Mrs. Mayfield is standing in front of her family store, which has served the community of Spaulding, Oklahoma since the 1930s. She is holding a sign which reads Historical route of the Fort Smith to Santa Fe Trail laid out by Josiah Gregg in 1840. The town sits on this old route.
The stand of timber behind the green field is where Edwards Trading Post once stood. The post was established in 1835 and served travelers on the route from Fort Gibson to Texas route for many years. It also served as a stopping point for caravans coming from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Fort Smith, Arkansas during the years 1840 to 1861. In 1858 Lt. Edward Beale passed through the area building a wagon road from Fort Smith, Arkansas to Los Angeles, California. The following year Henry B. Edwards, brother-in-law of Lt. Beale superintend the construction of an Iron bridge across Little River at Edward’s Trading Post. Jim Edwards the owner of the post had married a Creek Indian, which allowed him to establish this post in Indian Territory. The post was abandoned in the spring of 1861 when Indian Territory (Oklahoma) became part of the Confederate States of America. Edwards wanted no part of the war so he took his family to Kansas to live.
This photo shows the signs in place at Tom Turner’s Farm at Little River south of Holdenville Oklahoma. Tom Turner is standing to the left of the signs and David Miller is to the right of the signs.
Dr. David Miller standing next to three signs about to be placed at Tom Turner’s farm on Little River south of Holdenville, Oklahoma. The first sign is: Historical route of the Fort Smith to Santa Fe Trail Laid out by Josiah Gregg, 1840-1858. The second sign is: Historical route of the Beale Wagon Road, 1858-1898, and the third sign is Historical location of the Beale Iron Bridge No. 6 across Little River at Edwards Trading Post 1858.
In this photo there is a trench on the other side of the fence behind the historic markers. This may very well be the location where the soldiers were buried. We base this assumption on the fact that the lone head stone marker in the left hand side of the photo stands alone from the other headstones in the cemetery. The lone headstone is of a child that died Christmas Eve in 1893. Her death was the first in the area that had been opened for homesteading in 1892. When they dug the hole for burial they came across human bones from a previous burial. Since there were no white men living in the area before 1892 it appears that these bones most likely were those of the soldiers who died at the Battle of the Washita. After the discovery of the bones all burials were done away from the site. Someone with ground penetrating radar machine needs to survey the trench to see what is underground in order to determine whether or not this is the actual burial site. Photo by Jack Beale Smith
Another photo at the historic signs and flag at the Custer Bend Snakey Bend Cemetery. Photo by Jack Beale Smith
This is a photo of all 18 headstone markers at the Custer Bend Cemetery. All we lack is a fence placed around the markers to protect them from cattle grazing on the farm. Photo by Jack Beale Smith
After a rough winter we finally returned to the Custer Bend Snakey Bend Cemetery to put up the rest of the headstone markers for the 17 soldiers who died at the battle of the Washita. Pictured here is Kevin King and his friend Darrel putting up the Clara Blinn sign placed below the larger sign and a new 36 star flag. Photo by Jack Beale Smith
A recent article in the Elk City Daily News telling the reader about the historic marker work going on near where the Battle of the Washita was fought. One photo shows Jack Beale Smith putting up one of the headstone markers for one of the soldiers who was killed and buried near this location.
A new revision of the Clara Blinn sign has been made and will be put up at the Strong City, Oklahoma sometime in December. We revised the design in order to put in more valuable information on the location where she was killed at. Her and her son were not killed in Black Kettle’s Camp as some books indicate. If this had been the case Custer would have recovered the bodies on the day of the battle and not two weeks later. She was found in the Kiowa camp by the 19th Kansas volunteer Cavalry on December 11, 1868. And as the sign reads there were two white women captives in the second Cheyenne camp located downstream from the Kiowa Camp. Custer’s Camp of December 11, 1868 was located between the Kiowa Camp and the Second Cheyenne camp. No other book written on the Battle of the Washita will tell you that their were two white women captives in the second Cheyenne Camp except the Book entitled “A Fate Worse Than Death.