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Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date: December 29, 1937
Name: Mr. W. H. Minton
Post Office: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Residence Address:  
Date of Birth: May 22, 1882
Place of Birth:  Illinois
Father:  W. J. Minton
Place of Birth:  Mississippi
Information on father:
Mother:  Sarah Beck
Place of birth:  Ohio
Information on mother:
Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Interview #: 9586

I was born in 1882 in Illinois. I came to the Indian Territory with my father and mother in 1887. We came from Texas in a covered wagon and my father took a lease four miles south of Elmore City in the Chickasaw Nation. There was one store there owned by J.W. Black. 

My father first went to farming. There were no fences in those days and that part of the country was covered with white faced cattle and I have heard my father say that his hardest work was keeping the cattle of his crop. There was no gin in Elmore and Father would have to haul cotton to a little place called Foster, about fifteen miles on west from the place where we lived.

My father did his trading at Wynnewood, as that was one of the leading trading places on this side of the Red River. Pauls Valley, at that time was a trading point but Wynnewood was the nearest trading point to the place where we lived. 

My father farmed a few years and then built a store where we lived and put in a stock of groceries. As we lived on a much traveled road, coming from Wynnewood and going on west, several wagons would pass by our place every day and most of them were people coming from the east and settling in this country and they would all stop at our place as we had the only well of water in that part of the country. It was a dug well walled up with rocks. My father dug this well himself and my mother pulled the dirt out with a rope and bucket. This well stood about twenty feet in water and we lived there until 1900 and this well never did fail and that was what caused my father to put up a store there. One day a man camped there and told my father that that would be a fine place for a store.

After Elmore City began to build up and the country was being settled up fast, in 1895, my father sold the stock of groceries he had left to J.T. Gibson, who put in a shack at Elmore and a few years later he started the bank.

We lived where we first settled until 1897 at which time my father took a lease on a better farm between Elmore and Pauls Valley and we lived on this farm until 1900 and at that time we moved to Arkansas where I lived until after the Indian Territory became a part of the state of Oklahoma in 1907. 

I now live in Pauls Valley, where I have lived for a number of years.

Transcribed for OKGenWeb by Brenda Choate.