Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: April 19, 1938
Name: Mr. D.B. Milam
Residence: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: April 17, 1873
Place of Birth: Arkansas
Father: T.B. Milam, born in Arkansas
Mother: Julia Smith, born in Arkansas
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 of them.
There was a good deal of cattle 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,
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
I now live in Pauls Valley.