Indian Pioneer Papers - Index
Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date: November 12,
Name: Mrs. E. G.
Post Office: Pauls Valley,
Date of Birth: December 24, 1874
Father: C. A. Allen,
Information on Father: born in Virginia
Information on Mother: born in Texas
Field Worker: Maurice R.
I came to the Indian Territory in 1895, and settled at
Pauls Valley in the Chickasaw Nation. My husband and I went into the
general mercantile business here and remained in this business until 1914. Mr.
James RENNIE was postmaster when we came to Pauls Valley. Mr. C. J. GRANT
was the first banker. There was a subscription school here then, and two
church houses, Presbyterian and Methodist. Dr. BURKS was the leading
doctor. There was a grist mill east of Pauls Valley on the river owned
by Zack GARDNER and it was run by water power and was the only mill in this
part of the country at that time. The old mill and Mr. Gardner's home
were beautiful places to see and there was a fine shady grove there where we
held picnics. Mr. Gardner's home was painted white with a white picket
fence around it. At that time there were very few nice homes and Mr.
Gardner's home was the finest looking house in this part of the
Every Sunday there would be a large crowd of people
visiting there, and at apple gathering time. Mr. PAUL's place on the
hill just south of Pauls Valley was a beautiful place. He owned the
finest apple orchard in this part of the country.
Pauls Valley was the first town in the Indian Territory
to incorporate and this took place in 1898, and in January 1899 there was
opened at the little trading center of Pauls Valley the first public school
for white children in the Indian Territory. Previous to this a school
of semi-public nature had been maintained, the salaries of the teachers being
paid through tuition fees. This first free school had its beginning in
the building already in use by the tuition school, a building purchased
through popular subscription. This building, remodeled several times, is
still in use as the Stufflebean Funeral home. The first public school
board was, Claude WEAVER, ex-postmaster of Oklahoma City, C. A. (Al) WILLIAMS,
R. W. HUMPHREY, W. T. HIGHTOWER, J. C. GOODLIE and J. B. THOMPSON as
chairman. W. J. SIMS was the first principal of the school and John
WILKINSON it's first superintendent. At the closing exercises of the
first term of the "first free school of the Indian Territory", Miss Eugenia
TIPPITT received her diploma that night, the only graduate. In 1900 the
graduating class again consisted of one girl, Miss Savanna KINNEBREW; in 1901,
J. M. OSBORN succeeded Superintendent Wilkinson and a high school building was
erected on the north side of the school grounds. This first high school
building was little more than a box shanty with two rooms, one room of which
served a double purpose, that of office of the superintendent and class room
for the ninth and tenth grades. The seventh and eighth grades were in the
other room of the shack. In 1901 the graduating class was of six
girls. In 1902 there were no graduates, but in 1903 there was a class of
three, among who was Miss Beulah CONNER, now the wife of the States Attorney
General, Mr. Mac Q. WILLIAMSON. From this humble beginning in 1899 has
grown the magnificent institute of which we are all so proud.
In 1908 the Washita River was higher than I have ever
seen it since I have lived here. In that year people rowed up and down
the streets in boats.
It was at this same time the fight was on to see who got
the county seat between Elmore City, Wynnewood and Pauls Valley; that was the
biggest election fight I have ever seen at Pauls Valley.
My husband, E. G. Hightower, served one term as Mayor of
Pauls Valley. I have lived in Pauls Valley continuously since
Submitted to OKGenWeb by
Brenda Choate <firstname.lastname@example.org> November 2000.