Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: June 23, 1937
Name: Mr. Shade Flowers
Residence: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: 1872
Place of Birth: Missouri
Father: James Flowers
Mother: Mary Johnson
I was born in 1872 in Missouri. I came to
the Indian Territory in 1892. My uncle was living at Dougherty in
the Chickasaw Nation. I was living with my father and mother in Texas at the time.
My uncle wrote and said he would give me a job if I would come to the Territory, so I
saddled up my horse and rode through to Dougherty.
My uncle lived on a small farm. I helped him farm and when we got the crop laid
by we started in catching wild horses. There were lots of them on Rock Creek,
north of Dougherty. We built a log corral with wings extending one on
each side and we would drive the horses into the corral and break them to ride or
sometimes just break them to lead and then we would sell them.
I have sold horses for two to three dollars a head. Some
days we would catch five or six horses at one time and some days we wouldn't have very
good luck and would only get two or three. I have sold horses to Noah Lael
at Wynnewood for two dollars a head.
When I first came to Dougherty there was only one store
My uncle, Levi Flowers and I started a small ranch.
We sold out our cattle in 1895. We had over five hundred head when we sold
I moved on Rock Creek north of Sulphur
and leased a small place. I had to pay five dollars a year for a ten year lease.
I have sold corn for ten cents a bushel.
There was plenty of game at that time and if any one went hungry, it was
his own fault. I always had plenty of meat hung up in the smoke house. There
were plenty of wild hogs. If a hog didn't have a mark on it, it was counted wild and
anyone could kill it.
I have made a good living hunting in the winter. There were lots
of coons, wolves, and now and then you could find a bear and there were a few deer still
in this country at that time.
There was one store at Sulphur then. I would buy
my supplies at this store. The nearest mill then was Mill Creek.
I would take corn to the mill there.
There wasn't as good farming land on Rock Creek as
there was around Pauls Valley. I moved to Pauls Valley
and went to raising corn, cotton, and wheat and I have made a hundred bushels of
corn to the acre and a bale of cotton to an acre.
I now live three miles south of Pauls Valley.