Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: December 24, 1937
Name: Mr. J.W. Honeysuckle
Residence: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: October 2, 1888
Place of Birth: Texas
Father: E.H. Honeysuckle, born in Arkansas
Mother: Molly Blount, born in Arkansas
I was born in 1886, in Texas. I came to the Indian
Territory with my father and mother in 1897. We came from Arkansas
in a wagon and settled on a small farm near a place called Cumberland in
the Chickasaw Nation.
There were no free schools then. We lived about five miles from Cumberland
and there was a subscription school there, the only one in that part of the country, and
it cost $1.50 a month for each pupil and school only held about three months a year.
My father raised about twenty bales of cotton the first year. That
was lots of cotton for him to raise in one crop as we had been farming back in Arkansas
and if we raised five bales we thought that was good.
There was not much farming done at that time around Cumberland but
the prairies were spotted with cattle, grazing.
My father hauled his cotton to Sherman, Texas, after it
was ginned at Cumberland.
There was no railroad there but Cumberland was a good
sized town with a population of about two hundred people. It was the largest town we
passed after we crossed into the Indian Territory. We passed
through several small places on the trip from Arkansas across to
Cumberland, that is they were small places them, by now they are large towns.
We were three weeks on the road from Arkansas to
Cumberland and we had deer meat for every meal. It was no trouble to get a
turkey any time you wanted one. We passed flock after flock of turkeys going in
large bunches like cattle. There were no roads to speak of but in some places we
would hit an old wagon road and follow it several miles and when we came to the end of it,
it would be at a place where some sawmill workers had been hauling timber out.
In several places we had to work half a day making a place so we could get
across a creek.
We passed very few houses on this trip and most of the houses that we did
see were one and two roomed log houses. Now and then we would pass a large ranch
We were stopped before we reached Cumberland and my
father had to pay $5.00 for a permit. The man who wrote the permit made it out for
the Choctaw Nation and after we were settled at Cumberland
in the Chickasaw Nation, another man tried to make
Father pay another $5.00 to live in the Chickasaw Nation but Father would
not pay it and the agent or the man who was trying to collect it told Father that he would
have to report to the Chickasaw Indian Court at Tishomingo, but Father
never did report and the permit he paid before we reached Cumberland was
the only one he ever did pay.
Christmas times then were different. Then, if we kids got some candy
and an apple or an orange, we thought it was a swell Christmas. We would make our
own sleds, and then there was always plenty of snow and for fire works all we would have
would sometimes be a tin of black powder and we would make our own fire crackers by taking
limbs of elder bush and punching out the pith and filling them with black powder. We
would use twine strings for the fuses.
Usually Dad or one of the older boys would fix them and set them off and
the smaller children would sit back and watch.
We farmed and raised stock and while we were never rich we always had
enough clothes and plenty to eat.
During Territory days we lived on the farm near Cumberland.
I now live at Pauls Valley.