A Man Whose Footsteps Follow His Father and Grandfather Before Him

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May 27, 2024

by Rosemary Stevens, Editor-in-Chief,

Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal Tribune

Phone: 1-405-201-3143

Lawrence Homer Hart, Cheyenne Peace Chief, speaks in a quiet tone of voice, a voice one is immediately drawn to, hanging on to every word he speaks.

He speaks of his life growing up, his deep love for his grandparents, parents, siblings … his wife, his children and his grandchildren, but of his many accomplishments his says nothing. And there are many.

Lawrence is a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College Board of Regents and was the first Native American to serve on the Clinton School Board. He was the first full blood Native American to become a jet fighter pilot and served with the 2nd Marine Air Wing, Marine Air Group 24, Marine Fighter Squadron 114.Lawrence was instrumental in acquiring historical recognition to the site commonly referred to as the Battle of the Washita, though Lawrence prefers “not to call it a battle, but a massacre.” He has authored Legacies of the Massacre and Battles at the Washita, published in the June 1999 issue of Oklahoma Today, he opened the 1998 Symposium on the Washita, was keynote speaker at the Susan Ferrell Memorial Luncheon, St. Thomas University School of Law, with his speech being published in the St. Thomas University Law Review in 1997. He has lectured at the Oklahoma City’s National Cowboy and Western Museum (formerly known as the Cowboy Hall of Fame), the Denver Historical Society and the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis and has been featured in many television documentaries involving Native American programs and like his father and grandfather before him, Lawrence is a Mennonite minister … and the list goes on.

Lawrence was born to Jennie and Homer Hart on Feb. 24, 1933 at the family’s home place located along the Quartermaster Creek, north of Hammon, Okla. and south of a little town called Moorewood. His grandfather, John P. (Peak) Hart was a member of the Council of Forty-Four and was born in 1871 to Afraid of Beavers and Walking Woman, three years after the attack at the Washita. His great-grandmother, Afraid of Beavers, was in the group who searched for and found the bodies of Black Kettle and his wife, Medicine Woman. Medicine Woman was the sister of Afraid of Beavers and had survived nine bullet wounds during the Sand Creek Massacre.

“You can’t go much further west or much further north of where I was born, along the Quartermaster Creek in the far northwest corner of Custer County,” Lawrence said. “I was delivered by my grandmother, Cornstalk, who was a midwife … she went all over delivering babies.”

Lawrence was the second to the youngest of six children, Alvin, Lucy, Lenora, Christine, Samuel and Ramona.

To read the full story go to: IndigenousNetwork.org