Search just our sites by using our customised search engine

Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Sweeter Than Elderberry Wine
A Rich Looking Crazy Quilt

John and Zona were camping along the Caney River, close to Bartlesville, in a tent when the time came for her to deliver her first child. This small shelter where they lived held a bed, and a miniature wood, cook stove. A plank floor John built at the bottom of the tent and it gave the space more of a “house” feel. There was just room for Zona’s trunk in another corner beside the bed. In this storage place the first time mother stored all the tiny clothes she had made for the baby. It was only a camp but had a feeling of home about it.

‘Wiley kept a small account with Jake Bartles and those records are still available. The store is where John purchased their bed and little wood burning cook stove. Whatever the tie was between Jake Bartles and Wiley was never told from the descendants. The statement was made, “Jake Bartles was their friend.”

Jake was a prosperous man who made many contributions to the state in the way of economics. He fought in the Civil war on the side of the Union. The soldier’s life may have been what gave the men a friendship but Wiley believed they were friends and he spoke of it to his wife and children.’

‘Jake’s wife was Delaware Native American and Wiley’s daughter married a Delaware man. Jake’s wife was of the Johnny Cake family and Dora, Wily’s daughter, married Coo-Weet’-Skoo-Weet,’ a Cherokee-Delaware man, Edward Frenchman. This was another name for Ross and Edward had Cherokee blood, as well. The name was a Cherokee word meaning, “White Bird That Flies in the Morning, or in American, Ross. He was called, Edward Frenchman. Dora and Edward had two children, Effie and Dennis. Effie died six months after her mother and is buried beside Dora with an identical white stone marker at the cemetery close to Caney, Kansas. Effie was sixteen.’

‘The acquaintance between Jake Bartles and Wiley may have been through this tribal, Native American, avenue of association. It is possible Edward Frenchman, Dora Jones’s husband, and Jake Bartles wife was blood related or, at least, related through a mutual clan. This has not been researched and is only speculation but one can be sure there was, indeed, some association because of the known close relationships between tribal members. “Coo-Weet-Scoo-Weet,” is a Cherokee word and Dora was adopted by that tribe so that she and Edward could become legally married under the federal government. Oklahoma was not a state at the time and they could get a marriage license under established-federal laws. There were no state laws at the time.’

‘Jake Bartle’s wife was active in the Baptist church and made contributions in that way. This might have been the basis of their family’s friendship. But for whatever reason the man, Jake, was a benefactor to all the settlers around Bartlesville and helped them to better their lifestyle, Wiley’s family included. History calls Jake Bartles the leader in the community. It was the way with the Joneses, they were actually the true leaders who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to see one trusted, strong, honorable person or another put into a place of power for service to their community while the Joneses carefully stuck to their policy of not calling attention to themselves or dabbling in politics. This culture was commonly practiced, with the Jones men for many years, before and after the civil war.

Osage names of Tish a walla stayed the same, Big Eagle and Chessawalla somehow survived the anglicizing but Ollo Ho kah Walla was shortened to Loho. The name Snake Hide was completely changed and those became “Berry,” which was a totally different surname of another race, yet. The Catholic missions and schools were interested in appropriate names, those that would fit into society which was fast becoming a new world for the Native American. Records were kept in the Catholic missions and those have been put into book form and are available today at the Osage Museum which has been in Pawhuska, Oklahoma for more than sixty years. In these books it is interestingly shown how the names are being written, sometimes in a clumsy way but, nevertheless, documented.’

Those women, too, were in possession of the knowledge and learning of their ancestors regarding childbirth which had not been corrupted at the time by the methods of the races living around them.

While Zona was in labor there was no confinement. Instead the women walked together, strolling along and through paths in the beautiful woodlands. They laughed about some happening in their lives and were light hearted and happy. When the first pains were upon the woman those with her simply stopped where they were until she could again continue their walk. If she tired and wanted rest they returned to the tent where she could be comfortable and relax for a bit. They knew the teas from herbal plants to give Zona at that time while she was not moving around. Even though the weather was warm, a fire had been built and this was where a blanket was heated and placed across her abdomen in between their walks. This worked to speed up the time she had to wait for the birth. At all times gravity was used to facilitate the birth and most usually no woman was forced onto the flat of her back. This is a position modern day deliveries demand.

Golden Seal, a medicinal plant, grew in profusion between the meadow grasses and this was used as a poultice like ginger for healing and in a tea to avoid infection. The root of the Snake Root was also used in teas.

Zona gasped in pain. Once again she felt that terrible fear that something might be wrong, but she knew so little about childbearing she wasn't sure.

Shunkamola smiled reassuringly. "Time to walk some more," she said. “It will help the baby climb down out of you." She reached down and gently pulled Zona to her feet.

Ollo Hok a Walla took some water lily roots out of the pouch she was carrying. "You walk and I'll make some soup." She began vigorously chopping the roots and tossing them into the pot that was next to the fire. “As soon as the baby is born, you must eat.”

Zona steadied herself as another pain hit her. With the skillful assistance of her friends it was just a short time until her baby was born, all pink and healthy. Her little girl’s rosebud mouth looked especially carved to rest on the ivory curves of her face. Long eyelashes swept over her cheeks.

“She’s beautiful, so beautiful!” Zona was instantly in love with her daughter as any mother is.

“Eat now! You must eat!” The Osage women were a bit unsettled with the tiny amounts of food Zona ingested.

“Eat! You must eat! Get strong! Take care baby!” They were tempting her with hot meat broth, wild grape dumplings which were sweet and tart at the same time and the soup of the Yonka-Pins (water lily roots) which is a tuber that is high in minerals, vitamins and protein.

Zona formed a tie with the women while they attended her during childbirth. The tribe was barely surviving off the land but they knew how to do that with ease. The young woman who sewed their clothing with agile fingers had won their hearts and there was gratitude to her.

“You be all right. You have strong baby, too.” The women spoke to Zona in broken English but among themselves they chattered and gossiped about her freely.

Zona didn’t mind. She had accepted the tribe as easily as they accepted her. The women were certainly there to help her when she needed them the most and neither of them forgot.

John and Zona’s girl baby was perfect in every way. She was tiny. She was perfectly formed. John was only around 5 feet 6 inches and Zona wasn’t much more than five feet tall.

John fidgeted around the camp and was in and out of the tent where Zona and the child were.

“Isn’t she the most beautiful baby in the whole world?” and Zona felt this was the reason she had left Arkansas. The new mother pulled the soft, rich looking, crazy-quilt up around her tiny little girl.

“She is.” Joe agreed. His thoughts were now turning to what and how he had to provide for his new baby and wife.

Jake Bartles now was said to be digging for black gold to become the future great wealth of that same tribe, The Osage.

Return to section index page


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus