PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402
In last week’s T&T there was mention about Nelson Chigley’s old home place at Davis, Oklahoma. One of the mysteries of Nelson Chigley is exactly where is his burial place. Some have even said he is buried under the old home place at Davis. I contacted Mickey Shackelford near Chicago who has been researching the Chigley line since he is a half-brother of Joe Wyatt Shackelford Hollenbeck, the g-grandson of Nelson Chigley. Here is part 1 in Mickey’s own words:
The Nelson Chigley Mystery
By Michael G. “Mickey” Shackelford
I have been working on researching some of the family history of my half brother, Joe Wyatt (Shackelford) Hollenbeck, who was a great grandson of Nelson Chigley, a full blood Chickasaw Indian. Mr. Chigley was born in Mississippi near Memphis, TN in 1834 or 1835 and came to Indian Territory sometime around 1860 and settled in the area that is now the City of Davis, Oklahoma. He married Julia Push-shu-ka (Indian for Thomas) in 1859, she died in 1909 and was buried at Green Hill Cemetery in Davis. They had at least two sons, Wyatt and Mose that were buried in Green Hill Cemetery in Davis. Mose Jr. died in 2001 and was probably the last direct descendent of Nelson with last name of Chigley and is also buried with his wife at Green Hill. Nelson and Julia also had at least two daughters that lived in the area as well. One of them, Agnes Suda (Chigley) Talley is buried just east of Davis in the Cunningtubby Cemetery. Hers is the only stone in the tiny cemetery that lies in the front yard of a home.
Now, trying to find out for sure that Nelson is buried at Green Hill Cemetery at Davis has been a little difficult since the burial records were lost in a fire years ago at the City of Davis and things like markers without names or dates are almost impossible to identify without relatives for verification as well as the completely unmarked graves in Green Hill. I read that Chickasaw Indians sometimes were buried with tall, flat, narrow stones that contained no markings at all. Nelson’s granddaughter, Garnet Pocahontas (Chigley) Shackelford (daughter of Wyatt) laid in an unmarked grave for many, many years until my father, Fay H. Shackelford (longtime Davis pharmacist) and my brother Joe finally got together and decided to place a marker there. Joe was buried next to that grave site just last month.
I recently talked to my mother Vye (King) Shackelford (Joe’s stepmother) who grew up in Davis and now lives on Chigley Street in view of the Mansion. She married my father after Joe’s mother passed away and spent some time at the Mansion before my father sold it. She says that she and my father spent weeks cleaning out every square inch of that place and there is no chance whatsoever that Nelson Chigley is buried in the house and doubts very seriously that he ever was buried under the house. Nelson’s death predates my father being married to his granddaughter Garnet, but my mother said my father was “spooked-out” about living in the same house that his father-in-law Wyatt had committed suicide in, much less living in a house where someone might be buried in or under. She said that my father would not even go into the room where Wyatt had shot himself in the head.
Maybe Nelson was buried on the grounds of the Mansion somewhere? My mother said that she had never heard any such story and had always assumed that he was buried at Green Hill Cemetery in Davis where all of the other Chigley’s that died in Davis had been buried including his wife Julia. She said that my father would have almost certainly known if Nelson was buried on the property and most likely would have mentioned it to someone. I visited the house many times over the years and never heard that story by my father or any of the several other people that we have known personally who lived in the house since my father. What a great story that would have made to tell my friends at school, who knew little if anything of the people or the history of the old building that stood on the North side of town for so many years before any of us were even born.
Nelson died on Nov 11, 1922. Although I have also read dates of 1927 and even 1929, but 1922 seems to be the consensus.
By the way, how exactly did Nelson Chigley die? Old age? Some disease? Garnet had cancer. I have also heard that Nelson committed suicide at the house and have also heard that Mose Sr. committed suicide in 1929 after the stock market crash at the Mansion. Who out there knows?
If anyone knows anything more on the location of the burial place of Nelson Chigley or the history of the Chigley Mansion or just the history of the Chigleys in general, please email me or visit my temporary website with photos dedicated to Nelson at and leave a comment.
Present day Chigley Mansion in Davis, Oklahoma
The following is two photographs of Nelson Chigley
Grave marker of Agnes Chigley Talley, daughter of Nelson and Julia Chigley located east of Davis
Monroe Cameron sent in a great link this week to a website that will take a lot of you back in time. Old western movies. When you get to look at the names as they scroll by, we sure lost a lot of great actors in the 90s to death. They can never be replaced.
I was told this week that Elephant Rock was named by Jack Richards back when Lake Murray was built. Jack was working at Lake Murray at the time and when he was asked, he said it looks like an elephant. So, elephant rock it was.
Ernest Martin out on Springdale Road stopped by to see me this week. I always learn something from Ernest, something from long ago, that most people either don’t know, or forgot about, every time he stops and chats. We were talking about our new water well (it’s doing great by the way) and he said the way they tested for hardness 50 or more years ago was using Tincture of Green Soap. You’d take a container and put 1 ounce of well water in it. Then let one drop of the Tincture of Green Soap drop into that ounce of water. Shake it. Keep dropping one drop at a time until it foamed up really well, and stayed foamed up. The droplet count determined your water hardness. The only problem in today’s world is finding Tincture of Green Soap according to Ernest. He didn’t know where a guy could buy it locally. I did a google search and find it still available by mailorder. But now that I think of about it, I would not be surprised if T&M Pharmacy at 12th and E Street NW carries the Tincture of Green Soap. They carry a lot of “old timey stuff”.
Tincture of Green Soap: a liquid preparation containing potassium soaps and alcohol; frequently advocated in skin cleansing, particularly after exposure to plant toxins such as poison ivy. It is not green, but a yellowish-orange color.
Doug Williams sent in a sneak preview of the 3 new pumper trucks due to arrive in Carter county next week. The trucks are about $750,000 each, bought with the fire tax money approved by voters a couple years ago. The pumpers will be delivered to Gene Autry, Springer and Dillard fire departments.
Another reader sent in a great link to a website that tracks hurricanes. The best one I’ve found yet.http://www.stormpulse.com/hurricane-ike-2008
Jill and I are still planning to make the Murray County Tractor Show on Saturday Sept 20th at Sulphur. We want to be there around noon and see the Grand Entry of all those tractors, 100s of them. Hope to see a bunch of you up there, its going to be fun!
Since moving in to our new home south of Lone Grove the 2nd of last February, we have been needing a hand rail for the front entrance. Rick Westergaard left Ardmore for about a year and lived in Ohio where he worked for a large custom handrail manufacturing company by the name of Suburban Steel making handrails. After about a year there, Rick decided to move back to good old Ardmore and he eventually ended up working in the maintenance department at the Carter County courthouse. There was a need for a handrail behind the new County Clerks office about a month ago, so Rick having the experience in welding handrails was put to task. In about a day he had a beautiful and strong handrail. When I saw the quality of his workmanship, I asked Rick if he would build Jill and I a handrail for our home. He agreed and on a Saturday morning at 7am he set in to welding together the 1 1/2 inch square tubing. At the end of the day he had a set of professionally made handrails in place. If you could see his work in person, you’d know Rick was a true craftsman. His attention to every little detail, making a custom made, flawless, continuous hand rail from 4 pieces of square tubing, is evident in his work. Some might think Rick leans toward being a perfectionist. But that’s great with me, then I know his work is the best!
Visit the Oklahoma History Boards, start a topic if you want too!
Q. What was the “Bone Dry Law”?
Q. Where is the nation’s largest helium plant?
A. (answer in next weeks T&T)
Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..“Hi there Butch and others. Real rough here in Pasadena, and Houston area. Ike did much damage, much devastation. Whole city is basically shut down. Will have to get some pictures to you. Pray for our city. There is much need here. Myself, out of work not sure if Ill even get unemployment as benefits are gone. But it could be much worse, I have a roof over my head at least till end of month, and some food. And must wait for some clean up to look for work. Many parts of city still without power. It has been like a giant tornado moved inland at Galveston and just kept going north. Hope Ardmore, didn’t get any of this.” -Shirley Bural Acosta, Pasadena, TX email@example.com
“I found in the 1920 census for Murray County, Oklahoma, a reference to Nelson Chigley, 86, living with his son Wyatt. Nelson is said to be a widower.”
“Nelson Chigley died about Nov. 16, 1922 in Davis, Ok. His funeral was in his son’s house in Davis. Burial place is not listed.”
“You missed the School Bell in front of the Arnett, School, Ellis County.”
“Butch, Please find attached: AHS 1955 Criterion picture of English teacher Dorothy Osborne. I found pics of her in my 1954, 1955 and 1956 Criterions. She taught English and directed the high school plays.”
“Hi Butch, Just wondering if any Readers remember Doc’s Pigstand in Ardmore?”
“Boy! That article about Grady the Cow sure took me back a ways. I was in high school in Oklahoma City when Grady made the famous jump. She certainly made headlines at the time. Does anyone remember “Leapy the leopard” who escaped from the Oklahoma City zoo in March, 1950? I recall that while he was still out, one downtown sporting goods store had a window displayed with every kind of ‘leopard-catching’ equipment, including fishing rods to ‘reel in a leopard’. Many leopard T-shirts were sold. Here is an article I found that was printed in TIME magazine at that time.” -Joh Gainey/Sulphur http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,812129,00.html
“Butch, we are in the process of planning the 50th reunion of the Wilson High School Class of 1959. The reunion will be held in Ardmore on April 24/25, 2009. Anyone interested in more details can find them on the WHS Class of 1959 web site at: http://whs1959.synthasite.com/ Thanks for all your GREAT work with “This and That”.” -Ken Barrett, The Woodlands, TX Kebken01@aol.com
“The flag pole at the First Freewill Baptist Church on the hill west of town was placed there by my family in memory of my brother, Robert M. Adams. He was a Korean veteran having served with the 179th Tank Company, 45th Division. He was a Lt. Col. when he passed away in 2002. There is a plaque there at the foot of the flag pole.” -Mary Martin
“I just found your site and love it. Was looking for information on Addington, OK, found your site and have now wandered down that history road you have done. This is awesome reading.
Just wanted to let you know that on your page glimpses you have a picture of the big dirt mound by Norman. It is now gone. They tore it down to build a Super Target. Anyway, wanted to share a story of what I was told it was when I was a youngin’.
We would travel south, headed to my grandparents, quite often. My dad told us that was where Paul Bunyan was buried. We believed him of course. Didn’t honestly know until years later what it was. LOL I had even passed the ‘legend’ on to my children so when news came to those of us in the Norman area that they would be dozing it down my daughter got very upset. Seems she believed, as did I, that is should remain there forever because her grandpa Tom (Borden) had said it, so that made it true. LOL
Thank you for your work on your Oklahoma History site and for sharing it with those of us who can’t travel so much.” -Rebecca Hensley
“I ran across your site, this is great. There’s a bell at the old Borum Ranch northeast of Foraker, Oklahoma that has been there probably since the ranch became inhabited. It has summoned many a man back to the ranch for lunch, prairie fires, a kid getting their arm broke, and just general “let’s ring the bell and see all the wasps fly out of it”. I sure appreciate someone taking the time to do something like this. I am all for saving our history, especially since I grew up there! Thanks! I acquired a bell that came from an east Texas piney woods school and it’s old. I have it in my front yard!” -Brenda Shank firstname.lastname@example.org
“Butch I found this bell this morning north of Temple, Oklahoma on Highway 65, about 10 miles southeast of Lawton. I am sending you a video of me ringing the bell it rings good.” -Doug Williams
“This hot air balloon greeted us over Ardmore this morning.” -Doug
“I am trying to locate an obit for Effie O. McClurg Whitely.
b. Aug 26 1880 and died Nov 15 1912, Ardmore Oklahoma.
Also looking for information on the FAA. On her headstone is the inscription of handclasp, stars on a shield, with a scale of justice and the letters F.A.A.. I did some research, and all I could come up with for the definition was Free and Accepted Americans. It was an organization formed about 1853 as a native American (not American Indians) patriotic secret society. I have tried looking online for this type of inscription to no avail. Maybe one of your Readers may know the answer.” -Lawana Hale
“History is not history, unless its the truth.” -Abraham Lincoln
See everyone next week!
Butch and Jill Bridges
PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443https://oklahomahistory.net
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Oklahoma Bells: https://oklahomahistory.net/bellpage.html
American Flyers Memorial Fund – Administration Webpage
Official American Flyers Memorial Website
Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Base Website
Mirror Site of the Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Website
Carter county schools, past and present
Carter County Government Website
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