Indian Pioneer Papers - Index
Indian Pioneer History
Project for Oklahoma
Date: August 19, 1937
Name: G. C. Moore
Post Office: Mangum, OK
Residence Address: 116 1/1 East Pierce Street
Date of Birth: 16 October 1863
Place of Birth: Batesville, Arkansas
Father: Charles Moore
Place of Birth: Tennessee
Information on father:
Mother: Gretha Vaughn
Place of birth: West Virginia
Information on mother:
Field Worker: Ruth Kerbo
A pioneer peace officer and merchant, G.C.
Moore has seen the transformation of Mangum from a straggling frontier
settlement to one of the active communities of the Southwest.
Mr. Moore came to this section in 1888,
arriving at Vernon, Texas, from North Arkansas. The trip to Mangum was made in
a wagon since there were no railways in this section until 1900.
Altus had not been built then, although
Mangum was a bustling settlement, being on the mail stage route from Vernon to
Dodge City, Kansas. At that time Mangum had two hotels, a post office, and
four frame residences.
Offices of the "Mangum Star"
were located on the site of the Staten residence on South Oklahoma Avenue.
Most of the buildings in Mangum were located on land between South Oklahoma
Avenue and the place where the reservoir is now.
Mr. Moore had firsthand experience in
dealing with the "bad men" of this section, having served seven
years as undersheriff with Jasper NELSON.
He also operated the first motion picure
theater in Mangum.
He also ran a blacksmith and machine shop.
His blacksmith and machine shop was located in part of a business block which
he had built himself.
Among the early day settlers in Mangum,
Mr. Moore remembers are, Houston TITTLE, Captain BOYD, Lige REEVES, Judge
TODD, George WADE, Henry HOOVER, Frank and Horace SIMPSON, Dan CULLINS and
Henry THOMPSON, well know to early day
residents, also ran an Indian trading store near the Kim River at Granite.
Granite at that time was just a cow ranch
and most of the present townsite of Granite was occupied by the famous
"Swinging Hearts" Ranch. Other noted estates in this section were
the Jaybuckle, T.E. and V-Bar Ranches.
In 1888, newcomers were amazed to find the
settlers comfortably living in dugouts. Tenderfeet were afraid of water dogs
and gophers which sometimes found entrance to these underground dwellings.
Dugouts, however, were the principal dwellings in that day.
A few of the early day saloons had fancy
names, such as "The White Elephant," "The Grey Wolf," and
When statehood came in 1907 it was Mr.
Moore's duty to help close these establishments.
Outlawry was practically unknown in Old
Greer County unless some of the Joe Beckham boys got "on the loose."
Joe himself, whom old timers recall as a typical desperado of the old school,
was killed near Altus after robbing a store there.
Indians were plentiful in the new
territory, most of them being Kiows or Comanches. One of the hardest duties of
the early day barkeeper, as well as of the peace officer, was to keep the
Indians from obtaining any "fire water."
On two occasions in the early days, Mr.
Moore recalls driving herds of cattle to this section. In 1885 he helped herd
cattle from Southern Texas, via the Doane crossing to Vernon, Woodward and on
to Dodge City, Kansas.
In 1887 Mr. Moore accompanied a cattle
outfit to this section, driving a herd for the old Chain C Ranch. Some of the
cattle bore the brand of Cummingham and Marlow, well known cattlemen of this
Mr. Moore recalls that during his first
months in this country there was only one house between Mangum and Navajo.
This was the farmhouse of Tom HAWKINS. The years from 1893 to 1896 were
Mr. Moore now lives at 116 ½ East Pierce
Street, Mangum, Oklahoma.
Transcribed and submitted
by Wanda Morris Elliott <email@example.com> January 2001.