George T. Arnett


George T. Arnett. The course of that section of Red River that makes a ribbon along the southern edge of the Chickasaw and Choctaw nations holds many an interesting fact of history–a thousand more facts than can ever be obtained from the mouths of men; a thousand little bits of tragedy and romance that have passed on like the red current. It is quite possible that no other stream of the Middle West would figure half so conspicuously in history were the annals of its border regions fully related. This is true because Red River was a boundary line between civilization and the remnant of forty-five tribes of Indians, herded by the Government upon their last reservation, with whom thousands of Government officials and millions of other white men have had business transactions. This accounts for the fact that every one of the fifty or more ferries along Red River where it touches the Chickasaw and Choctaw countries has a fascinating aroma of history hovering about it. The real and most interesting facts about it would equal in interest the story told of any frontier in the history of the world.
Among these ferries was Hamberg Ferry, near which George T. Arnett was born and near which his father, Walter R. Arnett, was a merchant for many years. The Arnett store was on the Texas bank of the river, being located on a road that for many years was traveled more by men charged with crime or chargeable with crime, and the officers who were pursuing them, than any other class. The other class was composed principally of Arkansas people of good name who were on their way to the growing land of Texas. This road led on the Indian Territory side to trails that ended in the Seven Devils Mountains that were the rendezvous of thieves and outlaws thirty to fifty years ago. Over this road traveled Elos Taylor, a light horseman of the Choctaw Nation, and Tom Graham, who after statehood became a sheriff of McCurtain County, Oklahoma, each an arm of the law that sought to establish order in a region where law was little regarded or respected. Over this road the officers brought many bad men into Texas, some of them dead of gunshot wounds received in battle, and some of them alive.
This road on the Indian side led by a favorite meeting place of the Choctaws known among the white settlers as Bon Ton. Near it was the home of Jefferson Gardner, once a beloved governor of the Choctaw Nation, and near it, in recent years, a son of Governor Gardner was killed. At Bon Ton was held one of the largest political meetings of the celebrated campaign in 1894, in which Thomas W. Hunter, of Hugo, and Green McCurtain were rival candidates for the governorship, and on this occasion Green McCurtain was the principal speaker. He spoke in Choctaw and one who came after him spoke in English, whereupon there resulted a fight in which a score or more of Indians participated. Elos Taylor was on hand with his faithful Winchester, the butt of which he used on heads that spilled much blood while he restored order. There are many interesting stories of Bon Ton, but this incident only was witnessed by George T. Arnett, who is now one of the leading lawyers of Idabel.
George T. Arnett was born in Red River County, Texas, in 1884. His father was also born there and there married Ida Kincaid, and there the father was killed in 1894. George W. Arnett, grandfather of George T., was a native of Arkansas who traveled the trail to Texas before the outbreak of the war between the states. James Kincaid, the maternal grandfather of George T. Arnett, was an early settler of Texas, entered the Confederate army at the age of sixteen years, and served throughout the period of the Civil war. George T. Arnett’s education was obtained in the public schools of Texas, Tyler Commercial College and the law department of Cumberland University. He was admitted to the bar in Oklahoma in June, 1915, after having been admitted to the bar in Tennessee in January of that year. Prior to beginning the practice of his chosen profession he was engaged in the real estate business at Idabel, and still has some interest in that business and follows it to a certain extent. While he is practically a newcomer to the legal fraternity, he has already established firmly in the confidence of the people, and is in the enjoyment of a practice that promises well for the future.
Mr. Arnett is not married, but makes his home with his mother at Idabel. He has one brother and two sisters, namely: Mrs. Sallie Hamil, who is the wife of a farmer living at Manchester, Texas; Miss Jessye, who began teaching at the age of fourteen years, has attended the Texas State Normal School and the Southeastern State Normal School of Oklahoma, at Durant, and is now a teacher in the schools of Idabel; and Samuel, aged twenty-one years, who lives at Idabel with his mother. George T. Arnett is a member of the Christian Church, affiliated with the Woodmen of the World and the Woodmen Circle, and is professionally connected with the McCurtain County Bar Association.