Methodist Mission Funeral

Jennie Hair had been a teacher at the Methodist Mission school near the Indian Agency around 1902-03.  In an interview at Fort Sill she mentions the Methodist missionary, Reverend Benjamin F. Gassaway, and his daughter.  She discussed certain issues with the lack of school desks at the mission school and that they used a small table and chair instead of regular school desks.  She spoke of “… 30 children in the school, of which all were white, except on smart girl named Nellie who was part white”, (identified as Nellie Cox, daughter of Emmet Cox).  Mention was also made of Pearl Paschal who was the daughter of the Agency Trader.  Jennie was the niece of George A. Addison, the photographer and proprietor of the Addison Hotel.  She stayed with her uncle.

Jennie recalled an incident of an Indian who had died of pneumonia, and desiring a white funeral, he was brought to the church building (which served as the school).  His body was placed in a small shed lean-to which was situated at the west side of the church.  She told of so much excitement among the school children about the near-by corpse in the shed that she finally had to dismiss class for a recess.

When the funeral services were held in the church, the entire school attended the service and later accompanied the body to the Indian cemetery on what is now Post Field.  Jennie recalled that  Nellie Cox was the only child who did not want to go to the cemetery.

[Interview with Ms. Jennie Hair, (Austin, Texas) February 21, 1952.  Wahnne Clark’s vertical file  #09-EMTS-2008.]