Suzanne Grant was born in Arkansas City, Kansas on May 21st, 1944.
Both her parents, Owen and Carrie Grant, lived and worked at the time as teachers at the Chilocco Indian School in North Central Oklahoma, near the Kansas border.
On August 17th, 1946, Suzanne became an older sister to Martha Nell Grant, also born in Arkansas City, Kansas.
Her aunt Lillian Daniel sent Suzanne a letter just before Martha Nell was born.
[Suzanne’s writing indicated in italic]
Suzanne’s parents, Owen and Carrie, began dating during high school. They were both graduates of the 1928 class of Tahlequah High School and they both enrolled at Northeastern State Teacher’s College and both wanted to become teachers. In the fall of their second year of college, they were able to attend the state of Oklahoma Teacher’s Conference in Tulsa. This was a big event for the students, much like a field placement.
Owen and Carrie also used the occasion to elope. They were married in the Law Offices of G.O. Grant, Owen’s father. None of their other parents knew of their plans. When the newly weds arrived home that evening the folks were surprised. It was Ross Taylor Daniel’s 56th birthday, October 26th, 1929.
Just three days later, the stock market crashed.
Ross Daniel was an Indian Agent with the US Government, who believed part of his job was to ensure native children received formal education. He had connections to Chilocco, and when his daughter Carrie graduated Northeastern with a degree in Home Economics, he helped her secure a teaching job at a time when jobs were scarce. Due to a prohibition on multiple adults in a household being employed, Owen took another teaching job and the young couple lived in separate towns for several years, before he was able to also get a job teaching at Chilocco.
* A note about the Chilocco logo seen above: The symbol on top of the Chilocco archway predates the appropriation by German Nazis by centuries. To the Navajo, the “Whirling Log” is a sacred symbol still in ceremonial use by some tribal members. This news article tells more information.