Field Worker: Robert H. Boatman
Date: January 20, 1938
Name: Mr. S.R. McGuire
Residence: Lindsay, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: September 20, 1874
Place of Birth: Texas
I was born in the state of Texas on September 20, 1874.
I left there at the age of nine years, moving with my parents to the Indian
Territory in 1883. We traveled from Texas by wagon and ox teams, with a
small group of people, and many hours of slow and weary progress were encountered.
Wagons clogged in mud and on several occasions three and four yoke of oxen
would be hitched to one wagon to drag it out of a bog. Sometimes they would pull the
tongue from the wagon, leaving it still in the bog and sometimes an ox would become
wearied or hot and he would sull and lie down. We would have to wait until he had
rested and was willing to move on again.
People were contented and never became weary. Life was easy and
there was nothing surprising happened.
When we first stopped and located permanently it was near Old
Woodford in the Arbuckle Mountians, twelve miles east of old Fort
Arbuckle, and on what was then known as the old L.C. Ranch.
This ranch consisted of several thousand acres of grassland. The place that
is now the town of Ardmore was then a big ranch known as the old 700
There were very few white people in the Territory when I first came,
though many Indians lived here. They were very friendly, especially were the tribes
of the Choctaws and Chickasaws.
All houses were of the primitive log type and dugouts. Furniture
consisted mainly of home made fixtures.
When I was 15 years old I went west to the Kiowa and Comanche
country on an adventure among the Comanche Indians. These Indians were very
different from the Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes. They were of a
rather hostile nature and lived altogether in tents or tepees. They wore nothing at
all in the way of clothing except a breech clout and blankets. They were known as
the blanket Indians. The Government was building houses for the Indians although hey
wouldn't live in them. They would put their horses in the houses and continue to
live in their tents. The bucks or men would not work at all. All the work that
was done, which was very little, was done by the squaws or a white man that would be hired
by the buck. Once a Comanche Indian hired me to change a lock on one of the doors of
a house, which required only about two hours and for pay the Indian gave me four head of
horses. A white man could never get money from them for work, but always got good
pay in the way of horses or cattle.
This tribe lived principally in groups consisting of from 200 to 300 in
Cow or hunting trails were the only roads in the Territory. One old
trail came from the line of Kansas across the western part of the
Territory, running to and ending near Red River. This was said to
be an old buffalo trail that was supposed to be made in 1800. From this time to
about 1850, many thousands of head of buffalo roamed the western plains of the
Indian Territory. Then came bands of buffalo hunters from almost every
section of the country and the buffalo were hunted down and slaughtered, the hunters
taking only the hides of the buffalo, leaving the carcass wherever the kill was made.
After a hunter had a wagon load of hides he then set out to some market of which
the principal ones were Kansas City, Missouri, and Shreveport, Louisiana.
This state of progress continued until a state of civilization began in
about 1890, after which the country developed at a very rapid pace. The settling of
this country was then greatly improved.
I have had many unusual experiences of early days in the Indian Territory.
I now live seven miles northwest of Lindsay in McClain