Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: August 19, 1937
Name: Mr. C. S. Cooksey
Residence: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: 1876
Place of Birth: Texas
Father: C.H. Cooksey, born in Kentucky
Mother: Bell Breadlove, born in Kentucky
(should be Breedlove per Nellie
I came to the Indian Territory in 1897 and settled at Old
Mannsville. I leased land form Mr. Mann, for whom
Mannsville was named.
In the early day if anyone put up a gin or a sawmill, in a short while
there would be a little town there. There was no railroad at Old Mannsville
and when the railroad came through that part of the country, it missed Old
Mannsville and a new town sprang up and they moved the post office from Old
Mannsville to New Mannsville, but the name was
I helped haul the first load of lumber from Ardmore when they started to
build New Mannsville.
Before the railroad was built, I was farming the land that the town was
built on. We raised lots of cotton and corn back in Territorial days, but it was not
People tried to raise their living then. There were lots of wild
berries, plums, grapes, and the women canned these things for winter. My wife and I
were both young at that time and she would dry corn and dry grapes and in the winter time
there was plenty of game such as squirrel.
We men would get together when a big freeze came and go to some creek and
get enough fish to last a month. I had a home-made ice-house and in the winter I
would fill it full of ice and put sawdust over it and in this way I would have ice far
into the summer.
We had no church house at Old Mannsville, but we would have prayer meeting
at someone's house every week.
There was a log school house there and this was a school where you paid so
much for each child. I had no children at that time to go but I have given a hog and
sometimes a yearling to help keep this school up.
We had no taxes except the five dollars a year which we paid to live in
the Indian Territory.
By the time I settled in this country most of the big cattlemen had cut
their ranches up into farms and were renting them out. The country around Mannsville
was being settled fast by 1896. I dealt in a few cattle and hogs and this took me
around over the country quite a bit and sometimes I have passed by places where there were
no houses or tents and the next week in going over the same route I would come up on
several log houses or tents and sometimes half dugouts covered with logs and sod.
I now live in Pauls Valley.