Jeter T. Cunningham, aged 68 years, died March 29 of Bright's disease. Burial today at 3 o'clock at City cemetery.
Source: The Tahlequah Arrow, Tahlequah, Oklahoma, Thursday, April 4, 1912; Pg. 3, Column 3
(From Monday's Daily Arrow.)
Sixty-eight years, three months and twenty-eight days ago, the subject of this sketch was born four miles west of Maysville, Ark., on the west side of Beattie's Prairie in the Cherokee nation. His mother, Maria Cunningham, nee Lynch, was born in north Georgia, and belonged to a large family which imigrated from Lynchburg, Va. His father came from Mississippi and died when Jeter was quite young.
The public schools of the Cherokee nation furnished him all the advantages attainable by the young men of that day, to which was added a six or twelve months' course at the academy in Newtonio, Mo.
The war between the states found him a strappling of seventeen, enlisting under the banner of the "lost cause," first in the Arkansas Statet troops, Third regiment, Colonel Walker, in Gen. N.B. Pierce's brigade, afterwards transferring to the artillery, and later to the First Cherokee regiment, first under Col Stan Watie and later under Col. J.M. Bell. He was mustered out of the Confederate service near Boggy depot, Choctaw nation, after four years of faithful service.
Brother Cunningham was initiated as entered apprentice in Rusk Co. Tex., was made a Master Mason in Vinita, Okla., and a Royal Arch Mason in Tahlequah, and I suppose a brighter, better posted Mason has never held membership in that great order.
His record in civil life was such as falls to the lot of but a few men in this country. His first service was possibly as clerk of Delaware district, Cherokee nation. Afterwards he served as a member of the Cherokee council from Delaware district, as Mayor of Tahlequah, and as special judge of the supreme court of the Cherokee nation. In 1892-3, he was appointed delegate to Washington, D.C., and assisted in negitiating the sale of the Cherokee bonds which made possible the strip payment of 1894. Since statehood he was appointed appraiser of school lands in Blaine Co., Okla.
In 1866 J.T. Cunningham and Miss Kezia Moore were reunited in marriage near Fort McCullough on Blue River, Choctaw nation. In 1867 they returned to the Cherokee nation and made their home near Timber Hill, on the old Texas road. In 1888 they moved to Tahlequah to get the benefits of our High schools in the training and education of their children. The wisdom of his choice has been demonstrated in leaving to suceed him in the drama of life five daughters and three sons, of culture and refinement, modeling their homes after the example of their lamented father.
Brave and faithful as a soldier, loyal and true in all the duties of reconstructed citizenship, kind and affectionate as a father, we shall not soon see his like again. He will be missed in his every day walks of life, his seat will be empty in the lodge, his chair will be vacant around the fireside and family circle, and all who know him realize that no ordinary citizen has passed to the Great Beyond.
"Green be the turf above thee," True friend of all my days. "None knew thee but to love thee. None named thee but to praise." -J.F. THOMPSON.
Source: The Tahlequah Arrow, Tahlequah, Oklahoma, Thursday, April 4, 1912; Pg. 10, Columns 2-3
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