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Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date: June 4, 1937
Name: Oro Lano Moore
Post Office Address: Duke, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: July 9, 1878
Place of Birth: Saint Jo, Montaqula, Texas
Name of Father: Lewis C. Thomson
Place of birth: Indiana
Other information about father: Freighter
Name of Mother: Mahaly Jane Peddycoart
Place of birth:
Other information about Mother: Mother of only one child
Field Worker: Ethel D. Pfeiffer


In 1897 we moved from Dallas, Arkansas, to Oklahoma Territory. We started the 15th day of December and were three months on the road. It was such cold weather all the time. We came by the way of Texas. We laid over four days in a wagon yard at McKinley, Texas, on account of rain which made the roads almost impassable.

We had two wagons. One was very heavily loaded, so we had to work four mules to this wagon. The other wagon carried our camping outfit, bedding, and chuck box. We all rode in the lighter loaded wagon. The chuck box was built in the back of the wagon; the outside was hinged so it could be let down and used for a table. Most all of our groceries were carried in this box. We started out so near Christmas that holiday groups were encountered often. Once when we stopped to camp there had been a camp there before and the people had shot of a lot of Roman candles. We picked up a lot of the cylinders and my little brother found one that had not been shot. After supper we were playing in the fire and my brother said, “I am going to light mine”. As he was only a little over two years old, I screamed at him, “Don’t, that thing will shoot”. He paid no attention to me but put one end into the fire. When it began to shoot he was frightened and started to run toward me begging me to put it out. I ran, and he ran right after me with the thing shooting right at me everywhere. We were both screaming at the top of our voices and I would not stop until the thing quit shooting. I was quite a long way from camp when it quit for it shot twenty times. Everyone laughed at us, but I did not think it was funny then. As neither of us were hurt I made the best of the incident that I could, but I have to put up with the family teasing me about it to this day.

A real blizzard struck us before we got to Quanah and we were delayed over three months. We settled four miles west of Altus, on the river, and the first year made a good crop. We got twelve bales of cotton, plenty of feed, and lots of garden truck. We had one room and a dugout. We had a gyp wall of water but it was so very bitter that we could not drink it, so we hauled drinking water from a surface tank about four miles away. 

The next year we went five miles west of Duke and filed on a claim. Dad built us a house twelve feet by twenty feet with a sloping roof. It was really our chicken house but we lived in it a year. We had a dugout but did not live in it. The water here was too hard to drink although the cattle would drink it. We had cisterns to catch rain water in, for drinking and washing our clothes. The fence for the place was of wire. The wire was hauled from Quanah, and the posts came out of Indian Territory. We broke out about sixty acres that year and made a pretty good crop. We had to take our cotton to Quanah to sell and got only two cents per pound for it.

There was a church not very far from us, that we attended. Several people had left the country and left small houses standing. The neighbors got together several of these houses and made a church. One night when we had assembled a little early for services we found a snake in the church. The men began to look around and lift up the floor and they killed seventeen snakes before they quit. We all went home without holding services, for fear there were more snakes that we could not see in the dim light, as the only light we had was an oil one. 

I married Mr. Moore in 1899. He had taken up his claim in 1898, and had his place all fenced. He owned a hundred head of cattle, twenty mares, and one stallion. The location was the N½ of the NE ¼ and N.W. ½ of the NW ½ and Lot 1; Section 18, Twp RN. 23 W. of the Indian Base and Meridian.

Schools were all pretty well organized when we came here. We had camp meetings and picnics in the summer. Some times we had a two or three day picnic, where there would be a merry-go-round that was pulled by mules. I liked to ride on the merry-go-round very much. 

Submitted to OKGenWeb by Christine Martin Goldsmith  christine016@msn.com      January 2004.

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Updated:  08 Apr 2008