Legends of Kiowa County

Along with the legends of lost treasures in Kiowa County, there are others. There are many stories regarding the Indians of the area, our first citizens. These are just a few.

Legend of Little Bow Mountain

The legend of Little Bow is that an old chief who lived near the foot of the mountain was married to a very young girl. The young wife ran away with a young man of the tribe. The culprits were caught and returned to the old chief for punishment. He demanded that the young man kill the unfaithful wife and then be banished from the tribe. The sentence was carried out. To this day the spirit of the young woman returns and is often heard singing on the mountain.

Legend of Kiowa Chief Little Bow

It is said that when Kiowa Chief Little Bow died, his spirit returned to his 3 wives and struck them blind. They died soon after. When they died, the dogs were also struck blind and died soon after.

The Story of John Stink

John Stink is widely known because of his peculiar life. As a young man, he got very drunk and was thought dead. At that time his tribe put dead tribesman in a basket made of hide. They set it against a tree, with John in it, while they made preparations for a feast. He came to, but the tribe thought he was a spirit and would not accept him into the tribe again. He then became a walking medicine man and joined another tribe. He again became ill and went into a coma. Again, he was buried, this time in a stone tomb, but again he survived and was rescued by some boys who heard him. This Indian had a great history and at the time of his death was a multi-millionaire. He got his money from the Osage head rights which he obtained after he joined that tribe.


There are three legends about the final resting place of Sequoyah in Kiowa County. He was the well known Cherokee man that developed the Cherokee alphabet, which led to the written language of the Cherokee in the early 1800s.

Legend says there is a lost tribe of Cherokee, believed to be in Mexico. In later life Sequoyah set out to find this tribe, apparently died on this trip and it is not known where/when he died, or where he is buried.

A letter from Tom Hansen, a former Hobart school superintendent, who had moved to Carlsbad, NM, regarding the identification of some bones found in a cave, supposedly those of Sequoyah, states:

"I am sorry but I can give you no definite information concerning the identification or burial place of Sequoyah."

"I can't remember the year at all, but it was somewhere around 1941, when a county crew was working a gravel pit on the Gibb Hutchens farm north of Hobart, they dug into a burial spot and for some reason unknown to me then or now, called me to see if I could shed some any light on the discovery. We were unable to recover all the skeleton, but I did locate major portions, including the skull and most of the arm, leg, and chest bones. The apparent cause of death was quite obvious since there was a fracture and depression in a top forward location of the skull which had not healed itself indicating it must have been of recent origin at the time of death. I had had some previous experience in identifying burial remains and was pretty well satisfied by the structure and configuration of the skeletal remains that the subject was an Indian."

"Years prior to this, I had spent many years in eastern Oklahoma, only a few miles from the birthplace of Sequoyah, knew a number of his relatives, and was acquainted with both the history of his life and the legends of his disappearance. Very little of a factual nature was known concerning his death, historians and relatives alike simply reporting that on a return trip from Old Mexico, Sequoyah simply disappeared somewhere in the plains area of Texas or western Oklahoma."

"The articles found along with the skeleton led me to speculate that perhaps this was Sequoyah since we recovered also two very badly decayed saddlebags from which we recovered two butcher knives whose handles had long since deteriorated, two or three colors of war paint, the remains of a of a medicine bag with several very small trinkets, and a pair of old-fashioned glasses or spectacles, which were of the adjustable temple type, indicating they were indeed quite old. These spectacles, in which both lenses were intact, had apparently been in the saddle bags and what was most interesting was that although no printed material was recovered, the glasses had apparently been lying on a page or pages of print since the ink had left enough of an imprint on the lenses themselves which allowed the print to be identified. I immediately recognized the printing as Cherokee characters because our family for many years had possession of probably the only remaining complete Cherokee printing press and type cases, and I still have in my possession today a few copies of Cherokee hymnals and Cherokee New Testaments. In any event, I was convinced that the print was Cherokee and this led me to believe, through pure speculation again, that the skeleton was that of Sequoyah"

"I boxed up all this material and asked two or three reputable archeologists for their opinion and they unanimously concurred in identification as that of an Indian. Some time passed before we again became interested. My father was at that time on the staff of the University of Oklahoma and he agreed to talk to some members of the history faculty who were more or less specialist in Indian history to see if they could shed any light on the matter from their examination of the saddle bag contents. The materials I had were given to my father, who was in the process of checking at the time of his sudden death. After a few weeks when I went to pick up the box, which we all were certain was stored in a specific place in the garage, we found it gone. We did our best to locate the material, checking back with professors who had examined it and finally concluded that it must have been stolen, we thought, deliberately."

So there we are, knowing absolutely nothing. I certainly wish I could help you and would be very interested were we able to establish a permanent burial place in the Indian cemetery south of Hobart for this unusual man?"

"Sincerely, Tom Hansen, Superintendent, Carlsbad Municipal School"

Hand Carved Cave

In 1903, a Kiowa County farmer named E. E. Fancher, while exploring a depression under a huge rock or small cave, found the skeleton of a man, an old rifle, powder horn, bullet mold and a silver Jeffersonian Presidential Medal attached to a belt buckle.

Some believed the skeleton to be that of Sequoyah, the inventor of the Cherokee syllabary in 1823. Although somewhat doubtful, the bones had the same characteristics of Sequoyah's description, including a short leg bone.

Officially, Sequoyah's remains have never been found. Mr. Fancher, at the time, related this story: About three miles north of Mountain Park near Otter Creek is the old Fancher farm and spring. Nearby is the mountain on which the cave is located.

Included in the cave were an old iron skillet, an axe, iron hoe, three bars of lead, two pieces of flint, a stove pipe and a gold nugget.

Not knowing what to do with the bones, Fancher said he reburied them on the northwest quarter of the old Fancher section. The other items were left in the old cotton house on his farm because he deemed them to be of little value.

Third Legend of Sequoyah

One legend tells that Sequoyah's skeleton and that of his companions were found near Radziminisky. History states that Sequoyah was probably buried in New Mexico. Jim McClintic had the matter researched. He was convinced that he skeleton with a congressional medal and broken leg bone was without a doubt the bones of Sequoyah.

No one has ever found these remains and it is a mystery still today.

Copyright, 2000-2003
Web Page October 25, 2003

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