By Old Uncle Gib
While researching through issues of the Chronicle, an article about the death of a Native American in our local hospital caught my eye.
The January 1, 1952, Chronicle front page article reported, “Chief Lone Wolf Died in Hospital Here on Dec. 31, 1951. “Ernest Grant, 54 year old Sioux Indian of the Doyle community, known as 'Chief Lone Wolf' died Monday in the Cumberland Medical Center after about a week's illness.” He was buried in the Mount Pisgah Cemetery in White County, Tennessee.
In research done by Dr. Opless Walker of Putnam County years later, he reported that the “Chief Lone Wolf” (Ernest Grant) family had moved to White County in the mid-1940s. His report says that they were a Cherokee family from North Carolina.
Other research done by Dr. Walker lists the 1980, and 1990, figures for Native Americans living in the Upper Cumberland area. Cumberland County was reported to have 22 persons of Native American descent in 1980, and 137 in the 1990 Census, the largest number of any other county in our area. White County was listed as having 9 persons in 1980, and 16 in 1990. It is certainly possible that there are people who are unaware of their Native American lineage, as this is very difficult to trace.
During the “Great Removal,” the Indian Removal Act of 1830, when Native Americans were forced to leave their homes and property and move to the West, many changed or “Americanized” their names to avoid the removal. Known as the “Trail of Tears,” a section of the removal, called the Northern Route, passed through Grassy Cove and other areas of our county.
Mr. Grant was reported to have been born on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, August 16, 1889, son of Jim Fletcher Grant and Patsy Young Grant. He moved to White County, Tennessee, about nine years ago (1943) from the Cherokee reservation in North Carolina, and owned a farm near Doyle.
There is no notation as to why they would have gone to the Cherokee reservation, nor how they came to buy a farm in the Doyle community. The Rosebud Reservation is a Sioux reservation established in 1889 by the US partition of the Great Sioux Reservation created in 1868 by the Treaty of Fort Laramie.
Chief Lone Wolf was said to have staged small shows of an Indian war dance for school children and community gatherings while living in White County.
He was survived by his widow, Rebecca Catolster Grant; five sons, Raymond, General, Chiltoski, Harley and Johnny Grant; two daughters, Ernestine and Antonette all of the Doyle community. He was also survived by eight brothers and three sisters.
It is quite possible that descendants of Chief Lone Wolf, Ernest Grant, may still live in our area.