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County Seat - Pauls Valley

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OKGenWeb Indian Pioneer Papers Collection


Garvin County Indian Pioneer Papers



J.W. Honeysuckle


Interview #9502
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 


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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 house.

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.

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