Biography of Hon. W. A. Palmer

The subject of this sketch was born near the mouth of Little River, Creek Nation, in 1856; the son of Palmer, a half-breed French and Creek, who came from the old country in 1833 and died at Fort Gibson in 1865, only surviving his wife (Watey Palmer’s mother), about two weeks, she dying rather suddenly, close to Fort Scott, Kansas. At the outbreak of the war, the subject of out sketch went with his parents, who refugeed for three and a half years among the Sac and Fox Indians in Kansas. When ten years of age, after the death of his parents, Watey was living with his grandmother, an old full blood, who had gone down with the Confederacy. With her he lived until sixteen years of age, after which he went to school at Tallahassee Mission, paying his way by work done during vacation time, for which he deserves unstinted credit. After two years spent at that school, the nation, recognizing his desire for education, placed him at Henderson Southwestern Baptist Union School, Jackson, Tennessee, for four years, after which, in 1881, he became a student for two years at Westminster College, Fulton, Mo. Returning home during the election, he was elected by the Little River Tulsie Town to represent them in the House of Warriors, which office he held for four years. During this term he took a commercial course at Bryant & Stratton’s College, St. Louis, and was after this elected National Auditor for the Creek Nation, in 1887. In 1890, in company with Captain G. W. Grayson and Rowley McIntosh, Mr. Palmer was sent to Washington, in order to try and prevent some noxious legislation prejudicial to the interests of the Creeks, and although a young man, he did some excellent work. In 1890 he was appointed Superintendent of Census for Wewoka District. Prior to this he was appointed Cattle Tax Collector by ex-Governor Ward Coachman. In 1890 he entered the field as a candidate for second chief. Mr. Palmer has 215 acres of land under cultivation three miles east of Wewoka, besides 120 head of cattle and 26 head of horses, but most of his time, for some years, has been spent in the mercantile business, having clerked at C. Hall’s establishment for four years, G. M. Perryman’s, Eufaula, for one and a half, and Patterson & Foley, of same town, for two years. He also took charge of C. Hall’s store, at Red Fork, for one year and a half. Mr. Palmer is an unmarried man, and though so young, is steady and industrious. He has a very thorough education, and with his ambition it is safe to infer that he will fill the highest offices that his people can bestow upon him. He is a gentleman of good address, and very popular.


Indian Territory,

O'Beirne, Harry F. and Edward S. The Indian Territory: Its Chiefs, Legislators, and Leading Men. St. Louis. 1898.

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