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Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date: 17 June 1938
Name: Louis Phillip Bousman
Post Office: Waurika, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: January 24, 1859
Place of Birth: Richmond, Caney County, VA
Father: Joe H. Brusman
Place of Birth: Caney County, VA
Information on father:
Mother: Lizzie __?__
Place of birth: Pennsylvania
Information on mother:
Field Worker: Ethel V. Elder

I was born January 24, 1859 at Richmond, Virginia.

I came to the plains of Texas with my parents in the early days when I was just a little lad and I do not know very much about the traveling at that time as I was so small.  I lived around there until I was about sixteen years old with first one then the other of friends as my people died when I was small.

They came to Oklahoma some time in the early days and settled around the Osage and Creek Nation.

I went back to Texas with some people and settled close to the Boot Hill Cemetery, in Oldham County.

I was made appointed United States Deputy Marshal as soon as I was old enough and I worked then for many years in Texas and some in the state of Oklahoma after I came here.  The great outlaw, Billy the Kid, surrendered his gun and horse at the time of his first capture to me.  The “Kid” killed his first man while working as a bell-hop at the age of fourteen years in Silver City, New Mexico.  I believe that was in 1876.

The Kid was given a bonus of $5.00 per head for every man he killed after he was turned loose again.  Some people say that is those days I was a true character of the popular adventure story “The Saga of Billy the Kid”.  I was deputy under old Pat Garrett in Fort Summer for a long time.  I have seen many more men die with their boots on in the McSwen-Murphy feud and in search for Billy the Kid than any other man my age, I guess.  I was married at Tascosa, Texas, fifty-six years ago and came to Oklahoma and settled close to Fleetwood.


I crossed Red River on a ferryboat just north of the place where Terral is now; this ferryboat was owned and operated by a man named Dutch JONES, so they always called it Jones’ Ferry.


The Old Chisholm Trail came along south of Terral and ran along close to Fleetwood.  I have traveled this old trail many times trailing some outlaw, and then I have herded cattle some along the old trail.


The only ranch house which I remember close to Fleetwood was up on Mud Creek and was owned by Bill Washington, and many people used to come to see the place and it surely was a pretty place and the house was a great big house.  I don’t remember how many rooms there were in the house.


Roy SPRADLING and PORTER Brothers owned the East-K.W. Hank Ranch.  There was a ranch-house on this place but not a very large one.

They had the only watering hold for the public that I can think of; many thousand head of cattle were driven to this place to be watered.  This was not very far from the Claypool store.


Mr. J. L. MORGAN would bring out barrels of salt and we would saw them half in two, bury them down in the ground so the cattle could not turn them over, and break up the barrels.  The Comanche Indians used to come down through there for their horses to get salt and water; a great bunch of them would come together and then after they let their horses have all they wanted they would go on down to the SUGGS Ranch to see what they could find there.  They were always very nice and peaceable and attended to their own business.


The first school in this settlement was built by settlement people.  It was a log house not very large, was called the Prairie Grove School and was used for a church house, too.

We bought our supplies at Sugden, a man by the name of GROGAN ran a mercantile store, and some times we would get some things at Ryan.

Dr. PIKE was the first doctor at Sugden.


There seems to be some confusion in Mr. Bousman’s story about “Billy the Kid”; but other parts of his reminiscences have some value and the manuscript is included.  Editor.

Submitted to OKGenWeb by Brenda Hickman  <bdias@inreach.com> 04-1999.