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Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date: March 23, 1938
Name: Ida Blanche Mitchell
Post Office: , Oklahoma
Date of Birth: November 15, 1880
Place of Birth: Texas
Place of Birth:
Information on father:
Place of birth:
Information on mother: buried in Pauls Valley
Field Worker:

I was born November 15, 1880 in the state of Texas, and spent the early part of my childhood there. In 1892, at the age of twelve, I came with my family to the Indian Territory. We made the trip in wagon and I well remember the journey.

It was late spring and the weather was pleasant. My mother had planned the journey before my fatherís death and she and my brother proved to be excellent with the wagon and trail followers.

We passed over vast amounts of tall, grassy stretches of land that seemed to wave us gently onward. We also passed through immense areas of tall and stately woodland and it was great glee to me to see the rabbits and squirrels scampering about. I caught one of these little rabbits and kept it almost a year before it died.

When we arrived we settled near Pauls Valley which place at that time consisted only of three stores, but was the trading post for people within a radius of twenty-five miles.

Our home was a rude log shanty with a dirt floor, mud daubed chimney and one small window. Our furniture consisted of beds, table, chairs and a few trinkets. Mother had brought from our home in Texas, her most prize possession being a large mirror.

We farmed, our chief crop being corn, and we also raised a few livestock, so necessarily our food was chiefly cornbread and beef prepared in various ways.

We were never personally bothered by the Indians but several of our nearby neighbors were.

Game was plentiful and the creeks were well stocked with fish. It was no task at all to find and kill a deer, thus being assured of a supply of venison for two weeks or more.

There were few roads but numerous trails. The traveler usually just took the general direction of his destination and started out.  There were no bridges; the rivers were either forded or ferried.  The ferry was usually manned and charged a small fee for carrying people or freight across the river. He had a special craft, resembling a raft for cattle, horses, etc.

During this time I grew up, married and watched the general development of Oklahoma.

My mother died and was buried in Pauls Valley. I now live at Blanchard and feel some pride that I played a small part in the up-building of this state.

{Submitters Note: Ida Blanche Mitchell, my great-grandmother whose interview is above had 10 children. The oldest was Minnie Josephine Holden who married Haggai Thorton Kilby, making him my great-uncle. For his tale of life on the Early Indian Reservation see H. T. KILBY Interview.]

Transcribed and submitted by Cindy Hogan <robert.h.hogan@worldnet.att.net> 10-1999.