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County Seat - Pauls Valley

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OKGenWeb Indian Pioneer Papers Collection


Garvin County Indian Pioneer Papers



R.L. Janeway


Interview #4248
Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: May 31, 1937
Name: Mr.  R.L. Janeway
Residence: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: 1883
Place of Birth: Pauls Valley, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory
Father: Albert Janeway
Mother: Martha Johnson, born in Arkansas


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I was born in 1883 in a log house, east of Pauls Valley on Zach Gardner's farm.  My first school was a one-room log schoolhouse located about a mile north and east of Pauls Valley.  A white woman was my teacher.  She only held three months of school, and my father paid one dollar a month.

My father rented land from Mr. Gardner who owned a mill on the river about a mile from where we lived and I would take the corn to mill.  I have seen my father break land with two to four steers yoked to a plow.  At corn planting time it was my job to help drop corn.  My mother made me a sack with a strap to go around my neck and I would fill this sack with about two gallons of corn and help plant seven or eight acres a day.

In the fall I have helped my father gather corn.  I have heard him say that we made from one hundred to a hundred and twenty-five bushels of corn to the acre.  One year he paid Mr. Gardner one thousand bushels of corn, rent off of thirty acres.  My father made a good living and saved his money.   There wasn't much to buy then like there is now, but we kids were always glad when Christmas time came.  We knew we would get plenty of candy and toys of some kind.

My father would make us kids some 'fireworks'.  He would take pop-elder and punch out the center and cut these sticks into pieces about three inches long.  then he would cut strips of paper put some powder in them and roll them up.   This would make the fuse.  We kids had as much fun as the children do today.

For Sunday dinner we would have turkey and sometimes deer as there were quite a lot of deer around Pauls Valley.

When I was a small boy there was no church nor Sunday school around Pauls Valley, and on Sundays a bunch of us boys would make for the old swimming hole or go hunting.  There were lots of fish in the Washita River.  Just below Mr. Gardner's mill some men had a fish trap fixed and I have seen them catch fish weighing from forty to fifty pounds each.  I remember one Sunday morning I was at this fish trap watching the men take the fish out and boy like I had to help.  When they were through they gave me a catfish nearly as large as I was and it was all I could do to carry it home.

After I grew large enough to go to town by myself, I saw men killed at Pauls Valley.  There was one man of whom the men were afraid.  His name was Bill Lewis and he always carried a Winchester.  But Mr. Walner, a U.S. Marshal, killed him at Wynnewood, Oklahoma.

There were just a few wire fences then, most of the farms being fenced with rail fences.

My father owned the first bakery and restaurant in Pauls Valley.

I now live in Pauls Valley.

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