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Emma Adeline "Addie" Perryman

During a recent interview with RNA homeowners they mentioned their property abstract indicated Addie Perryman had been involved with a murder trial. [Quick reminder, Addie Perryman is the native Creek woman whose original land allotment makes up a large part of RNA. We learned about her in our very first blog post here.]

This was new information to me. I hadn't been aware of anything of the sort, despite having studied half a dozen abstracts that mention her. Sure enough- a document in their abstract stated:

Lucinda Boone 
Oliver Davis, Addie, nee Perryman, Davis, his wife and Clarissa Bell (Addie's mother)

The object and purpose of said action is to recovery damages of the defendants in the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars for the unlawful and wrongful killing of Al Boone, the husband of the plaintiff on the 14th day of May 1909.  

Newspapers of the day provided some details:
The Weekly Chieftain (Vinita, Oklahoma) May21, 1909

The Coweta Courier, May 20, 1909

The Daily Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, May 18, 1909

Muskogee Times-Democrat (Muskogee Oklahoma) June 5, 1909

The Daily Oklahoman Sun May 30, 1909

The Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) April 10, 1910
The Wichita Daily Eagle (Wichita, Kansas) June 1, 1909

The newspaper stories of the day speak for themselves.  Today, we can read them with consideration for the racist and exploitative climate of the day in mind.   Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of FBI anyone?  

The native woman, listed as Addie Perryman on the Hastain's Township Plats of the Creek Nation, was allotted 120 acres in 1903.  It is the earliest recorded documentation of the land in present day RNA.  Addie's given name was Emma Adeline Perryman and she was born on May 8th, 1890 in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. (However, I'm unsure of her exact year of birth, lots of documents have varying dates ranging from 1885-1895)

In March of 1909, 18 year-old Addie married 18 year-old Oliver Davis, Jr.  Only one
month earlier they had lost an infant to a fever. The couple, with her mother, Clarissa Bell, were attending a horse race/trading event near Oaklawn Cemetery.  Allegedly, Mr. Boone was drunk and inappropriately soliciting Addie when Oliver stepped in.  There was an altercation and Oliver Davis shot and killed Lewis "Al" Boone.  Oliver fled the scene, but turned himself over to authorities shortly thereafter.  

Oliver was initially denied bail, but later he was released on $10,000 bail paid by his tribe.  Meanwhile, it appears that Clarissa was defrauded by men representing themselves as agents of the court, promising to drop charges and free her son-in-law for a price.  These con men were not brought to justice and charges against them were dropped due to "lack of evidence." The trial for Oliver Davis ended with a hung jury in 1910- but we can't be sure if that ended Oliver Davis' troubles.  The trail went cold after the article about the hung jury. There is no further mention of Oliver or Addie Davis in the press. 

Oliver and Addie had three more children together, two girls and one boy.  The oldest surviving child, Wavel Davis Ashbaugh, was born in 1911.  

(Photograph sourced from Floral Haven slide show for Wavel Davis Ashbaugh's funeral service.  This is believed to be Oliver and Addie with baby Wavel.  About 1911)

In 2015 Wavel was interviewed for Voices of Oklahoma at the age of 105.  Wavel tells that she was born at home with a doctor attending at 11th Street and Delaware Avenue.  Eleventh Street, at that time, was called "Oil Road."   Wavel describes her mother, Addie, as "strong, strict" and said she worked as cook.  Addie and Oliver divorced when Wavel was 8 years old.  Addie could not read or write and, as a result,  she was taken advantage of with regards to her land holdings.  Wavel specifically recalls reading land contracts aloud to her mother when she was about 12 (1922) and saying "If you will just wait a little longer, Mama, 'till I'm grown, I'll take care of you. I'll know how to take care of you."  

On a lighter note, Wavel said that her mother routinely raced cars with her brothers (Wavel's uncles) on the "paved road" late at night against the better judgment of her children who begged her not too.  Her mother also took at least one black family to safety during the Race Massacre.  Wavel recalls the fire and smoke being easily observable from her home on 11th Street on that day.  

The 1930 Census shows Addie Perryman renting a home at 820 S. Quaker Avenue, not far from the Renaissance Neighborhood. 
(820 S. Quaker Avenue:  Image from Google maps.  Note the tree in the front 
is old enough to have been present when Addie lived here.)

Oliver Davis, Jr. lived into his 60's and is buried in Alaska.  Addie remarried at least once and lived until 1983.

The Tulsa Tribune reported the following:
Tulsa Tribune - January 1983: DAUGHTER OF TULSA PIONEERS DIES -- Emma Addie Perryman Buck, daughter of Tulsa pioneer rancher Louis Wesley Perryman, died Friday. Mrs. Buck of 6206 E. King St., was 97. Her parents and grandparents all were born in what is now Tulsa and lived in the area their entire lives. The Perryman family is known historically as the "First Family" of Tulsa. Louis Perryman built a trading store south of Strawberry Creek near the Texas trail, believed to be about 12th Street and Norfolk Avenue.
Mrs. Buck grew up in a home where the Tulsa courthouse now is located. She raised her family on 160 acres between 11th and 15th streets and Delaware and Lewis avenues, where Wilson Junior High School now is located. Mrs. Buck's uncle , Benjamin Perryman, was a signer of the treaty of February 24, 1883 at Fort Gibson. Another uncle, (1/2 uncle) Josiah C. Perryman, started Tulsa's first post office and founded the first trading post in what was then called Tulsey Town.
Mrs. Buck, a practical nurse, was a member of East Side Christian Church. Her husband, Thomas Arthur Buck, was a brick mason and died about 20 years ago. Graveside services are tentatively set for 10 a.m. Tuesday at Oaklawn Cemetery under the direction of Moore's Eastlawn Funeral Home.
She is survived by two daughters, Leona Neeley of Tulsa and Wavel Ashbaugh of Encino, California, a son Navy Comdr. Oliver E. Davis Jr. of Anadarko; a half-brother, Aaron Bell and two half-sisters, Lillian Strader and Nellie McGee, all of Tulsa, six grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren.
Mrs. Wavel Davis Ashbaugh had a full life.  She married a renowned jazz musician, moved to California, took up competitive ballroom dancing later in life and worked as a secretary until age 96.  She lived to age 108 passing away in Tulsa in March 2019. 

Mrs. Wavell Davis Ashbaugh, Daughter of Addie Perryman.
Addie Perryman was buried in Oaklawn Cemetery.  From where she rests one can see the Meadow Gold sign to the East and the Tulsa skyline to the West.  

(Photographs by A. Mueller on 11/18/2019)

Editing:  P. Casey Morgan


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