Curry & Gibson Baskets
Linda Curry Warner of
Sacramento, CA writes......
My Great Uncle Denver "Tutor" Gibson is a descendant of Christopher Columbus
Gibson. His brother was George Gibson. The Gibson family are famous for their basket
weaving. They made baskets from White Oak trees, they'd cut down by hand and hauled
from the mountains. They cut and stripped the logs with their handmade tools. They
made the slits and created the woven baskets. They taught the Curry family to weave the
baskets. Denver died this past year, still making baskets. If he wasn't making baskets, he
was playing his fiddle. Denver was the the last of the Great Uncles (Gibsons) to be making
the baskets. This picture was when I visited him in Fayettville, Arkansas in 1990.
I have quite a history of our family of basket weavers. My great grandfather was taught
by an Indian woman who was blind. His name was Christopher Columbus (Lum) Gibson. They
made baskets out of White Oak trees from the hills of Arkansas around Washington County
area ...(Fayettville)... He taught his sons, John, Tutor, Bill, and George to make
baskets. They taught their kids and on down the line. My Grandmother was George Gibson's
sister, Nancy Gibson, who married James (Bud) Curry (son of Nathan Curry...Fayettville)
...and the Gibsons taught my dad and his brothers (Willard ..my dad..and his bros, Jess
(some called him J.J. or Red),Wilbert, Claude, and Glen Curry. My father Willard taught my
mother Kathryn Lawson Curry. They sold baskets all up and down road in Arkansas and
Missouri. I would like to locate any baskets made by my father and mother (they used to
bottom chairs etc also). They used to have a shop on highway from Greenland to West Fork,
Arkansas. They would go to hills, pick out a tree, cut it down, haul it out, load it on a
truck, take it home, "split" it (in pieces) .....then shave bark off it and
shave strips they needed. They made their own tools and handles for baskets that are very
recognizable. My cousins to this day are still making baskets as well as my Uncle Wilbert
and Uncle Glen and his son Larry Glen Curry. My Uncle Claude & Aunt Norma also still
make them. My cousin Roger Curry made a video on how to make these baskets from step
one..going to get tree...that's very interesting. The only actual documentation of the
making of the Curry/Gibson baskets that I know of. I have old news articles & pictures
of them with baskets...from long ago..as far back as my great grandfather "Lum".
My family moved to California, and the White Oak Trees weren't plentiful out here
therefore they quit making the baskets (my father and mother). In later years they
divorced and my father went back to Ark (Fayettville) and started making baskets and
laying rock. He was quite a rock mason.
There may be people all across the country who have bought baskets made by Uncle
"Tutor"....or other members of the Curry or Gibson families. I'd love to hear
from these people....their messages would be added to our families genealogy.
Linda Curry Warner
Text and Photo Copyright © Linda Gibson Curry 1990-1999
Original graphics © Susi