Mississippi Choctaw Application Entry 606

Mary A. Bittick et. al.

                  Commission To The Five Civilized Tribes                    
                 Ardmore, Indian Territory, Sept. 21, 1898                   
In the Matter of the application of Mary A. Bittick, et al, Petitioning for  
identification as Mississippi Choctaws with their descendants. Examination   
by Mr. G.M.P. Turner attorney for petitioners.                               
Mary Ann Bittick being duly sworn by Commissioner T.P. Needles testifies as  
Question: About how old are you Mrs. Bittick? Answer: Well, I know I am      
somewhere in eighty - somewhere in eighty; maybe eight-three or eighty-four  
or maybe more. I am in eighty.                                               
Question: Who was your mother? Answer: My mother was Rosa Ann (Rosanna)      
Ballew before she was ever married. She married James Green (Guinn) Melson,  
but her name was Rosa Ann Ballew.                                            
Question: Who was her father? Answer: William Ballew and her mother Sarah    
Question: Who was Sarah Jones? Answer: She was Tom Jones' daughter.          
Question: Now state to the gentleman what Tom Jones was? Answer: He was a    
full blood Indian.                                                           
Question: What sort of an Indian? Answer: A Choctaw.                         
Question: You say Rosa Ann Ballew was his (grand) daughter and married a     
Melson? Answer: Yes sir.                                                     
Question: Who was her mother? Answer: Rosa Ann Ballew. (Her mother was       
Sarah Jones).                                                                
Question: How much Indian did she have in her veins? Answer: Well, her       
father - she was one quarter Indian.                                         
Question: Was she the daughter of (Sarah) Jones?                             
Answer: Yes sir.                                                             
Question: Was Tom Jones wife a white woman or an Indian? Answer: She was a   
white woman.                                                                 
Question: And your mother was the (grand) daughter - Rosa Ann Ballew?        
Answer: Yes sir.                                                             
Question: And Rosa Ann Ballew was the daughter of Sarah Jones? Answer:       
Yes sir.                                                                     
Question: And Sarah Jones was the daughter of Tom Jones? Answer. Yes sir.    
Question: Where were you born? Answer: I was born in seven miles of          
Natchez, Mississippi. I do not know what county it was.                      
Question: Do you know any road that would indicate leading to the town?      
Answer: Now here is a house (witness indicates) and there is a field of      
that way (witness indicates) and the road went off between the field and     
the house.                                                                   
Question: Did you live with your parents all the time? Answer: Yes sir.      
Question: Did you move to any other place? Answer: No sir. We just stayed    
and stayed there until we moved to Arkansas.                                 
Question: And you afterwards moved to Arkansas? Answer: Yes sir.             
Question: Do you remember whether you moved after the Choctaws left the      
country? Answer: Yes sir. Two or three years after the bulk left.            
Question: I will get you to state Mrs. Bittick whether you were considered   
a white or a Choctaw girl? Answer: I was considered a Choctaw girl among the 
girls and some of them sorter looked on me as an Indian and other nice girls 
would say: "I do not care if she is a Choctaw Indian. She is a good girl and 
I like her and I am going to be with her and associate with her. She is a    
nice girl."                                                                  
Question: You remember these doings back in your girlhood days? Answer:      
Yes sir. I remember that just as well as anything can be.                    
Question: You are very feeble in health are you not? Answer: Yes sir.        
Question: And very old? Answer: Yes sir. I am old.                           
Question: Dr. Bittick is your son? Answer: Yes sir. The only child I have    
Question: What is your son's given name? Answer: Samuel G. Bittick.          
Question: You heard me read the ... list of grandchildren and great          
grandchildren several times? Answer: Yes sir.                                
Question: Were these all your grandchildren and great grandchildren you      
gave me the names of? Answer: All my grandchildren.                          
Question: Have you got your picture taken when you was a young woman?        
Answer: I have got it taken since we were married. I have not (had) it       
taken when I was a young woman or girl. There was no pictures taken when I   
was a girl.                                                                  
Question by Commissioner A.S. McKinnon: Where has she been residing since    
she came from Mississippi? Answer by Mr. Turner: In Arkansas, Hempstead      
Continuation of examination of witness by Mr. Turner.                        
Question: Did you have a sister? Answer: Yes sir.                            
Question. Who did she marry? Answer: I had several sisters. One of them      
married a Milson and one of them married a Johnson.                          
Question: The one who married a Milson who was that? Answer: Rebecca.        
Question: And Mr. (Howard) Milson the gentleman here was he her son? Answer. 
Yes sir.                                                                     
                        Affidavit of J.S. Snellgrove                         
Indian Territory,                                                            
Southern Judicial District,                                                  
Before me, a Notary Public in and for said District, on this day personally  
appeared J.S. Snellgrove, who after being by me duly sworn on his oath       
states and says: that he resides in the Chickasaw Nation and Indian          
Territory and has so resided for a period of 13 years. That he is personally 
acquainted with Dr. S.G. Bittick who resides at Ryan in the Chickasaw Nation 
in said Territory. That he was personally acquainted with the late Mary A.   
Bittick who was mother of S.G. Bittick and who departed this life Nov. 15th  
1898. That the said Mary A. Bittick during the latter part of her life and   
at the time of her death resided at the town of Ryan in the Chickasaw Nation 
Indian Territory. That upon her death she left surviving her as one of her   
heirs at law, a son, the said Dr. S.G. Bittick who from all appearance is    
now of the age of 51 years. Affiant further states that he knows that the    
said Mary A. Bittick was the identical person she claimed and represented    
herself to be during her lifetime, and that the said S.G. Bittick is the     
same person whom he represents himself to be in his application for          
citizenship in the Choctaw Nation. Affiant furthers says that the said Mary  
A. Bittick at the time of her death was a very old woman. That she was from  
all appearances above the age of 80 years. That she was a very large woman   
with coarse straight black hair and black eyes. That she was of a dark       
copper color and that she had the appearance of being of Indian blood.       
Affiant further says that the said Mary A. Bittick's maiden name was Mary    
A. Melson and that affiant was personally acquainted her brother Sol Melson  
when he resided in the state of Arkansas where affiant knew him. Affiant     
further says that he became acquainted with the said Sol Melson about the    
year 1862 and that he lived nearby him in the same neighborhood from about   
1862 to 1877 and during this time he was well acquainted with Solomon Melson 
and with his relatives and family residing in said neighborhood. That the    
said Sol Melson was of a dark copper color with coarse straight black hair,  
black eyes, and high prominent cheek bones. That he showed from his          
appearance that he was of Indian blood. That he was, when affiant last knew  
him, about 65 years of age. That the said Sol Melson and Mary A. Bittick,    
nee Melson, resembled each other very much and that all the other members of 
said family with whom affiant was acquainted, and he knew several of them,   
had the same general appearance. Affiant further says that the said Melson   
was generally known and recognized in the neighborhood in which he lived and 
among the people he was most intimately acquainted to be of Choctaw Indian   
origin and that it was generally understood in that neighborhood among the   
people that said Melson was of Choctaw Indian blood.                         
Affiant further says that he was acquainted with such reputation at the time 
last above named and that such was their general reputation in that          
neighborhood at that time. Affiant further says that said Sol Melson is      
now dead. That the said Mary A. Bittick in her lifetime also claimed to be   
of Choctaw Indian blood. Affiant further says that the complexion, physical  
appearance, language and manners of the said Mary A. Bittick and the said    
Sol Melson indicated that they were of Indian origin. That from the facts    
and circumstances and from the statements above made out affiant says that   
he has every reason to believe that the said Mary A. Bittick and Sol Melson  
and said S.G. Bittick are of Choctaw Indian blood. That the said Sol Melson  
and the said Mary A. Bittick claimed to have emigrated to the state of       
Arkansas from the state of Mississippi a great many years ago and that it    
was generally understood in the neighborhood where they lived that they      
came originally from Mississippi to Arkansas.                                
Affiant further says that he has no interest in the prosecution of the claim 
made by the said Mary A. Bittick and now being prosecuted by her son S.G.    
Bittick for identification and enrollment as Mississippi Choctaw Indians and 
as descendants of such Indians.                                              
                              J.S. Snellgrove                                
Sworn to and subscribed before me this the 26 day of June, 1900.             
                         G.L. Tyson, Notary Public                           
                        Affidavit of Emeline Pertate                         
Indian Territory,                                                            
Central District,                                                            
Before me, the undersigned authority, on this day appeared Emeline Pertate   
who after being by me duly sworn on oath says: that she is a Mississippi     
Choctaw Indian of the full blood. That she is about 80 years of age though   
she is unable to state what her exact age is. That she was born in the state 
of Mississippi where she lived until she was about eleven years old when she 
was taken to the state of Tennessee. That she is a lineal descendant of the  
Mississippi Choctaw Indians. That during her childhood she knew and often    
played with Mary Ann Melson who was then a girl of about eleven or twelve    
years of age. That the said Mary Ann Melson was the daughter of Rosanna      
Melson, formerly Rosanna Ballew, who then resided in the State of            
Mississippi. That affiant also knew while she lived in Mississippi an old    
Indian man who was a full blood Choctaw Indian and who was very old who went 
by the name of Possum Jones. That he claimed to be related to the said       
Rosanna Melson and to the said Mary Ann Melson. That the said Rosanna Melson 
and Mary Ann Melson called him grandpa Jones. That said Possum Jones often   
visited the family of said Rosanna Melson and Mary Ann Melson whom he        
claimed as his grand children. Affiant says that she knew the said Possum    
Jones well while she lived in the State of Mississippi and that after she    
moved to Tennessee he visited the house where she lived and that she saw and 
talked with him there.                                                       
That affiant at that time did not understand the English language and could  
not understand it when she heard it spoken and that she spoke the Choctaw    
language and that she talked with grandpa Possum Jones in that language.     
That when this affiant left the State of Mississippi she left the said       
Rosanna Melson and Mary Ann Melson living in that state. That this affiant   
can not state from memory at just what time she left the State of            
Mississippi, but that she left there about the time the Choctaw Indians were 
leaving the State. Affiant further says that she removed to the State of     
Texas about forty years ago and that she has lived most of the time in Lamar 
County, Texas. That she saw and knew Mary Ann Bittick, the mother of Dr.     
S.G. Bittick, before her death. That she last saw and talked with said Mary  
Ann Bittick during the year 1898. That said Mary Ann Bittick was then a very 
old woman. This affiant knows that the said Mary Ann Bittick was the same    
person whom she knew as a child in the state of Mississippi as Mary Ann      
Melson the daughter of Rosanna Melson. That she and the said Mary Ann        
Bittick, often during the year 1898, talked over their childhood days        
together when they lived as little children in the state of Mississippi, and 
that they each remembered little incidents which had occurred during their   
childhood together. That this affiant now has upon her foot a scar left by a 
wound which was made during her childhood and which was treated and sewed up 
by the said Rosanna Melson in the State of Mississippi when this affiant was 
a little girl. That said Mary Ann Bittick was dark complexioned, was quite   
dark and had coarse straight black hair and black eyes and had every         
appearance of being of Indian blood and that she and her said mother always  
claimed to be of the Choctaw Indian blood and to be Mississippi Choctaws.    
That the said Rosanna Melson also had every appearance of being of Indian    
That while said family resided in the State of Mississippi they associated   
with the Choctaw Indians and that they and the Indians visited each other    
and that they were then recognized as Choctaw Indians by the people among    
whom they lived. That this affiant can not read and write, but that she      
remembers distinctly the facts above stated. That this affiant did not know  
the given name of Possum Jones and that she always understood that the name  
Possum was a nick name and that she knows that he was called Possum Jones by 
the Indian children.                                                         
                        Emeline (her x mark) Pertate                         
                            Witness: S.S. Wigand                             
Sworn to and subscribed before me this the 12 day of June, 1900.             
                        B.C. Wigand, Notary Public,                          
                           Southern Dist., I.T.                              
Records of the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, Mississippi Choctaw  
Application Entry 606, National Archives, Washington, D.C.                   
David Kelley 1997