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County Seat - Pauls Valley

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OKGenWeb Indian Pioneer Papers Collection


Garvin County Indian Pioneer Papers



Lillian Patchell


Interview #
Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: April 30, 1937
Name:   Mrs. Lillian Patchell
Residence: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: 1863
Place of Birth:  Ohio
Father:  Dr. J.B. Cline, born in Ohio
Mother: Martha A. Perrin, born in Ohio 


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Mrs. Lillian Cline Patchell was born in Ohio in 1863.

I came to the Indian Territory, Chickasaw Nation, with my husband, Mr. O.W. Patchell.  He was a young attorney and we settled in Ardmore in 1891.  Ardmore was a very small place at that time and things were very cheap.  I had to order my clothes from New York as there were very few dressmakers at that time.  I have bought fryers at fifteen cents each or two for twenty-five cents.

We moved to Pauls Valley after the court was established in 1895 and have made our home here since.

I remember the old Zack Gardner Mill.  When we came to Pauls Valley to go see his mill and home, it was like going to a show for it was such a beautiful place.  His house was painted white and the fence around his place was white.  He kept eight deer in a pen and he had the finest turkeys and chickens that it was a treat to see how beautiful his place was.

A historical poem which was written by Mrs. Lillian Cline Patchell, paints a vivid picture of a town of the '90's'.

Thirty-nine years ago on the Santa Fe train
a passenger there was, a madame by name,
who looked on the scene and tho't she was game,
when they reached the town of Pauls Valley just after a rain.

The train went by, and so did she, and
her great exclamation was, "Oh Lord, deliver me.
The town on the right of way just sat on the map,
with patrons on horseback, making the mud flip-flap.

The riders and walkers seemed to be in cahoots,
for all appeared wearing their rubber boots.
The First National Bank as a sentinel sat,
on the corner, that passengers could view just what could be made from a brick bat.

As the train at last pulled out of sight,
the view of Pauls Valley resembled the tail of a kite.
Two years later, as sure as fate, the self same passenger and all her freight
Pulled into Pauls Valley on May the eighth.
The husband and baby and baggage galore
were deposited at the Commercial Hotel, safe at the door.

The wind was high, the dust was grime,
and informants said it was that way might nigh all the time.
The streets were wide and sidewalks high,
and pedestrians and baby buggies had a time getting by.

The days were warm and no ice in town,
caused many a person to wear a frown.
Meat markets were almost unknown,
for most of the meat was cured at home.

Friers were cheap, never more than a bit,
so one could have chicken when one saw fit.
If the town grew dull, and one wanted to ride,
several attractions were not far from its side.

Going east to the bridge, and turning near
was a park containing eight deer.
Pigeons were flying both high and around,
kind of peaceful like, while on the other side of the grounds,
basking in the sunshine were several grey hounds.

And the old mill at Gardner's, then without a flaw
kept time to the music of the Washita.
Then another drive, not far from town,
was Choe Bluff, famed the country around for its pens of cattle so great
that soon must travel to the cattle's fate.

Then on to Whitebead and on from there,
then to the Hull Ranch that looked so fair.
Fruits and flowers of many kinds,
attracted many men of many minds.
Landscape gardening there, in its prime,
called forth at that place compliments fine.

Peaches, apples, pears and plums,
there were then best raised by that Englishman.
For entertainment, many times in the year,
the lodges and citizens gave of their cheer.

Homes were thrown open wide,
to the children of the town and country side.
At the James Rennie home, once every year,
all children looked forward to the festival dear.
Tables were built on the lawn, and dressed in their snowy white.
The many, many children gathering round was a beautiful sight.

One meal at the table was not all that day
for they feasted again before going away.
They came early and stayed until twilight fell
and had two meals and went home feeling quite well.

The churches, all crowded in one, made a merry throng
as on Sunday they all went jogging along.
No matter how early to church you went
the choir was there and on music bent.
Thirty voices, female and male
were singing inside the chancel rail.
The little preacher in the pulpit sat,
and many children on their mother's lap.

To keep the children quiet thru' sermon and song
the mothers carried crackers and cookies along.
Those were the Sundays when strangers at church
were never passed by nor left in the lurch.

Someone was waiting and always in line
to take the stranger home with him to dine.
Sometimes the health of people was such,
that a doctor was needed very much.

One horse back the messenger went for miles,
through the gates and over the stiles.
The doctor then traveled as fast as he dare
but oft found the patient well when he got there.

In those days of driving, home-keeping and feasting on grub
a few of us ladies decided to form a club
and this same club, as you all well know,
has been running now forty years or so.

And the men say, perhaps in jest,
that women's clubs are such a pest.
We like the comradeship it yields,
the warmth of heart we find revered.

Besides, the brightness of each mind
puts searchlight on our own to find
if any thoughts be nestling there
that we, perchance, with friends could share.

And though we find all askew and small results in our search attain,
it still clears the cobwebs from our brain.
Oft times we heard of floods and famine and failure of crops
and that the whole country would be soon going to the what nots.

But those same people never fear,
Stayed close in this country and are still living here.
So looking back through the golden glow,
and over the roads, traveled to and fro,

Through seasons of sunshine and dust and grime,
Old Pauls Valley grows better all the time.

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