From Texas Into Indian Territory:
Joseph Asa and Joseph Sanford Jenkins

By Orville Boyd Jenkins, grandson of Joseph Asa Jenkins  

Family Names:  Jenkins, Christian, Taylor, Smith, Winter

The story of Joseph Asa Jenkins moving his family from Cass County, Texas, to Indian Territory, accompanied by his father Joseph Sanford Jenkins, in 1890.  Joseph Asa was 25 years old at the time, and Joseph Sanford about 65.

In his Jenkins Family History,* Harold Christian tells of the move from Cass County, Texas, to Indian Territory.  Writing about the family of Joseph Asa Jenkins, Harold tells us Joseph Asa moved his family from their Texas home in 1890 or 1891.

Family tradition and later evidence indicate that Joseph Asa's father Joseph Sanford Jenkins moved with his son to Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory, to what later became Stephens County, Oklahoma.  At this time Joseph Sanford was about 65, and Joseph Asa was about 25.

In his narrative about Joseph Asa Jenkins, Harold tells us about the move:
"Joseph said he loaded all of his possessions into two covered wagons for the move.  It took him sixteen days to make the trip from Dalton, Texas, to Healdton, Indian Territory.  Two of Joseph's brother-in-laws are believed to have been living in Healdton at that time.  One is believed to have been Joseph Benjamin Christian and his wife Catherine Smith, sister of Hester Ann.  The other is believed to have been Nelson Winter and his wife Margaret Catherine Jenkins, Joseph's sister" (page 13, The Jenkins Family History).

Margaret Catherine Jenkins was the daughter of Joseph Sanford Jenkins and Lucinda Amanda Taylor.  Joseph Benjamin Christian was the stepson of Joseph Sanford, the son of Joseph Sanford's second wife (or third according to one line of family tradition), Louisa (Taylor?) Christian.  Christians married Jenkinses in three generations of life together in Texas and Oklahoma.

Descendants of Joseph Sanford Jenkins in Cass County have contributed two old photographs that are thought to have been taken of the Jenkins family crossing the Red River on that trek into Indian Territory.  These photos show a covered wagon and several family members on a flatbed ferry, about to launch.  They probably crossed the Red River in Bowie County, Texas.

As Joseph Asa told his story to Harold Christian, he first went to Healdton, but after a short time moved north to settle near Marlow, in what is now Stephens County, Oklahoma.

They were in Chickasaw Nation by 1893, because Joseph Asa's father Joseph Sanford died in May 1893 and was buried in Marlow.  There is no record of the date or place of death of Joseph Sanford's wife Louisa Christian Jenkins.  It is not known if she died before the move to Indian Territory, or died en route.  She is not buried in Marlow, and the family has no information on her death or burial.

According to family records, Sallie was born in December 1893 in Wapanucka, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory.  Wapanucka is in what became Johnston County, also in what was Chickasaw Nation at that time.

Wapanucka is several counties east of Marlow, some distance east from Ardmore.  Healdton is between Wapanucka and Ardmore.  In 1900, Joe's family was living in Marlow, the county seat of Stephens County.

Thus the information as Joseph Asa remembered and reported it seems somewhat confused.  Their residence in Healdton and then moving to Marlow is not clear in light of Sallie's birth in December 1893 in Wapanucka, two counties east and one county south of Marlow, two or three days drive in a wagon, I should think.

If they were living in or near Healdton, it seems they would have gone to nearby Ardmore to report Joseph Sanford's death and to have the burial.  If they had already moved on from Healdton to Marlow, why were they so far back east before the end of the year when Sallie was born?  The report of her birthplace as Wapanucka may be due to a compression of events and sequences in the early family memory.


*Private paper, prepared about 1978, by Harold Christian, grandson of Joseph Asa Jenkins (and my first cousin).  Harold was the first to collect together significant details on the Jenkins clan, engaging in interviews and other primary research as well as collecting family testimonies.  Harold compiled the results of his excellent investigative work into a narrative for family members.  I received a copy through my father, Orville Lee Jenkins, in 1980.  I scanned and edited this document in 2008.  Posted on this genealogy site.

Photos Abt 1890, North Texas, the Red River and southern Indian Territory (Oklahoma) contributed by members of the Jenkins-Wommack family in Cass County, received from cousin Dottie Wommack      
Abt 1890, Joseph Asa Jenkins loading his wagon onto ferry at Bowie County, Texas, to cross the Red River into Indian Territory
   Abt 1890, Bowie County, Texas, members of the Jenkins family board the ferry, about to cross the Red River into Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory (later Oklahoma)
Written and posted on Ancestry 30 September 2009
Updated and posted on this genealogy site 3 November 2010
Revised in February 2011 & January 2012
Revised 11 July 2016

For more about the author's life and interests, and some family information, see my web site Orville Jenkins Ideas and Interests.

Orville Boyd Jenkins

Orville Boyd Jenkins, EdD, PhD
Copyright © 2010, 2012 Orville Boyd Jenkins
Permission granted for free download and transmission for personal or educational use.  Please give credit and link back.  Other rights reserved.

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