Lou Bumgarner, Choctaw

Lou Bumgarner Et Al., Choctaws.

Commission memorandum No. 226. Dawes No. 620.

September 8, 1896. Application was made to the Dawes Commission for the enrollment of George A. Bumgarner, stepson of the principal applicant, as a citizen by blood.

The record shows that the answer of the Choctaw Nation was filed, but said answer does not appear among the papers.

December 2,1896. Decision of the commission in words and figures as follows, to wit:

“Denied.” No appeal taken from this decision.

December 1, 1905. Petition was filed for the enrollment as citizens by blood of the Choctaw Nation of Lou Bumgarner, John H. Bumgarner, Lee Bumgarner, William Bumgarner, Annie Bumgarner, Pink Bumgarner, Bob Bumgarner, minor children of Lou Bumgarner, and George A. Bumgarner, stepson of Lou Bumgarner.

The sworn statement of the principal applicant attached to the petition sets out that she was born in the Choctaw Nation on the 16th day of May. 1867; that her great grandfather Stevens was a white man who married a full-blood Choctaw woman who became the mother of Jesse Stephens, grandfather of applicant, and through whom she inherits her Choctaw blood; that applicant’s mother married S. P. Shirley, father of applicant; that she left the Choctaw Nation when a little girl but returned in 1880 and had lived continuously in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations ever since; that she married Hubbard Bumgarner under the Choctaw law, and that the above-named children were born in lawful wedlock; that she and her children were enrolled upon the Choctaw tribal rolls by the Choctaw revisory board January 14, 1897; that she had not made application to the commission, as she did not know the necessity of it and thought her citizenship complete.

Attached to the petition was the following certificate:

981, John H. Bumgarner: 982, Lee Bumgarner: 983, George Bumgarner; 984, William Bumgarner; 985. Annie Bumgarner: 986. Pink Bumgarner; 987, Bob Bumgarner.

This is to certify that the above names were enrolled ou the legal citizenship of the Choctaw Nation by the chief commissioner board at Tuskahoma.

This January 14, 1897.
A. B. Durant, Chairman.

P. Davis A. Homer, Clerk.

This is to certify that A. B. Durant is the duly appointed chairman of the board of census commissioners appointed under an act of the General Council of the Choctaw Nation, passed at the regular session of 1896. for the purpose of enrolling citizens of the Choctaw Nation.

Given under my hand and the seal of the Choctaw Nation at the city of Caddo, Ind. T., this the 23d day of January, 1897.
[seal.] Solomon .T. Homer,
National Secretary, Choctaw Nation.

Indorsed on the back as follows:

296 filed for record April 18, 1898. 3 p. in.
C. M. Campbell, Clerk.

There is also attached a certificate of C. M. Campbell, clerk of the United States court for the southern district of the Indian Territory, that the above certificate of enrollment was filed for record in his office on the date indicated.

January 8, 1906. The commissioner reported to the secretary that the names of applicants were found on the tribal rolls with the notation opposite, “Enrolled without authority of law,” and that as it did not appear that application had been made for their enrollment prior to December 25, 1902, he recommended that applicants be advised that he was without authority to receive their application. (Copy hereto attached.)

February 10, 1906. The department concurred in the recommendation of the commissioner, and denied the petition.

March 8, 1906. Motion for review filed with department, in which the following reasons were assigned therefor:

1. That the record showed that her application was made December 1, 1905 (date fixed by act of Apr. 26, 1906). and that applicants wore on the tribal rolls.

2. That applicants had no knowledge of the notation having been made upon the tribal rolls opposite their names; that it was made without their consent or notice to them.

3. That it was not shown when said indorsement was made, or by whom, whether placed thereon by authority or by some person maliciously.

4. That said notation is a legal conclusion of some clerk of the commission or officer of the nation.

5. That under the opinion of the Assistant Attorney General in the case of William A. Thompson the action of the revisory board In enrolling applicants was legal.

April 17. 1006. Department referred said motion to the commission with directions that the same be adjudicated in accordance with the act of Congress approved April 26, 1906.

June 18, 1906. Proceedings were had before the commissioner, and Lou Bumgarner testified that she had made no application in person or by letter prior to December 1. 1905; that applications had not been made for the enrollment of any of the applicants prior to that time, except as to George A. Bumgarner for whom application made September 8, 1896.

October 1, 1906. Decision of the commissioner rendered, holding that no application had been made within the time prescribed by law (prior to Dec. 1, 1905), except as to George A. Bumgarner, and that his case be determined upon its merits. .

October 15, 1900. Separate decision of the commissioner ordering the enrollment of George A. Bumgarner as a citizen by blood.

January 19, 1907. The commissioner forwarded to the Secretary a schedule of enrolled citizens for his approval, said schedule containing the name of George A. Bumgarner.

February 28, 1907. The Secretary affirmed the action of the commissioner, refusing to consider application of Lou Bumgarner et al.

March 4, 1907. Secretary disapproved schedule of citizens containing name of George A. Bumgarner.

Tribal Enrollment

The following is a certified copy of that portion of the 1896 tribal roll containing names of applicants:

Statement by Counsel

Counsel for claimants respectfully submit that the birth of applicants in the Choctaw Nation, of Choctaw parentage, their continuous residence In said notion, and enrollment by the legal authority of the Choctaw Nation, entitles them to consideration by the Congress of the United States, to the end that they be restored to those rights of which they were deprived by the unauthorized and culpable action of the chief clerk of the former Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes, William O. Beall, In first making n pencil notation upon the tribal rolls that the applicants were enrolled without authority of law, and then in failing to inform the Secretary that such notation was so made by him.

It Is a matter of common knowledge that the tribal officials, upon the last day of the authority of the commissioner to receive applications, made application to the commission for the enrollment of all persons whose names appeared upon the tribal rolls, and who had not theretofore applied. It would appear that the department considered the blanket application made by the tribal officers as not applying to these people, because the conclusion was clear from the report of the commissioner that they had never been legally enrolled. Had this concealment of fact and suppression of information been known to the department, applicants herein would now be In possession of their property.

Those entitled to enrollment are: Lou Bumgarner, John Bumgarner, Lee Bumgarner, William Bumgarner, Annie Bumgarner, Pink Bumgarner, Bob Bumgarner, George A. Bumgarner.

Respectfully submitted.
Walter S. Field, Attorney for Claimants.

Census roll of Choctaw Nation.

1681  Bumgarner, Jno. W. Head of family, Enrolled without authority of law.
1682  Bumgarner, Low, Enrolled without authority of law.
1683  Child Bumgarner, Geo., Male, Enrolled without authority of law.
1684  Child Bumgarner, Wm., Male, Enrolled without authority of law.
1685  Child Bumgarner, Annie, Female, Enrolled without authority of law.
1686  Child Bumgarner, Pink., Female, Enrolled without authority of law.
1687  Child Bumgarner, Bob., Enrolled without authority of law.

This is to certify that I am the officer having custody of the records pertaining to the enrollment of the members of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole Tribes of Indians and the distribution of the land of said tribes, and that the above and foregoing is a true and correct copy of that portion of page 41 of the “Census roll of Choctaw Nation,” Blue County, taken November, 1890, showing the tribal enrollment of the persons whose names appear opposite Nos. 1681 to 1687, both inclusive, together with blue lead pencil notation appearing on the margin thereof opposite said names. Muskogee, Okla., November 1, 1910.

J. Geo. Wright,
Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes.

By W. H. Angell,
Clerk in charge of Choctaw Records.

Department of the Interior,
Commission To The Five Civilized Tribes,
Muskogee, Ind. T.. January 8, 1906.

The honorable the Secretary of yhe Interior.

Sir: On December 6, 1905 (I. T. D. 11827-1905), the Secretary of the Interior referred to this office for report a petition of Chester Howe in the matter of the claim of Mrs. Lou Bumgarner and her children to enrollment as citizens of the Choctaw Nation; also statement of Mrs. Lou Bumgarner and certificate of A. It. Durant and Solomon J. Homer to the enrollment of John H. Bumgarner, Lou Bumgarner, George Bumgarner, William Bumgarner, Annie Bumgarner, Pink Bumgarner, and Bob Bumgarner by the Choctaw revisory board. January 14, 1807.

Reporting in this matter I have the honor to advise that the names of Jno. W. Bumgarner, Lon Bumgarner, George Bumgarner, William Bumgarner, Annie Bumgarner, Pink Bumgarner, and Bob Bumgarner appear upon the 1896 census roll of the citizens of the Choctaw Nation, Blue County, opposite Nos. 1681 to 1687 Inclusive, respectively, and that opposite their name Is the notation: “Enrollment without authority of law.”

I have further to report that it does not appear from the records of this office that application has been made by or on behalf of the persons above named for enrollment as citizens of the Choctaw Nation prior to December 25, 1902.

It is alleged in the statement of Mrs. Lou Bumgarner accompanying the petition of Chester Howe that she is a citizen by blood (of the Choctaw Nation) and has resided in the Choctaw country since February, 1880; that she made no application to the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes not knowing that any necessity existed therefor and believing that her citizenship was complete, and that she did not know until recently that her citizenship was contested.

I have therefore to recommend, inasmuch as no application was made to the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes prior to December 25, 1902. for enrollment as citizens of the Choctaw Nation of Mrs. Bumgarner and her children above named, that Mr. Howe be advised that under the provisions of the act of Congress approved July 1, 1902. there is now no authority for the reception of original applications for enrollment in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations.

The petition of Chester Howe is herewith returned.
(Signed) Tams Bixby, Commissioner.

(Through the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.)


Choctaw, History,

United States Congress. Five Civilized Tribes In Oklahoma, Reports of the Department of the Interior and Evidentiary Papers in support of S. 7625, a Bill for the Relief of Certain Members of the Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma, Sixty-second Congress, Third Session. Department of the Interior, United States. 1913.

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