Interview # 4991
Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: July 19, 1937
Name: Mr. Lee Jones
Residence: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: 1876
Place of Birth: Texas
I was born 1876 in Texas. I came to the Indian Territory in 1893
when I was only seventeen years old. I had finished a business course in
bookkeeping. I came to Pauls Valley in the Chickasaw Nation. I went to work
for Smith Bradley and Company as bookkeeper. They were in the mercantile business
and doing around a hundred thousand dollars a years business.
There were only a few stores at Pauls Valley then and from where the depot
is west was called Smoky Row. It is now Paul Avenue. This Smoky Row was a very
tough row. I, being only a young man, never went around those gambling places at
I have seen men out in the street fighting like cats and dogs - regular
I remember Mr. Vick Florence operated a gambling place on Smoky Row and he
was considered very tough although he was a small man. Today Mr. Florence is a fine
Christian man. I knew several of those who were regular gunmen and in later years
became fine law-abiding citizens.
I worked several years for the Smith Bradley Company. I went to
leasing land around Pauls Valley and when I found land I could buy cheap I invested, and
by right managing I soon was the owner of several hundred acres of land.
A few years after I came here my brother came to Pauls Valley to. We
had several buildings put up. The first stone building was built for the bank.
I have seen corn piled up in log ricks having as much as ten thousand
bushels in one rick. In those days, when you bought a fat hog for meat, you would
In that time, corn was all the people had to fatten hogs on.
When I came to Pauls Valley, a place called Whitebead, about five miles
west of Pauls Valley, was quite a little village. It was larger than Pauls Valley,
and there was a church and a Masonic Lodge there.
I believe there was some kind of a college for girls there too. Mr.
Baker owned a livery stable at Whitebead and one at Pauls Valley.
Wynnewood at the time I came to Pauls Valley was a leading little town,
and was a trading place like Pauls Valley was for several places around.
People from old Stonewall, Center and McGee would come to Pauls Valley and
Wynnewood to do their trading. These people were owners of stores at different
places and would buy their things wholesale.
Back in those days, people didn't pay any attention to pecans. They
would sometimes gather a sack for winter, but there wasn' t any market for them.
On some land I owned southwest of Pauls Valley there were several pecan
I had those trees trimmed up and in later years after we got a market for
pecans, I have gathered several thousand pounds off of these trees and today I have one of
the finest pecan orchards in the state.
I live in Pauls Valley where I have lived since 1893.