I have wandered off the path a bit and have become fascinated by the story of the Indian Presbytery located at Mount Pleasant and later Old Bennington. The reason is two-fold. First of all, the church records I am transcribing contain a wealth of information about the life and times of the early church members. Second, many of those members have ties to Caddo. Their names are repeated often in the Caddo Herald, the Blue County Court Records, and local family trees. Here is a brief sampling of the church rolls:
Revised Church Roll, April 1881
Martha A. Lloyd
A few of the ministers and elders: Ebenezer Hotchkin, Cyrus Kingsbury, Cyrus Byington, Nicholas Cochnauer, R. C. Gardner, W. J. B. Lloyd, C. C. Copeland, Allen Wright.
While searching for some church history I came across this article from the Bryan County Star. Mrs. Garlington was a descendent of Rev. Ebenezer Hotchkin.
December 13, 1979
Dorothy Garlington’s Memories of
Nunihtakali in the Caddo Hills
Only a gnarled oak tree, a few bricks, and childhood memories are left of Nunihtakali. However, Dorothy Garlington, of Denver, is determined to piece together the history of the old Presbyterian mission and school which once served the Choctaws of the Caddo Hills.
Rev. Charles Hotchin, Dorothy’s grandfather, founded the mission back in the late 1800’s. “My great grandparents responded to a request by the Choctaw Indians to come to Mississippi and start a mission and school. When the Choctaws were moved to the Indian Territory, my ancestors came with them. They were with the first contingent of Choctaws to ride a raft up the Red River and land in what is now Oklahoma. They settled near the Arkansas border in a town named Livingland. It is there that my grandfather, Charles Hotchkin, and his two brothers were born. He learned Choctaw before English and became a preacher to the Indians. Right after he was married, he and my grandmother set out in a covered wagon for the Caddo Hills. They had heard of some cleared land and the need for a school and mission. The couple settled in the rolling hills and devoted their lives to the Indians of the area. This is where my mother was born and raised,” explained Dorothy Garlington.
In 1907 Mrs. Garlington’s mother moved to Colorado where she married and raised a family. Dorothy was born in Denver. She only knew the beauty of the Caddo Hills and her mother’s life with the Choctaws through childhood stories. But, Dorothy was determined to visit the land and record the story of Nunihtakali.
It seems Mrs. Garlington has always been collecting notes and stories about the Caddo Hills mission but the idea of writing a book didn’t really materialize until the fall of 1958. “I had the good fortune ot meet an editor from a New York publishing house and she said, ‘that is a very important part of history about which there hasn’t been much written and I think you have a marvelous idea for a book. Get busy and as soon as you have three chapters send them to me’; well this was the thing writers dream about”, said Mrs. Garlington.
She immediately started, but illnesses, raising a family, and caring for her parents and aunt put the book on the back burner for 20 years.
Last year she again started. One of her first steps was to visit the Caddo hills and see where Nunihtakali was located. While in Caddo she toured the Caddo Indian Territory Museum and met Mrs. Stella Mills. As a little girl Mrs. Mills had played at Nunihtakali, and her sister, Mary Ellen, had been named after 2 of the Hotchkin girls. Mary was Mrs. Garlington’s mother and Ellen was her sister. The 2 ladies struck an immediate friendship. “I had no idea where the old home place was in relation to Caddo, but Stella did, so off we went over fences and through the brush,” said Mrs. Garlington. Dorothy returned last week to visit Mrs. Mills and the 2 ladies again headed for the Caddo Hills to recreate the setting of Nunihtakali.
“I have had a lot to learn about the Oklahoma environment, the Choctaws, and early day mission life, but maybe this time I’ll be able to finish the story of Nunihtakali,” said Dorothy.
And, through the magic of Google, here is Mrs. Garlington’s obituary:
Dorothy Garlington broke journalism barriers in Colorado
Posted: 04/28/2011 by Virginia Culver
Dorothy Garlington broke barriers decades ago when she gave up teaching and became a journalist.
Garlington, who died April 21 at age 91, "had that extra drive" to go beyond what many women did in those days, said Sally Kurtzman, a retired English teacher at Arapahoe Community College.
"She was very forceful and outspoken, but that's what it took," said Kurtzman, former president of the Denver Woman's Press Club, where Garlington was a member for 61 years.
A service for Garlington will be at 3 p.m. Friday at Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church, 1980 Dahlia St.
Garlington taught at Trinidad State Junior College and at Brighton's high school before being hired in the 1940s as editor of the Brighton Blade newspaper, said her daughter, Carol Garlington of Denver.
She then went to the University of Colorado and wrote for CU publications. She moved on to Voice of America, working in Washington, D.C., for 10 years.
For years, she also did freelance writing.
"She was always clear about what she wanted to do," said her daughter, "and that was writing. She loved to interview people and was good at it because she was curious and a good listener."
Dorothy Garlington retired in 1980 and for decades worked on a book about her mother, Mary Brose, who lived in what is now Oklahoma, her daughter said.
Dorothy Brose was born in Denver on March 28, 1920, and graduated from West High School. She earned an English degree at CU.
She met Waldon Garlington in kindergarten, and when he was 17, he asked her to marry him.
"She didn't want to be a Navy wife," said her daughter. So Waldon Garlington married someone else, and they later divorced. He sought out his kindergarten friend years later when she was living in Washington. They had kept in touch over the years, she told The Denver Post in 2001. They married on June 18, 1956. He died in 2001.
In addition to her daughter, Garlington is survived by a grandson.