Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: February 21, 1938
Name: Mr. W.H. O'Gwin
Residence: Pauls Valley, OK
Date of Birth: March 14, 1868
Place of Birth: Kentucky
Father: J.H. O'Gwin, born in Tennessee
Mother: Lydia Shelton, born in Tennessee
Lydia's funeral records shows her birth place as Kentucky
submitted by Kathy (Rogers) Linnet
copy of funeral record
listing in Mt Olivet Cemetery
see tombstone picture
I was born in 1868 in Kentucky. I came to the
Inidan Territory with my father and mother. We moved from Texas in the fall of 1889.
We had two wagons and four head of mules. My father rented one hundred acres
of land from Mr. Will Love, a few miles ewat of Pauls Valley
in the Washita River bottom.
There were only three stores and a hotel in Pauls Valley.
The schoolhouse was located about one mile south of where the depot is now and
church was held in the schoolhouse every Sunday.
There was no court at Pauls Valley then. Court was
held at Fort Smith, Arkansas and we only had United
States marshals. The Chickasaw Indians' Court held at Tishomingo.
A Chickasaw Indian named Zack Gardner owned the only
grist mill and cotton gin at that time in this part of the country. The mill and gin
were run by water power and were located on the river east of Pauls Valley.
This part of the country was more of a cattle country than a farming
country when I came here. There were several feeding pens along the river where
cattlemen would feed their cattle during the winter months.
A short while after we settled here I went to work for Mr. Nath
Byars who was a large cattleman. Mr. Byars paid me $20.00
a month to help take care of his cattle here during the winter. He had several
feeding pens, one on Peavine Creek northeast of Pauls Valley
and a few miles and one near old Cherokee Town Crossing. During the
summer months was when I would have the hardest time with the cattle, as there were no
fences and the cattle had to be herded on the grass and we would have a hard time keeping
them off of the farmers crops.
The first year my father made a crop he had severty five acres of cotton
and twenty-five acres of corn. He only raised five bales of cotton the first year,
which was in 1890. The bol weavils just cleaned the cotton fields that year around
here. His corn made good. He made about fifty bushels of corn to the acre but
corn was cheap i those days. The cattlemen around here would buy all the c orn the
farmers raised to feed out their cattle.
There was no market for cotton here at that time and my father hauled his
cotton to Gainesville, Texas. The railroad had been put through here a
few years before that time and some of the farmers shipped their cotton to Texas.
There was a freight wagon line from Pauls Valley to
Fort Sill when I came here. I have seen those freight haulers come in here
working from eight to twelve yoke of steers to a wagon and have a trail wagon coupled on
behind the lead wagon and they would load both wagons and head back west.
This was the nearest railroad point to Fort Sill and the
Indians from that part of the country would haul their freight that was shipped in here by
the Government and when they would come after freight there would always be two or three
soldiers with them. There would be several wagons and they would always be working
from six to ten little mules to each wagon. There were no roads to speak of.
There were lots of turkeys in this part of the country when I came here
but not too many deer. We would go back in the mountains below old Fort
Arbuckle and there we would find plenty of all kinds of meat to eat for we
usually killed one to two deer in the winter.
Several years after we settled here Federal Court was established at Pauls
Valley, in 1895, I believe.
The school here was a subscription school until 1898. That year Pauls
Valley had its first free school.
I remember the first year we settled here. There were nine men
killed at different times. My father was a hardworking man. He tended to his
own business and tried to make a living for his family and he never had any trouble with
the tough men.
John Swain was one of our United States Marshals and had
killed several men. He got killed near Purcell. Bill Lewis
had killed several men. John Walner, a United States
Marshal, killed Bill Lewis at Wynnewood. John
Walner had several killings to his credit while a United States Marshal, but John was
later killed by his nephew, Bob Walner, at Wynnewood.
I have lived in this country since 1889. I now run a filling station
in Pauls Valley.