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Garvin County

County Seat - Pauls Valley

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OKGenWeb Indian Pioneer Papers Collection


Garvin County Indian Pioneer Papers



Mattie Ida McNeely


Interview # 1197
Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: April 9, 1937
Name: Mr. Mattie Ida McNeely
Residence: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: February 24, 1869
Place of Birth: Georgia
Father: J.L. Collier, born in Georgia
Mother: Mattie Collier, born in Georgia


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Story told by Mrs. Mattie Ida McNeely, born February 24, 1869 in Georgia.

I married Mr. Jess B. McNeely in 1888, in the state of Mississippi, and in 1889, we left for the Indian Territory, with six wagons, my husband driving the front wagon.  On reaching the Indian Territory in the Choctaw Nation, this wagon train busted up.

My husband and myself came on to Boggy Depot, located in the Choctaw Nation.  There was one store there.  Old Colonel Hester owned this store.  My husband rented a farm from Mr. Will Harkinss, who was part Choctaw Indian.  There were lots of Indians living around Boggy Depot.  I was afraid of them for a while.  They were friendly after I got acquainted with them.  Of course, I could not talk their language, but they would point and use their hands and I would understand them some.

There were lots of plums, blackberries and grapes growing wild when we came to the Choctaw nation.  The Indian women would come to my house and watch me can plums and make jelly.  Some of the Indian women were smart and quick to learn anything.  Some of the old ones would only come to get something to eat.   I have been at some of the Indian women's homes whom I showed how to can plums and   make jelly, and they had surely made it fine.

My husband raised cotton and corn.  He would haul his cotton to Caddo to the gin.  We farmed at Boggy Depot two years.

We moved to Pauls Valley in 1892.  My husband leased a farm from Doctor Burk.  We lived on that farm for nine years.   Corn was nearly all my husband raised then..  In later years, after statehood, my husband raised lots of cotton.  there was a grist mill owned by Zach Gardner on the Washita River east of Pauls Valley.   That was where my husband took his corn to have it ground.

There was one store at Pauls Valley when we came here.   I believe Mr. Fisher owned this store and there was a balcksmith shop and a stage stop.  There was a stage line from Caddo, by Pauls Valley, to Fort Sill. 

People were friendly around Pauls Valley, what few lived here then.

There were lots of negroes living around Pauls Valley.

People living on farms around Pauls Valley would come to this store on Saturdays to buy what groceries they needed.  My husband would say it was a Saturday town and it has been that way ever since we came here.  Now on Saturdays there are thousands of people on the streets and they are just like they were when I first came here, only there was not as many people then as there are now.  The men would come to town and get drunk and shoot things up but I did not see anyone get killed, but now they come to town and get drunk, instead of shooting things up they get in their autos and run over someone.

There were turkeys, deer, and lots of wild game around Pauls Valley when we moved here.  we had good times and hard tiems, just as we do today.

My husband raised the first broom corn around Pauls Valley in 1911.  My husband died in 1931.  If he were living he could tell lots of things that happened here as I did not visit much and we lived on the farm, about four miles from Pauls Valley.

I now live in Pauls Valley.  I have lived in and around Pauls Valley since 1892.

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