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Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date: December 15, 1937
Name:  D. H. Hurley
Post Office: Cordell, Oklahoma
Residence Address:  
Date of Birth: 
Place of Birth:  
Place of Birth:  
Information on father:
Place of birth:   
Information on mother:
Field Worker:  Ida B. Lankford

I came to Washita County, January 1, 1893. We came in a covered wagon, and were on the road three weeks. There were no roads and only a few trails and we traveled by compass and the grass was so high, we could hardly travel at all. 

Every night we would try o get to a creek before we made camp because the grass was dry and would catch fire easily. 

We had to ford the rivers and creeks any place we could. 

I filed on land and dug a dugout; I had to fence my land before I could break the sod on the account of others herd lawing my cattle and other cattle running in on my crops. 

We did not make good crops and did not receive much for what we did make and see. We got from 5 to 6 cents a pound for cotton and 20 cents a bushel for corn and then we would have to haul it to El Reno or Vernon, Texas, were the closest markets. We did not have any railroads in the old days. 

In the winter of 1895, I camped on the Washita River all winter and herded cattle and if a cow got out I had a herd law bill to pay.

We did not know what roads, churches or schools were in those days. Later, we built dugouts and sod houses and had schools and churches in them and we would sit on benches made out of cottonwood poles.

The Indians were always my friends. I gave them all my cattle that died while I was camped on the Washita River, in the winter of 1895 and the Indians would come in droves to get the dead cows and the old squaws would jump out of their wagons and start butchering the dead cattle.

I have cut the ice on the Washita river and gotten yellow catfish that weighted twenty-five pounds or more and they were good with black coffee and corn bread. I do a great deal of fishing and hunting now.

[Submitter's Notes: This interview is from Dan Hurley and describes his move from Bradley Oklahoma in the Chickasha nation to Cordell. Dan was born in Wapello IA and lived with his family in Marysville MO before moving to Oklahoma in the 1880's.]

Transcribed for OKGenWeby by Candsware@cs.com August 2002.