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Chilocco - Otilia Haydee (Tillie) Hernandez


Otilia Haydee (Tillie) HernandezBorn May 28, 1925 Daughter of Elizabeth and Enrique Emilio (Henry) Hernandez. She died January 1, 1994 at St. Joseph's Medical in Ponca City, Oklahoma, five A.M. She was sixty- eight years old. She is buried at the I.O.O.F cemetery, Catholic section, at Ponca City.

Tillie was the youngest of three children. Her brother Francis Vincent Hernandez was born July 18, 1920. He died February 2, 1989. Her other brother, Daniel B. Hernandez was born March 18, 1917, Died

September 10, 1998. Tillie's sister, Velma Louise Pensoneau Jones and brother Edward Richard Pensoneau were children of Narcisse and Elizabeth Pensoneau. Ed was born August 4, 1910. Velma was born January 15, 1913. Tillie served with the Bureau of Indian Affair as Administrative Officer at Chilocco Indian School. Upon its closing she served three years before retirement in the capacity of program analyst at the Bureau in Anadarko, Oklahoma. She retired from there in 1983.

Tillie served with the Bureau during the historic closing of the century old boarding school of Chilocco. It was a most difficult assignment since she was the chief administrator at the time. There were families who had spent their lives at the school. Some of these were descendants of others who had served before them. These employees were in a time of change. Having to give up the beauty of the surroundings as well as the ideals and goals for which the school stood was traumatic for them. Tillie had to be responsible for carrying out the smallest details even as to the destruction of heirloom looms which had been tools for a part of the schools curriculum. These decisions were not hers but she had to accept the responsibility of carrying out the orders from her superiors. It was most damaging to her and it destroyed her health.

Some compared the closing of the school to the end of a dynasty and in effect it was. The man who was superintendent of the school saw to it's success. Mr. L.E. Correll was said to be responsible for the superior education given to the Native American. Some years there were as many as a thousand students on campus and Mr. Correll could call any one of them by name personally. Without his guidance and direction after his death the school began to slip into failure. Mr. Correll was not only a wise educator but a most astute businessman. His keen political maneuvering

kept a good press for the school also. The contributions made to the area raised many peoples life style and made living easier. The students educated there are to this day serving in every phase of public lives, contributing and producing children who are also workers for peaceful, clean communities. With this kind of an order being ended one can see why Tillie's job required her total dedication and also how it was so very stressful for her.

The genealogy of the Hernandez family is not complete. They come from a very old line. OTILIA, (Tillie) was the end of a line from that old family originally from Spain. Her father corresponded with his family in Mexico with flowing elegant penmanship. There is a brother of Tillie's father, Henrique, (Henry). The brother Jesus Hernandez lives in Mission, Texas and owns or owned a citrus plantation. There are pictures of airplanes spraying their crops. Jesus has a family there and is around ninety some years. Enrique had a brother, Abraham, who was killed here in Oklahoma sometime around the turn of the century. Shaw-Bah-Kay-Wah-They was the Ponca name given to OTILIA. Her Spanish name, "OTILIA," is the name of a beautiful flower of Mexico.


 

 


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