Louis Campbell Leflore. There are three families in the old Choctaw and Chickasaw nations that stand out prominently for their size and distinguished part in the development of these two Indian tribes. They are the LeFlores, the Colberts and the Folsoms. The history of these two tribes would be incomplete without a history of these families, and extended mention of them will be found in the pages of this work.
The LeFlore family is of French origin, as is also the Colbert family, but "the Folsoms are of English origin. The LeFlores were established in America with the arrival of three brothers from France, who settled on a homestead tract near where the City of Mobile, Alabama, now stands. Two of the brothers married into Indian families of prominence and wealth–one in the Choctaw tribe and the other in the Chickasaws. Greenwood and Basil LeFlore were own brothers, while Benjamin and Forbes LeFlore were the half-brothers of the two first named–all of them the sons of a full-blooded Frenchman and Indian women of purest Indian ancestry. Benjamin LeFlore was the grandsire of L. C. LeFlore of this sketch. He was married to Miss Mary Juzan of the Chickasaws, and Louis LeFlore, father of Louis Campbell LeFlore of this review, was their son. The uncle of Louis, Greenwood LeFlore, was chief of the Choctaw tribe in Mississippi, and when they came west he remained in Mississippi, later representing his district in the State Senate. For him LeFlore County in Mississippi was named, and the county seat was designated as Greenwood in his honor.
Louis LeFlore, father of Louis Campbell LeFlore, was born in Mississippi in 1835. Before the war he was a prominent and wealthy planter and slave owner, but he suffered the loss of his wealth during the war, as did others throughout the Southland. When the war broke out he enlisted in the Confederate service, and he served in the command of Colonel Ross. He died when the war was nearing its end, and while still in the service. He married Josephine Carrington, the daughter of W. D. Carrington, formerly of North Carolina, but then a resident of Tennessee, and later of Texas. He finally died in Mississippi. In Texas the family was among the first settlers of Leon County, and they were representative and prominent people wherever they made their home. The children of Louis and Josephine LeFlore are as follows: Louis Campbell, of this review; Abbott, who lives near Kenefick; Felicia, who married J. M. Goddard, of Caddo. Two died young. Marcellus, the third born child, died in Texas, and Phoebe was but an infant when death claimed her.
Louis Campbell LeFlore was born near Carthage, Leake County, Mississippi, on July 23, 1857. He was educated in the common schools of Mississippi before his migration to Texas, at the age of thirteen years. He remained in that state for ten years, during which time he attended school in Austin, and gained a very creditable education, under the guidance of his mother’s people, who were then residents of Texas. In 1874 he came to the Indian Territory. His stay was brief, however, and two years later saw his return to Texas, where he remained until 1890. In Texas he devoted himself to the merchandise business, and was successful in that line. In 1903 Mr. LeFlore was appointed by the government as one of a committee of three to remove and locate about 300 Mississippi Choctaws in the Indian Territory. He was engaged in that work until April, 1904, when he was appointed office deputy United States marshal, with headquarters at Atoka. He filled that office until the coming of statehood, when he was appointed as Choctaw townsite commissioner to appraise the lots of townsites located on the segregated coal lands. On that commission Mr. LeFlore represented the Choctaws and Mr. Charles A. Wilson represented the white population. In 1910 Mr. LeFlore saw the possibilities in the new town of Kenefick, which had just been started in February of that year, and which was located on the M. O. S. G. Railroad, then in course of construction from Muskogee to DenisonJ Texas. He established a mercantile business in the embryo town, and so well did it succeed that he is still actively engaged in business there. In 1914 he installed an ice plant, and in the past few months he has secured the franchise for a lighting plant, which it is his plan to bring to completion in the coming year. Besides being a successful merchant and a town builder, as he may well be said to be, Mr. LeFlore owns and manages a large black-land farm near Kenefick, which is a source of much pleasure to him, as well as not a little profit.
In 1883 Mr. LeFlore was married to Miss Keturah Coleman, of Texas birth and parentage. To them have been born the following children: Mrs. Rosa Dennett, of Carter, Wisconsin; Michael, who manages the ice plant for his father; Mrs. Josephine Kirkendall, of Atoka; Helen, who lives with her mother at the LeFlore home in Atoka; Campbell, Jr., who is attending the University of Oklahoma, and who, during his vacations, is associated with his father in the mercantile business at Kenefick.
Mr. LeFlore is a Mason, a Pythian Knight, an Odd Fellow and a Woodman of the World. He is a democrat and has always loyally supported the men and principles of that party. The family home is maintained in Atoka, where the LeFlores are socially prominent and popular, as they are wherever they are known.