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County Seat - Pauls Valley

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OKGenWeb Indian Pioneer Papers Collection


Garvin County Indian Pioneer Papers



C.L. Thompson


Interview #1105
Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: March 15, 1937
Name: Mr. C.L. Thompson
Residence: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: March 16, 1875
Place of Birth: Kentucky
Father: R.H. Thompson, born in 1845
Mother: Louisa Smith, born in 1857


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My father and mother and myself left Kentucky on a steamboat to St. Louis, Missouri and took a train from there to Arkansas.  We lived in Arkansas nine years, then we moved to Texas in 1889 and farmed there one year.  My  father wanted to come to the Indian Territory, so in 1890 we started out in a wagon working two mules.   We settled on Wolf Creek, about 15 miles south of Ardmore, Indian Territory.   The first year we farmed, or we tried to farm.  We had to plant our crop over seven times because every time a hard rain came, Wolf Creek would rise and was away our crop.  After all this hard luck, we made an average crop, corn was our main crop.

I lived with my father and mother until I married in 1897.  Before I was married I had bought a wagon and team, so I decided to start out on my own.  I loaded up the household goods we had, and my wife and I started to the Washita River near Berwyn, Indian Territory.  We had to wait there three days until the river went down, so we could get across.  The man who ran the ferry was afraid to try to take us across until the river receded.  I had no money at all.  We had only beans, cornbread, and squirrel to eat.  After the river went down, I gave my razor to the ferryman to take us across.

We located near Ashland, about thirty-five miles from McAlester.  I made a living that first winter and saved some money by hunting and selling furs.  I owned a good hunting dog.  I have caught as many as fifteen skunks in one day with him, and would get about one dollar for skink hides and thirty cents a piece for oppossum.   There were lots of opossum, skunk and coon in that part of the country.  I saved up some money and the next year, 1898, I made my first crop by myself.  I rented twenty acres and the land-lord wanted it planted in cotton.  I planted fifteen acres of cotton and the five acres besides my garden, in corn.  I made plenty of corn and several bales of cotton.  I had to haul my cotton thirty-five miles to a gin at McAlester.  It took about three days to go to the gin and back home.

I farmed around Ashland until 1903, then I decided to sell out and go back to where my father and mother, and my wife's parents lived, near Ardmore.  After starting out I had a man to take us to Woodsville.  It was on the day the first passenger train was to leave Woodsville for Ardmore so they didn't charge any fare.   It was about fifty miles distance.  We left there at 10:30 a.m. and arrived in Ardmore at 6:00 p.m..  We stayed in Ardmore all night and the next day a livery hack took us out to my father-in-law's home about fifteen miles and I paid five dollars for the ride.

We stayed there awhile and t hen we went to Lindsay and stayed there about six months, working for wages by the day.  Then I decided to go back to Ashland.   At Ashland I bought one horse and rented a small place and started farming again.

In May 1904, I saw my first big cyclone, and immediately following that a cyclone came every week for five weeks.  That year I made only about thirteen hundred pounds of cotton, but the next year I made a good crop.  On March 16, 1907, my thirty-second birthday, my wife and I became the parents of a nine-pound baby girl.

I lived around Ashland until 1924, when I moved to Pauls Valley, where I now live.  I am the father of ten children, eight girls and two boys; six of my children are living.  My father and mother have been dead several years.

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