Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Name: Mrs. Alice Smith Farmer
Residence: Paoli, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: December 19, 1863
Place of Birth: Texas
I was born in Texas, December 19, 1863. Married George W. Farmer in
Wichita Falls, Texas in 1883. We came to Indian Territory, July 1885, in three
covered wagons pulled by oxen. We hauled feed, oats and corn for the Government to
Fort Sill, Oklahoma. We had to chain wagons together to ford Red River. I rode
in the skiff. There were no fences, all open range, just crossed trails.
Saw Indians breaking wild horses in Cache Creek west of Fort Sill,
Oklahoma. While the Indian men were breaking the wild horses in the creek, the
squaws would be up the creek about one hundred yards ducking their little papooses in the
creek to learn them to swim.
Quannah Parker was leader of the Comanche Indians.
I saw old Indian squaw take a knife and cut her ear and slash her arms.
She said Old Chief would give more ponies to the ones who cut themselves most.
We were there and saw them when their chief died. They built a big fire with
all his possessions. It burned all night. They danced and sang war songs and
the next day at sundown they wrapped the chief in a blanket and tied him on a Pinto pony
and two squaws took him and went west.
Mr. Farmer and Mr. Lee Dwyer went over to watch them but the Indians made
them leave. We watched them from where we were camped. These were the Kiowa
Indians, I believed. The Indians came and sat on their ponies all day and watched
us. They wanted to know what Mr. Farmer was doing. They were afraid he was
taking their ponies. I made them understand he wasn't taking their ponies. I
made them understand he was hauling cord wood for the Government at Fort Sill, Oklahoma,
and drove oxen.
We were in Apache, Oklahoma, and there the Apache Indians ran off our
oxen. Mr. Farmer trailed them and in over a week we had them back. So we
left there as they were not friendly.
The children and I were left at home by ourselves for seven days.
One night it snowed. A bear and panther came to our house. Our nearest
neighbor was over four miles. I never saw them. Lived there from December to
July and never saw another woman. The first woman I saw was a friend from Texas who
came on a visit, a Mrs. McNanch.
We forded Canadian River at Johnsonville. Water came into the wagon
bed. Had to shoot to keep oxen straight.
The Chickasaw Indians would divide their supplies. They would bring
and give them to us. They were good to us. One gave me a beaded purse in 1888.
I still have it. I have seen them eat high-land terrapins and prairie dogs.
They would put them on a fire and roast them.
One squaws baby was sick and she wanted to trade for my baby and laid hers
down and picked up mine and started off. I had to catch her and get my baby back.
I have gone hunting and shot a deer. The dog caught it and I beat it
with a stick until it died. I tied a rope around the deer and threw the rope over
the limb of a tree and pulled it up on a pony. I took it back to camp, skinned and
dressed it myself.
I was in Dexington when old Oklahoma came in. It was a rough town.
You could almost see a pin on the streets from the flashes of their pistols.
We ate dried beef, Tom Fuller corn, and had plenty of wild meat, deer,
turkey, and wild hog.
We moved from Lexington, Oklahoma to Paoli in 1906, where my husband owned
a blacksmith shop until his death on July 2, 1930, at the age of 82 years.
Mrs. Alice Farmer lives in Paoli, Oklahoma, where she has lived since