I was born southeast of old
Cherokee Town in the Chickasaw Nation in 1876. My father
settled at old Cherokee Town in 1869. He was owned by a man named Kemp
before the Civil War.
My mother was part Chickasaw Indian. My father came from Mississippi
with the Indians or was brought here as he was owned by a white man who had an
I remember the first school I went to. It was a log school house called Hopewell,
a few miles northeast of old Cherokee Town. I was five years old when my
father started me to school. My sisters had been going to this school a few years before I
was old enough to go. The colored people living around there used this school house for a
church house on Sundays.
I remember old Cherokee Town when I was a small girl. There were two
stores there and the post office was in one of the stores. There was a blacksmith shop and
the hotel and boarding house where in a big log building. There was a stage barn there
where they could change horses and there was a ferry at old Cherokee Town.
A white man ran this ferry and it was large enough for a wagon and four head of horses
to cross at one time. This white man charged a certain sum for a wagon and team to cross
the Washita River.
I have heard my father say that they used to have to ford the Washita River
before this man built the ferry. I have heard my father say that he used to have to take
the corn to Mill Creek to the corn mill, but after a man named Zach
Gardner built a corn mill on the Washita River east of Pauls
Valley, it was much nearer for him to take the corn to the Gardner Mill.
People did not raise very much stuff in the early days when I was a small girl. My
father would have a small patch of corn which he called his Tom Fuller patch
and he raised some cotton too.
My mother had a spinning wheel and I have watched her spin cotton ad she made our
clothes until I was a large girl. We children would pick the seeds out of the lint, so
that she could spin it. My father would put in a few acres of cotton and I have seen the
stalks grow taller than a man's head.
There were several Indians living around old Cherokee Town. When my
father first came to old Cherokee Town there was only one trading post
and the Washita River was lined up and down the banks with Indians. There
were large camps of them at the big springs around on the prairie east of old Cherokee
Town. The government issued beef to the Indians. In the early days around Cherokee
Town, when anyone killed a deer and had more meat than he wanted for his family,
he would give what was left to his neighbors.
There was a creek about a quarter of a mile from our home. I used to take corn down on
this creek and feed the turkeys and prairie chickens and I finally tolled them right up to
our yard. There were about twenty-five prairie chickens in this flock I fed. My mother
caught several of them and clipped their wings and they stayed around the house just like
our chickens do today.
Mother had the first tame turkeys in that part of the country. I remember she used to
get six or seven eggs a day from them.
I now live in West Town in Pauls Valley.