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Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date: August 16, 1937
Name: Jim Beagles
Post Office: Chickasha, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: December 9, 1894
Place of Birth: Arkansas
Father: Albert Beagles
Place of Birth: Tennessee
Information on father:
Mother: Mittie Steward
Place of birth: Kentucky
Information on mother:
Field Worker: Jasper H. Mead 
I was born in Arkansas, December 9, 1894, forty-three years age. We moved to Indian Territory in 1895, and the first place we landed was at Spiro as it is called now, but then it was called New Town. There were a store and a blacksmith shop which composed the town. The Fort Smith and Western Railroad Company came through from the north toward the south. The principal business of this railroad was hauling passengers and cattle; the railroads then were the best transportation that could be had.

Our school building was what we called a split log school house as even the seats and desks were made of split logs. Children nowadays would rather do without education than go to that kind of a school; our book was a Blue Back speller and we each had a slate and pencil; we generally sat two in a seat and it took all the chips and slab rock there were in the country to keep our desks level.

The water supply came from dug wells and springs; there were many springs around Spiro and the water was extra good. The land around Spiro was level and what was called prairie country, but there was very little farming around there then. Most of the work was ranch work which paid $25.00 per month and board. A ranch-hand was also furnished a horse to ride.

There were wild deer and turkey around Spiro; in fact, in 1895 and up to 1900, nearly everything and everybody there were wild. There were many Indians around there; the Choctaw Indians were located on the south side of the river and the Cherokees were located on the north side. The river divided the two nations, there wasn't any state of Oklahoma at that time. What has been the state of Oklahoma since 1907 was then divided into Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory.

We did not have any deputy sheriffs or policemen in those days; all we had were United States Marshals, two of them were Edd BOWMAN and Tandy WALKER, Cleave MANNING was a deputy United States Marshal.

In 1908 the river washed everything we had away but one team and wagon, so in 1909 we moved to Antlers, which was a pretty nice place; it had about six stores and some of the business men's names were W.P. COCHRAN, Barney ZIMMERMAN, Bill SILVERMAN, the last two were Jews.

Antlers is located back in the mountains with a great deal of ranch land and open range; Antlers has much open range at the present time.

Submitted to OKGenWeb by Dale & Phyllis Beagles <dalphy@tds.net> 06-2000