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Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date:  June 3, 1937
Name:  Ira Potes
Post Office:  Sulphur, Oklahoma
Date of Birth:  May 8, 1891
Place of Birth:  Nebo, Indian Territory, Chickasaw Nation, 
                           south of Sulphur, Oklahoma
Name of father:  Delbert Potes
Place of birth:  Missouri 
Name of mother:  Emma Davis Potes
Place of birth:  Wilson Creek, Indian Territory
Field workers name: 
John F. Dougherty

Life of a Pioneer man.
Told by Ira Potes, Sulphur, Okla.

My father was Delbert Potes, born in Kirksville, Missouri. He was a cattle man.

Mother was Emma Davis Potes, born in 1871, in the Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory, on Wilson Creek near Jim Town. (No longer in existence.) She was one- sixteenth Chickasaw. There were five children in our family.

I was born May 8, 1891, at Nebo, Indian Territory, south of Sulphur, in a double log house with a porch across the front. At the end of the porch was a well from which we got our water.

We broke our land with oxen and when our cotton and corn was harvested, we took it to Ardmore and sold it. We had only oxen to drive, and it was a slow tiresome trip, taking two days. We shipped our cotton to Kansas City, which was the nearest market we had. Large steers brought about thirty dollars apiece.

There were no section lines at this time. They used land marks for lines - certain trees, houses, creeks or rivers. The only roads we had were trails across the country. Three times a week, we received our mail in a locked pouch from Dougherty.

Father had many cattle, and each Spring I helped him round up and brand them. Then we turned them loose until Fall and rounded them up again, putting them in stalk fields for winter pasture.

I went to school in a picket log house. We had small windows with shutters. Mother had previously attended the same school. We had a hard way of obtaining an education. We paid tuition of one dollar per month as long as we had the money, and when everybody got without money, school stopped. We really got to go about three months each year. We used any sort of text books we could get. There was no uniformity of texts. Each child had lessons in the book he brought to school. Most of them had a Blue Back Speller, and Ray’s Third Part Arithmetic. The readers were varied but were mostly McGuffey’s. The grammars were Reed and Kellogg’s.

Mother cooked on a fireplace with a skillet and lid, and a Dutch Oven. Our beds were of poles fastened to the wall with wooden pegs. The mattresses were of straw covered with feather beds.

I married Nora PASCHALL August 1, 1915. We have one boy. I have been mail carrier in Sulphur, a bank clerk and a Sheriff of Murray County. I have lived in this county all my life.

Submitted to OKGenWeb by James Davis   <jdavis20000@earthlink.net> August 2000.