The Pictorial Press, Tahlequah, Oklahoma, Thursday, April 18, 1974 (article
featured photo of Addie Blanton Sweatt crocheting an afghan)
ADDIE SWEATT DAUGHTER OF PIONEERS by Lorena Travis, Staff Writer After interviewing Addie Blanton Sweatt, at the home of her daughter,Marguerite (Mrs. Frank Stauss) at 324 W. Shawnee, we pondered her alertness, good humor, and common sense in dealing with details of the moments. These characteristics are common for a young woman, but not an 87 year old senior citizen. Sharpening our awareness was the presence of her two active great grandchildren, Susan and Steven Stauss, near five and three years respectively. They were in the care of Marguerite, their grandmother, but getting attention from everyone. Such experiences are good medicine for anyone hating the limitations that declining years bring upon them.
Spring colors were all around us -from white azalea blooming at the door step to the handmade yellow dress for Susan; who had told Marguerite she wanted "a real Easter dress and not a boughten one." However, as colors go, we shall probably remember longest the image of Addie Sweatt herself, engaged in her most enjoyable hobby of late years - crocheting. The piece at hand was an afghan in browns, yellows, black, and beige. Holding it she looked he picture of health. She talked easily about her young years, her family, and the ups and downs she has experienced. "We worked hard all our lives, but it was a good life, and we managed to get an education," she said.
Addie Blanton Sweatt was born on a farm in Grayson County, Texas, south of Whiteright (sic Whitewright) on October 5, 1886. She lived there with her parents until two years after marriage - then moved to Oklahoma. Her father was Benjamin Franklin Blanton, and her mother was Julia (Blanton) Blanton (same surname). Addie was the ninth of ten children. She has one living sister, 90 year old Maggie (Mrs. W.A. Badgett) in Dennison (sic), Texas. The family has a record of longevity: her mother lived within seven months of a hundred years, and her father was 93 when he died.
Growing up Addie Blanton had varied experience since her father was involved in different enterprises. He farmed mostly cotton and what - had a cotton gin, general merchandise store, and the Post Office, at Bliss, Texas. "An exciting part of my father's store was "the peddler's wagon," Mrs. Sweatt said. "He hauled merchandise into rural areas and sold from two wagons; which were set up to sell or trade with exchanges of chickens, eggs, and vegetables for needed articles. A chicken coop was a part of the equipment."
"So much work went on that my mother had many extra hands to feed. There were also many visitors - especially during the summer vacations - and there were many Blanton's, " Mrs. Sweatt said. "Our family would go and stay a month at a time. Our mother never knew exactly how many would sit at her table." Addie went to Bethel School, a mile from the Blanton home - at one time they had three teaches. the school building was also the church house.
After the eighth grade Addie enrolled in Whiteright (sic) College for two years. She and Minnie Sweatt, her husband's niece, rode horseback to the school in skirts and on side saddles. "I had a dandy little pony named "Dan" who could pace and outrun our other ponies. We had a good time thought I didn't like algebra and I wasn't too good at diagramming, " she said.
Addie Blanton met Noah Columbus Sweatt at the Baptist Church in Bethel, Texas. He had come from Oklahoma to work for his uncle, Joe Sweatt, who lived there. "We rode horseback together - for special used (sic - use) a beautiful horse and buggy. For picnics and revivals meetings we rode in a wagon with other young people. Two years later we were married in my home.
I was 18 years old. When Loys, our first child, was a year old we moved to Davenport, Oklahoma, where my husband's people lived., It took us three weeks to go in a covered wagon. "Though my husband's father, John Sweatt, was part Cherokee, I had never lived around Indians and I was scared, "
Mrs. Sweatt said. My father was part French and brown eyed; my mother was part Dutch, dark skinned and blue eyed. They had no help after leaving the farm to live in Whiteright (sic), but took care of each other.
The Sweatt Family lived in Davenport until Marguerite was school age and Lillian a baby. They moved to a farm at Georgetown (by the trolley line) near Fort Gibson and farmed four or five years. They worked hard hoeing and picking cotton and raising their own food. A man of foresight Sweatt became one of the first diversified farmers switching from all cotton to include crops such as corn and alfalfa. The same was true of livestock. With the surplus they found outlets for poultry, eggs, milk and butter. Sweatt also clerked in a store during the winter.
The next move was into Fort Gibson, where Sweatt operated a cotton gin. One fall Addie weighted the cotton on the wagons - then weighted the empty wagons. In Fort Gibson the children all graduated from high school. From there Loys went to A&M College in Brian, Texas; the girls to Northeastern, Tahlequah. This meant packing a trunk, riding a train - to Tahlequah on the Frisco - and living a whole term before returning home. Today the children marvel at the work and management it took to pay for the extras in high school (for such things as music lessons) and then on to college. Loys played the saxophone and Marguerite the violin in the high school orchestra. She also played the banjo and both girls played the piano.
On March 13, 1933 came the first family tragedy with the death of the father. He wasn't quite 50 when a leakage of the heart succumbed to
pneumonia. Afterwards, Mrs. Sweatt stayed in Fort Gibson, two years, clerking in a store until her father died in Texas. She stayed with her
mother for the next 10 years but continued to work in a department store. After he mother died Mrs. Sweatt came to Tahlequah and worked another 10 years in the Stauss Drug - until she was 75 years old. "Some people are ashamed of having to work hard but my family never felt that way, " she said. Mrs. Sweatt spends most of her time with Marguerite and Lillian - a teacher in Tulsa. Loys and family live in Kansas. Addie Sweatt keeps busy and has crocheted all granddaughters an afghan and great granddaughters a poncho. All told she has eight grand and 14 great grandchildren.
(research note: Addie Blanton Sweatt's mother, Julia Ann Blanton, was born in Rutherford Co., NC. She was the daughter of Fannin Co., TX pioneers Stephen Fletcher Blanton, a CSA veteran, and Sarah McDaniels. Addie's father, Benjamin F. Blanton, was also born in Rutherford Co., NC and he was the son of Benjamin Edward Blanton and Mary Ann Feagans.)
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