Vice Chief Francis Marion Benenhaley
Courtney is the daughter of Jennifer Ray Wright, Barry Elliott Wright and the late Timothy Tice. Her grandfather, the late Ansley Therand Ray Sr., is one of the reasons Courtney is very passionate about our tribe. She grew up admiring his strong work ethics, military (Purple Heart recipient Korean War) back ground, and curiosity of his past history. Courtney is a graduate from Airport High School 2007, and attended the University of South Carolina. She now devotes her time working with autistic children which is a strong passion in her life. In her spare time, Courtney likes to travel to historical places, listen to all genres of music, watch old timey movies; most of all spend quality time with her friends and family. She mostly describes herself as an old soul. She’s blessed to be the youngest female member on the council and have the opportunity to serve the Sumter Tribe of the Cheraw Indians. As Courtney would say:
“We are Cheraw y’all”.
Linwood is the son of Leroy and Leila Mae Collins. He was born in Manning, South Carolina. He is a founding member of the Green Acres Assembly of God. He is a Cherokee Indian. Linwood has one daughter, Julie Virginia Smith. He was a tree surgeon for 40 years.
His hobbies include fishing, hunting, and Native American Arts and Crafts. He is a certified Native American Artist.
Linwood L. Collins - Big Bear
Tammy was born and raised right here in Sumter, SC. She attended Hillcrest High. Tammy has 3 beautiful children, one granddaughter and a loving husband. She is currently a stay-at-home mom, but has worked as a manager in several restaurants. She has also been a caregiver for family-members in their time of need. She loves spending time with her family, exercising at the gym, cooking and trips to the beach. She is very proud of her heritage as a Cheraw Indian and all of her native family.
Tammy Ray Stevens - Lady Painted Pony
Karen was born in Sumter, South Carolina and the daughter of Raymond and Annie Benenhaley Shoemaker. She has served as a council member since 2013. She graduated from Hillcrest High school located in Dalzell, SC and received her bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of South Carolina. She worked in the Automotive industry for 25 years, until the business relocated to Mexico. She currently works in the Medical Device industry as a Procurement Specialist.
Karen Shoemaker Hudson - Thunder Before The Storm
Chief George C. Truesdale, Jr. - Two Bears
George was born in 1957 in Bishopville, South Caroline. His parents are George C. Truesdale Sr., born and raised in Bishopville, and Barbara Benenhaley Truesdale, born and raised in Sumter, South Carolina. As a child, he lived in Sumter, South Carolina. They relocated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania because of his parents’ jobs. When he graduated from high school, he moved back to Sumter and stayed for many years.
Employment opportunities took George back to Pennsylvania where he worked as an equipment operator and truck driver. He is a member of the Second Brigade Motorcycle Club. The club does many fundraising events to help Vietnam Vets, as well as, disabled and homeless vets. George’s road name in the motorcycle club is Jungle.
George has two sons, George, III and Joshua, a daughter Alana, and a stepson Bernie. He also has a grandson, Jax and twin step-grandsons, Ryan and Nicholas. George’s wife of 7 years, Susan Rendler-Truesdale, is 1st Deputy Clerk of Courts for the County of Delaware, Media, Pennsylvania.
Once his son Joshua graduates from high school in 2018, George and his family are moving to 1 Mile Road off of Hwy 378 in Mayesville, South Carolina. He purchased the 4 acres 20 years ago.
He is proud and honored to be in the Tribe. Whenever needed he can commute back and forth for important council meetings and functions as well as attending neighboring PowWows. When he is back in South Carolina and has the time, he enjoys hunting and fishing with his cousins.
Chief Ralph J. Oxendine
Chuck Scott is a Tribe member who traces his lineage through the Scott branch of The Tribe. He has been a resident of Clarendon County since 1967 but only recently learned of his American Indian roots (thank you, Carrie Lee). He is a U. S. Navy veteran and former employee of an automotive brake manufacturer that relocated. Since leaving that organization, he has held industrial maintenance positions in numerous local industries. He holds an Associate Degree in Science from the University of South Carolina and currently teaches industrial maintenance at the local technical college. He was appointed as a Tribal Council member in 2016 and considers it an honor to be allowed to serve as a representative of our Tribe. He enjoys humbling competitors in golf, bowling, darts and billiards. He also enjoys being humbled by nature when fishing. Don't worry, his attempts at fishing will not appreciably affect the population of fish in Lake Marion!
Chief Oxendine is a model of strength, courage and fortitude. The determination and persistence he has demonstrated during his recent trials serve as an inspiration for all who know him. It seems to be a chore to extract much background information from him, but anyone looking at him can not doubt his American Indian heritage. His wisdom, dedication and leadership were essential during the transitional period when our group went from being a collection of individuals with a common heritage into a state-recognized American Indian tribe. As the background information becomes available, this section will be edited to include it but it seemed inappropriate to continue to have "Under Construction" in this section of the page!
Samantha Benenhaley Geddings - Autumn Sun
The Sumter Tribe of Cheraw Indians
Courtney Tice - Singing Bird
Samantha Benenhaley Geddings ( Autumn Sun) is the grand-daughter of the late Jessie Lee Benenhaley. Born in Sumter, SC, she graduated from Lakewood High School in 2006 where she served on Student Council as the Cabinet Adviser. Samantha currently attends Saint Leo University where she is pursing her Bachelors in Criminal Justice, she obtained her Associates in Criminal Justice in 2017. Samantha has 2 children.