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Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Date: February 9, 1938
Name: J. C. Jarrell 
Address: Sentinel, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: July 20, 1872
Place of Birth: Cooke Co. Texas
Name of Father: E. Jarrell
Place of Birth: Kentucky
Other Information: Farmer
Name of Mother: Mary Shults
Place of Birth: Kentucky
Other Information: Housewife
Field Worker: Ruby Wolfenbarger, Investigator
Interview #: 9928

I was born in Cooke County, Texas, July 20, 1872. I came with my parents to the Territory in 1896. At that time I was twenty-four years of age. I had two brothers. My father wanted us to get homesteads in the new country if it were possible. We brought three wagons, our household goods, chickens and our farming implements. We were not allowed to bring our cattle because of the quarantine. There was a disease among the cattle in Texas and they had been under quarantine for about three months. We were on the road about a month. My Mother was taken sick and we had to stay in camp for about two weeks; she didn't get much better so we left her at a farm near Duncan and my father, brothers and I came on to the western Cheyenne country. We spent several days looking for a good location. My father and I filed on one hundred sixty acres each, ten miles west of Sentinel. My brothers filed on land near us. We had to go to Cloud Chief to file. I dug a dugout and covered it with cottonwood logs and brush. It was about 12 X 16 feet. I spent most of my time at home. I didn't like to cook and I didn't like to stay alone at night.

All the settlers got their wood from the canyons near Elk City. We called this Aunt Mary's place because Uncle Sam had given us our homes and he was also giving us our fuel; however, we had to steal this wood because it belonged to the Indians at that time. The first year I planted five acres of Kaffir and I also put out a big orchard. I bought five head of cattle, a team, chickens and hogs. I freighted for four years from El Reno and Vernon, Texas. I hauled groceries and sometimes I hauled a load of lumber for a neighbor. It took two men with a good team to make the trip. At El Reno the river was very dangerous. In good weather we could make the trip in about a week but once I spent half of February making the trip. It took one day to cross the river.

On one trip I brought back over 2,000 pounds of flour and when I arrived at Cloud Chief, all the settlers gathered there to get flour. I got to my home store, which was Port, with about 150 pounds of the flour. Flour and sugar were very scarce and hard to get in the early days. I have cut Kaffir corn all day for 25 cents and was very glad to get that. El Reno was our nearest railroad town; when I first came here Elk City was just a thistle patch.

When we didn't have work to do I spent lots of my time hunting and fishing. There were lots of fish at that time. There were a great many Indians camped all along the Washita River which was about fifteen miles north of my place. My nearest neighbors, except my parents, were seven miles south of me. I went to my first church in a half dugout which was also used for school. I put my first money that I saved in the bank at Cloud Chief in 1908. I got a clear title to my homestead in seven years after I filed. I still own that farm and also another one near there which I bought in the early day from a man who was homesick and wanted to go back to Texas.

Transcribed for OKGenWeb by Brenda LaRue Jarrell Stone <ruecountrygarden@yahoo.com>, October 2002.