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From the collection of Tony Thomas
(The Fiddling Sawmiller)

J. R. Joplin, born at Hoops, Bowie Co., Texas, 1868, told me his father, Joe JOPLIN, when a young man, and Clark CRAYCROFT went into the mercantile business on Turkey Creek in Missouri which was the beginning of the City of Joplin. Later Joe JOPLIN came to Texas and married Minerva HOOPS. She died about 1869, and Blake HOOPS, a cousin, and his mother took J. R. home with them to live. They lived on the Texas side of the Red River, about eight miles southeast of Doaksville, where they had a store, cotton gin and ferry on their plantation. J. R. spent much time on the Choctaw Nation side of the river as a boy.

Later, about 1888, Blake HOOPS bought out the George Rosenthal stock of merchandise at Doaksville and placed J. R. JOPLIN and (Nub) FOLSOM in the store to run it. John WILSON had a cotton gin, grist mill and store at the mill dam on Clear Creek and much stock on the range.

J. R. JOPLIN was living at Doaksville when the Indian, Wash Lo-ak, was returning from a court session at Paris, Texas, and was shot from ambush as he rode across on the HOOPS ferry. J. R. was there also during the trouble and some deaths among the men named FORD, CARPENTER, Bob PEELER, George PRITCHARD, also the Choctaw Lo-ak's and WILLIAMS'. He was at Alikchi when William GOINS died.

A Choctaw Indian named WILLIAMS, a full blood, had a good business up on Glover River. He freighted his merchandise from Paris, Texas, and used to spend the night at Blake HOOP's when he ferried across.

Doc EVERIDGE was the champion fiddler of Pushmataha District, Choctaw Nation, and lived in Kiamichi, about twelve miles from Doaksville, Towson, once the capital of the Choctaw Nation. Mrs. Everidge died about 1915.

It was Doc WILLIS' slaves who wrote? "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" and many other songs. Some others mentioned by J. R. JOPLIN were Ike SHEPARD, the interpreter at the store, Lee BIBBS, a sheriff, Charlie HARRIS, JACOBS, Tony MARSHALL, and Uncle North HILL who had a small cabin on the prairie where Ft/ Towson is now. The R. S. BONNER home was built on the old HILL cabin site.

Transcribed to Electronic form by Diane Roberts
Published in The Oklahoma Genealogical Society Quarterly
Volume 8, Number 1, 1963

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