Interview # 9313
Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: November 22, 1937
Name: Mrs. Betty Young
Residence: Maysville, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: March 4, 1852
Place of Birth: Virginia
Father: J.B. Merriman, born in Virginia
Mother: Amanda Wortz, born in Virginia
I was born in 1852 in Virginia. My mother died in 1860, leaving four
children, two boys and two girls. We children lived with our father on his small
farm in Virginia until the Civil War started.
My father went to serve in the war and my sister and I went to live with
our grandfather at Roanoke, Virginia, while the two boys were sent to our uncle who was
living in Texas. My father died soon after the war and I lived with my grandfather
until I was grown.
In 1889 I went to Texas to live with my youngest brother who owned a large
cattle ranch at that time and I stayed at his ranch one year.
My cousin, Mr. P.M. Edds, was living at Beef Creek in the
Chickasaw Nation. He wrote asking me to visit him and so in 1890 I left Texas for
the Indian Territory on the train. My cousin met me at Pauls Valley and I went to
live with him on his farm at Beef Creek, now Maysville.
I found out later why my cousin wanted me to come and visit him; it was so
that I could meet his old friend, which was just what I did.
His friend was John Young who owned a blacksmith shop at
Beef Creek. After a two month's courtship John Young and I were
married. we went to Lexington in old Oklahoma and were married in 1890.
Our first home was a two-room log house behind his blacksmith shop and our
household furniture consisted of an old iron bedstead, a cook stove, a homemade table and
two chairs. That was about all any of the poor people's homes had in those
days. I had been raised up with poor people and knew nothing but hard work. I
only received three months' schooling in my life.
After my house work was finished in the morning I would help in the
blacksmith shop. Once a week when my husband would to to the mill at Pauls Valley, I
would do the shop work and I learned to shoe a horse as well as my husband could.
Many a time I have heard the cowhands from different ranches tell my husband that they
believed I could beat him shoeing a horse.
In 1895 we moved to White Bead and my husband put in a blacksmith
shop. It was at White Bead in 1895 that my husband became a member of the Masonic
Lodge. There were a few stores, a post office, church house, a mission school of
some kind, and a Masonic Lodge hall at White Bead when we moved there and besides there
were several dwelling houses.
When I came to Beef Creek the prairies were covered with cattle and the
river bottom land was in corn. Corn was very cheap; it sold at from 10 cents to 15
cents a bushel.
The branch railroad was built from Pauls Valley to Lindsay in 1902 and we
moved to Maysville in 1903. My husband opened up a blacksmith shop there.
In the early days Maysville was known as Beef Creek.
At Maysville in 1903 my husband was a member of Masonic Lodge Number 233
and he remained in this lodge until 1923. He owned his blacksmith shop until his
death in 1923.
I still live at our home that we built in 1903.