by Jeremy Turner
Alex Nichols was born around 1856 in Wyandotte Co. Kansas. It is not known to what clan he belonged. Alex’s father was Smith Nichols, a member of the Deer clan. Smith was one of Barbeau’s main informants and had been a councilor for the Wyandotte nation. Alex’s mother’s name was Margaret, but her maiden name and clan are unknown at this time.
Alex’s father, Smith Nichols, was born in Ohio on the old Wyandot Reserve before the removal of 1843. Alex had one older sister, Caroline, who married Star Young, and an older brother named William. He also had a half brother named Samuel Nichols. Samuel’s mother was Mary Warpole, of the Porcupine clan. Mary Warpole was the daughter of John Warpole. Mary was opposed to the Treaty of 1855. William Walker records in his journal that John Big-Sinew was Smith Nichols’ half-brother.
Around 1878 Alex was married to Mary, maiden name unknown. They had eight children together. Seven girls; Matilda, Alice, Malinda, Susie, Silva, Isabel and Julia, and one son, Alexander, Jr. Alex is listed on the 1898 Seneca census with his father, Smith. Alex was married a second time on June 17, 1907, to Eva Spicer, a Seneca. Eva had been previously married to Frank Whitetree. Eva and Frank had three children together: Susie, Scott, and Frank, Jr.
Alex and Eva lived just southeast of Turkeyford near Grove, Oklahoma. They had one child together, a daughter named Lulu (Nettie). Eva states in an Indian Pioneer History intereview in 1937 that Alex’s “chief interest was horse racing and threshing machines.” She also mentions “that he was often away from home with his horses at different places.”
Alex Nichols passed away in 1929. His contribution to Barbeau’s collection was a bow and arrow set, with one of the arrows being a bird blunt used in hunting small game and waterfowl. He also contributed a cradleboard. Both had probably been passed down in his family.