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Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date:  May 11, 1937
Name:  Lee Ary
Post Office:  Panola, Oklahoma
Residence Address:  2 miles south of Panola Post Office
Date of Birth:  June 17, 1862
Place of Birth:  Hempstead County, Tennessee
Father: Jeff Ary
Place of Birth:  Tennessee
Information on father:  buried at LeFlore, OK
Mother:  Nancy Jane Seymore Ary
Place of birth:  Tennessee
Information on mother:  buried at LeFlore, OK
Field Worker:  Bradley Bolinger

My father's name was Jeff ARY, and he was born in Hempstead County, Tennessee. My father is now dead and is buried at LeFlore, Oklahoma.

My mother's name was Nancy Jane SEYMORE Ary. She is now dead and is buried at LeFlore, Oklahoma.

My father and mother left Tennessee and moved to the state of Missouri, where I was born. Later they moved to Indian Territory in the country now known as Latimer County. I have been living here for 62 years.

I was 19 years old when I married. We traveled by horseback to Fort Smith, Arkansas, to be married. We came back to the Territory and picked us a small place where there was not much clearing of the timber to do, went to the woods and cut logs and hewed them with my ax and built us a home. This was located in the southeast part of the country and consisted of about 20 acres. The settlers in this country did not raise cotton because it was too far to haul it to a gin. You had to make a trip to Fort Smith with cotton and that was around 65 miles and that was too far. We raised corn and feed stuff to make our meal and feed our team. You had to take your corn to a grist mill on horseback. There were no roads in the country in those days so we just rode straight through the country hills and timber the nearest way.

We did lots of hunting in those days--game of all kinds was really plentiful. We carried deer and wild turkeys and hides of fur bearing animals to Fort Smith and traded those things for flour and sugar and household necessities. Everyone in the territory raised their own hogs--they just ran wild in the woods--and it was easy to manage for meat and lard.

Along in the early years of this County the Frisco was building their road through my part of the country and when my crop was laid by I went into the timber and cut cross ties for this road.

Along before the railroad was building through here, there were lots of cattle running and ranging all over the country in the creek bottoms through the winter and, although with no feed at all, they came through in good shape.

But there was lots of trouble with out-law men ranging all over the country. Other than these men, the country was reasonably peaceable. This was along about 1865 to 1870. I have seen the STAR Gang, the YOUNGERS, Cole and Bob FORD. They would come into the territory here and round up lots of cattle and drive them away and dispose of them. Lots of these cattle were carried to the Cherokee Nation and disposed of. Those fellows would just camp around in the hills when they were gathering those cattle up.

We did not have any officers of the white race through this country in those days. The officers would have to be sent from Fort Smith, to look for someone; and you very seldom ever saw one of them.

The Choctaw Indian tribe controlled their people very well and they were reasonably peaceable.

[SUBMITTERS COMMENT: There is a gross error here. Nancy Jane Seymore Ary was Lee's wife--not his mother--and she is buried in Latimer County, OK. There was apparently a misunderstanding of some sort or a mistaken transcription.]

Submitted to OKGenWeb by LilMogli@aol.com October, 2000.