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Cyrus Harris - Drake-Nebo Cemetery - Drake, OK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member QuarrellaDeVil
N 34° 23.388 W 096° 58.392
14S E 686326 N 3807240
Quick Description: Cyrus Harris was the first elected Governor of the Chickasaw Nation, and he is buried with his wife and daughter in Drake-Nebo Cemetery, near both Drake and Nebo, OK.
Location: Oklahoma, United States
Date Posted: 2/19/2017 8:15:51 AM
Waymark Code: WMV3XT
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member elyob
Views: 2

Long Description:
Cyrus Harris was born in Mississippi, a descendant of James Logan Colbert, whose great-great-grandson later established the town Colbert, southeast of here. At the time of the Trail of Tears, Harris served as an interpreter between the Chickasaw and the US government. He served five terms as the Governor of the Chickasaw Nation, beginning in 1856, and twice he was a representative of the Chickasaw Nation in Washington DC. As governor, he worked to keep non-Chickasaw off of Chickasaw lands, also with an eye on bringing the railroad through the nation, and working towards improving education.

Governor Harris's life was interesting enough, but the preservation of his remains is quite a tale: This is actually his second final resting place. When he died in 1888, he was buried with his family in the [Old] Mill Creek Cemetery, north of Drake and Nebo. The town of Mill Creek eventually relocated when the railroad bypassed it, leaving the old town site to be reclaimed by Mother Nature.

By about 1960, flooding threatened the area, and family members, determined to not allow so celebrated a kinsman as Governor Harris to be taken away by the waters, chose to move him to Drake-Nebo in 1961. His wife had been moved here at some point in the 1900s, and maybe their daughter, Emily, was moved at the same time. Another daughter, Lucy Harris Lael, was re-interred in Oaklawn Cemetery in Wynnewood, OK.
At the time of the re-interment, one of Governor Harris's descendants commented that he'd like to have a historical marker placed. The Exploring Oklahoma History blog indicates that there was one at one time, but the Drake Store and the marker are long gone. It provided an overview: Cyrus Harris, Chickasaw-Scot, was born in 1817 in Mississippi. After removal to Indian Ty., he was elected first governor of the Chickasaw Nation in 1856. This noted Indian leader died at his Mill Creek home, 1888. His grave is 1 1/2 mi. w. of this marker.

Date of birth: 8/22/1817

Date of death: 1/6/1888

Area of notoriety: Politics

Marker Type: Monument

Setting: Outdoor

Visiting Hours/Restrictions: Daylight hours

Fee required?: No

Web site: [Web Link]

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