Cherokee Connection Chapter 4 page 11
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The Link to John Arnett

I now think John Arnett left Georgia first about 1848 or 1849, We know James McClure left Georgia with his wife Rebecca and children, including his daughter Susan and her son Ruben William Freeman Keith to Indian Territory about 1880. We do not know when Susan's husband Joel Keith came to Indian Territory, but he was their living with his son William Freeman in 1900.

As there are no records to confirm the names of the parents or siblings of Annie or Alma, Arnett. Alma's death record claims her fathers name was Lee Arnett (but I believe his name was John) and her mother's name was Matt McClure. I believe the following Arnett genealogy chart is correct based upon my efforts combined with those of David Arnett .

John Arnett Genealogy

There were few oral stories or records for the Arnetts in Indian Territory, so most of this story of Annie Arnett's early life is based upon the history of the Indian's life and the life of white intruders in the Indian Nations.

Assuming we have guessed correctly about the spacing of John Arnett's children, there was a gap of eight to ten years between the second and third child. John could have fought in the civil war and been away during those years. The years after the war were traumatic for many of the Confederate men and families.

Many Confederate solders fled to Indian Territory to escape the post war conditions in the south, some to escape the strong arm of American law. The beautiful foothills of the Ozarks were a haven for all, including outlaws. The Canadian river district of the Cherokee Nation included Porum and Briartown. Checotah was north and close by in Creek Nation. The Choctow Nation was south of the Canadian river and included the famous robber's cave.

At this time the white man had no protection from the law. He was living in Indian Territory and only tribal laws were enforced. Those were enforced only to protect the Indian. The white man may have had to pay taxes, but taxation was only for the benefit of tribal members.

The whole area was often visited by notorious characters such as Jesse James, the Younger brothers. Al and Frank Jennimgs and the Brooks brothers. Belle Star even lived and died in the area, her daughter attended the Briartown school. While I do not believe the Arnetts were among those trying to escape the law, they must have come in contact with those that were.

It is logical to assume the Arnetts were white and had to live under Indian Tribal Law. At a time by treaty Americans had no right to any of the sacred Indian land or improvements of any kind. No lots could be claimed or be sold for profit, even by Indians.

My grandmother Anna [or Annie] Malinda Arnett said she was born in Denison City, Texas in June of 1876. Denison was just across the boarder from Indian Territory. The 1900 census said both Alma and Annie were born in Indian Territory. Alma was born in March 2, 1874. Their mother and father born in Georgia and dead before 1900.

Denison and Red River were small towns right on the border of Indian Territory Denison's population in 1875 was 2000, Red River City just next to it had a population of 25. Annie could have been born in Indian Territory and called it Denison as it was the closest town. If Lee Arnett was their brother and born in 1875, he would have also been born in Indian Territory. My grandmother also said they had lived in El Paso, Texas when she was girl before coming to Porum.


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