Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: April 21, 1938
Name: Mr. Joe. B. Perry
Residence: Paoli, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: December 10, 1865
Place of Birth: Texas
Father: Tom J. Perry, born in Texas
Mother: Mattie Craddock, born in Texas
I was born in 1865 in Texas and I left that state in 1888 for the Indian
Territory. I traveled horseback, stopping at ranch houses and working a few days at
a time to get money enough to go on. I was headed for Purcell to
make the Run.
I left Texas in the wintertime and sure had a hard time coming through
this country with cold weather and no roads or bridges across the creeks. On several
occasions I had to swim my horse across the creeks and my boots and pant legs were covered
with ice. I had to build a fire and dry my clothes out. While coming through
to this country, I missed many a meal and several days all I had to eat was roasted rabbit
but my horse never missed a meal as there was plenty of grass and in the low places in the
dead of the winter the grass was just as green as it would be in the summer time.
This grass was called buffalo grass.
I rode into Ardmore late one afternoon in December.
It was two or three days before Christmas. I had lost my hat and stopped
there to buy me one. There were only two or three stores in Ardmore
then. I tied my horse and went into the store. It was awful cold that day and
I stayed an hour or so in the store after buying a hat and when I came out my horse was
gone. I had my bed roll tied on behind my saddle. It consisted of two blankets
and a pair of work boots and whoever got my horse took everything.
While trying to find the horse, I heard of a big dance that was going to
take place at Berwyn the next night so I went to the dance thinking maybe
whoever got my horse might ride him there. After getting there, I looked all the
horses over but mine was not there. There was a deputy marshal there and I
told him the marks on my horse and he was to help me look for it. We talked a while,
and both of us were young men and the music was going bull blast, so we decided to go in
and take part.
The dance lasted until daylight and when I went to get my hat it was gone.
The deputy marshal gave me his hat and I do believe to this day that the deputy
stole my hat and while the dance was going on, took it and hid it so he could get it
later. Well, this left me without a horse and I never did hear tell of my horse or
I had told my story about losing my horse and saddle to several of the
cowboys who were at the dance and after it broke up and I had lost my hat, a bunch of the
boys got together and two of them gave me a blanket each and one told me he would be back
there in a few hours with a saddle for me. He said he had an old saddle at home he
would go get and the rest pitched in and bought me a horse. The horse was a big
black and when the man came with the saddle, I saddled up and mounted this big black and
as soon as I touched him with my spurs, he let me have it and believe me, that horse could
buck. I stayed with him for about ten or twelve jumps and he set me on the ground.
Well, the boys had a good laugh and said it was worth it to see me ride
the horse. After resting awhile, I took another try at the horse, but this time I
didn't hook my spurs in him and he never pitched a jump, just trotted off. I waved
goodbye to the boys and came on to Whitebead, about five miles west of
Pauls Valley and went to work for Tom Craddock.
I worked for Mr. Craddock on the farm for three years.
Then, I took a job from Sam Garuine, breaking horses on his
ranch west of Pauls Valley. I worked for him several years when I
quit and started back to Texas, crossing through the Arbuckle Mountains
on my way back.
In 1900, I married Miss Altha Huffman, the daughter of a
pioneer rancher in Texas and in 1904, I came back to the Indian Territory and settled near
Whitebead and went to farming and have lived in this country since.
I now live at Paoli, Oklahoma.