Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: November 16, 1937
Name: Mr. Charley Osborn
Residence: Maysville, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: 1853
Place of Birth: Georgia
Father: A.L. Osborn, born in Georgia
Mother: Mytha Lindsay, born in Georgia
I was born in 1853 in Georgia. I came to the Indian
Territory in 1900 and went to work for the Williams Ranch, about
twelve miles southwest of Purcell in the Chickasaw Nation.
Mr. Williams usually kept about fifteen hundred head of cattle on the
ranch and each year at feeding out time, we would ship around five hundred head of beef
cattle. Before the railroad was built through Maysville, we drove
the cattle to Purcell and shipped them to Kansas City, Missouri.
Besided the cattle Mr. Williams handled, he had from four
to five hundred acres of corn each year. He only raised corn to feed out his beef
There was very little cotton raised at that time and very few fences over
the country and for roads most of them were just cattle trails. The branch line of
the Santa Fe Railroad was built through Beef Creek, now Maysville,
in 1902 and after that we drove all of Mr. William's beef cattle to Maysville
where they were loaded and shipped to Texas.
There was a ford crossing north of Maysville on the river
near where Mr. Higginbottom ran a sawmill and grist
mill. I believe this mill was established there in 1902.
We would have two roundups each year, in the early spring and in late
fall. Our branding was done right after fly time, usually right after frost and we
always had around five hundred head of cattle to brand.
In those days if a white man was married to an Indian woman he was called
a 'squaw man'. Mr. Williams was married to a Chickasaw Indian woman
but I never did hear a one of the cow hands call him a 'squaw man'. If you were
married to either a Choctaw or Chickasaw Indian, that gave you the right
to all the land you wanted and Mr. Williams had several thousand acres
I worked on the Williams ranch until 1907 at which time I
moved to Maysville and went into the dray business.
By 1908, cotton raising was started in this surrounding country and there
were several thousand bales ginned at Maysville in 1908. In 1908
the Washita River got out of its banks and caused a
heavy loss to the farmers living along the river.
I now live in Maysville where I have lived since 1907.