” A Tale of Two Seminole Counties”
Some coincidences can’t be ignored, like February the 26th, in both Florida’s and Oklahoma’s Seminole Counties. What does this date and these counties have in common. Trayvon Martin was killed on February 26th, 2012, in Seminole County, Florida. He was born on Feb. 5th, 1995 ,not in Seminole County, but that, is where his young life would tragically be ended.
My grandfather Pompey Bruner Fixico, was born on Feb. 14th, 1891 , over hundred years before Trayvon’s birth, was born in Seminole County, Oklahoma. Eighty-seven years before Trayvon Martin’s death at the hands of an armed killer, who felt entitled to take Trayvon’s life , a similar scenario would end Pompey Bruner Fixico’s life on Feb. 22th, 1925 and it was reported in the Seminole County News on Feb. 26th , 4 days later,he too was killed by someone who also didn’t hesitate. Pompey was a good deal older than Trayvon , he was 31 yrs. old and a WW 1 Vet who had served his country in France during the War. He left a wife and four children, all younger than Trayvon’s 17 years, who by many, would be considered a child in a young man’s body. Pompey’s death took place , not far from the site of the “worst racial violence in American History”, “The Tulsa Race Riot”. The Riot had occurred 4 years earlier in 1921. Pompey Bruner’s ( his father was Caesar Bruner) Draft Registration Card lists ,his place of employment , in 1917, as the Brady Hotel, in Tulsa, Ok.. It was owned by Mr. Tate Brady, a prominent member of Oklahoma’s Ku Klux Klan, in that area. KKK member Brady was reported to have had a hand in the , “Tulsa Race Riot”.
Florida’s history contains, the infamous, “Fort Negro Massacre” of 1816, it was brought on by Gen. Andrew Jackson’s , Slave hunting excursion into Spanish owned Florida. He sent U.S. Army and Navy forces including Creek allies to destroy “Fort Negro”, which was a free -Black settlement. When Jackson’s forces attacked, it was occupied by approximately 320 inhabitants, mostly Maroon women and children including about 30 Indians, Choctaw and Seminole. A U.S. ship positioned in the Appalachicola River, heated a cannon ball and fired it over the fort’s, 15 ft. high and 18 ft. thick walls and it landed in the defender’s ammunition dump, causing an explosion . It was heard many miles away and that killed about 270 victims. Our ancestors were in and around Fort Negro and we now know that the victim,s descendants, were destined to be Pompey’s Blood relatives. I don’t know Trayvon’s genealogy, however, I’m sure that his ancestors have similar historical incidents to report.
While many readers are somewhat familiar with Trayvon Martin’s Tragedy, I have supplied some important background, concerning my grandfather Pompey Bruner Fixico’s death and the fact that Olin Webb as the perpetrator, went free just as George Zimmerman did in the Martin trial.
” Sunday afternoon the town of Seminole was disturbed by a shooting when Olin Webb, shot and killed Pompey Fixico, a Seminole by birth and roll” The rest of the, Seminole County News article , reveals the disposition of the case. Even though there were 4 eye-witnesses, who testified, the charges were dropped for lack of evidence. The Smithsonian Institution Researcher, ( Dr. Kevin Mulroy) who discovered the article, conjectured that the defendant possibly went free because the witnesses, were Black or Indian and their testimony was not considered evidenced. A little over a year later, this was written: “On July 16th, 1926 discovery well near Seminole, Oklahoma, revealed the massive potential, of the oil producing formation of the Wilcox-sand, and launched a drilling boom that will make Oklahoma one of today’s leading producing states. The Fixico No. 1 well, penetrated the Wilcox sand at 4,073 feet”( courtesy of the ” A history of the Greater Seminole Oil field”). As former Wewoka Detective Kevin Brinker, has said, that, Fixico Heirs of this family became : “Vanished from the land”.
The oral history that I received was that Pompey Bruner Fixico’s wife and four children fled Seminole County, Ok.. They were warned by Pompey’s best friend that “the whole family was to be exterminated”. This is “hearsay”, but the truth is that they became, “Seminole County Refugees” and Fled to Witchita, Kansas. “Loyal Indians”, Seminoles both Black and By-Blood had fled to Kansas during the Civil War. There during the Civil War 3 of my Direct Ancestors would fight for the Union in the First Indian Home Guard under officers who had ridden with “Warrior Abolitionist John Brown”.
Peace, Love and Truth,
Phil “Pompey Bruner” Fixico, Seminole Maroon Descendant
In the Photo Above: The front page of : “The Seminole Producer ” newspaper with help from Oklahoma resident and former Wewoka, Oklahoma Police Officer Kevin Brinker, and Mr. Stu Phillips the publisher of the Seminole Producer the story of my grandfather’s lynching was re-visited. Pompey’s father Oklahoma Seminole Nation Freedmen Band Leader Ceasar Bruner’s photo is the 1st one on the left. His son my grandfather Pompey Bruner Fixico is seen in the 2nd small photo. He is standing on the right.