The Van Alstyne Culture Club met on Oct. 10 in the First United Methodist Church. President Susan Berryhill called the meeting to order and Vice President Teddie Ann Salmon introduced our program.
We were fascinated by the dramatic story of Olive Ann Oatman, a prominent resident of Grayson County in the late 1800s. Olive and her family were moving to California in a wagon train. The train broke apart, but her family continued the journey. Along the way, they were attacked by Yavapais Indians and nearly all of her family was killed. Olive and her sister, Mary, were taken captive by the Yavapais and used as slaves.
Later, they were traded to another tribe, the Mohave Indians, and treated well. Living with this tribe required facial tattooing. This tribe endured a famine due to drought and Mary died, but Olive survived. She was rescued by the army, even though she would have stayed with the Mohaves. Her Indian family didn’t understand what was about to happen to their lives and didn’t understand her leaving.
Olive’s brother survived the family’s attack and they were reunited. After her marriage, Olive and her husband arrived in Sherman. Her husband, a Mr. Fairchild, owned a bank and other businesses in the city. Olive eventually became known as the veiled lady, and she is buried at West Hill Cemetery in Sherman.
This story was brought to life by the moving performance of Margaret Alverson. Thank you Margaret, great job!
Our hostess for the day was Jackie Penning, and assisting her were Jo Bell and Nannette Edwards. Jackie decorated the tables with Fall leaves and mums. We enjoyed tasty treats and finished our business meeting. Sadly we had several members missing. Hope to see all in November.