Cherokee Connection Chapter 3 page 25
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[c1903] Charles Pfieffer returns and moves the family to Santa Monica, California

Wherever Annie lived, she had to work at whatever she could; probably as a servant, washing clothes, cleaning railroad stations, business or houses in order to feed her children.

Annie probably had trouble supporting herself and the children. Whatever the reason, she married Abe Ross in August of 1902. (John Ross was the Chief of the Cherokee Indian Nation. There is no information about a connection to Abe Ross) Annie didn't divorce Charles Pfieffer first. At the time marriage was sacred to the Cherokees but divorce was simple for wives. She just put her husband's things outside the house. Not long after her marriage to Ross, Pfieffer came back. Anna left Ross and went back to Pfieffer. Pfieffer took the whole family to California.

My mother, Dora, would have been about 9 years old. Dora does not remember when they left or anything about the trip. In a letter dated September 20, 1968 Dora said her mother was in Santa Monica in 1901. This couldn't be true because Anna married Ross in Oklahoma in 1902.

Annie left Oklahoma with Dora and Elizabeth (my Aunt Bessy) to go to Santa Monica, California in 1902/3 with Charles Pfieffer.

In total, Anna had 3 daughters and 4 sons that lived. All were born in Calif except El Dora and Bessie Ann.

  1. El Dora was born in 1893, when Annie was 17
  2. Bessie was born in 1896, when Annie was 20 and married to Charles Pfieffer.
  3. John was Born in 1903 in Los Angles County, California, when Annie was 27
  4. Charles was born in 1905 in Los Angles County, California, when Annie was 29
  5. Hattie was born in 1909 in Los Angles County, California when Annie was 33.
    (My mother, Dora, was 17 when she married my father Charles Titchenal on July 13, 1910. Her mother Annie was 34. Alice (my sister born May 6, 1911) was Annie's first grandchild at 35.)
  6. Woodrow, Annie's last child, was born in Los Angles County, California about 1914, when Annie was 38.

This would mean that Pfieffer brought them to California and the dairy farm between September of 1902 when Annie married Ross and when John was born in California in 1903. This could mean that Ross could have been the father of John. Pfieffer left Annie some time after Woodrow was born in 1914. They lived together about 18 years until 1915 or 1916.

On my visit with William's granddaughter, Susie Stewart, in Oklahoma last October, I found out that Alma, (Annie's Sister) never learned how to read or write or even sign her name. William Freeman could write his name, but had minimum reading and writing skills. Maybe Anna or Pfieffer couldn't read or write well either. This lends credibility to the reason she did not have communication with Charles Pfieffer after he left for California.

Dora said she had an Aunt Emma and Uncle (Probably William Dunca) that wanted her to stay back in Oklahoma with them. They evidently felt sorry for her and wanted keep her and raise her. They did not have children of their own. Bill made jewelry and Emma sewed for a living. She evidently knew how badly Pfieffer treated Dora and why. Annie would not let Dora stay.

It is well that our grandmother Annie did not leave her child, Dora, for some one else to raise in Porum or Checotah. Dora may have had trouble with her stepfather, but she got a much better education in California. She also would never have met Charles Titchenal, my father. From what I have seen of the Porum, Oklahoma area, Dora was much better off in California. Porum didn't grow much, and from Vernon Keith's stories and the pioneer's stories in The Grant Foreman Collection (chapter XXII_), there was a lot of lawlessness around Briartown and Porum.

Dora had greater opportunity for work and meeting people in Southern California. The area grew very fast into a major metropolis. I don't know how well Annie could read and write. It would seem she at least could sign her name and maybe learned to read and write well. She could sure play cards.


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