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GARVIN COUNTY INDIAN PIONEER PAPERS

 

OKGenWeb Indian Pioneer Papers Collection

 

Garvin County Indian Pioneer Papers

 

 

Gloster Allen

 

Interview #4071
Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: May 17, 1937
Name: Mr. Gloster Allen
Residence: Wynnewood, OK
Date of Birth: 1855
Place of Birth: Indian Territory
Father: Manuel Allen, born in Georgia
Mother: Martha Colbert, born in Mississippi

 

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I was born south of Caddo, Indian Territory, Chickasaw Nation, in 1855.

I used to haul freight from Caddo to Fort Sill for the government.   This old freight line went from Caddo, by Mill Creek, old Cherokee Town, crossed the Washita River there, and on to Pauls Valley;  at Pauls Valley, then there was one store, on by Whitebead Hill, from where we followed the river until we crossed Hell Roaring Creek.  Then we went due west to Fort Sill.

There were five wagons and each wagon pulled a trail wagon.  I drove five yoke of oxen.  I think the white man who drove the front wagon worked six yokes.   there was a 'wagon boss' with us.  He always rode a horse.

I remember my first trip.  I was about 15 years old when I went to work on this wagon train.  They had camps about twenty miles apart where we would camp and it kept us going to make it to the next camp by sun down.  Sometimes we have got stuck and would lose an hour or so and that would make us late getting to our next camp.  On this trip, we came to Cache Creek, east of Fort Sill.  There was a bunch of soldiers there so we stopped and I saw my first scalped man.  The Comanche Indians had killed a white man there about two hours before we came along and had scalped him.  The soldiers rolled him in a blanket and took him to Fort Sill.

I was young but not afraid of anything.  I worked on this wagon train for five years.  Old Cherokee Town was one of our camping places and I have heard white men around the camp fire tell stories of the Cherokee Indians who used to be camped on the Washita River south and north of Old Cherokee Town.  They said Old Cherokee Town was started by the Cherokee Indians and before the Civil War, a white man had a trading post at Old Cherokee Town.

My father and mother moved east of Old Cherokee Town and went to farming.   That was before the railroad came through here.  It must have been in the early eighties.

I remember it was about five years after we moved here that the railroad came through.  I carried the mail on horse-back from Old Cherokee Town to Fort Arbuckle.  the mail at that time would come from Denison, Texas, to Fort Arbuckle and I would make a trip over to Fort Arbuckle and back to Cherokee Town the same day.  I have carried lots of money from Cherokee Town to Fort Arbuckle and never was bothered by anyone.  I rode a fast horse and when I would leave Cherokee Town, I wouldn't stop until I came to Wild Horse Creek.  There I would let my horse drink and on to Fort Arbuckle we went in a long lope.  At Fort Arbuckle I would feed my horse and let him rest about two hours, while I was getting the mail, then back to Old Cherokee Town, we came in a hurry.

I helped haul the first load of lumber from Wichita Kansas to Fort Reno.

When my father moved east of Old Cherokee Town there wasn't a Wynnewod town then.  It was a muddy bottom with grass as high as your head and just a few trees.  You could find human bones and skeletons on the prairies around east of Old Cherokee Town when we moved there.

In those days it was easy to raise corn and anything you wanted to plant.   There wasn't any cotton raised around here at all when we moved here.  The first cotton raised around Wynnewood, was about 1890.  I believe Old Cherokee Town was moved after the railroad came through. Mr. John Walner owned a store at Cherokee Town and when the railroad came through he moved his store to where Wynnewood is now.  He owned the first store at Wynnewood.  Mr. John Walner was killed by his nephew.

I didn't get to go to school very much.  I still have the old blue back speller I first used and the only one I ever did use.

There was an old cattle trail coming from Texas to Kansas.  I don't know where it crossed Red River but it came by old Mill Creek and went about a mile east of where Wynnewood, Oklahoma is now and on out and crossed the Canadian river near Johnsonville.

When we hauled freight we would come over this trail until we got near Cherokee Town.  There we would leave the cattle trail.  I have seen as high as ten thousand cattle in one drive going over this old cattle trail.  There would be a string of cattle a mile long and from fifteen to twenty  Cowboys driving them on this wagon train I was working for.  When we camped after supper the men wold tell jokes and sing lots of songs and they would have me to dance for them.  This would take place at every camping place until we left Whitebead Hill, and from there on the men all were very quiet in camp.  they were thinking about the Comanche Indians, but we never were bothered on any of our trips the five years I worked on it.

Anybody who was a citizen of the Chickasaw nation received a 40 acre allotment.  I lived on my 40 acre allotment until I lost it, because I couldn't meet the mortgage when it came due.  I now live in a dug-out one mile east and one mile north of Wynnewood, Oklahoma and draw the old age pension check.

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