the owner of this photograph opened the trunk to pull the picture out of
its storage place she found it had been shattered. Probably, by the
dampness of the basement, the fragile paper and the weight of the things
on top of it. Rodney Flood, the author's husband, repaired the photograph
via the computer. The photo is included because it does show the
differences in her life between the youthful time and this one as a young
working woman. It also shows the contrast between Lizzie and her sisters,
Annie, Fannie, and Creth. The older girls spoke their language only. They
worked in the fields with their father, providing sustenance for their
growing families. It is strange to see the pictures of her sisters remain
intact while hers was damaged. She worked as hard as they did and
certainly at a greater emotional drain as to having to leave her home as a
child of five. She had to endure isolation from her family in the strict
discipline of boarding schools.
Although she did return to her tribal
custom of wearing her hair parted down the middle and pulled back in a
bun, here, she has a Gibson girl hair style of the day. The ribbon
catching her hair back is soft and attractive. Faintly one can see a
strand of pearls around the soft ruffled neckline of the blouse. This
picture was probably taken when she was working for the lawyer, A.W.
Comstock in Ponca City. It was said she was the first woman to be a notary
republic officer in the state, and one of the first to get a divorce. When
the lawyer pointed this out to her she said, "Oh well, I'm not
concerned it is going to damage my social standing, as to attending any
garden parties." She was witty and could make statements like this
with no change in expression making the situation all the more hilarious.
It will never be known just what she did endure. Lizzie was very close
mouthed about her life and if one was not an eye witness, it would not be
known if she did or didn't suffer. Her children were her whole reason for
living. She was closer to them than most. They were schooled by her as a
single parent after her second husband and she was divorced. She moved
from her farm home to a small house in town. Because she didn't have money
at first for utilities she went to the fire department and received
permission to build a small cooking grate on the ground and this is where
she cooked their meals. She went to work in a laundry, walking there every
day in order to bring in the money she needed to keep the family intact.
Each child was working for wages also. Lizzie was early to rise in the
mornings and was up before dawn praying for her son who was in the
heaviest of battle on the islands during the second world war.
Through wise management of her land and
through sales of surplus land she was able to purchase a very fine home in
Ponca City, just a couple of blocks from the finest part of the town. She
furnished the house very well by making agreement with the merchants to
pay, fifty cents a week toward her purchases until her land sales were
completed. Weekly she made a daily walk through the town, paying each one
of the merchants. Lizzie lived out the last days of her life in this very
lovely location. The yard was flanked by spreading Native elm trees whose
rich dark green branches dipped to the ground in places. Red roses bloomed
off the fence on one side of her lot outside her bedroom window. The
honeysuckle growing there along with the flowering hedge lent a fragrance
to the backyard pleasing the senses of any who shared a visit. Those tall
arrow straight Poplar trees planted along side the silver leaf maple also
lined the fence row where the roses grew.
The house itself had been built by a
contractor and it was filled with little surprises to make living more
pleasurable. The builder seemed to anticipate every whim of the tenant and
included some gadget or function to make a pleasant life for the occupant.
The sunroom on the back of the house was
one of the very pleasant nooks. It was furnished with a large pink and
white flowered chintz fabric covered chair and a small bed. The room
served as a guest room. To awaken surrounded by the windows which were
just above the edge of the bed was a most pleasant morning with the sounds
of the cooing doves and many other birds making their early chirpings.
The aroma of Lizzie cooking breakfast
always filtered into the room and gave the person there a sudden desire to
The house set only a long block down from
the oil millionaire E.W. Marland's brother-in-law, Sam Collins. This gave
the area a feeling of mystery for the children who were only vaguely aware
of the era gone by. The wealth and glory days of the oil refinery town
lingered in the fine old homes of the neighborhood.