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County Seat - Pauls Valley

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OKGenWeb Indian Pioneer Papers Collection


Garvin County Indian Pioneer Papers



Everet Peer Baker


Interview #1029
Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Name: Mr. Everet Peer Baker
Residence: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: January 10, 1852
Place of Birth: Middle Fork, Washington County, Arkansas


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I came to Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, Indian Territory in 1871.  When I came here the government had a trail from Fort Gibson, Kansas, to Fort Arbuckle, Oklahoma.  I crossed the Canadian River at Young's Crossing and crossed the Washita River at Zack Gardner's Mill east of Pauls Valley and crossed Rush Creek at Tom Wait's Ranch about one mile southeast of Pauls Valley.  I crossed Wild Horse Creek at Courtney Flat just north of Fort Arbuckle.  There was a trail from Fort Arbuckle to Fort Sill, Oklahoma.   I do not remember its route.  I believe it was in 1872 or 1873 that they moved the soldiers from Fort Arbuckle to Fort Sill.  I believe F. Sherdan was the name of the commanding officer at Fort Arbuckle.

The stage coaches they used here were four horse stages, they were Concord coaches.   Their schedule time was eight miles per hour.  If they happened to be late they would go faster until they made up their lost time.  They would change horses at every stage stop.  Their stops were Elmore City, Tussy, Rush Springs, Caddo, Fort Sill, Post Oak Grove, Tishomingo on Pennington Creek, Governor Harris's Ranch, Mill Creek, on Rock Creek at Sulphur Springs, Chiggly Sandy Camp, Cherokee Town Crossing north of Wynnewood, Miller and Green Store on Rush Creek at Pauls Valley, White Bead Hill, Beef Creek Camp where Maysville, Oklahoma is today, Erin Springs, Frank Murray's Ranch, Rounds Creek Camp, Twin Sandy Camp, crossed Chisholm Trail near Rush Springs, 16 Mile Beaver Camp, Cache Creek, and Fort Sill was the end of state line.

I stayed at Pauls Valley a short while and I went to Anadarko, Oklahoma, and stayed there about three years.  I was working for William Shirley, who owned a trading post there.  I did general work for him.  I helped bale the first hay that was put up around there.  Mr. Shirley owned a Buckeye Bailer and a Buckeye mowing machine.  We hauled it to Fort Sill and sold the hay to the government.  It was prairie hay.  Our camp was on Cache Creek near Fort Sill.  We cut hay around Anadarko and east of Anadarko.  We would bale it up and then haul it to Cache Creek, where we had a big corral fixed to keep our mules in.   The government had some soldiers there to guard our mules as we were hauling hay for the government.  I remember one Saturday at noon a Comanche Indian named Queena Vida, who was a friend of Mr. Shirley came and told him that the Kiowa Indians were going to raid us that night and take our mules and horses. Mr. Shirley sent me up on a hill to watch for the Indians and they started loading up at sundown.  We left there and at 11 o'clock we were 20 miles from there, crossing the Washita River at Black Beaver Ranch near Anadarko, Oklahoma.  We had 40 mules and horses, eight wagons.   This ranch was known as Shirley Trading Post.

I returned from there to Pauls Valley and did some farming in 1878.  I went to Lehigh, Oklahoma, close to Atoka, and started a livery barn, later I sold part interest to Mr. Bandy.  Then we put in a barn at Pauls Valley, one at Whitebead Hill, 5 miles west of Pauls Valley now, one at Rush Springs and one at Fort Sill.   They were called Baker and Bandy Stables.  I owned half interest in a stable at Norman.  Mr. Roundtree was my partner there.  

First mill in this part of the country was Zack Gardner's Mill, on the Washita River, east of Pauls Valley.  At Cherokee Town Crossing, Wynnewood there was an old cotton wood log store that belonged to Dr. John Shirley, stage stand, blacksmith shop, two dwelling houses and a four  room log house called a hotel.  There was a toll bridge.  For two horse wagons it costs 25 cents, for 4 horse wagon, 50 cents, for six horse wagon, $1.00 and for horse backers, 10 cents.

I never drove a stage coach but have ridden in them.  The fare was 10 cents per mile.  Lots of things that have happened I can't remember.

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