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Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date: July 14, 1937
Name: Charles Clifton Drew
Post Office: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: October 16, 1871
Place of Birth: Illinois
Place of Birth:
Information on father:
Place of birth:
Information on mother:
Field Worker: W. T. Holland
Interview: Vol. 22, p. 489-494
An Interview with Charles C. Drew, an Old Timer, White

I came into Oklahoma from Illinois when I was twelve years of age. I was born in Illinois on October 16, 1871. My parents were also natives of Illinois; however, my grandparents on both sides came from Tennessee, and had settled in Illinois before my parents were born. My uncle, a brother of my father's and a carpenter, had come into the Territory sometime earlier, and had written my father of the opportunities there for a carpenter and contractor; and of the wonderful opportunity which he thought the future held. Well, my father being a carpenter too decided to make the trip and we came in 1883. We came as far as Caney, Kansas, on a train, then took a wagon, and I took my longest wagon ride from there to Pawhuska. This was such a trip as lots of others had made, but a long one for me. 

When we reached Pawhuska we didn't find much of a town. Only three stores, but Pawhuska was called a trading post. As there were very few whites in the county in 1883, my father and uncle soon got work building houses for the Indians. The contracts were made and payment received through the Indian agent at that place. They did quite a lot of building throughout the Osage country.

When fourteen years of age, I began to fool with the ponies, I rode the rough ones and kept at this until, at the age of sixteen, I began to "break" broncos or "bust" broncs as it was called. I followed this for sometime, riding any and all brought to me. My fee was five dollars and when "broke" the ponies sold for the great sum of eight dollars or three dollars wild. There were plenty of them running wild on the prairie, as well as cattle. They, the wild ones, were never fed, but grew up on the plains, without any attention or thought, only when one was wanted for domestic purposes. The worst one I ever tried to ride was a big yellow fellow, brought in by a little Osage. I finally succeeded in riding and breaking him, and later found out that he had already killed one man.

The Osages were divided into the Big Osages, of Gray Horse country and the Little Osages of Hominy Post. These two would meet for their stomp dances and "smoke" and give ponies to the host. One time the Little Osages would give the Stomp dance. The Big Osages would bring in ponies as gifts. The Indian giving the pony would approach the one to whom he presented the pony and they would smoke the pipe after which the pony was given. The big yellow horse that I broke and which had killed one rider had been "smoked in", or was called a smoked pony.

When I was about eighteen, I got a job with Tom WAGONER of Texas, who had rented several thousand acres of Osage pasture. I went down to Abilene, Texas, and helped to round up and drive out 10,000 head of cattle. There were eighteen cowhands in the crew, and we were under Jim HUMPHREY. This was 1889  or 1890.

I worked for Wagoner three years or until he closed out up here. And after the roundup, Mr. Wagoner told me I could have all the strays to start a herd for myself. I rounded up about forty-five cattle with his brand "3 (D?)'s" *, and did have a pretty good start. I continued with others as a cowhand, and for six years, I rarely ever slept in a house. I liked it though and it seemed to be healthful, as we all enjoyed exceptional health.

Mr. Wagoner I remember sold a train load of cattle for forty-five dollars per head at Chicago. They were practically three years old and unusually fat and large. He sold others, at St. Louis for as much as forty dollars per head, which was considered good then. He branded as high as eight hundred calves a season.

In my father's business, the lumber came in mostly from Elgin, Kansas, and was "freighted in," that is brought in on wagon.

The father of my present wife, R. W. DUNLAP, was a merchant at Pawhuska, when we got there. His son, Fred Dunlap, was one of the first if not the first white child born in Pawhuska. Mr. Dunlap was the first trader at Hominy Post as it was known then. He established the first trading post at Hominy.

My first wife was Frazee PRUE, an Osage girl. I married her in 1890, but she lived only one month after our marriage.

My second marriage was to Emma PERRYMAN, daughter of Geo. Perryman, leading Creek Indian of Tulsa. This was in 1901, and she died in 1916. In 1918, January 12, I was married to Margaret DUNLAP, daughter of R. W. Dunlap, pioneer trader of the Osage Nation. Mr. Dunlap came into the territory in 1877, locating at Pawhuska. Mr. Dunlap, who could speak the Osage language, made several trips to Washington taking some of the chiefs with him. One, I remember, was Black Dog.

One job I had after quitting the range, was that of collector. A lot of the Indians along the Kansas border got to stopping over there to trade, until at one time they owed a firm six thousand dollars. They sent their collector in here to make the collection but they were run out by the government officers. I, having married an Osage, and being able to speak their language got this job. It paid one hundred dollars a month with five per cent commission.

I came to Tulsa in 1901 and engaged in the real estate and loan business. My partner was John F. LAWRENCE. I also engaged in the oil business having one hundred sixty acres in the north extension of the Glen Pool field. 

R. W. Dunlap established first trading post at Hominy, according to Mrs. Drew, daughter of Dunlap. This was between 1877 and 1880.

[NOTE: Brand shown as 3-IIs in Catherine Widener submission.]

Submitted by Catherine Widener <catz@hit.net> May 2001
Submitted by Donald L. Sullivan <donald.l.sullivan@lmco.com> July 2000
Abstract originally submitted by Perryman Researcher, Joan Case <lcase@manti.com> Feb 1999