Interviewer, Elizabeth, Ross

October 27, 1937

Interview with S. R. Walkingstick

Attorney, Okmulgee   Grandson of Archibald Scraper


Scraper Postoffice

    Scraper, a postoffice near the northeastern border of Cherokee County, bears the name of a Cherokee of considerable consequence in a long ago period.  There are quite a number of the native Cherokees by the name of Scraper.  Two of them reached the rank of Captain in the Union Indian brigade in Civil War times. One of these was Captain George Scraper, who fell in action at a contest at Shirley's ford of Spring River, Missouri, in the period of the war.  The other, Captain Archibald Scraper, tall and erect until in advanced age, participated in a number of the contests in which soldiers of the Indian brigade were involved in the war time period some of such contests being outside of the Indian Territory, but others within the Territory.  A coo1 and valorous man, often in the thick of battle, Captain Archibald Scraper nevertheless escaped serious injury and was among surviving members of the brigade who were mustered out at Fort Gibson on the 31st day of May, 1865.

After the war Captain Archibald Scraper returned to his home in the hill country some, distance east of Tahlequah and resumed his usual activities.  He was of influence among his people, and was elected on occasion to serve in the national capitol building at Tahlequah.

There was a picturesque gray cliff, in the vicinity of the home of Captain Scraper, out in the Cherokee hills, and near the brink of this cliff the Civil War veteran, when becoming somewhat advanced in years, set out a row of young cedar trees, below the c1iff wound the mountain road and a portion of the road was overlooked by the cedars, which in course of years, attained to large size.  Nearby was the old fashioned and substantially built house in which the gray headed former military officer and legislator spent the declining period of his lifetime.

When this old man was past the allotted span of three score years and ten, his wife having died, he decided to procure for himself another wife, and in casting about found a young girl who was of the white race, not yet out of her teens, according to those who had knowledge of the old Captain's romance.  The youthful maiden was not adverse to marrying the veteran who had fought upon Civil War battlefields in past decades, and as was narrated in a Tahlequah publication, the "Indian Arrow," in past decades, the marriage was duly consummated and the couple departed for the home in the hills in vicinity of the rows of cedars on the cliff.

Some years ago the necessity of a postoffice became apparent in the locality lying near the Illinois river, some twenty miles northeast of Tahlequah, and the postoffice department signified that an office would be established.  A name for the office was requested and a granddaughter, of Captain Archibald Scraper, Mrs. Leona Walkingstick Saunders, living in the locality, suggested the surname of the old Civil War Indian officer.  The name was accepted and during several years a number of persons have received their mail at the Scraper postoffice.