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Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date:  April 19, 1938
Name: Mr. D. B. Milam
Post Office:  Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Residence Address:
Date of Birth:  April 17, 1873
Place of Birth:  Arkansas
Father:  T. B. Milam
Information on Father:  born in Arkansas
Mother:  Julia Smith
Information on Mother:  born in Arkansas
Field Worker:  Maurice R. Anderson
Interview #10487

I was born in 1873 in Arkansas and came to the Indian Territory with my father and mother from Arkansas in 1887.

We settled on a small farm on Deep Fork  River near Checotah in the Creek Nation.  At that time there wasn't much farming, only small farms.  We didn't raise any cotton, only corn.  Muskogee was our trading point and it was only a small place.  We would take our corn to the mill for our meal and we raised our own hogs; in fate, we raised nearly everything we lived on except deer and turkey and they were plentiful in those days.

Every man carried a gun of some kind then, and the only law was the United States Marshals and there were not many of them.

There was a good deal of cattle stealing and many killings.  It was said one man at Checotah, Bob GENTRY, had killed seventeen men.  I don't know that he killed that many but that was the name he carried and when he went on the warpath, as the men would say, he would shoot up the little town of Checotah and people were afraid of him or none of them would call his hand.  One day a little deputy United States Marshal by the name of Bob JONES happened to be in Checotah when Bob Gentry started shooting up the town and Bob Jones called his hand and the shooting started, but the deputy marshal killed Bob Gentry.

When we settled in this country, court was held at Fort Smith, Arkansas.

I was a young man when we first came and I have gone to many Indian stomp dance and ball games.  To see one of their ball games you would think it was a club fight.  They used two sticks about three feet long and used a wooden ball and they surely could throw that ball with those two sticks.  I have seen them when about the time one was ready to throw the ball, another one from the other side would hit him over the head with one of his sticks and get the ball himself; if it knocked the fellow out, another one would take his place and the game never stopped.  There were always a lot of white people at those games and they would bet anything they had on the game.   I have seen them bet their saddle horses, spurs and hats.

We only lived in that part of the country a few years when Father moved to Texas and settled on a farm.  I lived in Texas a number of years, coming back to the Territory after it became the state of Oklahoma, at which time I went to farming near Pauls Valley.

I now live in Pauls Valley.

Transcribed for OKGenWeb by Brenda Choate <bcchoate@yahoo.com> November 2000.