Cherokee Registry

Ginatiyun Tihi or Stephen Teehee

Ginatiyun Tihi or Stephen Teehee, was born in the Cherokee Nation of Georgia, December 25, 1837, and died in the Cherokee Nation of the Indian Territory in 1907. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Rhoda Benge, was born in the Cherokee Nation of the Indian Territory and passed away in 1886 at the comparatively early age of thirty-nine years. Stephen Teehee had come to the Indian Territory in young manhood. He had obtained a common school education in the Indian schools and afterward engaged in farming. Throughout his life he remained a student of men and events and became one of the most prominent citizens of the future State of Oklahoma. From 1867 until 1896 he was closely identified with public affairs of the Cherokee Nation , serving as district clerk, as district solicitor and as circuit judge and his decisions in the last named office were noted for justice and impartiality. He served likewise as a member of the council and of the senate and was a member of the Executive Council. He likewise was made a member of the grand council and was assistant chief of the Nation. He also did most effective religious work, being a minister of the Baptist church and preaching extensively to his people. He spoke entirely in the Cherokee tongue and was universally honored and loved. His life was an example to the younger generation and an inspiration to all with whom he came in contact. He made his home near Sallisaw, Oklahoma. His was a large family, there being two sets of children. The name was originally Teehee but on the Indian rolls the spelling was changed to the present form. The name has figured prominently upon the pages of history of the Indian Territory and later in connection with the development of the State of Oklahoma and the work instituted by Stephen Teehee has been carried on by the Houston B. Teehee.