Bellzona's Picture Book The Osages
Curtis Jones, son of Dennis and Bertha Big Eagle Jones was born May 15,
1929. He died December 4, 1956. His funeral was held during a blizzard
which blanketed the lonely prairie cemetery with a cover of glass like
ice. Ura May held tightly to her cousin, Donna for emotional and physical
support. He is buried next to his mother at Foraker, Oklahoma.
Warren was eight years old
when his mother died. Velma, Bertha's sister-in-law and friend saw to it
that Warren never missed a meal. She was an excellent cook and she kept
the family with traditional eating arrangements. Warren's grandmother,
Bellzona was ever alert to his clean, well-kept appearance. The boy was
gifted with his mother's personality and he was always welcome in and out
of the homes of his extended family.
The relationship of the
Native American is different from that of other Americans. There is no
cousin. One's cousin is called a brother or sister. Velma and Bertha were
raising their children this way. Warren was older than his cousins and he
was their hero. They looked up to him with adoring eyes. Warren fished
with his Grandsir, Jones, hunted with his Uncle Lee, dallied around the
kitchen while his aunt cooked, flitted in and out of his Grandmother
Bell's home. No one ever knew his feelings about his mother's death other
than his Aunt Velma and Uncle Lee. "There were many nights we sat up
with Warren while he cried for his Mother," Velma told the author.
The tragedy was never spoken about in their homes. At school he was the
protector of the younger children with a vigilant eye as to their problems
and in this way repaid his Aunt Velma and Uncle Lee for their protection
from the age of eight years after his Mother's death.
Warren served in the
military in Europe against the family's wishes as to carrying on the
ranching tradition. He faithfully recorded his experiences to a sister-cousin,
Donna, and sent along a five-dollar bill with each letter. While in Europe
he traveled seeing the countries there. He recorded his visits of castles
and monasteries, sending back souvenirs from those places. Once there was
a scarf with a map including Nice, another time a purse made by the monks
which had been engraved with gold leaf.
Upon his return from the
service he began to work at rebuilding the ranch lands. He rented dozers
and scraped out double ponds. He rebuilt sagging fences, and he roofed the
ranch house. Strangely he didn't stay there in the fully furnished house,
but, instead stayed in the more practical ranch which was furnished with
more durable oak furnishings. The "Strike Axe Place," which had
been Lee and Velma's home was where he chose to stay.
Warren drove pipe line
trucks carrying loads of long oil field pipe. He owed no bills when he
died. A twenty-one thousand dollar trust was set up for the child his wife
claimed was his and who carried the Jones name.
Warren's wife's uncle shot
him to death in a small Kansas town largely governed by her family. He had
sent her money to come home but she spent the money and called him asking
him to come after her. When he arrived, the family told in court he shot
the lights out around the house, and when he stepped on to the porch, the
wife's uncle, shot and killed him through the door.
A nurse at the hospital
told Dennis rigor mortise had set in already, an impossibility in the ten
minutes it took for the ambulance to get to the hospital.
William Henry Beaver Jones
and Rhoda Holloway Jones were the great-great grandparents of Warren
Curtis. His great-grandfather was William Stephens Jones who fought for
the Osage at Bartlesville, Oklahoma when they came from Kansas in their
own trail of tears.
This account was told to the author by Warren's father, Dennis Homer
Flynn Jones, who passed away in 1975. Dennis said he found Warren in
his bed at Bartlesville, unconscious where he had been struck with an
iron. The case was never taken to a higher court, so all the happenings
as to truth will never be known.
Geneva Jones, Warren's wife, is no longer
living. Recently, 2008, I have been told Geneva was badly beaten when
she returned to Mansfield, Missouri, but there again higher courts would
have included all of the incident for records. The family at the time
was too devastated to pursue anymore court time and more grief.
Warren's death destroyed a whole family because of his actively
contributing to the upkeep of the ranch. I was only 16 at the time and
could not move anyone in the family to push for higher courts. Years
later, I expressed a wish to have Warren's body exhumed so a proper
autopsy could be done and my family had disbelief that I should even
suggest such a thing. The killing was called Justifiable homicide in
that court at the time.
Contact with Warren's
heirs was never made until now and as far as is known, none have
registered with the Osage tribe. This registering should be done
because Warren would have wanted his descendants to have the educational
benefits, housing and medical their tribe could offer them..
Having known Warren as a brother, I'm sure
of this. Fifty three years after this event at 2008, I'm still saddened
to tears to record these things. However, we must go forward with
providing for our family and loved ones through Warren's descendants
regardless of the hatefulness of that events to have happened so many
years ago, some 53, in fact. It is the whole reason for my doing this
work, to try to close a horrific event we suffered through with
something good. If I should be gifted to see my loving brother in the
resurrection I will be able to tell him I did everything I could to see
his descendants could be provided for, even though he was no longer
Donna Jones Flood,
Sister, cousin to Warren Curtis Jones
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