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Garvin County

County Seat - Pauls Valley

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OKGenWeb Indian Pioneer Papers Collection


Garvin County Indian Pioneer Papers



I.L. Mahoney


Interview #10243
Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: March 16, 1938
Name:   Mr. I.L. Mahoney
Residence: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth:  September 14, 1862
Place of Birth: Arkansas
Father: Luther Mahoney, born in Missouri
Mother:  Died when I was small


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I was born in 1862 in Arkansas.  I came to the Indian Territory in 1889 and settled at Pauls Valley in the Chickasaw Nation.  I had left Texas to make the Run when old Oklahoma opened for settlers but Pauls Valley was as far as I got.   I got into Pauls Valley the day before the Run was to start and I met Zach Gardner, a Chickasaw Indian, who at that time was moving a grist mill that he owned and had operated up the river, north from where his home place was.  The man that had been working for him quit and went to make the Run, so Uncle Zach, as he was called, asked me if I wanted a job of work.  I went to work for him the 21st day of April, 1889, at one dollar and a half a day and board.  The first job he gave me was helping him haul logs from about eight miles from where the mill was to be and Uncle Zach and myself built the dam across the river for his grist mill and cotton gin.  This mill and gin was run with what was called a turbine wheel.  The first dam we built didn't hold very long.  The first big rise that came washed most of the dam away but that didn't stop Uncle Zach.  We just set in and built another one and this one stood many a rise without being washed away.  When he quit running the mill and gin in 1904, the old dam was still holding.

I worked for Uncle Zach on the farm and helped run the mill until 1904.   After he quit operating this mill and gin, I rented a farm from him and farmed several years on his place.  Uncle Zach died in 1913.  When I first went to work for Uncle Zach, after we built the dam across the river, we hauled rails and built a rail fence around the thousand acres of land he owned.

The largest rise I have ever seen on the Washita River was in 1902.   The river over-flowed Pauls Valley in 1908 but nothing like it did in 1902.

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