Map 15: Northern Texas
and southern Indian Territory
Claudie's birth certificate lists his father's
birthplace as simply the Choctaw Nation, while his brother Will's
birth certificate is more precise, giving Blue, Oklahoma, which
was indeed in the lands of the Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory.
The two probate birth certificates confirm that
the mother, Frona Ann Maxwell, was born in Arkansas. While Claudie's
lists her place of birth as Scotland, Arkansas, Will's lists her
place of birth as Van Buren, Arkansas.
The family was farming land in the Celeste area
of Hunt, Texas, which is northeast of Dallas, and due south of Blue,
Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). An area map and an article by an
unknown author follow at the end of this chapter. The article comes
from the website RootsWeb.
It gives rather interesting information on life in the community
before and after the turn of the 20th century.
Probated Texas Birth Certificate
for Claudie V. Cox
Oklahoma Birth Certificate
for Will N. Cox
Will N. Cox, born 14 June 1927 in Maysville, Garvin County, Oklahoma.
The most significant detail on this document is the place of birth of
the father: "Blue, Oklahoma" which at the time of his birth
was Indian Territory. Frona's age is listed as 37, and Will's age is listed
as 43. The couple was still engaged in farming, but now further north
in Oklahoma. Maysville is west of Pauls Valley.
Celeste, like many towns in Hunt County, was a product of railroad
development. The townsite was platted in 1886 by the Gulf, Colorado
and Santa Fe Railway [...] Celeste was named for the wife of a
Santa Fe rail official. The two rail lines stimulated rapid growth.
A Celeste post office opened in 1886, and a number of merchants
moved their businesses from Kingston to Celeste. By 1888 three
churches were holding services in the settlement. The population
by the mid-1890s stood at 600, and the community maintained three
gristmills and cotton gins, a bank, a weekly newspaper, and a
graded public school. Celeste was incorporated in 1900 [...] By
1914 the community had two banks, three cotton gins, a water works,
an ice factory, and a weekly newspaper, as well as some thirty-five
other businesses. It reported a population of 1,022 by 1926. Its
high school and two elementary schools registered 500 students.
Some fifty business establishments, including two banks and a
newspaper, were in operation. After the 1920s, however, the population
of Celeste fell from 803 in 1933 to 518 in the mid-1960s; businesses
correspondingly declined, from thirty to sixteen. After the 1960s
the town revived [...]
An interesting map of Texas and Indian Territory in 1887 can be found
Another good link for a historical map of Texas is: