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Garvin County

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Joe Davis Biography

DAVIS, JOE interview 1157

Field Worker: Maurice N. Anderson 438

March 30, 1937

Biography of Mr. Joe Davis (white)

3 miles west of Pauls Valley, Oklahoma

Born: Alabama March 21,1881

Parents: James Robert Finley Davis, ALA. (deceased)

Millie Blackwell, ALA (deceased)

Story Told By: Mr. Joe Davis, born March 21,1881, ALABAMA

"I came to the Indian Territory with my father and mother in 1892. I was

11 years old, we came through on the Santa Fe train from Texas to Pauls

Valley, Indian Territory. On arriving at Pauls Valley, my father bought

2 horses and a wagon, we loaded up our household things, that my father

has shipped through. It was not much, we had 4 chairs, table, homemade

bedstead and a few other household things.

My father moved to Purdy, a little place about 25 miles southwest of

Pauls Valley. There was a store, lone schoolhouse, Blacksmith shop and a

Grist Mill. This mill was ran by steam and owned by Mr. Park (Hart). The

Blacksmith Shop was owned by Jim Welch. I do not remember who owned the


I went to school at this Log School house. A white woman was my teacher,

I do not remember her name. My father had to pay her one dollar a month

for me. Us kids that went to school did not have desks, we used slates

and set on the hued down logs for seats. I had a blue back speller and a

reader. I think there was about 25 or 30 children went to this school,

the year I went. I did not go much the second term, only on the days we

could not work in the fields. I had to help my father on the farm.

My father had about 100 acres leased, he raised lots of corn and cotton.

He would haul the cotton to Pauls Valley on the Washita river. I believe

this mill and gin went out of business.

There was lots of deer around Purdy, when we moved there, I have seen as

high as 15 deer in one drove, around the foot of the Table Mountains,

south of Purdy. Wild turkey's I have shelled corn and feather, about one

mile from our house was a big turkey roast, they would come around our

corn crib early of a morning. We could have turkey anytime to eat we

wanted to. I have gone hunting and would not even shoot at a turkey. I

like rabbits better, there was lots of coon, possum and skunks around


I have broke wild horses for my father when I was 14 years old. Sunday,

that was our "fun day". After Sunday school a group of boys that lived

around Purdy, would meet at my house, nearly all owned saddle horses. We

would go out on the prairie, there was not very many fences then. We

would rope calves and have our rodeo, riding these calves on Sunday was

when I learned to ride. When I was at the age of 15, I was not afraid to

try any wild broncs or did I not care how big the steers were. We boys

would make up $5.00 purses for the best rider for that day. I have won

several times.

My father raised some cattle and hogs, but his main crop was corn. Corn

was cheap then, I have seen my father sell corn for fifteen cents a

bushel. My father sold about 20 Acres of corn for ten cents a bushel in

the filed. I do not know how much corn the man he sold that year

gathered, but we usually made forty to fifty bushels an Acre.

I lived with my father and mother around Purdy, until I was married in

1900. I married Lisa Sarah Malecoat, daughter of F.L. Malecoat, who was

a big cattle man around Purdy, when my father moved there. My wife was

born in Purdy, I do not know how long her people has been in the Indian

Territory, before my father and mother came there.

After getting married I moved on a farm and went to farming for myself.

In later years I have raised as high as 75 bales of cotton a year.

My wife and I have reared 10 children. I now live 3 miles west of Pauls

Valley. I have lived around in what is now Garvin county for 45 year. "

A copy of this interview was sent by Walter Malicoat January 20, 1994.



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