Bruce John Poolaw

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Bruce John Poolaw

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Mountain View Township, Kiowa, Oklahoma, United States
Death: December 21, 1984 (80)
Oklahoma, United States
Place of Burial: Rainy Mountain Cemetery, Mountain View, Kiowa, Oklahoma, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Kiowa George “Pohd-Lohk” Poolaw; Private and Tsomah Poolaw
Husband of Lucy Poolaw
Brother of SGT Moses Edward "Mose" Poolaw; PVT Ralph Emerson Poolaw; Private; Private; David Tsomah Poolaw and 8 others
Half brother of Dorothy Ware; PVT Ralph Emerson Poolaw; John Mammedaty; SGT Moses Edward "Mose" Poolaw and Margaret Cora Titchywy

Managed by: William Owen "Bill" Irwin
Last Updated:

About Bruce John Poolaw

Showman and Rodeo Star. A Kiowa, who was born and grew up in Mountain View, Oklahoma (Kiowa County). He was one of at least eleven children of Tsomah and George Poolaw. His father had at least two wives so Bruce had both full and half siblings. His full siblings, those whose mother was Tsomah, included: David T.; Phyllis Annie; Gladys Samuel; Robert William, his twin; Horace Monroe; Pierce Justin; and Trecil. His half siblings, those whose mother was Keahtinekeah, included: Dorothy (Oegotahkeah); Moses Edward; Ralph E.; and Cora. Another half sibling was Mammedaty, whose mother was Ku-da-am-ke.

In 1910, he was living with his parents, maternal grandparents, and siblings in Mountain View Township, Oklahoma (Kiowa County). The household included: George Poolaw, age 46, born in Oklahoma of Oklahoma parents, married twice, a farmer; Tromah, age 38, married twice, six living children of ten, born in Oklahoma of Mexican parents; David, age 15, born in Oklahoma; Annie, age 13; Bruce, age 5; Robert, age 5; Horace, age 4; Shah-k, age 2; Jerry, age 62, father in law, married 10 times, 36 years, speaks Kiowa, born in Mexico of Mexican parents; and Kon-No-Aon, age 66, mother in law, married twice, born in Mexico of Mexican parents.

In 1920, he was still living at home with his parents and siblings. His grandparents Jerry Paith-T-Te, age 71 and Kau-Oirty, age 72 were still in the household. Bruce began his career as an entertainer around that time. He had adopted "Chief" as his stage name and became a nationally known performer. In 1929, while on the Keith Vaudeville Circuit performing at wild west shows, he met Lucy Nicolar, known as Princess Watahwaso, a popular vaudeville singer. Princess Watahwaso was married at the time, but her husband left her in 1929 and she returned to her home in Maine.

In 1930, Bruce was living in Mountain View, Oklahoma with his parents, his younger brother Justin, age 19, and his sister Trecil, age 17. His occupation was "actor vaudeville." From 1933 until at least 1937, he was still counted in the Indian census as living in Mountain View, Oklahoma. He was single and lived alone. At some point after that, he married Princess Watahwaso and moved to her home in the Penobscot Community on Indian Island in Maine. They built their home there and in 1947, erected a tepee next to their home and opened Chief Poolaw's Trading Post. They sold native goods such as baskets. They also held live shows that employed some of the local children and included some of their Vaudeville acts. Bruce also ran a guide service, which employed some of the local Penabscot guides. Several years after his wife died in 1969, he moved back to Oklahoma, where he spent the rest of his life.

  • Reference: Find A Grave Memorial - SmartCopy: Mar 20 2021, 3:11:54 UTC
  • Residence: Mountain View, Kiowa, Oklahoma, United States - 1910
  • Residence: Mountain View, Kiowa, Oklahoma, United States - 1920
  • Residence: Mountain View, Kiowa, Oklahoma, United States - 1930
  • Residence: Same House - 1935
  • Residence: Ward 4, Old Town, Old Town City, Penobscot, Maine, United States - 1940
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Bruce John Poolaw's Timeline

1903
December 25, 1903
Mountain View Township, Kiowa, Oklahoma, United States
1984
December 21, 1984
Age 80
Oklahoma, United States
December 1984
Age 80
Rainy Mountain Cemetery, Mountain View, Kiowa, Oklahoma, United States