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County Seat - Pauls Valley

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GARVIN COUNTY INDIAN PIONEER PAPERS

 

OKGenWeb Indian Pioneer Papers Collection

 

Garvin County Indian Pioneer Papers





 

 

Mollie Kinney

 

Interview #10596
Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: April 25, 1938
Name: Mrs. Mollie Kinney
Residence: Paoli, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: April 4, 1869
Place of Birth: Texas
Father: Jim Florence, born in Texas
Mother: Frances Barnes, born in Texas

 

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I was born in 1869 in Texas and according to my mother I was only six weeks old when Father and Mother moved with me from Texas to the Indian Territory.  My father settled on a farm near Marietta in the Chickasaw Indian Nation.  I remember I was six years old when we moved to what is now known as the Florence community.

My Uncle Jack Florence had come from Texas in 1872 and settled across the Washita River from Whitebead Hill.  Later this community was named for him and he was living there when my father who was a brother of Jack Florence moved from Marietta and built a log house on land owned by this brother. Uncle Jack had married a Chickasaw Indian woman and this gave him a right to all the land he wanted.

My father and a few more men built the first schoolhouse in that part of the country.   There were only a few families living around there at that time and the first schoolhouse was a one-room log house.  The men hewed the logs and stopped up the cracks with red clay and we kids had split logs to sit on. There were a number of Indian children who went to this school.

This part of the country was awfully wild then.  Panthers and wolves were thick.   The fathers would take the children to school in the morning and come after them in the evening and the teacher had a rifle that he always carried.

I saw the first wedding take place at the old schoolhouse.  It was an Indian wedding.  The teacher was also a preacher and he would hold church services every Sunday morning.  These Indians were married sitting down and an interpreter came with them and when they answered the questions they would only grunt.  They came into the schoolhouse single file and left the same way.

In the early 80's the bad men got so thick in the Washita River bottom that the men had to form a posse and run them out.

My father had to haul his cotton to Gainesville, Texas to a gin as there was no gin in this country then.  After selling the cotton Father would bring back enough supplies to last until the next fall. 

I was in Oklahoma  City when it was only a tent city.

I was married to Tom Kinney in 1889.  My husband came from Texas when he was a young man and went to farming and cattle raising.  After we were married, we lived on his farm and in that same year there was a cotton gin built at Pauls Valley.

I remember one day when I was a small girl.  I saw a herd of more than a hundred Indians with their faces all painted up.  They were on horses and only a few of them had saddles on their horses and they carried bows and arrows.  They killed several of my father's cattle.

The women and children were afraid to get very far from home by themselves as they were not only afraid of wild animals and the Indians but of the desperadoes from Texas as well.  I have heard my aunt tell about a time a short while after she and Uncle Jack was gone to his ranch along Red River in the southern part of Comanche Indian Country and my aunt saw some Indians riding on the warpath and she ran off and hid in a dugout and the Indians went into her house and just threw things all over the floor.  She was a Chickasaw Indian herself but she said that the Comanches would kill a Chickasaw as quickly as they would a white person.

We had a hard time at first trying to make a living but things got better after the railroad came through Pauls Valley and we got more land in cultivation and raised more cotton.  We had a way then to ship the cotton to Texas and as each year went by,t he country became more civilized.

I have lived in the Florence Community and around Paoli ever since we first settled here.

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