Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: February 23, 1937
Name: Mrs. Ida "Burd" McNelly
Residence: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: November 8, 1887
Place of Birth: Texas
Father: John Burd
Mother: Liddia Avance
I came to Indian Territory with my father and mother in 1900. We
settled between Stonewall and Allen on Boggy Creek. My father farmed there. We
raised cotton, corn and garden vegetables.
There was lots of cattle and hogs and people just let them run loose.
Our farm was fenced with rails. We lived in a log house.
Everything was cheap, you could get plenty of work, from fifty cents to
one dollar a day for labor. One dollar then would go as far as four dollars will now.
If people would try to raise more stuff to eat and put it away for winter, they
would get along better. My mother and I have put up green beans. we would
gather the beans, snap them and put them out on a sheet to dry. After they were dry
we would put them in sacks and hang them in the smoke house. Then when winter would
come, if we wanted green beans all we had to do was go to the smoke house and open a sack.
We have dried beef by cutting it in thin strips and drying it out and then
put it in boxes. We have taken corn out of the field before it got hard and would
cut it off of the cob and dry it out good and dry, then put it in sacks and hang it up.
When we wanted fresh corn, all we had to do was open a sack, take out about what we
wanted and cook it.
We lived close to an Indian woman who had a daughter about my age and we
have gone to Chock Indians sick dances. When some Indian was sick, they would gather
at the place where the person was sick, and in the front yard they would stretch a rope
around a fire and would have a big pot of all kinds of meats cooked up and thickened with
corn meal. They would beat their drums for three days and at the end of this time,
the medicine man would come out of the house and jump the fire and run off into the woods.
Then two Indian girls would come, dressed in beads and terrapin shells, and dance
around the fire. As soon as they danced around the fire then everybody went to
dancing. After this was over they would keep this up for three times. If the
sick one did not get well, they would say the witch had the sick one and they would let
them alone. I have seen them eat this stuff they had fixed up out of spoons made out
of cow's horns.
I married John T. McNelly, January 25, 1911 and I am the mother of seven
children, six now living.
Mrs. Ida Burd NcNelly now lives in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma.