Cherokee Connection Chapter 1 page 4
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Paps and Belle Starr

Fishing with Bow and Arrows
In 1933 I was talking to him about the Indians. He said, "History would have been written differently if the Indians had arrows as straight then as the arrows could be made today. He also said the South didn't lose the war, it was only in remission. As soon as they could get reorganized it would start all over again." He could never reconcile himself to what had been done to the Indians and the South. Being both Indian and a Southerner, the affect was doubled.

Since Paps was the Deputy sheriff of Briartown or Porum for years and years., I asked Vernon if he ever tried arrest Belle Starr. Instead of saying Belle was not alive by the time William was a deputy, He said no, but he said William told him about one day a new deputy rode by his farm. Paps asked him, "Where he was going?"

He said, "Going to arrest Belle Starr, she is up there by herself."

"What will you arrest her for?"

The Deputy said, "For what she has done".

Paps said,"let me give you some advise, leave her alone".

He said, "Naw", and rode off.

About three days later Paps saw another man riding the deputy's horse and another man wearing his boots. Paps said it was none of his business. He never asked any questions

Freeman said, "In 1880, when they walked from Georgia to Oklahoma they followed the same trail as the group had taken on the "Trail Of Tears" in 1838/9. Like the first group, some of them died along the way. On the way they even met 3 different Indian renegade groups, painted as if they were on the war path, that tried to rob them. They didn't have anything with except a sack of jerky, so the Indians just looked them over and left."

Vernon said, "Lawrence Morris Gwinn [a relative] has traced the Keith family back to 1400 in Scotland. (He died a few years ago and was the son of Beulah Bell (Keith) Gwinn) His wife Paula Gwinn is still living in Lomita Calif. His daughter Nancy Benzon may have this record. Lawrence said that the Keith clan was the largest clan in Scotland. There are two Keith clans, the highlander and the low landers. We are descents of the Highlander clan. The clans feuded in Scotland". I was never able to contact Paula Gwinn so I never learned the details of her husband's research.

Paps was still working as a guard at the prison a few years before he died. He kept a full head of hair all of his life, though it had turned snow white.

Alma and Freeman in the late 1930s [while working as prison guard-note badge]


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