Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: October 19, 1937
Name: Mrs. W.B. Gibson
Residence: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: August 19, 1873
Place of Birth: Missouri
Father: J.P. Jeter, born in Illinois
Mother: Sarah Rose, born in Illinois
Mrs. Gibson was born August 19, 1873, in Missouri. J.P.
Jeter and Sarah Rose, father and mother of Mrs Gibson, were born
in Illinois. They are both deceased.
I came to the Indian Territory in 1892, with my husband, W.B.
Gibson. Before we were married, Mr. Gibson and his father had come to the
Indian Territory and settled at Pauls Valley.
They came from Arkansas, bringing horses and buggies, and started a livery
barn about the time the railroad was built through here. W.B.Gibson went
back to Arkansas and we were married in the Spring of 1892.
Right after we were married we left for our new home at Pauls Valley.
There weren't very many people living here at that time. There was a
subscription school and a Presbyterian Church. John Bradley
and C.J. Grant each owned general merchandise stores and Mr.
Grant did banking business in his store. The nearest furniture store was at
Gainsville, Texas. Doctor Branham was the only doctor. Reverend
Allen was the minister of the Presbyterian Church and this was the only church
here at that time. Jim Gwinn was the depot gent.
Corn was the main crop. There was some cotton but nothing like there
is now. Zach Gardner owned the only grist mill and gin. This
gin and mill were located on the Washita River, east of Pauls Valley, and were operated by
water power. Court was established here in 1895. Before court was established
at Pauls Valley, it was held at Ardmore, Indian Territory, and at Paris, Texas.
There were deer, turkey and the black bear in this part of the country.
Zach Gardner's home and its surroundings were beautiful. On
Sundays there would be lots of people drive out to see his place. He had several
deer penned up and he owned a fine flock of turkeys and chickens. His home was
painted white and there was a white picket fence around it. Mr. Gardner
was a Chickasaw Indian and had located here on the river along in the later sixties, and
built the first grist mill in this part of the country in the early seventies.
The first Presbyterian Aid Society was organized in 1896,
and I was one of the twelve members.
When I came here what few stores and business houses were here faced the
railroad track and the main street of Pauls Valley was called Smokey Row
and believe me, it wasn't any place for a lady. There were drinking and
gambling places. Our home wasn't very far from Smokey Row and I
have heard guns fire several times at different times. When I would ask my husband
about it he would say, "So and so had a shooting scrape." Pauls Valley was
like most of the western towns.
It had its ups and downs. This was a cattle and farming town.
There were some large farms around here and some large ranches. Corn was
cheap and there was plenty of it raised here. There was plenty of water also, and as
Pauls Valley was located on the main line of the Santa Fe Railroad, it
made a good cattle town. There were worlds of cattle fed and shipped from here after
In 1898, J.M. Dorchester was appointed postmaster and
served for a number or years. In 1899, the telephones were put n the homes and Mr.
Cam Gault was in charge of the telephone system. When I came Pauls Valley
was a shipping and receiving point. The Indians from near Fort Sill would
come here for their supplies that were shipped in. Sometimes they camped for two or
three days, waiting on supplies. The Government Agent would get a steer for them and
they would hold a big barbecue. Several of the white people would go watch them.
I have lived in Pauls Valley since 1892.