Ben Pikey’s Cabin and Legacy, 1917

Ten-year-old Zenobia Louise Cochran is the daughter of Minerva Pikey Cochran, pictured above.  Here she is in 1917 at the cabin built in about 1867 by respected early Silver City/Tuttle settler Benson Pikey, who established the Pikey Ferry Crossing that served area residents who wished to cross the Canadian River before bridges were built in Minco and Newcastle in 1934, which put the ferry out of business. Pikey’s Crossing was the main river crossing between Oklahoma City and Lawton after those cities were established. Behind her is her grandmother Katie Pikey, who is washing their clothes in a washtub on the front porch.

Zenobia’s grandfather, Ben Pikey, was born in 1837 in Mississippi among the Chickasaws driven from the eastern United States to Indian Territory. Well educated and bilingual, Ben farmed about 2,000 acres, was a leader in Tuttle and in 1888 was elected Speaker of the Chickasaw House of Representatives. Pikey’s Ferry Crossing served many thousands in the area from 1867-1934. He died in 1895.

His granddaughter Zenobia became a talented painter and seamstress who lived an active life in early Tuttle, where she led in women’s clubs, attended the Baptist Church, and entertained her grandchildren with her childlike joy on their playful adventures. She loved to travel.  That cabin remains standing but in disrepair today near the Canadian River Bridge. This image was shared by Zenobia’s granddaughter Betty Smith, who lives on Pikey-allotted land with her husband Kip.

The Tuttle Then and Now gallery displayed at the First National Bank & Trust Co. in Tuttle was designed to commemorate the people and places that make Tuttle unique. FNBT has been an independent community bank serving central and southwest Oklahoma since 1892.