Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: March 11, 1937
Name: Mr. Walter L. Richardson
Residence: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: 1888
Place of Birth: Texas
Father: Jim Richardson, born in Missouri
Mother: Mary Scatlin, born in Tennessee
Story told by Mr. Walter L. Richardson, born 1888 in Texas.
I came to the Indian Territory with my father and mother in 1891.
I was three years old but I can remember some of the things that happened. We
came from Texas in a wagon, working four oxen. We were about 25 days on the trip.
We would drive until about an hour of sun-down, then while my mother would make
camp my father would take his gun and go after something to eat. He would not be
gone more than an hour and would come back with several squirrels, sometimes a turkey.
There was lots of game then.
One night when we were camped, my father had gone to kill something to
eat. While he was gone, five Indians rode up on their horses. My mother was
afraid. She made me crawl under the wagon. My father had another gun there.
It was an old muzzle loader, but it was not loaded. My mother grabbed this
gun and pointed it at the Indians and told them she would shoot. My mother later
said she believed the Indians were more frightened than she was. One of the Indians
told her that they would not hurt her. He asked where her man was. Mother told
him and they got off of their horses and sat down on the ground around the fire. In
a short time my father came back. He had several squirrels. The men talked to
him and wanted to know where he was going. The Indian that did the talking was
whiter than the others. He said they were looking for some cattle. My mother
baked the squirrels and made a pot of coffee and lots of corn bread.
The Indians ate with us. One of them held me on his knee and let
me drink coffee out of his cup. After supper they thanked my mother and shook hands
with Father and Mother. They got on their horses and rode away. The Indian
that was white looking was the only one that had a saddle on his horse.
We came on to Pauls Valley, Indian Territory.
There was only one store and a blacksmith shop here then. My father rented
land from one of the Pauls and we lived in our wagon until the first crop
was made. Then we moved into a one room log house. Father raised lots of corn.
My mother always took care of the garden. She raised lots of vegetables.
I remember my father coming home one evening from Pauls Valley.
That was after Pauls Valley had built up some. He told my
mother that he saw a man get killed. Father said he was standing in front of the
barber shop when a man walked into the shop, pulled out a pistol and told the barber, who
was shaving a man to stand back,. The barber stepped back. This man with the
pistol killed the man that was getting a shave. Shot his brains out.
In 1900, my father sold several thousand bushels of corn at one time for
fifteen cents a bushel. In later years I have seen him raise 50 or 60 bales of
cotton a year.
I married in 1916 and have reared so far seven children, all now living.
My father and mother have been dead several years.