

Evansville was much larger place than Flint; therefore, those who had teams and wagon went to this place.  The mail was delivered to Flint twice a week by carriers from Tahlequah and Evansville.  The carriers met somewhere west of Flint and exchanged mall, then both returned to their starting point.

There was not much correspondence done among the Cherokee at that time, there being only one newspaper in the Cherokee Nation, the Cherokee Advocate which was published at Tahlequah.



The nearest mill to us was a small grist mill on Caney Creek about what is now the Old Hummingbird Place.  This was operated by a white man named Stephens and was a water mill.  People did not go to this place as they had done several years previous to our coming.  There had been in 1872 a young Cherokee girl murdered who had been to this mill.  She was murdered by two Cherokee men who had been drinking at this mill.  They had followed the girl to a high point on the mountain north of the mill about two miles and murdered her.  Terrapin Leach a Creek Indian whose Cherokee name was Crawfish was arrested for this murder.  Crawfish turned states evidence in the prosecution of Leach.  Leach was convicted at Old Goingsnake Court House on England Creek and was hung.  The girl murdered was the daughter of Dave Hitcher, a prominent Cherokee.



The following old timers lived in the vicinity of Stilwell when I came to the Cherokee Nation: the Dammons, Clouds, Adairs, Liver Scott, Beans and Old John Beanstick.  The prairie on which Stilwell was built at that time was just a red-haw thicket.  The Cherokees had a stalk shooting ground about where the main street is now and a race track was also located here.



This town, the county seat of Adair County, was founded after the Kansas City Southern Railroad was permitted through the nation and was named for some railroad officer whose name was Stilwell. This was in 1894.



The court house was located on Sallisaw Creek about four miles south of Stilwell.  The post office of Flint was moved to the Court House later and Jim Cloud was appointed postmaster. Ben Fletcher and Ellis Starr operated a store at this place.

After Stilwell was named the first man who established a store was named Lemmens, the store being located about where the section house of the Kansas City Southern is located now, Lemmens was a Methodist Preacher.