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Garvin County

County Seat - Pauls Valley

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OKGenWeb Indian Pioneer Papers Collection


Garvin County Indian Pioneer Papers



R.W. Jennings


Interview #4194
Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: May 27, 1937
Name:   Mr. R.W. Jennings
Residence: Wynnewood, Oklahoma
Date of Birth:  June 8, 1857
Place of Birth:  Texas
Father:  Jack Jennings, born in Tennessee
Mother: Mirie Hopper, born in Missouri 


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I was born June 8th, 1857, in Texas and left Texas, riding a good saddle horse, headed for the Indian Territory when I was a young man.

After I crossed the Red River and headed north, my troubles began.  I came over a cattle trail through Caddo by Mill Creek and one mile east of where Wynnewood is now. From there this trail went on north and crossed the Canadian River at Johnsonville.

I left this trail east of where Wynnewood is now and followed the stage line to Cherokee Town.

At Cherokee Town there was a ferry crossing and a white man ran this ferry and charged ten cents for those on horseback to cross.  I came on to Pauls Valley and went to Mr. Zack Gardner's place, east of Pauls Valley on the river and went to farming for Mr. Gardner.  I did farm work for two years.

This kind of work did not suit me as I had been raised on a ranch in Texas and had always worked with cattle.  I went over near Silver City, near where Minco is now and started a ranch.

In those days it was no trouble to start a ranch if you had any money at all.  I have known of men coming over in that part of the country and starting a ranch without a dime and in a few months they would  have two or three hundred head of cattle wearing their brand.

I didn't have that many cattle for I got mine honestly.  I worked hard and bought several head of cows and in a year's time I owned around a thousand head.

If you found a yearling with no brand on it which was not following a cow with a brand on it, then all you had to do was to rope the yearling, heat your branding iron, and put your brand on it.  I used the long O brand. 

There was a store at Silver City, but no post office and this store did not handle hardly anything so I would come to Whitebead for my supplies and mail.

I sold my ranch to Colonel Grant and came back to a place near Pauls Valley.  I was acquainted with Smith Paul for whom Pauls Valley was named.  Mr. Paul was a big cattle buyer.  He would buy all the cattle brought into this valley and ask no questions about where they came from.

After the railroad came through here and old Cherokee Town was moved to Wynnewood, I settled there and leased a farm and went to farming for myself and began raising a few cattle and hogs.

I did not raise cattle and hogs on a big scale but I would sell quite a number every year.

There were lots of trouble going on in those days but I stayed at home and worked hard and tended to my own business and let the other man's business alone and by doing this I stayed out of trouble.

People had hard times and still they were good times as there was plenty of wild game in the woods and plenty of fish in the creeks and in the river around here.

It was not so easy when you would have to ride on horseback fifteen to twenty miles on cold days going to mill but it was either go to the mill or go without cornbread.


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