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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1905, Part I

Report of the Indian inspector for Indian territory,   pp. 705-792 PDF (36.9 MB)

Page 720

The appraisement work, which was nearing completion when my 
last annual report was submitted, has been entirely finished during 
the fiscal year 1905, the town-site commissions for each of the Chero- 
kee, Choctaw, and Chickasaw nations being engaged in the work at 
the beginning of the fiscal year. On December 1, 1904, owing to the 
fact that the appropriation for that work was almost exhausted, the 
commissions, by order of the Department, were all furloughed, the 
work being resumed about March 15, 1905. At the beginning of the 
fiscal year the personnel of the commissions was as follows: Cherokee 
Nation, Mr. James W. Shipman, chairman, Mr. Dorwin Higley, and 
Mr. Lucien W. Buffington, the latter representing the nation; Chicka- 
saw Nation, Mr. Arthur W. Hefley, chairman, and Mr. Wesley B. 
Burney, tribal member; Choctaw Nation, Mr. Charles 0. Shepard, 
chairman, and Mr. Butler S. Smiser, tribal member. During the 
furlough of the commissions, however, Mr. Charles 0. Shepard re- 
signed, having been appointed special agent in connection with appli- 
cations of allottees of Indian blood for the removal of the restrictions
upon alienation of their land, acting under the direction of the 
United States Indian agent. Mr. Wesley B. Burney, tribal member 
of the Chickasaw commission, also resigned after such commission 
was furloughed on December 1, 1904. The appraisement work in 
the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations being completed with exception 
of the town of Sulphur, and certain reappraisements to be made in 
the Choctaw, Nation, mention of which will be made hereafter, the 
commissions in these two nations were not reconvened on March 15, 
1905, but authority was granted to employ Mr. Arthur W. Hefley as 
town-site agent in the Chickasaw Nation and Mr. Butler S. Smiser 
as town-site agent in the Choctaw Nation to continue the unfinished 
work of the commissions, such as determining contests, serving notices 
of appraisement previously made, and selling vacant lots. 
The plat of Sulphur was approved April 22, 1905, and it being 
necessary under the law for the appraisement of lots to be made by a 
town-site commission the governor of the Chickasaw Nation ap- 
pointed Mr. John F. Williams, of Tishomingo, as tribal member to 
act with Mr. Hefley in making appraisements of said town. Such 
appointment was accepted by the Secretary of the Interior, and the 
commission, consisting of Mr. Hefley and Mr. Williams, commenced 
the work at Sulphur on May 1, 1905, which was completed June 20, 
1905, and approved by the Department on July 20, 1905. In addi- 
tion to the town of Sulphur the plat of the town of Tuttle, Chickasaw 
Nation, was approved June 27, 1905, and the commission completed 
the appraisement of this town and submitted the schedule on June 
30, 1905, which was approved by the Department August 22, 1905. 
After the appraisements of the towns of Hugo, Coalgate, Harts- 
horne, Haileyville, and Krebs in the Choctaw Nation were approved 
and notices served on lot claimants, the inhabitants of those towns 
made vigorous protests against the appraisement, alleging that it 
was far in excess of the actual value of the lots, and asked for a re- 
duction in the amount thereof. By direction of the honorable Sec- 
retary of the Interior these matters were investigated by this office 
and the parties given a hearing in each case and report made to the 
Department. Upon full consideration of the matter the Department 
declined to order a reappraisement of the towns of Hugo, Harts- 

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