Former and current Bonner residents find Henry Tiblow’s grave in Oklahoma
Our grandsons arrived at our home on Grand Lake in Oklahoma early for spring break. My youngest, Riley Shonkwiler, who is 9 years old, immediately came to me asking me if I knew the location of Nowata, Okla. I told him yes, that it wasn't very far from the lake.
Riley proceeded to go into this history of Henry Tiblow. My husband and I lived in Bonner Springs for 31 years on Tiblow St. and I never gave any thought at all about Henry Tiblow or who he was. Every year on Tiblow Days, we were at our Lake home in Oklahoma, so it never occurred to me to research his life. I told Riley that we would look into where Henry Tiblow was buried and that we would visit his grave.
I called the Chamber of Commerce in Nowata and they gave me directions. It was east of Nowata out in the country. So, a friend of mine and Riley and a neighborhood boy went over there to see his grave. Well, that was easier said, than done. I travelled up and down highway 28 looking for a cemetery sign. There was none. So, after a few attempts, I went into the town of Childers, which consisted of a bait shop. There was one elderly gentleman outside the shop that told me how to get there. I found out later that there was two ways to get into the cemetery and it was neither of what the gentleman told me. The only road that I did see, which was to turn off to, went into a ranch. I got tired of running up and down the highway and told my friend that I was going into that ranch and ask them. I had even called On Star to see if they knew where cemeteries were and they told me yes they did. Well, they didn't. This was after we had been in the vicinity for about 45 minutes. We pulled into the driveway of the ranch and I followed the road, which went behind the ranch. Then I realized that it went on farther. So, we travelled a little ways down the road and I crossed about 3 cattle guards. I did see houses back in the area, so I kept on going. As we rounded a corner by a bridge, my friend spotted it off to the left. We pulled in there and saw his grave. I told Riley that he would probably remember this trip for a long time! We took some pictures. The cemetery is very small, but pretty. It could use some up keep. Some of the stones were old and not straightened. I made myself a mental note to contact the DelawareIndian Tribe on that matter.
Riley is quite the history buff and he taught me some factual information about Henry Tiblow. I was glad that I got to take him over there. I told him that he was Delaware too, that his Mom is Delaware, Shawnee and Osage and Cherokee card-carrying Native American. She received some monies from the Delaware on some of the treaties that were finally settled. I told him that Henry Tiblow had something to do with that. I said "Riley, you ought to be proud that you are Native American. You are four different tribes."
He said, "I were five."