Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: March 14, 1938
Name: Mr. G.D. Ward
Residence: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: September 14, 1868
Place of Birth: Texas
Father: G.D. Ward, born in Arkansas
Mother: M.E. Altom, born in Arkansas
I was born in 1868 in Texas and came to the Indian Territory in 1893,
settling on a farm leased from Tip Harris. This land where I settled was located
where part of the town of Sulphur is now. At that time there were no stores at Sulphur but
there was one log house that the cowboys used once in a while. For putting it in
cultivation I was given a five year lease on that farm and all I raised on it. There
was no house on the place so I had to live in a tent until I built a one-room log house.
That part of the country was more a cattle than a farming country.
There were no roads and what few farms there were then were all fenced with rail
fences. All I raised in the early days was cotton and corn. There was no gin
in that part of the country and I had to haul my cotton to Ardmore to have it ginned.
The nearest grist mill was at Mill Creek on Governor Harris' place. That was
all I ever knew him by. People would refer to him as Governor Harris.
The first cotton I raised I planted by hand. There were very
few cotton planters in the country at that time. The Indians living around where I
settled didn't do much farming. About all they planted was corn.
At that time court was held at Ardmore and we had only Federal law then.
People settling in this country in the early days didn't have to buy much.
There was plenty of deer and turkey and in the hills south of where I lived there
were plenty of wild horses and hogs and they belonged to anyone who could catch them, and
believe me, they were hard to catch. Men would come in there and build double log
pens with wings and these wings would sometimes reach a quarter of a mile on each side of
the pen and they would get after a bunch of horses and run them into this pen. It
was hard days work for three or four men to catch six or seven horses a day. You
could buy these horses, after they were caught, but before they were broke to ride, for
The town of Sulphur didn't start building until about 1906, however, there
were a few stores there before this time. When I settled in this country I rode
horseback from where I lived to Pauls Valley and never saw a wire fence but the prairies
were covered with cattle and horses and it was nothing at all to see a bunch of deer
grazing along with a bunch of cattle.
I now live in Pauls Valley.