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Part Two of the Old Timers 1925 Carter Co., Oklahoma

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Part Two of the Old Timers 1925 Carter Co., Oklahoma

Posted: 8 Sep 2003 10:36AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 18 Mar 2004 7:27PM GMT
Old Settlers 1925 Part 2

September 1925 Daily Ardmoreite in Ardmore, Carter Co., OK

Continuation of the Old Settler articles

Warren lived in Berwyn for several years—William F. Warren, who for many years made a specialty of raising alfalfa and hogs, has lived in Ardmore for the last 18 years, where he and his family are known as substantial pioneers. When Mr. Warren first came to Oklahoma, he was employed in the old town of Berwyn where he made himself valuable as a clerk in general stores. He was a poor man when he married but possessed courage and energy with which to succeed. It was in 1888 that Mr. Warren married Miss Nannie Boyd, who was born in the Chickasaw Nation. They were married under the laws of the Chickasaw tribe. Mr. Warren becoming an Indian (intermarried citizen) and he with his wife and children received 1500 acres of land on the Washita River as their allotments. Here he raised alfalfa and hogs and his farming and livestock interests have always been profitably managed. … Mr. and Mrs. Warren are the parents of nine children, six of whom are still living. They have a beautiful home at 1208 Hargrove Avenue.


Campbell came with ringing of wedding bells; active since—Short after the wedding bells had rung for the late Judge C. M. Campbell and Mrs. Campbell in Austin, Texas, they moved to Ardmore and from 1890 to this day have made their home here. His widow, one child, Mrs. V. C. Suggs, and two grandchildren survive him. Judge Campbell will be remembered as a born politician in the days of his politics, a good mixer and a peacemaker… he organized the first Republican Party in Oklahoma, then the Indian Territory …


Wheat king is known to all old settlers—There are very few, if any, old timers in southern Oklahoma who are not acquainted with Jim Alverson, who settled on the Wild Horse Creek in the northwestern part of what is now Carter County in 1882. “Uncle Jim,” as he is known to every one in this section of the state, has been engaged in farming and stock raising ever since he arrived in the early days and has made a success of it…. “Wheat king of Southern Oklahoma”…


Hamilton was head of first shoe firm here—Among the real pioneers of Ardmore, the name of J. E. Hamilton is well known. He came to Ardmore in 1895 to establish the first shoe store in the town under the name of J. E. Hamilton and Company.. .. president of the Hamilton Shoe Company with William H. Prater as secretary and treasurer.


McNeese headed early medical examining men—Since 1895, Dr. J. C. McNeese has practiced medicine in Ardmore acting as chairman of the board of medical examiners for the southern district of Indian Territory.. He has also been physician for the federal prison and was county physician for a number of years… In 1887 Dr. McNeese married Miss Florence D. Hamilton of Honey Grove, Texas and they have become the parents of six children, Leland, Howard, Philip, Grady and Mrs. Lillian Simpson and Mrs. Russell Ragsdale.


W. S. Wolverton saw Battle of Shilo and was a pioneer here—When the roll of old timers is called, W. S. Wolverton can answer and be counted among those who helped make Ardmore and this section of the country grow. Thirty-two years ago, Wolverton left his Tennessee home to cast his lot in the Indian Territory, and from the time he set foot in Ardmore has been a potent factor in every movement that helped build the town. Born in Mississippi, he moved with his parents to Tennessee quite young and spent some years as a clerk and helper around a general store near the famous Shiloh battleground. He remembers distinctly the battle fought on the banks of the Tennessee River but a short ways from his home and saw many movements of troops during that memorable engagement… In 1901 he organized the present abstract and insurance business of which he is the active head and has been engaged in that business every since….


Adam Jimmy home once only house between Red River and Ft. Arbuckle—How many old timers remember when all this country for several miles around was known as the Adam Jimmy prairie? There is one man living in Ardmore at least who recalls that name because he crossed in with his father in 1862 when the home of Adam Jimmy was the only house between Red River and Fort Arbuckle. That man is A. J.Addington, one of the real pioneers of this section who can recount to his grandchildren stories of the days when it was not safe to leave a good horse unguarded after nightfall and when a white man was not looked upon with much favor by the natives of this section…


Sick found drugs without money at Frame Drug Store—W. B. Frame was born in middle Tennessee, but after “graduating” from the split log school, went to Texas where he completed his education by teaching until the call of the Indian country got him. He arrived in 1888 and purchased a small stock of drugs and went to work to get his name before the public. When the exception of the time he served as county clerk, he has been in the drug business in Ardmore since his arrival 37 years ago…


Marion Pierce is considered a fixture here—Marion T. Pierce has been a fixture in this section of the state the greater part of an active life. He found a home here after leaving the place of his nativity near Lynchburg, Tennessee, when quite young, and his fortune has been cast with the people of Indian Territory and Oklahoma since he was big enough to “step out” for himself… When oil was discovered in the Fox and Graham districts, it was found on lands that had been acquired by Mr. Pierce… He was elected county commissioner from the second district four years ago and re-elected every time an election has been called…


Woman dressed in silk greeted Jeff O’Brien when he arrived—Jeff O’Brien, county commissioner from the first district, got the shock of his young life 36 years ago when he landed in Lone Grove, west of Ardmore and was served at dinner by a woman wearing a gorgeous black silk dress with trimmings. Jeff came from Collin County, Texas where he was born. He says that just how far he beat the sheriff to Red River cuts no figure at this date as he is protected by the statute of limitations, but it was war bonnets and war paint and not silk dresses and fine raiment that he was expecting. So when a farmer asked him to dinner and he entered a house with a dirt floor, but with loaded table and then to find his victuals served by a woman in silks was just a little bit better than he was lookin’ for. Mr. O’Brien has been a resident of this section from that date…


Dallas News agent sold papers with drugs and stationery—The year 1890 witnessed the arrival of Joe M. London and his family in Ardmore. He was pioneer agent for the Dallas News, conducting the agency in connection with the drug and stationery business. Later, due to ill health, he disposed of his mercantile and other business interests at Ardmore and went on the road as a traveling representative of the Dallas News, …until 1912… became district manager of the Mutual Life Insurance Co. for southern Oklahoma…celebrated his 70th birthday July 11 with a family reunion which was attended by his entire family.. Charles L. who is with the Oklahoma State Corp. Commission; Jack who is sales manager for schools and other similar institutions, Joe M. who is in the real estate business and Ewing C. who is county sheriff.


They used to joke H. H. Brown about his opportunity—They used to tell a good many jokes of Henry Harlan Brown, but the one that gave the most kick was the idea that he hoped that some day he would because a real “sure-enough” attorney and engage in the legal battles in the courthouse along a lot of the pokesters that were having fun at his expense… has one of the largest and most lucrative law practices in the state and is often called… Born in Kentucky (and not the blue grass belt as he explains), he decided to adopt law as his life work… schools of Morgan County… law department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor… settled in Ardmore 1893…


Merchant, hotelkeeper welcomes early settlers—R. W. Randol came to Ardmore in 1888 and began business in a small building on East Main Street where the Whittington Hotel now stands. He sold that property and moved farther west to where the Henry Baum store is now located… built and operated the Randol Hotel which was recently destroyed by fire…

Billie Green, one of the men who carved city out of old Ardmore—It was in 188 that Billie Green crossed the Red River and entered business in Ardmore a. The town was just seven months old when he came. He established the first drug store in Ardmore and sold an interest to W. B. Frame, who is still a druggist here. Ab Burch was Mr. Green’s first partner. Billie Green also owned a grocery store in the early days and Nelse Coleman managed it. Afterward Coleman was placed in charge of a drug store which he owned and operated until his death…helped put in Ardmore’s first water system… tax assessor…old days when Mike Gorman, Charley Vandenberg, Dr. W. T. Gardner, John L. Galt and others ran the city and never contracted a debt….


Carter County carved out of old Pickens Territory, a novel experience of the old pioneer—Carter County is a portion of the territory carved out of Pickens County following statehood… the name applied was in honor of Benjamin Wisnor Carter, pioneer citizen and father of Charles D. Carter, congressman. Benjamin Wisnor Carter was born in Alabama in 1837 and moved with his parents to Indian Territory when quite young where he followed the usual avocation of young men of that time until the outbreak of the civil war when he entered the service of the confederacy and served until the end of hostilities. When the war ended, he settled at Boggy Depot and entered the cattle and farming business and was quite successful. He was made secretary of the committee to revise and codify the laws of the Chickasaw Nation. In 1872 he moved to Mill Creek where he continued in the cattle business on a large scale… From Mill Creek he moved to Ardmore and entered law practice with Herbert and Ledbetter and was a resident here at the time of his death a few years ago.


James Bivens came to town with railroad—James A. Bivens, one of the real pioneers of Ardmore, ahs been identified with its business activities from the time the Santa Fe laid its rails north from Texas. Born in Tennessee, he moved to Texas with his parents at an early age and after learning the mercantile business, moved to Ardmore when the railroad made its entrance and has been and is still engaged in the hardware business… banker…


Sutherland has been active in growth of area—When Henry Sutherland, retired agriculturist, came to what was then Indian Territory, he was 40 years of age. He has passed the allotted three score and ten years and is enjoying the fruits of a well spent, active and useful life…. Beginning as the principal of a college at Newhope where he remained for two years…. Moved to Caddo and when his daughter was old enough to attend school, moved with his family to Sherman, Texas that his daughter might enjoy better educational advantages. When the law was passed giving the Indians land in the territory and requiring they be residents of the territory, the family returned, for Mrs. Sutherland was of Indian blood and was entitled to her allotment… stockholder in the Sutherland Petroleum Co. of which his son-in-law C. E. Sykes is president.



Ardmore’s white mother was first to face hardships of frontier life and conquer—How many of the present day generation remember who was known as “The White Mother of Ardmore” and just how it was that she became known as such? She has been dead for several years, but she was the first white woman to take up permanent abode here. Her name was Douglas and she came here in 1875 before Ardmore was started and remained until the time of her death a few years ago. The Douglas family did a great deal toward establishing the town after the railroad came and “Mother Douglas” received that appellation for the reason that her constant ministration to the sick and needy made her an angel to the pioneers who were unable to care for themselves. Of the Douglas family, the parents are dead. Steve and Ella, two of the children, also have passed away; the remaining children are Ashley, Clarence and Elizabeth…


Veteran cowman plans to be here—One of the finest of the old cowboys of all the southwest will be here Thursday from Garvin County. He is Jack Florence and his home is at Paoli. Mr. Florence always rides in the old settlers’ parade at the Pauls Valley fair ….

One of the men who knew Ardmore when it was a ranch is J. M. Vincent of Hickory. It has been 45 years since he moved into this community. He has spent his life on the cow range and knows the cattle business as it was done in the past…


Roberts boys came to town with Santa Fe—Among the old settlers of this community must be mentioned Bill and Tom Roberts who have been familiar figures since the first railroad entered the little prairie town in 1887. They were born in Collins County, Texas and, when the Santa Fe decided to invade the Indian Territory, Bill got a small contract with the company and did considerable work on the road south of Ardmore. When the rails reached this place, he decided it was time to quit so went to where Springer is now and began farming. Tom came along after him about this time and decided that citizens of Ardmore need a shave and a hair cut, so he opened a barber shop and has been engaged in that business ever since. Bill had a longing for politics and was elected city assessor and collector in the early day, and afterward, served two terms as mayor…


Scott Sparks was one who struck it lucky, still works—Scott Sparks, well known farmer and ranchman of this section, came to the Indian Territory and settled in 1884 near Leon, the first stop he made after crossing the Red River from Texas. Mr. Sparks is a native of Kentucky, but the Sparks family moved to Texas in an early day and it was there he began farming and ranching until he decided the Indian Territory offered better opportunities for a young man. He lived but one year at Leon and moved to Graham where he accumulated lands and cattle… lands developed to be valuable oil producing property and from this source he has become very wealthy…


Forest Ramsey was early druggist here—Forest Ramsey was among the early day druggists in Ardmore after the railroad reached this place and for a number of years occupied different places of business until the Hardy building at the corner of East Main and Caddo was built after the big fire… engaged in farm loan business and has considerable oil interests…


Early tax assessor was farmer, merchant—R. S. Hendon is a native of Alabama, but has been in this section so long that he looks and acts like a native Oklahoman. He landed at Elk, now Pooleville, in 1891 and announced that he arrived to stay. He put in a crop and went to farming but afterward became engaged in the mercantile business and was postmaster at that place after statehood when the name of the town was changed. Fifteen years ago he came to Ardmore and went to clerking in a store, he went in business for himself… city commissioner…


Fifty years have passed since “Uncle Buck” started driving cattle in the Indian Territory—When you sit and talk with Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Gardenshire, you are talking with a couple of the oldest pioneers in this section of the country. In fact, they are numbered among the oldest of the southern part of what is now Oklahoma, and for many years before Ardmore was dreamed of, were herding cattle on a ranch where Wilson now stands. “Uncle Buck” is a native of Overton County, Tennessee. He came to Texas with his parents who settled near Sherman when he was quite young. He began his apprenticeship in the cattle business on the ranges of Texas and in 1875 moved to the Indian Territory, which makes his tenure in this section exactly 50 years….


Colonel Redfield became postmaster here Dec. 20, 1900—On Dec. 20, 1900, the late Col. David Redfield then living at Cisco, Texas where he was postmaster, was appointed postmaster at Ardmore. He continued to fill that position for four years after coming here… He died Sept. 17, 1919 when 77 years old. He was a soldier of the Union army during the Civil War and in days of peace gave his attention to manufacturing, merchandising, real estate and insurance. Colonel Redfield became a Master Mason in 1866 and was also a past Noble Grand of the I. O. O. F. and a past department commander of the Grand Army of the Republic… faithful member of the Presbyterian Church …


Majors was early merchant at Elk; accumulated land—L. O. (Oscar) Majors is another old timer who can recount tales of the days when this section was not much or social center, but was one of great activity when it was a case of the survival of the fittest.. Oscar Majors was born in Georgia but moved with his parents to Texas where he lived until he came to the Territory… he located at Elk and was employed by Ike Harmon to manage his mercantile establishment then a big institution at that time. Following his job until 1899, he decided to launch a business of his own and so the firm of Majors, Hendon and Bennett was formed…


Matt Wolf was known by every old timer here—One of the real old timers of this section is Matt Wolf of Davis who has been living in what is now Murray County for over 50 years and is known from the Cimarron to Red River and from the plains of the Panhandle to the mountains of Arkansas. He was born in Texas, but at an early age decided the Chickasaw country was the place for him, so moved from the Lone Star state and settled where Davis now stands. He has been a stockman all his life…


Salesman of yesteryear met life at its lowest ebb as he traveled on cayuse deck—When this section of the territory was wild and woolly, partly settled, and wholly without means of transportation for man or freight, groceries had to be peddled and to sell them “drummers” were sent out from wholesale houses to take orders and pray that the goods might reach destination eventually. Numbered among the first missionaries of this hardy breed or pioneers was “Bill” Doak, present city manager of Ardmore…


Chigley family was active here in early period—The Chigley family have always been prominently identified with the development of the section of the state … although the father of this family has passed away, descendants continue to make their influence felt in every walk of life. Nelson Chigley was born in Mississippi, but came to Indian Territory with other members of the Chickasaw tribe in the ‘30s, and located on lands where the town of Davis now stands. Chigley was prominent in the counsels of the Chickasaw people, serving as governor to fill out a vacancy… Mose Chigley, son…, now lives at Davis where he is engaged in the livestock and farming business…



Last impromptu hanging was on Demijohn Creek near present site of City of Healdton—Old pioneers of this section of the country had a way of regulating affairs, sometimes crude, but always effective and in driving the cattle and horse thieves from the country, they resorted to means that put an end to every individual case. The rope and six-gun were the instruments used and the gun was preferred when they could corral the thieves. Many unmarked graves in this section attest to the vigilance of the cattleman who was compelled to resort to such drastic measures in order to protect his property. The last impromptu hanging that took place in this section, according to one old timer who saw the limb of the tree decorated, occurred in the fall of 1884 (Gainesville newspaper reported it 1888/89 along with another later lynching) out on Demijohn Creek near Healdton and on this occasion three men were strung up after they had been captured with the stolen animals in their possession.. The horses were stolen from Arrington Gray, a farmer in that section, and when the neighbors were gathered and told of the circumstances, they took the trail and in a short time had the three men and horses under a tree on the banks of the Demijohn Creek (according to George R. Tuckers’ interview version, he with his posse men had the thieves in their custody when the vigilantes stopped them near Healdton and took the thieves from the deputy marshal’s posse and hanged them). The men gave the names of Moon, Morgan and Williams, and after they were given a drum head trial under the trees, were left hanging to a limb to be afterwards cut down and buried beneath the shade of the branches. The cattle thief learned that the stockmen and honest farmers were in “dead’ earnest, the vandal would take a chance occasionally, but a majority were captured and short shift made of them, usually by the same methods used with the three mentioned above. Later the farmers and cattlemen of this section banded together in what was known as the Anti-Horse Thief Association, which did good work in state courts after Oklahoma was admitted to the Union. In those days if a man stole a horse that could be purchased for forty dollars, he was almost sure to get hung. Now a man could steal a car valued all the way from $300 to $4000 and get away with it. If the old timers were the owners of these cars, which they are not, hangings would still be in vogue, the old cattleman remarked in closing.


There is a picture of the first official “wind jammers” band in Ardmore along with the article listing the first members: Frank Douglas, Julius Kahn, Johnny Putts, Will Downing, Max Goldman, “Perk” Bruce, J. Bacon, Sam Robinson, Bob Nichols, M. Moritz, Bud Conlee, Bert Foster, Ash Douglas, and Sam Moritz.


Largest inland cotton center was once here—Twenty-eight years ago, W. P. Poland left his home in the Lone Star state and came to the new town of Ardmore to engage in the business of exporting cotton, Ardmore being at that time the largest exporting cotton center in the world…


Rawlins started in business here with $1719 cash—With a capital of $1719, A. B. Rawlins came to Ardmore in 1907… established a second-hand store… has been engaged since in the furniture business…prior to Ardmore, Rawlins was in the furniture business at Abilene, Texas for a year…


J. W. Johnson was there before the town was started—Why it was named “Milo” instead of Johnson City has always been a mystery, even to its oldest inhabitant who remembers when there was not even a store at the point now designated on the Star route as Milo post office. J. W. Johnson settled on a farm near the present town when he was a young man long before civil law superceded the sometimes uncivil six gun and began to raise cattle and farm on the side….


Food for needy without pay was Harmon’s policy—Another old pioneer of the section who welcomes the reunion is Ike Harmon of Pooleville who has been in this section since the time when the people thought the country was becoming too thickly settled when it was discovered that neighbors had moved within ten miles of them. For a number of years, Mr. Harmon was engaged in the mercantile business at old Elk, and it is said of him that friends and neighbors could always get merchandise when in need whether they had money or not. … Mr. Harmon has been a farmer and ranchman in connection with his other business and has accumulated quite a lot of valuable property….


Byrne started lumber firm 31 years ago—Thirty-one years in the retail lumber business in Ardmore has provided C. L. Byrne with the opportunity to become acquainted with all the old settlers in this section… Mr. Byrne was born in the state of Arkansas and devoted the greater part of his life to the lumber business…


W. B. Johnson is oldest member of Ardmore bar—W. B. Johnson, who has long regarded as one of the most eminent representatives of the legal calling in the state of Oklahoma, has the distinction of being the oldest member of the Ardmore bar in years of continuous connection with the profession… completion of studies at the University of Michigan, opened an office in Gainesville, Texas…


City State Bank head has served since formation—When the City State Bank of Ardmore opened its doors for business May 18, 1918 who was instrumental in its reorganization, was elected president and has since held that position. In 1895, he came to Ardmore as assistant cashier of the City National Bank with which he was thus associated…


Over-powered and taken by surprise; plucky eight battled savage Indians—Prominent among the old settlers in this country is John B. Criner, who gave his name to the Criner Hills where the Amerada oil field was brought in six miles southwest of Ardmore. Mr. Criner was born in Sherman, Texas July 1, 1850 and moved into the Indian Territory in 1860. His mother was of Chickasaw blood and his father was a Cherokee. His parents moved across Red River north of Gainesville and lived on what was known as the Brown farm. It was about two years later after the family moved across the river when the last battle was fought between the whites and the Indians. This battle was fought near the Criner home and the boy heard the guns. The Indians were in the high grass and they were never dislodged. They took their dead with them and no one knew how many were slain. Mr. Criner said that John Hobbs and Ike Hobbs and five other white men stood for hours and fought with 20 of the savages. Three of the white were killed. Ike Hobbs still lives to tell the story. His daughter, Mrs. Homer Britton, lives in Ardmore. The place where the soldiers were camped was owned by Cal Stewart’s mother, Mr. Criner said and he remembers Cal Stewart from the time he was a small boy. Mr. Stewart lives in this city and he and Criner are long-time friends. “I am now 75,” Criner said “and I will knock out 25 more easily enough. My mother was 113 when she passed over and I am very likely to live as long as she. I will be mounted in the parade you fellows are pulling off and I have to see the old boys again and sit about the camp fire with them”… Mr. Criner knows much of the early days in Gainesville as his trading was done there. Ardmore and Marietta were unknown. He remembers Dougherty and Rufe Scott who owned the first bank; his father’s physician was Dr. Bomar; Fletcher ran the hotel, Spragins sold hardware; Brady sold groceries; Duston made boots and Dominecker Burns had the first saloon. “Houses were many miles apart…from 10 to 12 miles apart. I remember Tom and John Boyd lived on the Addington place. Sobe Love, Bob Love and Andy Addington lived in the country then. During the war, two log houses were built close together in Gainesville with dirt thrown on them for roofs. It was about these two houses that war prisoners were guarded. When the railroad was built into Ardmore I had a bunch of cattle in pasture where Jim Watkins lives now, just at the west edge of Ardmore. I sold those cattle to Alva Roff.”


Eaves assisted in weaving of area’s history—When one begins to look up the early history of this section…Jim Eaves looms forth in events that transformed the wilderness.. Jim Eaves has every right to be termed an old timer; he began life on a farm near the old town of Elk, now Pooleville…


In 1889, J. R. Pennington, organizer the Pennington Wholesale Grocery Company of Ardmore, came to the Indian Territory as a jobber… served as mayor.


Hardy name is known to all pioneers here—No name is more familiar to the people of southern Oklahoma than that of the Hardy family, which is known to every pioneer of this section of the state. Reuben Hardy, who now lives in Portales, N. M., was many years associated with the development of and progress of Ardmore… His son Dr. Walter Hardy of the Hardy hospital was one of the first physicians in southern Oklahoma, beginning his practice by associating himself with Dr. J. C.McNeese. He now enjoys a wide practice and is in charge of the Hardy sanitarium. Another son, Judge Andy Hardy, practicing lawyer and former county attorney, is now serving as county judge; Dudley Hardy is a hardware merchant of Marietta and Mrs. A. H. Seay of Ardmore are children of Reuben Hardy. Henry Hardy, a brother of Reuben Hardy, passed away a few years ago. He was associated with Judge H. C. Potterf for some time and his four sons are all lawyers. Cornelius, one of the best criminal lawyers in Oklahoma, lives at Tishomingo; Summers is of Oklahoma City and Abbie of Dallas are also leading attorneys in their respective cities.


Presbyterian pastor ahs been head of church quarter century—For a quarter of a century, Dr. Charles C. Weith has been pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Ardmore. Only one other pastor in the state of Oklahoma has served the Presbyterian denomination for a similar length of time and that is Dr. C. W. Kerr at Tulsa. Dr. Weith is one of the real pioneers of Oklahoma, coming to this state at the opening of the Cherokee Strip in 1893; he made the race on horseback from western Kansas through the panhandle of Texas…


More Old Timers—Among the old timers who registered at the Ardmoreite office yesterday were included Mrs. Lottie Fillmore and her brother Ed Smith of Ardmore. Their father, Captain J. E. Smith, a carpenter by trade, built the first building in Ardmore. He came here from Saint Jo, Texas.


Confederate vets register as old timers—Two old soldiers at the Oklahoma Confederate Home registered Monday morning for the old settlers reunion. They are W. G. Price and J. R. Holland. These men came here from Texas and up to a few years ago had made their homes in and around Ardmore, entering the old soldiers’ home here only a few years ago. Price came here in 1890 and Holland came four years later. Both men have contributed toward the development of southern Oklahoma. Price making his home in and around Ardmore and Holland living most of these years near Marietta.


Pioneer in church and Sunday school work 40 years ago—Mrs. Mattie Henson of Healdton has registered for the reunion of pioneers to be held Thursday, Sept. 17 in Ardmore. She came with her husband and children in 1885 to Indian Territory and settled at Grady. She and her family helped to build the first two schoolhouses in that community. She was present and helped to organize the Sunday school, was a member of and helped to maintain the first church there. Mrs. Henson is a pioneer woman who has done her full part toward planting a Christian civilization in this country.


Pioneer business man will be here with old timers—According to a communication received from H.S. Suggs, pioneer citizen of Berwyn, Mr. Suggs lived on the battlefield at Tupelo, Mississippi, made famous by the three day fight known as the Battle of Harrisburg. His home was transferred into a field hospital and the operating tables were placed under the shade trees in the yard…. Mr. Suggs says: “I was born March 8, 1851 near Tupelo. My father and family moved to Texas in 1866. I came to Ardmore in 1893, bought a cotton gin at Berwyn shortly after and built a home at Berwyn where I immediately moved my family. I rebuilt the gin that year and in addition built a saw mill and a flour mill which I operated for several years. I also operated a cotton gin at Springer until 1901. I purchased the first wheat that I ground into flour from ex-Governor Guy. I sawed and furnished lumber for most all houses and bridges that were built near Berwyn at that time. I owned half interest in the Ardmoreite until it was sold in 1910.”…


Confederates swell old timers register; total reaches eight—Six more old soldiers at the Oklahoma Confederate Home have registered for the old Settlers reunion,… The names of these men who… are: J. T. Rosser who dates his arrival at Pauls Valley from Arkansas in 1894; J. M. Lloyd who came to the Indian Territory from Texas in 1885; W. W. Henry who settled at Cameron in 1893 coming from Texas; A. J. Littrell who came here from Missouri and settled at Wagoner in 1894; T. B. Cheshire, another Missourian who came to Edmond in 1898 and W. A. Knox who arrived at Mud Creek from the Lone Star state in 1885. Five or six years is the longest that any of these veterans have been living at the home. Henry, Littrell, Cheshire, and Knox having been received at the home less than a year ago and Rosser and Lloyd dating their arrival about 6 years ago.


Man who named local streets and fought for schools tax is in city—With the old settlers in parade Thursday will be I. R. Best who was an early day settler here. He was the taxpayer who allowed the use of his name in the courts to collect mandamus officials to collect taxes for school purposes. The litigation was friendly but was used to make it legal for the officials to collect taxes to support the schools…. (There is also a connection with the Heald family of Healdton, Oklahoma.)


Five aged vets enroll on list of old settlers—Old timers are still registering for the reunion to be held Thursday at the fair grounds. A group of five inmates of the Confederate home who came to this country as early as the year 1877 and not later than 1890 includes: J. H. Parish, father of Dr. R. M. Parish of this city, who settled at Mud Creek in the year 1889 coming here from Texas; Mrs. S. A. Hill who came to the Berwyn community in 1890; J. N. Ritter who settled at Muskogee in 1877; N. F. Tracy who came here from Tennessee in 1881 and located at Davis; and W. C. Dobbs who arrived in Guthrie in 1889.


‘Uncle George” Evans enlists for the parade; in a cowboy uniform—“Uncle George” Evans, former county commissioner and former candidate for sheriff, said today that he would be dressed in regulation cowboy uniform for the Old Settlers’ parade here tomorrow… Evans came to old Pickens County behind a herd of cattle in 1884. Three years later he came to Ardmore and established the farming and cattle business, which he has followed since that time….


Under the column “Pioneer Notes”

A useful pioneer—The greatest contribution L. L. Tyer has made in the life of Ardmore has been the rearing of seven fine boys and two fine girls, according to his own statement. Mr. Tyer came into this city in 1892, his family has been raised here, …

The old and the new—Mrs. W. T. Kimbrell of Wilson, a sister of Mrs. Ben Mobley, is here for the old settlers reunion. Mrs. Kimbrell was born in this country and is a daughter of the late Farley Worsham. On her mother’s side, she is of Indian blood. Mrs. Kimbrell was chosen to ride the pinto pony and drag behind her the teepee poles representing the mode of travel in the early days in this country…

Pioneer school teacher—Robert Michael of Provence is mingling with the old timers. Professor Michael for 25 years has taught school in the present confines of Carter County. He has taught more night schools than any other man in the country; he has waged a relentless war upon lack of learning in this country… When he is not in the school room, he is on his little farm where he has a nice bunch of poultry along with other livestock.

Horses for parade—Sol F. Kimbrell brought four horses from his ranch to be used in the big parade and Jimmy Taliaferro also brought extra horses for the use of the old cowmen who live too far away to bring their horses.

With all the trimmings—J. W. Johnson, with his yellow buckskin pony that has been used on the ranch for a quarter of a century, with his chaps of the same color that were used 40 years ago and with his big rowel spurs and his lariat and his saddle gun and his broad-brimmed hat and his red bandana handkerchfer was here for the parade and to renew his acquaintance with the old timers of Indian Territory.

World’s quilting record—The world’s quilting record in said to be held by a family in Carter County. Mrs. A. J. Morgan, who has registered as an old timer and who lives near this city, has made 547 quilts in the last three years. She is assisted by her three daughters, and each daughter is a member of the Salvation Army, and Mrs. Morgan is proud of that fact. The family came to this country from Parker County, Texas in 1898. …

A colored pioneer—As a pioneer colored citizen, S. M. Dillard has registered. He came here from Texarkana, Texas in 1899. He plowed and cleared land and killed snakes and raised cotton, corn and potatoes and then moved into Ardmore. He and his partner Allen operated a grocery store under the name of Dillard 7 Allen. The business was closed out and Dillard engaged in the undertaking business and in that capacity, he is serving his race. Dillard has many friends among both the whites and the colored population.


Brought in cigar box in 1858 he is much respected—When Henry Bourland was brought across Red River by his father in the year 1858, he was not a very portly child, neither was he a very promising one. He was brought by horseback and was conveyed in a cigar box. He weighed but one and one-half pounds. His mother died when he was but one day old, and when he was three months old, his father brought him to Indian Territory. The father settled at Willis in Marshall county and Henry has lived there all these years. He is of 32nd Indian blood; he was raised among the Indian and the few whites that ventured into this country. He is held in very high regard by all the old ranchmen….


Sneed and Rennie bought in pelts stolen from their own lean-to—Editor Ardmoreite: Old Whitebead-hill was an old Indian town many years before the Santa Fe railroad was built. In Whitebead, lived Sam Garvin for whom Garvin county was named. In and around Whitebead lived many prominent old settlers. At Christmas time these old settlers would gather at Whitebead to celebrate and to pull off their Christmas stunts. In the later 80’s the Santa Fe railroad was built, establishing the station of Pauls Valley and soon a town was built there. Some stores were built, chief among them was a general merchandise store owned and conducted by Col. R. A. Sneed who is now secretary of state in Oklahoma and Jim Rennie who died some 10 or 15 years ago. During this period when Christmas rolled around, the old gang gathered at Whitebead to celebrate. They hitched on several wagons and headed for Pauls Valley, arriving there about dark. The firm of “Sneed & Rennie” bought pelts,…and they had a little lean-to shack at the back of the store building where they kept these hides. At this time they had about $100 in the little room. The room was not lighted and this fact, the Whitebead gang knew and also the fact that the pelts were there. They selected several of their number who were the best pilferers to steal the pelts, while some of the others engaged Sneed and Rennie at the front. They secured all the pelts and put them into one of the wagons. Then they selected a man whom Sneed and Rennie did not know personally to take the stolen pelts and sell to Sneed and Rennie, which he did. The gang kept Sneed and Rennie busy buying little things so they hurriedly pitched the supposedly new pelts into the little dark room. The Whitebead gang maneuvered around and divided the money that they had secured for the pelts among themselves and proceeded to get very generous, trading with Sneed and Rennie, buying and eating canned goods and buying Christmas presents for each other. With the exception of what money it took to buy enough Christmas cheer from the bootlegger, the gang spent all the money the pelts has brought and after carousing around the store until late at night, they all got into their wagons and went back to Whitebead. The next morning when Sneed and Rennie opened up for business, they went to the little lean-to to examine the supposedly new batch of pelts that they had bought when –lo and behold—they were not there—nothing being visible but the old lot they already had on hand. Knowing the spirit of the times it did not take long for it to dawn on them just what had happened. How Whitebead put “one over’ on Pauls Valley is yet a joke to be laughed in that country. This kind of jokes were common among the old settlers and they were always taken as this one was in perfect good humor… I lived near there and my landlord, Charley Winter, who was a brother-in-law of Sam Garvin was in the Whitebead gang… I know this story to be true. Signed S. J. Worley


Echoes of the parade

Charley Burns, an old time deputy U. S. marshal in Indian Territory, was among the pioneers here Thursday.

Jud Pruitt who was raised on a cow ranch on the banks of the Mud Creek was among the pioneers Thursday.

A.W. Hammons who came to this country in July of 1878 and who lives now on a ranch in Jefferson County was among the old boys in the city Thursday and Friday.

James Bennett who moved into the Thackerville country in 1886 says the biggest crowd he ever saw in Ardmore was yesterday when the pioneers gathered here to visit for a day.

R. P. Short who arrived in Indian Territory in 1873 is among the old timers. He now lives in Sulphur. Mr. Short says on Beaver Creek in his country he has seen bear and deer and turkey in the early days.

Mat Wolfe was among the old time ranchmen Thursday. His home has been at Davis since that town was built. He was somewhat ill and did not get to mix with the old bunch as he wanted to yesterday.

Dr. T. P. Howell of Davis, the Beau Brummell of all the old ranchmen in Oklahoma, was among the pioneers Thursday.

James S. Alverson who crossed Red River at Brown’s ferry south of Thackerville in 1882 is mingling with the old boys today. Mr. Alverson says his barley, which was slowed before the rain came, is looking fine. He has three acres of fall turnips coming on and his will be able to feed some of the Ardmore folks through the winter.

J. H. Moss who has been in this country since 1878 and who came from Sulphur to Ardmore a short time ago is mixing with old timers.


Chats about people who helped make old settlers day famous in parade and at the camp fire (from the Sept. 18, 1925 issue):

An unsought refuge—Mixing with the old timers Thursday was Col. T. M. Stroud of Comanche. All the old timers have a story and Col. Stroud has his. He said in the early days, he had his house palisaded to protect it against the Indians and on the inside of the palisades, he was digging a well and had it about 20 feet deep. The Indians attacked one night and he ran out in the enclosure about the house with his pistol cocked ready to fire and he fell in the well. Other men were in the house and while the battle was being fought, he was scrambling about in the dark 29 feet from the surface of the earth and it was after the battle that he was rescued.

Crossed in 1884—Another early day settler who enjoyed the meeting of pioneers was Will Powell of Marietta. Powell crossed Red River at Tuck’s ferry in 1884. The Spanglers operated the ferry in those days. Love’s Valley was a big open space then. His wife, Willie Lee Powell, was born in the old Chickasaw nation.

67 years in one place—Where the old Washita River empties into Red River in Marshall County, John McLaughlin was born 67 years ago. That was in 1878. He has lived right here up to this good day and he was here Thursday mingling with the old fellows. He was born April 26, 1858 and has lived all his busy useful life in one spot.

Cal Stewart busy—Among the busy fellows Thursday was Cal Stewart. He was everywhere at all times, it seemed, it seemed in the forming of the parade and in the care of the old ranchmen at the park. Cal Stewart has lived his entire life in this country.

Not in the parade—Among the Love County people were Mr. and Mrs. Henry Pittman of Marietta. They did not take part in the parade for the reason that last year of the pioneer festivities their nephew Herman Forbes lost his life in an accident. (This is also the family that lost 9 family or in-law members within a short time during an epidemic in the late 1890’s.)

Rich in memories—A. E. Munday was here Thursday from Madill. He has spent t9 years in this country and he is rich in memories of old friendships…

Carter was “natural”—Wils Fryback, who for many years was boss of the old L. C. Ranch , saw his old friend, Congressman Carter Thursday. The congressman was dressed in the kind of clothes he wore on the range before he went to congress and Fryback declared that it the first time he had seen him look natural in 25 years.

W. S. Gilley who came to this country in 1887 and who lives at Ringling was mingling with the old cowboys Thursday.

Joe N. Love who was born in the old Chickasaw nation in 1879 and his wife, Mrs Ellen Love, who came here in 1883, were mixing with the crowd of old timers Thursday.

Has wide acquaintance—John I. Woody who has been in Indian country before the year 1865 was here Thursday from Madill. His years have dealt kindly with him and he is well preserved. Mr. Woody has a wide acquaintance with the old time cowmen of this country.

Early grand masters—One of the very finest old characters in the parade Thursday was Peter B. Arthur of Leon. Mr. Arthur was elected grandmaster of the Grand Lodge of Indian Territory in 1899 and in his country Masonry does not have but two men who earlier than he as grand master—J. A. Scott in Muskogee and the Baptist missionary J. S. Murrow of Kiowa or Atoka. It was in the year 1876 that Mr. Arthur came into the country and he has lived in the same community since that time. He is a native of Virginia and… accompanied by his son George Arthur.

A man of service—The oldest cowboy in the parade was Milton Ikard and the oldest cowhorse in the parade was ridden by him. Mr. Ikard left Parker County, Texas as early as 1866 and he has been acquainted with this country since that time. He has a remarkable career and the hazards among his pathway have been many. He has reared a fine family boys and girls…

Ed Newton, the modern cowboy with the laugh that has made him famous, was mixing with the older men of the ranch Thursday.

Buck Garrett at home—Buck Garrett, on a big horse directing the parade, looked to be very much at home in the saddle. Mr. Garrett in the early days rode a horse in the field as a deputy U.S. marshal and he has not forgotten how to ride.

“I am 79 years old and was born in this country,” said John Thomas of Baum.


Graves Leeper flunks—Hugh Suggs of Berwyn was mingling with the old timers Thursday and Bud Young went down the line of parade like a veteran of the saddle. Sidney Suggs and his accordeon were absent and Graves Leeper flunked on the boys at the last minute after he solemnly promised to come. White Frost was here and Sulphur’s face was saved by his presence.

Alex Hammon of Ringling and Jeff Gilstrap with his celebrated mustache from Jefferson County were here Thursday mingling with friends of the early days.

Mr. and Mrs. Gill Burrow who live at Lindsay were here for the gathering of old timers. These people came to Indian Territory in the 80’s. They are guests of their daughter Mrs. J. W. Brooks.

Clem Brooks was here from Graham Thursday mingling with the old timers and his mother, a sweet-faced old lady and a pioneer, was with him.

From Jefferson County: S. W. Ryan who came in 1872, his son Elbert Ryan who is a native of this country, former sheriff J. W. Biffle who came in 1880, W. R. Brown who has been here since 1884 and Clabe Burnet, a brother to Burk Burnet who was one the real early day ranchers in this country.

One of the fine old pioneers here was Buck Sparks from Chickasha. He is treasurer of the Grady County and he has the appearance of being just as active as he was in 1877 when he came to this country to make his fortune in cattle.

W. T. Ward and his wife, Estelle Chisholm Ward, were here from Tishomingo. Mrs. Ward’s mother was a McLish; she is one-eighth Chickasaw, and she is a granddaughter of Jesse Chisholm, founder of the historic old Chisholm Trail in Indian Territory… Mr. Ward is a quarter Indian and is one of the prominent politicians of the tribe.

Among the picturesque old fellows in the parade was Foot Dillard, who came in from his ranch in Jefferson County. His old chuck wagon, drawn by a big team of iron greys, driven by Sumner Dillard was in the parade. The wagon carried a keg of water and the rear was full of groceries as it was in the olden times. Mr. Dillard has placed on exhibit at the fair 14 head of fine ranch horses.

There was another chuck wagon in the parade. It was the property of Ben Forbes who was an early day cowman in this country. Clay Stewart was the driver of the old chuck wagon.

“There are more folks in Ardmore today than there was in the entire Indian Territory when I came here,’’ says Tom Gibson Thursday. For 25 years, Tom Gibson was foreman of the Charley Carter ranch at Mill Creek in Johnston County. He landed in this country in 1885.

“I knew you in 1883,” said John Chitwood as he clasped the hand of Jeff C. Johnson, “I lived at Jimtown in those days,” said Mr. Chitwood, “and you were at Leon.” John Chitwood has grown up with Ardmore from the time the day that Main Street was laid off with a plow without compass or measuring line.

Lute Jackson, who is one of the sturdy, fine old fellow among the pioneer ranchmen, who was a prominent figure in the parade Thursday. Mr. Jackson came to Texas in 1863 and in 1872 he crossed the river into Indian Territory and has been here since that time. He lives at Ringling in Jefferson County.

The real hero of the pioneer day in Ardmore was Scott Sparks who gathered the old ranchmen about him and fed them barbeque and bread and pickles and camp coffee. A vast throng of people were fed and enough food was left over to have cared for hundreds more. Jim Eaves was there to help Scott Sparks with the feeding of the old ranchmen and the feast was a merry one…

The town of Roff in Johnston County was represented in the parade by Joe L. Thomas who was born in this country in 1865 and who has lived here ever since.

D. D. Whiting, a Madill banker,… came to this country in 1903 (1908?).

When Krueger can be rendered, Joe Krueger is there and he was helping in the big parade of pioneers… has been here so long that the pioneers claim him as one of them.

Mrs. Clara Brueggemeyer Thompson who came with her parents in 1889 was an Ardmore visitor Thursday from Leon, Her father, Dr. Edward Brueggemeyer, camped in this country until houses could be built for the care of his family.

Col. R. A. Sneed of Oklahoma City and Capt. Jeff C. Johnson of Leon, both of whom have passed the four-acre mark in years, were in the parade.


Mrs. DeArman, 93, is oldest fair visitor—Perhaps the oldest visitor to the fair is Mrs. Nancy Elizabeth DeArman, grandmother of Mrs. R. H. Rogers and Mrs. J. C. Briggs of this city. Mrs. DeArman was born 93 years ago in South Carolina and is unusually well and active, wearing glasses for reading very small print. She is not opposed to short skirts or bobbed hair and is very generous in her ideas of modern women. She was married in 1847 to Jones DeArman who was killed in the Civil War and is the mother of nine children and has also reared three grandchildren. All the children have passed on with the exception of two sons, one in Pauls Valley and one in New Mexico. From Carolina, Mrs. DeArman moved to Texas and later came to Oklahoma, settling in Comanche County near Duncan. She spends part of the time in Fort Worth with her brother who is 10 years her junior and also visits with her son in Pauls Valley and with her granddaughters in this city.


More Old Timers

Mrs. M. J. Wells 1895
G. S. Wells 1895
Mrs. Mary James 1895
Mrs. Len Eggleston 1895
Dr. R. A. Gardner of Marietta 1889
Dr. B. S. Gardner of Marietta 1887
Mrs. C. O. Wood, born in the territory
Pineo Archer of Healdton 1871
W. R. Cross of Caddo 1876
R. A. Wilson 1902
C.C. King of Durwood 1887
Co. R. A. Sneed of Oklahoma City 1885
Sid Bourland of Overbrook 1885
Daniel Guilford Lamb 1884
W. H. Jones of Lexington 1887
C.W. Grey 1891
Mrs. Lizzie Ladd 1887
Maggie Galt 1893
W. P. Powell of Marietta 1885
H. F. Frederick 1894
Mrs. W. E. Landrum 1885
Mrs. S. A. Apple 1892
Walter Buck 1898
C. C. Arnold 1887
Mrs. C. C. Arnold 1886
Mrs. M. C. Jordan 1887
Joe Brown 1863


A successful barbeque—Charley Culberson who crossed Red River in 1885 to make Indian Territory his home was among the pioneers Thursday and Friday. For 17 years, he was with C. T. Barringer of Ardmore on the ranch. Mr. Culberson lives at Healdton. He says that Scott Sparks pulled the finest barbeque he ever saw…

Old Settlers Grateful for Warm Reception—made this statement by T. M. Stroud, pioneer in this section… before leaving for his home in Marlow. … Mr. Stroud came to Oklahoma from Texas in 1887 and settled about eight mile north of Healdton. He enlisted as a private in the Indian wars in Texas and is drawing a pension from the federal government for services in these wars. He has lived at the same place in Marlow for almost 20 years… he was the guest of his daughter, Mrs. Scott Sparks and family and his granddaughter, Mrs. E. C. Wymore. Mrs. Stroud accompanied him on the trip. His grandson, Wendell Sparks, rode with him on horseback in the old settlers parade.









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