Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: February 9, 1938
Name: Mr. B.L. Anderson
Residence: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: September 30, 1870
Place of Birth: Texas
Father: W.S. Anderson, born in Missouri
Mother: Jane Enloe (Enloo, Enlee?), born in Missouri
I was born in 1870 in Texas and came to the Indian Territory in
1889. I went to work for John Overstreet, a cattle buyer and
farmer, on the farm seven miles north of Burneyville, for which I was
paid $20.00 a month and board.
Near where we lived there was a cotton gin owned by Ross and
Foreman which was the only gin in that part of the country.
Mr. Overstreet's ranch and farm was located along Walnut
Bayou Creek not far from the gin. we would have to haul the cotton to
Gainesville, Texas, to market it as there was no market at Burneyville at
We would go into Texas and buy up a bunch of poor cattle and drive them
back to the ranch and fatten them after which they were taken to market at Fort Smith,
Arkansas, or at Sherman, Texas.
There was plenty of grass where the Overstreet ranch was
and in a few months with plenty of grass and water the cattle would be ready for the
At that time anybody living in the Indian Territory had to pay a permit.
I had to pay $2.50 a year.
When I went to work for Mr. Overstreet there were very
few schools and churches in that part of the country.
All the men carried pistols and United States Marshals were the only kind
of officers we had then.
There were no saloons in the Indian Territory but there were plenty of
Court was held at Fort Smith, Arkansas, at that time. I only had to
go to court one time and that was in June, 1890. There was a community picnic held
at that time and two men brought some whiskey from Gainesville, Texas, to this picnic.
I happened to be standing by when they rode up. Two United States Marshals
stopped them and wanted to search their saddle bags but the two men drew their guns and
began shooting. The marshals killed both of the men and one of the horses the
bootleggers were riding. The marshals took the names of the men who saw the shooting
and I was one of the witnesses and made a trip to Fort Smith. In all the time I
stayed and worked there, that was the only killing I ever saw.
In the early days people around Burneyville didn't try to farm the whole
country at one time. Thirty to forty acres was counted a large farm, of course, some
farmed larger farms than than but in general that was the size of the farms and then they
would raise more than they could harvest. I have raised a bale of cotton to the acre
and from seventy-five to a hundred bushels of corn to the acre, but there was no market
for corn. If we raised more than we would use in feeding out the cattle and horses
we would haul it to Gainesville where there was a market for it, but it would only bring
about 15 cents a bushel.
People didn't have to buy very much in that time. They raised nearly
everything they had to have and nearly every farmer would have a bunch of cattle.
There was plenty of deer and turkeys and other kinds of wild game.
I worked for Mr. Overstreet three years and saved enough
money to start in farming and raising cattle for myself.
In later years I moved to Roff and went to work on the
railroad and I helped build most of the buildings at Roff.
I now live in Pauls Valley.