The Edmond Sun

Features

November 29, 2013

An 83-year journey: Gigoux family finds heritage from land run

ENID, Okla. — It’s been a long journey for Jim Gigoux. He has traveled 83 years to bring his whole family back to the Enid area to visit their heritage.

Jim and his wife Mary Jane, and their son Gerald with his wife Victoria of San Jose, Calif., and  son Jeffrey, of Grand Junction, Colo., along with grandchildren Bella, Elena, Ainsley, Avery and Juliett came on the trip, some of them making their first trip to Oklahoma and Enid.

Jim Gigoux’s father made the land run, but drove an old, burdensome Conestoga wagon and did not get to stake a claim. However, his grandmother, Minnie Fish, made the run on horseback riding sidesaddle, and managed to stake a claim. She was a 21-year-old single woman who staked her own claim and developed it by herself. Guy Gigoux managed to trade some land in Kansas and purchased 160 acres across the road from Minnie Fish. The two eventually were married and farmed and became part of the Carrier and Enid communities.

The group started the day Tuesday visiting the family homestead in Carrier. It now is owned by another, but the Sears & Roebuck house still is standing, and the Gigoux name still is at the entrance.

Ainsley Gigoux talked about going to the Congregational Church in Carrier and seeing the names of family members there. All five grandchildren were able to ring the church bell, and they also went to the cemetery and saw four generations of their family members there. Ainsley mentioned seeing where the family homesteaded.

Jim prepared a 48-page treatise of family history for each family. They studied it while on their way to Oklahoma. Bella recalled seeing the barn her grandfather often had told her about. He told stories of playing in the barn and doing flips from the barn door. Juliett said she liked the story about her cousin Griff falling into the grain bin and being covered in grain. That cousin, Lt. Col. Harry “Griff” Griffin, later flew a bomber for Gen. Jimmy Doolittle during World War II, leading the first daylight bombing raid of the war. The family members also walked along the Heritage walk in Humphrey Heritage Village and found the bricks with their names on them.

Elena said she likes stories about the farm and finally seeing it. Her class in school has been talking about the history of Oklahoma and seeing the family homestead gave those stories meaning. The original farmhouse was ordered from a Sears & Roebuck catalog and came in pieces. The two-story house had running water, hot water and indoor plumbing.

“That’s pretty advanced for a house that was built in 1901,” Jim Gigoux said.

Neighbors who watched its construction said it would never last in the Oklahoma wind. But the house still  is standing, Jim Gigoux said.

Guy Gigoux was on the board of the Sons and Daughters of the Cherokee Strip Museum, predecessor to Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center. In 1979, he donated the old Conestoga wagon he drove in the land run. The wagon now stands in the Heritage Center.

“I used to come out here,” said Jeffrey Gigoux. “And I will never forget a snow storm over Christmas in the 1970s. It was as tall as the wind row in front of the house. It was eight-feet deep,” he said.

Gigoux was overcome with emotion when he thought of his family being in Enid, and could not speak his thoughts. Finally, he said “it is overwhelming.”

“It’s been his number one bucket list item,” said Mary Jane. “He wanted them to have a sense of their lineage. To be part of a community that gave, from Mom and Dad’s side both,” she said.

Gerald and Victoria and Jeffrey hope their girls develop the same type of can- do attitude exhibited by Minnie Fish, who staked a claim as a 21-year-old single woman.

“The family is extremely proud to have all this,” Mary Jane said. “They saw what they have always seen in pictures.”

“We have memorabilia from the family,” Gerald said. They have an old branding iron and the crank phone from the farm house.

Gigoux has stage-three cancer and is undergoing treatment, and that is the reason his family thought they should take the trip now, Jeffrey said.

“All of us are grateful to be here,” he said.

It’s been a long journey for Jim Gigoux, but it’s been worth it.

1
Text Only
Features
  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 20, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-18 at 4.44.15 PM.png Paint, doodle and sketch: 3 apps for art lovers

    In the absence of a palette of watercolors and a sketchpad, these three apps can fill in as your art supplies of choice.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 19, 2014

  • Crazy spring weather brings frantic pleas

    It was a bright and sunny Saturday morning. Tulips were blooming, squirrels were all a’skitter, my allergy-prone nose was running ninety-to-nothing, and workmen were in my yard leaning on rakes at $18 an hour. You might know I’d be anxious to remedy that! They were waiting to get started on spreading 60 bags of mulch, which I was belatedly on my way to reserve and pre-pay so they could pick it up and get started. Rush ... rush ... rush, and oh my aching back.

    April 19, 2014

  • Oklahoma History Center new home for Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame

    The Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame has a new home at the Oklahoma History Center. Created in 1999, the hall of fame, operated by the Oklahoma Military Heritage Foundation, has been housed the past several years at Oklahoma Christian University but there was no available space to display photographs and information on the inductees.

    April 18, 2014

  • pink.jpg Local children win Edmond Sun Easter coloring contest

    Two local children were named winners of The Edmond Sun’s Easter coloring contest. At left, Madsion Porter, 4, daughter of Tracy Porter, won a princess Easter basket, which included a tiara, tea set, stuffed bunny rabbit and chocolate rabbit. At right, BriAnna Harbaugh, 9, daughter of Leslie Haubaugh, won a Hello Kitty Easter basket, containing art supplies, a Hello Kitty stuffed animal and a chocolate bunny.  The families also received a three-month subscription to The Edmond Sun. For your own subscription to The Edmond Sun, visit edmondsun.com, call 341-2121, or visit 123 S. Broadway.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Annual Turkish art and food festival set for April 26-27

    Raindrop Foundation is a nonprofit cultural organization that seeks to promote friendship and understanding through shared understanding and community experiences. This free event is set for 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 26 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 27 at 4444 N. Classen Blvd., Oklahoma City.
    This year Raindrop Foundation will bring cultural entertainment and education to Oklahoma City area by presenting the Annual Turkish Art and Food Festival. The festival will feature Turkish folk dances, traditional music, water marbling art, whirling dervishes, calligraphy, traditional art of felting, China pieces as well as original arts and crafts for sale to the public.

    April 18, 2014

  • Health seminar focuses on Oklakhoma’s high suicide rate

    OU Outreach and Norman Regional Health System are offering a new health seminar titled “Circle of Care Methodology: Risk Assessment and Prevention of Suicide.” The seminar will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 24 at the Norman Regional Hospital Education Center. Suicide touches many people’s lives. This seminar focuses on the Circle of Care Methodology, which engages a holistic and mitigating approach to the issues and care that is required to address suicidal ideations, attempts, completions and the aftermath.
    The cost is $45 per person, and seating is limited. There will be free parking onsite for all seminar attendees. For more information, visit https://pace.ou.edu/en/programs/health-seminars/.

    April 18, 2014

  • Film documentary explores hunger in America

    The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma will host a screening of the 2012 documentary, “A Place at the Table,” at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Food Bank Volunteer Center, 3355 S. Purdue, Oklahoma City. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. The story documents the struggle of food insecure people in the United States.
    Author Joel Berg will be present as a featured guest. Guests also will have the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion about the issue of hunger in our communities. The screening is free, but seating is limited to 275 people. For more information, go online to www.okchurches.org.

    April 18, 2014

  • Nominations being accepted for Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame

    The Oklahoma Military Heritage Foundation is accepting nominations through June 1 for inductees into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame. Oklahoma veterans including Medal of Honor recipients have been being honored by the hall of fame since 1999. A banquet and ceremony honoring those selected this year for the hall of fame will be Nov. 8 at the Tower Hotel, formerly Marriott Hotel, at 3233 Northwest Expressway in Oklahoma City.
    Nominees can be living or deceased. Nomination forms can be obtained by writing to the Oklahoma Military Heritage Foundation, P.O. Box 30658, Edmond, OK, 73003; or on the foundation’s website at www.okmhf.org.
     

    April 18, 2014