Andrew SMITHERS Theophilus H EAST Somebody MORRIS Robert Gillman MORRIS William F SMITHERS Nancy Ellen HICKERSON Mini tree diagram

Tessa Mae SMITHERS9,10,1,10,2,3,8,4,5,6,7,11

26th Feb 18741,2,3,4,5,6,7 - 10th May 19539,8

Life History

26th Feb 1874

Born in St Joseph, Buchanan, Missouri.1,2,3,4,5,6,7

5th Aug 1897

Married Theophilus H EAST in Chckasaw Nation, Indian Territory.9,12,14,5

between 1899 and 1900

Divorced from Theophilus H EAST in Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory.10,9,12

about 1907

Married Somebody MORRIS in Missouri.6

31st Dec 1907

Birth of son Robert Gillman MORRIS in Poplar Bluff, Butler, Missouri.4,6,7,3,8,15

19th Mar 1917

Death of Theophilus H EAST in La Junta, Otero, Colorado.13,8

before 1920

Death of Somebody MORRIS in Missouri.6

10th May 1953

Died in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.9,8

after 10th May 1953

Buried in Rose Hills Memorial Park, Whittier, Los Angeles County, California.8


  • 1880 Federal Census, Pike County, Missouri, 2 June, Prairieville, District 141, page 2, Hse #13, Fam #15
    Smithers, Andrew W M 38   Farm Laborer IL KY KY Cannot write
    Smithers, Nancy  W F 28 Wife Keeping House MO KY KY
    Smithers, Tessie W F 6 Dau MO IL MO

    Tessa was married to Dr Theophilus East, first in 1893, under an Oklahoma license, then again on 5 August 1897 under a Chickasaw license.

    Oklahoma, County Marriage Records, 1890-1995
    Tessie May Smithers, Age 19 born (abt 1874) St Joe, Missouri
    Father A Smithers, Mother E Hickerson
    Spouse Theo H East, Age 40 born (abt 1853) Davis, Iowa
    Father A H East, Mother Jane Rawling
    Residence of both Washita County, Oklahoma Territory
    License issued 31 July 1893
    Marriage (no date) August 1893 Cloud Chief, Washita, Oklahoma Territory, USA
    Ceremony performed by J D Bullard (title or office not reported)
    Recorded August 1893 Oklahoma Territory Marriage Book, p 8

    Tessie tried to enroll as a Chickasaw by marriage on the basis of her marriage to Theo, but this application was denied.

    Oklahoma and Indian Territory, Dawes Census Cards for Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914
    Chickasaw Nation, Census Card #330, 29 June 1900
    East, Tessa M Age       25 Female Blood IW (?)
    P O Chickasha, Indian territory
    Father Andrew Smithers, Dead, Non-Citizen
    Mother Name Ellen Smithers, Non-Citizen
    Enrollment Denied 28 April 1906

    They divorced in 1899.  But then they remarried in Chickasaw Nation in 1903 (see below).

    During the Spanish-American War, Theo served as a brigade surgeon stationed in Cuba.  Theophilus moved to New Mexico, then to Sonora, Mexico, still practicing medicine.  In the 1900 census, Tessa was enumerated in the first census of Indian Territory, living as a boarder in Chickasha.

    1900 Federal Census, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory, 23 June, Chickasha, District 153, page 32B, Texas Ave, Hse #674, Fam #686
    Maddox, John Head  W M Oct 1856 43 Married 14 years MO MO MO Teamster Owns
    Maddox, Estella Wife W F  Sept 1869 30 Married 14 years 2 children/2 living KS MO MO
    Maddox, Georgia Dau W F Apr 1888 12 TX MO KS
    Maddox, Harry  Son W M Dec 1890 9 TX MO KS
    East, Tessa Boarder W F Feby 1874 26 Widow [divorced] MO IL IL

    The census, however, reports her as a widow, rather than a divorcee.  This must be the correct Tessa East, since the location is right and the age matches for her to be the wife of Dr East.  (He married again in November 1900.)  I found it similarly interesting that Theophilus' previous wife, Fannie Colbert, was also reported as a widow, instead of divorced, in 1900, and she was also living in Chickasha.

    Theo and Tessie married again, in Chickasaw Nation, in 1903.

    Chickasaw Nation Marriage Record
    Spouse T H East, Age 51 born (abt 1852)
    Tessie M East, Age 28 born (abt 1875)
    Residence of both Chickasha, Indian Territory
    License issued 22 May 1903
    Marriage 22 May 1903 Chickasha, Indian Territory, USA
    Ceremony performed by J W Sparks, Deputy Clerk, US Court
    Recorded 25 May 1903 Southern District, Indian Territory Marriage Book, Record #726, p 278

    Tessa testified to the Dawes Commission in 1904 that they lived together about 2 months after Dr East returned frorm Cuba,

    In his 1904 interview with the Dawes Commission, concerning his claim to Chickasaw Citizenship by virtue of his marriage to Fannie, he refers to Tessa as his wife, and at one point the transcript notes that he points to her to indicate who he is referring to.  Yet at the end of the 7-page transcript, a note is added by the clerk of the court that his wife Tessa was not present for his deposition.

    Her deposition is also included, in which she is asked and affirms that she is also seeking status as a Chickasaw Citizen by marriage, by virtue of her marriage to Dr East.  She testifies that and Theophilus divorced in 1899 after he returned from his service in Cuba, explaining her status as divorced in the 1900 census.  But then they remarried in 1903.

    Theophilus testified that he had been granted Chickasaw citizenship on the basis of an application while he was married to Francis East, on the basis of her citizenship by blood.  This was appealed, but his approval by the Dawes Commission was upheld by the District Court.  In the meantime, he and Francis divorced, and he married Tessa in 1893 in Oklahoma Territory, confirmed in a marriage in 1897 under a Chickasaw marriage license.  In 1902, the Chickasaw-Choctaw Citizenship court canceled Dr East's status as a Chickasaw citizen.  This interview deposition indicates he is still claiming such status on the basis of the original grant ans upholding by the appeals court, while he was still married to Francis.

    In their interview with the Dawes Commission on this case, both Theophilus and his current wife Tessa Smithers testified that were currently living in Chickasha, in Pickens County, Chickasaw Naiton.  (These administrative divisions of Chickasaw Nation are also referred to as Districts.  They appear with the name of District, rather than County, on at least one map.)  This was Dr East's residence when he was enumerated in the 1910 US census.  It appears that Tessa died before this census, or they divorced again.

    No death record has been found for her, and no reference to a later divorce.  However, later censuses inidcate that they divorced about 1907, then Tessie married someone named Morris.  They lived in Misosuri, where the 1920 and 1930 censuses indicate their son Robert was born about 1908.  In 1920 she was already widowed and she and Robert were in Oklahoma.  They later moved to California.  No marriage record has been found nor any death record or marriage record for the Morris marriage.

    Theo was reported in the 1910 census in Chickasha, Oklahoma, where he and Tessie had first married, and where she lived between the two marriages.

    1910 Federal Census, Grady County, Oklahoma, 21 April, Chickasha City Ward 1, District 95, page 9B, 1517 10th St, Hse #189, Fam #192
    East, Theophilus Head M W 57 6th Marriage Married 3yrs Iowa NC KY Physician Owns
    East, Laura E  Wife  F W 37  2nd Marriage Married 3yrs  4 children/1 living IL OH KY
    East, Ellen E  Stepdau F W 8  Single OK MO IL

    After this census, Dr East lived in Colorado and died there in 1917.

    The 1920 census reports Tessie Morris already widowed, living with her 12-year-old son Robert G Morris.  This indicates that Robert's father died either in Missouri, where the censuses report he was born, or in Oklahoma where they moved after his birth.  At any rate Mr Morris died before the 1920 census.

    In 1920, the census reports them in Ellis County, Oklahoma, in the northern border of the Texas panhandle.

    1920 Federal Census, Ellis County, Oklahoma, 19 January, Shattuck Ward 5, District 57, page 15A, Cedar St, Hse #290, Fam #297
    Morris, Tessie M Head Owns Free & Clear F W 45 Married MO IL IL News Agent, Own News Stand
    Morris, Robert G Son M W 12 Single MO SD MO News Peddler, Paper Route

    The 1930 census shows that Tessie and her son Robert moved to Los Angeles County, California, where she lived until her death in 1953.

    1930 Federal Census, Los Angeles County, California, 4 April, El Monte, District 19-931, page 3B, 2613 Valley (or Pomona) Blvd, Hse/Fam #78
    Morris, Tessie M Head Rents $20 Has a Radio F W 56 Widow MO IL IL NO Occupation [b abt 1874]
    Morris, Robert G Son M W 22 Single MO SD MO Auto Mechanic [b abt 1908]

    Robert was still single and in his mother's household in 1940.

    1940 Federal Census, Los Angeles County, California, 2 April, El Monte, District 19-161B, page 1A, 718 Peck Rd, Hse #9, Owns $4200
    Morris, Tessie M Head F W 66 Widow Grade H4 b South Carolina Rural LA Co in 1935 No Occup [b abt 1874]
    Morris, Robert G Son M W 32 Single Grade C2 b South Carolina Rural LA Co in 1935 Auto Mechanic [b abt 1908]

    California, Death Index, 1940-1997
    Tessie Mae Morris [Tessie Mae Smithers]
    Birth 26 Feb 1874 Missouri
    Death 10 May 1953 Los Angeles
    Mother's Maiden Name Hickerson
    Father's Surname Smithers

    Tessie Mae Morris
    BIRTH unknown
    DEATH 10 May 1953
    BURIAL Rose Hills Memorial Park, Whittier, Los Angeles County, California, USA
    Created by Our Ancestors Branches 13 Mar 2016
    --  Find A Grave Memorial 159419216,


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