On 28 October 1925, Mr. P. L. Hallam, Examiner of Inheritance, took sworn statements from three Ute men regarding settlement of Chipeta’s estate. Hallam’s clerk, Marie Gilbert, served as Interpreter and also witness to the signed statements.
The three men interviewed identified themselves as Uncompahgre Utes living near Randlett Utah.
James McCook, age 41, was the person seeking to be named heir to Chipeta’s estate.
Witnesses were Corass, age 74, and Sam Alhandra, age 46.
When asked if Chipeta ever made a will, James McCook replied, “No. She just talked about making one.”
James testified that Chipeta “raised me from the time I was a little baby.” He said his mother, Co-roo-poo-its, was a child of one of Chipeta’s sisters. He called Chipeta “grandmother.” According to James, Chipeta took him away from his mother and raised him.
James said Chipeta had no natural children. She had adopted James’ mother, Co-roo-poo-its, as a baby. He said, “Chipeta’s husband [Chief Ouray] was a relation of my mother [Co-roo-poo-its] and that is how they came to adopt her.” James testified that Co-roo-poo-its was not an orphan, that her mother was alive when Co-roo-poo-its became the daughter of Chipeta and Ouray.
Continued next week…
Sources: Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, “Heirship and Probate, 1925 and 1926
Interviews by Examiner of Inheritance, October 1925, http://content.lib.utah.edu/cdm/ref/collection/uaida/id/38091