Field Worker: Robert H. Boatman
Date: January 24, 1938
Name: Mr. J.H. Selby
Residence: Lindsay, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: July 14, 1870
Place of Birth: Indiana
I was born July 14, 1870 in Indiana. I came to the
Indian Territory in the year of 1888 when I was eighteen years old. When I first
came to the Territory there was nothing in the way of improved conditions as of today.
The country was a very rugged place. Many thousands of head of cattle roamed
the plains. All kinds of wild game such as turkey, deer, panthers, bears and
wildcats were in existence and prairie chickens were in abundance. The creeks and
rivers were filled with all kinds of fish.
The move from Indiana to the Indian Territory was made the he usual way
that most all pioneers traveled, by covered wagons, generally pulled by ox teams and
progress was slow, ranging from ten to twenty miles per day. This was considered
I finally located in the Chickasaw Nation near the Washita
River, at exactly where the town of Chickasha is now. this
place was then very low and several lakes of water were scattered throughout the entire
There were many Indians in this vicinity and their customs were very
peculiar to the people coming here from the states who had never seen the Red Men.
As I had traveled several hundred miles to the new country and was determined to
find my fortune and home here, I settled at Chickasha and in earnest
staked down and began work looking to the development of something which yet was to come.
Came others soon and a town was being talked.
My first employment was quarrying of rocks used in some of the first
buildings of Chickasha and I continued at this employment for several
months. I have the honor of doing more toward the establishment and building of the
town of Chickasha than any other man in the state.
Later, came talk of the opening of the Kiowa and Comanche
country and I registered for the opening at old Fort Sill and was given
number 1900. At the time of the opening, which was in 1901, my number was called and
I was given 210 acres of land which lay a few miles southwest of where the town of Lawton
I moved there and entered largely into the business of wheat farming and
stock-raising; however many unusual experiences happened such as raids of Indians,
stealing of cattle and many other things that constitute the life of a pioneer settler.
I stayed for several years there, striving in the full development of the country
then I traded my place for a tract of land in what is now McClain County, some
six and one half miles north of the town of Lindsay, and in remembrance
of the early pioneer days I expect to spend the rest of my life at my home here.