Pushmataha County Historical Society

Pushmataha County Historical Society The Pushmataha County Historical Society's mission is the preservation of the history of the county and dissemination of that history to the public.

Operating as usual

It’s that time again!  Tomorrow, Saturday the 8th, we will have another FOOD DELIVERY at Rattan High School.  We will ag...

It’s that time again! Tomorrow, Saturday the 8th, we will have another FOOD DELIVERY at Rattan High School. We will again bring food to St Agnes in Antlers beginning about 10:00 am., Until it is gone. E sure to wear your masks and line up as usual. See you there!

St.  Agnes Catholic Church History ( thank you, Kay Black):  Antlers Democrat, 23 March 1900.  “Father Ketchum received ...

St. Agnes Catholic Church History ( thank you, Kay Black): Antlers Democrat, 23 March 1900. “Father Ketchum received a handsome and durable present this week from Messrs. Bender and Mosley of Tushkahoma in the shape of a hitching post and buggy block cut out of stone. It is an exquisite piece of work. Mr. Jos Bender is foreman of the dimension rock work at Jacks Fork crusher. Both gentlemen are artists in their line. “

As you pass by the church on East Main, take a look.


Antlers and surrounding area!! Tomorrow, Saturday the 11th, we will again have free food, first come first served, at St Agnes Catholic Church. If the truck is on time, we will begin passing it out about 9:30. Y’all know the drill! See you tomorrow!


Antlers and area; we will again have a food delivery this Saturday the 27th. We will be at St Agnes Catholic Church on East Main in Antlers at 9:30. First come first served! See you then!


Folks, We have been working on the Locke Family Cemetery. We would like to hear from any descendant(s) of M ACK and CAROLINE HILL. Mack was a very close friend of Victor M. Locke, Sr. For a time he operated the Locke Ferry on the Kiamichi, was considered a bodyguard of Victor's, and helped the Locke family in many ways. Mack is buried in the Locke Family Cemetery. For many years my Dad, Nelson Locke, made sure that I knew where the grave was. About two years ago the Choctaw Nation came out and did a ground survey and was able to verify the existence of the grave as well as either Mack's wife, Caroline, or their son, Jim. We think all three are buried there, but the Nation only confirmed two graves. I have not been able to find out when and where Caroline died and is buried. We know that Jim was buried in Antlers but not sure where. If you are descended or know of this family, please either respond to this site or send me a message. personal email is [email protected]. Thank you! Francine Locke Bray


We need your help. Several of us are working with the Choctaw Nation in tesearch. We would like to hear from any descendants of Mississippi Choctaws who came in the train removals of 1902 and 1903. They were “dropped off” in Ardmore and Atoka. If you are descended from anybof these folks please message me orcemail me at [email protected]. Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas!  Several months ago pictures of some Antlers young adults enjoying an outing at Big Rocks near Ethel we...

Merry Christmas! Several months ago pictures of some Antlers young adults enjoying an outing at Big Rocks near Ethel were posted. We decided to repost them along with some additional pictures from the same album. Locke family tradition is that the album belonged to Jesse Nelson (AKA Babe) Locke. Babe died tragically in 1913 and it is believed that the pictures date from 1900 - 1910. It is currently owned by Francine Locke Bray, great-granddaughter of Victor Locke Sr. If any of you can identify any of these individuals, please message us. I have included a picture of Mary (Dolly) Locke Archer and her husband, Charles Archer (third from the end) and a pictures of Babe (the last picture). A cousin of mine who has now passed, knew Babe and identified him for us. However, unbeknownst to us, he identified himself! Thus the picture of Babe with "Me" written across his shirt! Despite some development of the area, the Big Rocks are still on Ethel Road. We do apologize for the condition of the photos; however, they are over 100 years old! Enjoy! Francine Locke Bray

Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer

Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer

THIS IS IT! The moment has arrived at last for the release of this epic historical fiction, Anumpa Warrior: Choctaw Code Talkers of World War I! I hope you enjoy this intimate view of our shared American and world history.

Order Anumpa Warrior:

Amazon for Kindle: https://amzn.to/2q3uwwp

Ebook format on other popular retail: sites:http://books2read.com/warrior

Signed paperbacks (with the centennial year: 1918-2018)

We have also found a newspaper article about this!

We have also found a newspaper article about this!

An unidentified Wheelock student holding the silk American flag that the students of Wheelock made for the Choctaw men serving in Company L at Fort Sill in 1917.

The girls made the flag for the men beginning in March of 1917, before the United States entered World War One. Captain Ben Locke of Antlers was invited to the school to receive the flag on behalf of Co. L. However, Capt. Locke and the rest of Co. L were on the Mexican border at the time and he could not obtain furlough long enough to come receive it.

Capt. Locke then sent his sister, Mrs. C. Archer of Antlers in his place. A Wheelock alumni herself, Mrs. Archer recieved thr flag on behalf of Co. L and it was sent to Ft. Sill.

Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer

Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer

I need your input!

Okay, a little fun for today. In going through Francine's photos, I saw this one and thought, hmm, is that a younger Walter Veach?

What do you all think? Is the man seated on the far left of the 1910 photo the same as the man seated in the middle of the other photo (1917)? Vote yes or no.


Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer

Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer

In my upcoming Choctaw Code Talkers of World War I novel, a fictional American war correspondent plays a key role in the story, so this photo from Francine's album made me laugh.

The caption reads, "Handling war correspondent with care." Circa 1910.

What is going through the mind of the fellow on the far left?

Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer

Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer

Most people in old photos are so solemn and stiff. Loved getting to flip through this Locke family album and see playful young people hanging around the "big rocks" near Antlers, Oklahoma. Yakoke, thanks for sharing this, Francine Locke Bray.

This photo was recently sent to us by a possible descendant of one of the players.  However, she wasn't sure.  My guess ...

This photo was recently sent to us by a possible descendant of one of the players. However, she wasn't sure. My guess is that if her ancestor is in the picture it might be around the late nineteen teens. Certainly, let us know if you recognize anyone or know anything about the picture. Her caption is: Antlers Baseball Team

Sequoyah National  Research Center

Sequoyah National Research Center

In 1922, Alice Brown Davis (1852-1935) became the first female chief of the Seminoles when she was appointed by President Warren Harding at the age of 70. In this photo, she is seen with her daughters and granddaughters on her induction day. Granddaughter Allece Locke Garrard is pictured on the lower left next to Davis. #WomensHistoryMonth #TriviaTuesday

Photograph from the Garrard Ardeneum Collection.


It's Sunday and I refound the following newspaper article. Did you know that Antlers had "An Antlers Hustler"? Found in the Antlers American, March 10, 1910:
"One of the pioneer hustlers of Antlers is Father A. Hubert. He came here in 1902 and there were only 13 scholars at the school. In 1903 he was appointed pastor of Porteau and when he departed there were 100 scholars. He returned to Antlers in 1904 with the Rev. Albert Negannquet, the only fullblood Indian priest ever ordained. When Father Hubert returned there were only 25 pupils at the school. There are now 125. When he first landed there was not a church in this part of the country and now there are five churches, Antlers, Porteau, Hugo, Boswell and Bently. At the last two places he has put up a camp house for the Indians so when they come to church they have a place to stay. Father Hubert, whose name is Hubert Alphonso van Rechem was ordained a priest at the age of 23 by the Right Rev. Bishop Maes of Covington, Ky. of the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium in 1902. This school which he has done such faithful work for was established by the Rev. Father Wm. H. Ketchum, now director of the Catholic Indian Bureau of Washington, D.C. There are five Sisters here of the order of the Sisters of the Divine Providence of San Antonio, Texas. Sister Mary Xavier is the Sister Superior. Right Reverend Theodore Meerscheart, D. D. bishop of Oklahoma will advance Father Hubert, June 1st and Father Teyssier, a native of France, assistant to Father Hubert will succeed the latter."
Just in case you are new to the areas and don't know what church and school this is referring to it is St. Agnes on East Main St. While there is no longer a school, this is still an active Catholic parish served by Father Joseph Chirayath from India. If any of the other denomination in the area have brief histories they would like to share, please do so.


LIGHTHORSEMEN! The Choctaw Nation is looking for descendants of Choctaw Lighthorsemen. Several researchers have been asked to help with this project. If you are descended from a lighthorseman, or not sure but think you might be, please let us know. You can either answer directly, message us, or send us an email at [email protected]. We also ask that you SHARE this post so we get as much coverage as possible. Thank you!!


Interesting item in the archives at The Depot in Antlers:

"Register of the Antlers, Oklahoma Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. This Chapter was organized in August, 1914; first meeting was held September 29th of that year. The Chapter members are as follows:
Mrs. Ora Blakemore Powell
Mrs. Blannie Plaxco Attaway
Miss Lucile Watson
Miss Grace Watson
Miss Jewel Watson
Mrs. Minnie Lewers Cornelius
Mrs. Gertrude C. Hackworth
Mrs. Dolly Locke Archer
Mrs. Lila Fields Cochran
Mrs. Jennie B. Nelson
Mrs. Alice Fields Hendricks
Mrs. Margaret R. Miller
Mrs. G.W. Smith
Mrs. Mary N. Berry
Mrs. Bettie B. Carlisle"

There is also a larger, later list and the Civil War ancestor is listed with the Company and Regiment when known.

This house was amongst Locke family photos.  But, is it a Locke family house or just an Antler's house?  Anybody recogni...

This house was amongst Locke family photos. But, is it a Locke family house or just an Antler's house? Anybody recognize it and/or the people?

Folks, I know we have been tardy in posting something. I think, because a couple of people have indicated they think the...

Folks, I know we have been tardy in posting something. I think, because a couple of people have indicated they think they can identify one or more of these men, I will repost the Confederate Veterans photo. However, I will also post another which should be interesting. Recently, there has been a visitor in our area who is very interested in Jesse Nelson (Babe) Locke. Well, we have a photo album he put together in ca. 1910. In that album is a picture captioned, "Me". What fun it was to finally see what Babe looked like. For those of you who don't know, Babe's father was Victor M. Locke, Sr. Victor is the man in the center of the picture of Confederate Veterans. We believe H.C. Nash is the man to the far left, in front. Help us identify the rest.


A Bible titled, THE NEW COVENANT commonly called THE NEW TESTAMENT OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST, was given to us. We would like to find a family member to pass it on to. It was owned by Rev. Jacob Jefferson. He was Pastor at the following: 10 years, Rufe Circuit; 1 year, McCurtain Circuit; 4 years, Antlers Circuit; 5 years, Hugo Circuit; 3 years, Atoka Circuit; and 4 years, Idabel Circuit. If anyone knows of family, please either let the Push Co. Historical Society know by either calling or stopping by or call Francine Locke Bray at (317-409-6517.


We recently had a request for a website address. I am sorry, but at this time we do not have a website. Maybe in the future. We would need a volunteer webmaster. Thank you, though, for your interest.

Bryant Rickman and the Choctaw Ponies!  Pushmataha and Choctaw Counties are home to these amazing horses!  Visit thespir...

Bryant Rickman and the Choctaw Ponies! Pushmataha and Choctaw Counties are home to these amazing horses! Visit thespiritofblackjackmountain.com for more information and to contact us.

We're thrilled to share our July/August cover with you—this photo by Shane Bevel shows Golden Sugar, a mare descended from Choctaw tribal horses. Subscribe now ($15.95 for one year, $25.95 for two, plus a free Keep It Local OK card with every order) to read all about Oklahoma's Native American and cowboy cultures in the July/August issue of Oklahoma Today! http://oklahomatoday.com/oklahomatoday/Challenge_Nate.html

Last week I had a chance encounter with a descendant of one of Push County's Civil War Veterans.  Therefore, I am going ...

Last week I had a chance encounter with a descendant of one of Push County's Civil War Veterans. Therefore, I am going to repost this picture. . It is thought to have been taken sometime in the early 1920s but, depending on who the man on the far left is, it could be prior to 1913. From Locke family correspondence, apparently a group of Civil War Confederate Veterans met periodically for lunch. Occasionally, they even went to state meetings as well as at least one national meeting in Dallas. At that meeting in 1925, Victor Locke Sr., was appointed Commander of the Choctaw Brigade of Veterans. Could this be a picture from that meeting? We don't know. However, we do know that the man third from the left, in the front row, is Victor Locke Sr. Note that each of these men is wearing the same pin. Now, we would very much like to hear from anyone who might know anything about this picture, especially who these men are. You can comment here - I think it could make for some lively discussion; or you can email me at [email protected].


Folks, thank for the postings. They are great! Keep in mind, the Annual Deer Festival is this coming weekend, October 3 and4 . Hope to see y'all there!




Remember, folks, this Friday and Saturday are Antlers Homecoming. Registration of all visitors is at The Depot both Friday and Saturday. On Saturday we will have a book signing with three of the authors available for you to meet. We are also going to have for sale t-shirts and mugs, and extra copies of The Locke Family History, Choctaw Kisses, Bullets, and Blood, The Push County History by Dorothy West, and The Pushmataha County Cemetery Book. Come and check us out!


Are you all wondering what books will be for sale during Homecoming? Well, we have four book: Sarah Elizabeth Sawyer will be selling TOUCH MY TEARS, an anthology of Trail of Tears stories told from descendants of those who traveled the Trail; Barbara Grant will be selling THE WHEELOCK STORY by Louis Coleman and Barbara Asbill Grant; Gloria McAfee Carver will be selling her book, LIVING THE DREAM THE COWBOY WAY; and last but certainly not least, Vickie L. Peach-Wilkins will be selling her book IF HORSES COULD TALK. I have read all of them are they are well worth adding to your library! Again, Homecoming will be June 13 and 14, with the booksigning on the 14th. We sure hope to see you there!


Oops! I forgot to give you contact information for the books. You can contact Francine Locke Bray at #317-409-6517 for a copy of The Locke Family History book.


Don't forget Homecoming. This year it is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, June 13 and 14. Registration, as in the past, will be at The Depot. By the way, it is the 100th birthday of The Depot. We have lots of activities planned - a booksinging with 4 local authors, antique car and motorcycle show, the parade at 10:00 a.m., and lots more. Make time to visit the Depot and check out the exhibits. See you on the 14th.


For those of you who are descended from one of the three Locke brothers who helped settle Push and Choctaw Counties - Victor, Benjamin, and Elisha - we now have 12 copies of the LOCKE FAMILY HISTORY: Descendants of Thomas and Susanna (Henry) Locke. You can either order the book to be sent at $20.00 each or pick one up at The Depot for $15.00. This is a real bargain as they were originally $40.00.

Here is another picture for all of you to study.  I sure hope someone knows who these men are.  The picture is identifie...

Here is another picture for all of you to study. I sure hope someone knows who these men are. The picture is identified as "Co. L 1916." The man in the center is Capt. Ben D. Locke. We are told that their uniforms are a mixture of Spanish American pants and WW I jackets. We have also been told that this was an all Indian brigade. If you know anything about this group or any individual, again, please either comment, call the Depot, or email me at [email protected]. We have more pictures of this company to post later. Thank you for your interest in our Society, page and postings.


Happy Easter! Saturday, June 14 is the Antlers Homecoming and the 100th Birthday of the Depot. Verne Jackson is planning a full schedule of activities to celebrate. We plan to have 4 book signings as well as a car and motorcycle show. I am sure Verne has more planned, including food! The books are all pertaining to local history and individuals, each one very different in style and scope. Be sure to stop in to register, visit with old and new friends, see the exhibits, and buy a book. A portion of each sale is being donated by the authors to the Historical Society. Oh, we also have new t-shirts and mugs for sale!


119 West Main, PO Box 285
Antlers, OK

Opening Hours

Tuesday 09:00 - 12:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 12:00
Thursday 10:00 - 12:00
Friday 10:00 - 12:00
Saturday 10:00 - 12:00


(580) 298-5595


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Hi, Is there a list of websites or research contacts in Antlers and or Clayton with real people to contact? I am researching from Australia and so far have only been able to access Oklahoma Historical Society online and spent hours of fruitless searching. I have information on a death in Antlers and a burial at Stanley Cemetery but searching it and all cemeteries nearby comes up empty. Similar with births. I was after birth clarification and it seems no records before 1908 but no explanations as to why. Any help would be appreciated.
Antlers High School Yearbook class is working on a BIG project! We will be looking for a number of things throughout the year and are currently looking for the first Bearcat Mascot. Does anyone know when we got our first Bearcat Mascot and who this person was?
Hello,,,, I am seeking info on Horace Heston "Dock" Minchew's death. I've been to findagrave and found DOB 23 June 1891 DOD 2 Feb 1935. I found a note in my great aunt's jewelry box that said Dock was killed... which of course peeked my curiosity since he was only 45 at time of death. he was my great uncle's father. I know he is buried in Hugo at Shoat Springs. Thanks for any help on his death! 🙂
Diploma from 1937 my mother rattan high school
We had a wonderful morning at the depot with Mrs Myrtle Edmond. She was a fantastic teacher today!!!
Has anyone heard Of Zachariah T. Fuller or Andy and Lydia Fuller . How about Bobbie(Valley) Fuller, Ed John Fuller.
I visited the Antlers Depot and the Pushmataha Historical Society back in 2011, in search of information on my great grand-parents Jabe Grant Hart and Sarah Ellen Hart. They had two boys, Artie and Ephie. I found an obituary on JG Hart from 1921. The family moved to California in 1925.. Any information or especially any photos regarding this family would be greatly appreciated. My great and great-great grandfathers are buried in the Darwin Cemetery.
I’m trying to find old photos of the Fewell schoolhouse near Neshoba. Any help would be appreciated.
Do you still have copies to sell of the book "Pushmataha County—The Early Years"?
Greetings, Family records show that my grandfather Ellis Short Jr. was born in 1895 in Standley, OK (Indian Territory) but I cannot find any place that matches. His father was Ellis Short Sr. (who was from Joplin and in the lumber business with Native Americans) and Elnora (Bailey) Short. Ellis Short Sr. was a preacher as well as a businessman. I believe Pickering was his partner. Might you have any records of a community named Standley? Thank you, Anne Mallinson
There is NO admission fee to visit the museum of the Pushmataha County Historical Society. Hours are 9-12 Tuesday and 10-12 Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. If you are a family researcher, Tuesday is your best day to visit as we try to have someone there to help you. And if you wish to volunteer, we will be glad to have you as one of us who give back to the community.
Darwin Community Cemetery annual meeting and decoration day is Sunday, May 20.