Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: September 28, 1937
Name: Mrs. Ida Sparks
Residence: Maysville, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: September 18, 1867
Place of Birth: Texas
Father: G.W. Randolph, born in Arkansas
Mother: Ollie Friend, born in Texas
I was born in 1867 in Texas and came to the Indian Territory with my
father and mother in 1873. We were living in Texas and a group of farmers living
there all got together and organized a wagon train and started for the Indian Territory.
I was six years old, but I can remember about the trip and about our
settling in the new country.
There were several families in the party; Coffee Randolph
and family, Tommie Shannon, Joe Myers, Lyman Friend, Sam Friend, Austin Hart
and my father, G.W. Randolph.
My uncle, W.C. Randolph, had been in this country long
before my father came here and he had married a Chickasaw Indian girl and this made him a
citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, which gave him a right to all the land he wanted to
fence. So the wagon train was headed for my uncle's place about three miles
northeast of where Maysville, Oklahoma, is now.
This wagon train was well organized before it started. Each man was
appointed to do a certain job. The wagons were pulled by oxen although there were a
few mule teams.
My father and another man were elected to drive the hogs and two more of
the men to drive the cattle. Each farmer who owned cattle and hogs had his mark and
brand on them and all the cattle were put into one herd and the hogs in another.
Driving the hogs was a slow job but each night by the time the women folks
had supper ready, my father and the other man would be there with the bunch of hogs.
I remember after many days of traveling we reached the place where we
settled. We had tents with us and lived in tents until the men got log houses built
and as soon as a log house was built a family would move in.
As soon as a house was put up the men would write all their names on cards
and put them into a hat and the man who drew his name out of the hat would move into the
The first houses had dirt floors and were covered with oak boards made by
hand. While some of the men were cutting logs others were making boards. All
the houses were put up not far apart. This was done because the Western Indians were
making raids through this country.
This community was called the Randolph Community.
As soon as the houses were put up the men started to fence the farms with
rail fences and the members of each family, after the houses and farms were fenced, took
their own hogs and cattle and started farming for themselves but they all had to pay rent
to my uncle, W.C. Randolph.
We didn't have a schoolhouse for several years and the only education we
children got was home study but in a few years there was built a log schoolhouse for the Randolph
Community. The men living in this community hired a teacher and gave the
teacher free board.
One family would board the teacher for a while and another family would do
the same so in that way they all helped take care of the teacher.
I don't remember how much they paid the school teacher but each man paid a
certain amount each month.
There was a big brush arbor built at this schoolhouse and during the
summer months that was where we had church and in the winter church was held in the
schoolhouse. In those days we only had church on Sunday.
At that time Miller and Green's store at Pauls
Valley was where my father received his mail.
About twice a year some of the men would take three for four wagons and go
to Denison, Texas, for supplies. They bought flour by the barrel
and coffee by the sack. The coffee would be green and I have seen my mother dry and brown
this green coffee. Then she had a coffee grinder that was fixed on the side of the
wall in which she would grind the coffee.
My father didn't raise cotton in the early days as there was no market for
it here. The nearest market was Denison, Texas, but he raised cattle and hogs and
corn. I remember we didn't have to chop corn as in that day and time there were no
weeds on the cultivated land and the prairie land was knee high in fine prairie grass.
In the summer time this prairie country would look like a big wheat field.
We were settled near the Washita River and this was where we got water
until a big spring was located near the Randolph Community. When
the time came to market the cattle the men would put their cattle all together and drive
them to Kansas to the market and the hogs would be driven to Caddo,
Indian Territory, where the nearest railroad was.