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Don Juan Folsom

[Source: O'Beirne, Harry F.  Leaders and Leading Men of the Indian Territory: With Interesting Biographical Sketches, vol. 1: Choctaws and Chickasaws, with Brief History of Each Tribe, etc. (Chicago: American Publishers Association, 1891).]

Don was born in August, 1866, in Atoka County, Choctaw Nation; is the son of Judge Julius Folsom, his mother's maiden name being Thompson. In 1878 and 1879 he was sent to the Denison (Texas) High School; after which he went to Roanoke College, Salem, Virginia, where he remained for three years, returning to Atoka in 1884. The same year he was elected Clerk of the House of Representatives, and in 1885 appointed County Clerk by Silas James, Judge of Atoka County. During the term, before he was in his twentieth year, he purchased a half interest in the "Independent," a Choctaw and Chickasaw national organ, edited by H. F. O'Beirne. while connected with this paper, the young man exhibited a great deal of talent as a writer, and had he continued in the field of literature, would have made a success in that capacity.

While his father, Judge Julius Folsom, was in office, Don continued to serve as County Clerk until the election of Governor B. F. Smallwood to the executive chair in 1888, when the subject of this sketch became his private secretary and filled the office till its expiration. In the meanwhile, he had been reading law for some years, and in 1889 commenced practicing with success from the first. He has recently abandoned everything else for his profession, and is apparently doing a good business. He is connected with a well-known legal firm in Paris, Texas.

In 1886 Mr. Folsom married Deborah Brown, the daughter of J. R. Brown, late of Atoka, who was one of Atoka's belles at the time of her marriage. They have three children, Daphne, Robb and Ethel. He was the youngest council clerk and secretary ever appointed or elected.


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