theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

Local News

February 11, 2014

Final resting place of Gov. Colbert still a question

(Continued)

Ada —

Other accounts seem to indicate the town of Frisco was located between Fittstown and Stonewall in Pontotoc County and was the original Stonewall townsite. It was renamed Frisco when the present town of Stonewall was moved about 3 miles directly east to its present location, according to the 1942 article “Reminiscences of Old Stonewall” by George W. Burris.  

Beyond that, there is some question regarding Humphrey Colbert’s tombstone and whether it actually marks his grave since the headstones and possibly the bodies were moved from their original position prior to the construction of a reservoir.

Although the exact burial place of Gov. Colbert may remain a mystery, his legacy as an important Chickasaw leader is well documented.

Winchester Colbert’s legacy as a leader began long before he became governor.

Born in the Chickasaw homelands in 1810, Winchester Colbert was the youngest member of the Levi Colbert family. He was fluent in Chickasaw, Choctaw and English.

Like his cousin, the Chickasaw Nation’s first Governor Cyrus Harris, he served as a diplomat for the Chickasaw Nation.

At the age of 16, he served as a Chickasaw representative in Washington, D.C.

After relocating to Indian Territory, Winchester Colbert worked diligently as a diplomat to establish the Chickasaw tribe’s sovereignty.

He had a hand in framing the 1855 treaty that recognized the Chickasaw Nation as an independent nation rather than a district within the Choctaw Nation.

In 1856, he played a prominent role in framing the Chickasaw Constitution and served as one of the first Chickasaw legislators under that constitution.

During the Civil War years when the Chickasaw Nation sided with the South and chaos reigned over much of the region, Governor Colbert was forced to seek refuge in the Red River Valley of North Texas for a time. He fled to avoid becoming a causality of war, according to Dr. Phillip Morgan’s book “Riding Out the Storm,” as the North’s “take no prisoner’s mantra” would mean the future Chickasaw Governor’s assassination, a demoralizing and crippling blow to the Confederate forces south of the Canadian and Arkansas Rivers.   

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