Indian Pioneer Papers - Index
Indian Pioneer History Project for
Date: April 19, 1938
Name: Mr. D. B.
Post Office: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: April 17, 1873
Place of Birth:
Father: T. B. Milam
Information on Father: born in
Mother: Julia Smith
Information on Mother: born in
Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
I was born in 1873 in Arkansas and
came to the Indian Territory with my father and mother from Arkansas in 1887.
We settled on a small farm on Deep
Fork River near Checotah in the Creek Nation. At that time there
wasn't much farming, only small farms. We didn't raise any cotton, only
corn. Muskogee was our trading point and it was only a small
place. We would take our corn to the mill for our meal and we raised our
own hogs; in fate, we raised nearly everything we lived on except deer and
turkey and they were plentiful in those days.
Every man carried a gun of some kind
then, and the only law was the United States Marshals and there were not many
There was a good deal of cattle
stealing and many killings. It was said one man at Checotah, Bob GENTRY,
had killed seventeen men. I don't know that he killed that many but that
was the name he carried and when he went on the warpath, as the men would say,
he would shoot up the little town of Checotah and people were afraid of him or
none of them would call his hand. One day a little deputy United States
Marshal by the name of Bob JONES happened to be in Checotah when Bob Gentry
started shooting up the town and Bob Jones called his hand and the shooting
started, but the deputy marshal killed Bob Gentry.
When we settled in this country,
court was held at Fort Smith, Arkansas.
I was a young man when we first came
and I have gone to many Indian stomp dance and ball games. To see one of
their ball games you would think it was a club fight. They used two
sticks about three feet long and used a wooden ball and they surely could
throw that ball with those two sticks. I have seen them when about the
time one was ready to throw the ball, another one from the other side would
hit him over the head with one of his sticks and get the ball himself; if it
knocked the fellow out, another one would take his place and the game never
stopped. There were always a lot of white people at those games and they
would bet anything they had on the game. I have seen them bet
their saddle horses, spurs and hats.
We only lived in that part of the
country a few years when Father moved to Texas and settled on a farm. I
lived in Texas a number of years, coming back to the Territory after it became
the state of Oklahoma, at which time I went to farming near Pauls Valley.
I now live in Pauls Valley.
Transcribed for OKGenWeb by
Brenda Choate <email@example.com> November 2000.