Paris News Paris, Texas May 14 1935 Ancient Choctaw Dwarf Is Enigma of Kiamichi by ED FOSTER (photo of DAVID ALLEN with article) Talihina, Oklahoma: DAVID ALLEN, diminutive Choctaw Indian, is no longer “Straw Hat,” because he wears a heavy hunting cap in preference to a straw, and he continues in other ways to disprove the fond beliefs that he has assisted in gathering about himself.
Allen is very old. He is probably the oldest living person born in the Choctaw Nation. When asked recently how old he was, he brightened and said simply, 85. In 1934, when asked the same question, his answer was just the same. In 1933 he was 85 because he said so himself. He could be 90 years old or maybe more.
His father came from Lukfatah, Mississippi over the Trail of Tears. DAVID ALLEN was born in Nashoba County, Indian Territory. Everyone living in the Little River and Kiamichi Valleys knows him and always has as a little old Indian man who carries a cane and wears a straw hat, but anyone who can find out the age of the man born in Nashoba County must have psychic powers.
His straw sailor floated down Rock Creek south of Talihina about a year ago. This hat probably was the one that got him his nickname, and he must have thought a lot of it because he wore it for a long, long time. Sentiment could not be considered at the moment, however, as he was on a narrow trestle and a train was coming. He saved himself but never wore his hat again.
However, his credit is good, and he can always get a new hat when he wants one. For a time he wore a felt hat, then he wore a new straw, but it apparently didn’t suit him so he bought a heavy hunting cap, with ear flaps and Allen used them this last winter, to.
In answer to the question, “why aren’t you wearing a straw hat?” Allen answered “H’mmm, me like ‘em.” … His mode of travel , which he calls shanks’ horses instead of hiking, and which it said he indulges in to the extent from 20 to 40 miles a day, perhaps is not all shanks’ horses for he came into the Talihina tag agent’s office the other day with a friend to get an automobile license.
Perhaps David Allen is a natural humorist. Everyone asks him the same questions and he gives everyone the same answers. He looks up at the mighty chain of the Kiamichis, where he has always lived. They never change. David Allen is the same. He never changes and he probably laughs to himself when we wonder why.