Interview # 1118
Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: March 20, 1937
Name: Mr. John R. Gott
Residence: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: 1875
Place of Birth: Texas
Father: R.G. Gott, born in Tennessee
Mother: Rhoda Farmer, born in Arkansas
I came to the Indian Territory in 1895. I owned my horse and saddle
and I was just roaming around over the country.
I went to work on the Bill Stone Ranch located in the Sugarloaf Mountains
in the Comanche Nation, Indian Territory. Mr. Bill Stone was a big cattle raiser.
I worked for Mr. Stone three years at thirty dollars a month and board. I was
general roustabout. I have helped round yearlings up and brand them.
My main job was chasing wolves. I had a high powered rifle and I
have killed as high as then wolves in a day. One several days I have seem them in
packs from ten to fifteen. The wolves were bad about killing calves. I have
found several yearlings about half eaten by the wolves. One time I rode up on a pack
of wolves eating a yearling. They would eat a while and fight a while. The
wind was blowing hard from the north and I was riding to the north, that was why the
wolves didn't scent me. I got off of my horse, took my Winchester, crawled up in
about a hundred yards of them, got behind a big rock, and killed 8 out of this pack.
One time Mr. Stone wanted me to go with him near Fort Cobb, to see about
buying some saddle horses he said. We came upon a group of Caddo Indians, on the
Washita River near Fort Cobb. They had some kind of fever and the measles. The
Indians were going in the river to cool the fever and in five minutes after one would come
out of the water he would die. We stayed there about one hour and I counted about 25
dead Indians. I could not understand them but Mr. Stone could. They talked
with their hands mostly, would point and wave their hands around. Mr. Stone told
them that going into the water was what was killing them. Mr. Stone finally got them
stopped and we went on. Mr. Stone told me if he hadn't got them stopped, everyone of
them would have died. Mr. Stone didn't buy any horses at that time.
I have seen corn piled up high as three or four thousand bushels in one
In 1899 I went over in the eastern part of the Indian Territory around
McAlester. I worked on farms and in the coal mines until after statehood. Then
I came back and settled at Pauls Valley where I now live.