Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: July 29, 1937
Name: Mrs. Melissa Humphrey
Residence: North Cherry, Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: 1860
Place of Birth: Texas
Father: John Alpin, born in Missouri
Mother: Lemina ???, born in Texas
I was born in 1860 in Texas. I came to the Indian Territory in 1893.
My husband and I left Texas in a covered wagon, working a team of horses
and a yoke of steers. It was in the summer time and we could only travel late in the
evening and early each morning as it was so hot through the day. We met a great many
Indians and these Indians would stop us and want my husband to give them some tobacco.
There wasn't much of a town at Pauls Valley. This country around
Pauls Valley was a wild looking country. There were a few farms fenced in with rail
fences. We settled in the Union Springs Community, about four miles north of Pauls
Valley and my husband cleared up some creek bottom land and put in a small farm.
There were a great many cattle there but the people who owned them, herded their
cattle to keep them off of other people's crops.
At that time there was a one room log school house about a mile from where
we lived. It was called Riverside School. It was located near the Washita
River and they held three months of school out of the year. You had to pay $1.00 a
month for each child sent to this school.
We raised a great deal of cotton and corn but they were not worth much.
We only got from 10 to 15 cents a bushel for corn and would have to haul it
to Pauls Valley.
We raised lots of hogs and have sold big, fat hogs for 3 cents a pound.
There were several Indians living in our community, who were fine
neighbors and willing to help in any they could. People settling in this part of the
country had a hard time the first year or so until they got a start, having to live in
half dugouts and roughly built log houses with dirt floors.
Where we lived, the country was very thinly settled and our nearest
neighbor was about two miles away. There was not any church in the community we
lived in. It was three or four years after we came to this part of the country
before we got a church house.
There was a small church house about a mile south of Pauls Valley.
The only entertainment we had then was a school play which the teachers would have
the children put on. Sometimes they would put on two plays during the three months
of school. The school teachers called these plays "Get Acquainted Plays".
Pauls Valley didn't build up much until after the court was established
I have lived around Pauls Valley about forty-five years.