Noah Anderson Twist

by Eula Hawkins Twist

From the book The History of Sequoyah County, published by
the Sequoyah County Oklahoma Historical Society.

On October 18, 1860, an Indian brave named Noah Anderson Twist was born. His father came to Indian Territory a year before the tragic "Trail of Tears," to what was then known as Going Snake District, near the town of Stilwell. Noah was the oldest of eight children. He grew to young manhood there and married Nancy Ellen Boydston Wright, a widow who had three children by her previous marriage, Jacob C. Wright, Mary W. Roberts, and Monroe Wright, all of whom are now deceased.

Noah and Nancy Ellen Twist had six children; Katie V., Della D., Jesse C., Robert L., Noah F. (Frank), and Vela. Katie married James McEver, and had a child who died in infancy. Della married Henry I. Faulkner and they had five children, Tillman, who married Eva Patillo; Lillian, who married Willard Gruwell; Cherokee, who married Ernest Patillo; Jack, who married Alberta Morris, and Eldee, who never married. Jesse married Lucy Hoppis, and they had no children.

Robert married Mamie McEver and they had four children: Watie V., who married Reba Record; Juanita, who married Watie Miller, now deceased, and is now married to Jack Taylor; Foster, who married Auldon Staffan, and Wilma, who married Joe Willey. Noah Frank married Eula Hawkins and they had two children: Glen J., who married Evelyn Phillips, and Jack H., who married Viola Wilmoth. Vela married Alva Faulkner, now deceased and they had three children: Louise, now deceased, who married Wertal V. Butler; Raymond F., who married Violet Biggerstaff, now deceased, and is now married to Aggie Jenkins; Frank B., who married Freda Moline. Vela is now married to May B. Solomon.

Noah and Nancy Ellen Twist built the first house not made of logs in their part of the country near Akins, Oklahoma, hauling the lumber from Van Buren, Arkansas. They later settled on his Cherokee allotment at Hanson. Mrs. Twist's father, Jacob C. Boydston, was the first person to be buried in the Sweet Town (now Akins) Cemetery. The land for the original cemetery was donated by J. W. Boydston, Mrs. Twist's brother. Mr. Twist was deputy sheriff long before statehood, covering Going Snake District when Uncle Tom Blair was sheriff, and his picture hangs with many other territorial lawmen in the old army garrison building at Fort Smith.

Noah A. and Nancy Ellen Twist not only raised their own six children and Mrs. Twist's three children by her former marriage, but they also raised eleven nieces, nephews and grandchildren who had been orphaned by deaths of their parents. Mr. Twist was one of the first school board members of Hanson school district. He was also an early day merchant of Hanson in partnership with Charlie Gann.

Mr. Twist was one of the champion checker players in Hanson. Nearly every afternoon, especially in the summer time, he and Mr. Columbus Seabolt, another Indian brave, made their way quickly to Tom Hawkins' store, and there they stayed until supper. Sometimes Tom would have to break the tie for them.

Courtesy of Ernie Matlock

Picture courtesy of  Jacque Hopkins Walton

To obtain a copy of the book The History of Sequoyah County, go to Sequoyah County Historical Society