Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: July 26, 1937
Name: Mr. Eugene W. Flippen
Residence: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: 1877
Place of Birth: Texas
Father: W.B. Flippen, born in Texas
Mother: Maggie Terrill, born in Texas
I came to the Indian Territory in 1894. I was seventeen years old
and I came to the Territory to get a job on a ranch. I had been breaking wild broncs
to ride for my uncle and I thought I could make more money in the Territory.
I went to work for an Indian named Tar Pony. He was a Comanche and
he had three squaws. He lived on Cache Creek, southeast of Fort Sill.
I went to work for Tar Pony and another Comanche named Petachee. I
was breaking horses to ride and I would get one horse for breaking three. I would
work all winter and in the spring I would take my horses that I had earned back to Texas
and sell them.
The Indian police were always on the watch for anyone taking horses out of
the Comanche country across Red River, but Tar Pony and Petachee would help me with my
part of the horses as far as Red River and then would go back home and I would take my
horses on across Red River.
My father was dead and I had to make the living for my mother and seven
brothers and sisters, all younger that I was.
The second winter I had been working for these two Indians, I had worked
hard all winter and had fifty-two horses for my part. I had done a good winter's
work, so in the spring I started for Red River with my horses. I had them tied one
behind the other. I had one horses tail tied to the other horse's head. Tar
Pony went with me. That was in our agreement that he or Petachee was to help me to
Red River with my part of the horses.
On this trip Tar Pony helped me and when we came to a place within about
five miles of Red River and I thought I was out of danger of the Indian Police, I told Tar
Pony that he could start back as he had a long hard ride ahead of him. He waved
good-bye to me and left.
I rode about three miles on towards the river, leading my horses and as
happy as I could be thinking that when I got home, I could cash out for over $1000.00, but
I got fooled. Up rode the Indian police and stopped me. They untied my
fifty-two horses and gave them a scare and scattered them. After they were gone I
tried to find some of my horses and out of fifty-two I got four. I was lucky to find
that many, so four horses was all I got home with out of all my winter's work, but that
was the chance I had to take.
That spring I loaded up what we owned and came to Pauls Valley, with my
mother, brothers and sisters. We came through to Pauls Valley in a wagon.
I rented a house at Pauls Valley and went to work by the day. I was
getting 50 cents a day. Later I went to work for Abbott and Spark's. They were
in the grain business and while working for them I have bought corn at 15 cents a bushel,
oats at from 10 to 15 cents a bushel, wheat was 40 cents a bushel, hay sold at prices form
$3.00 to $5.00 a ton, fat hogs have sold for 2 1/2 cents a pound. I have bought lard
for 5 cents a pound.
I was ranch foreman for Mr. E.R. Spears. He owned a cattle ranch on
the Table Mountains. We drove cattle to Pauls Valley and shipped them.
I carried the mail from Pauls Valley to Erin Springs for Mr. E.P. Baker,
who had the contract from the Government. On this mail route west of Pauls Valley,
there was a place called Garvin Springs and at that time there was a store and three or
four houses there, and according to old settlers, Garvin Springs used to be a camping
place for wagon trains coming for the east. There were two big springs that
furnished plenty of water. And in the early 80's, Whitebead Hill was a small town
with two or three stores, a boarding house, a blacksmith shop and a stage stand, where
they changed horses.
When I came to this part of the country, Whitebead was larger that Pauls
I now live in Pauls Valley.