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Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date: December 21, 1937
Name: Charlie Rider
Post Office: 211 N. Lowe, Holdenville, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: 1854
Place of Birth: Fairville, Missouri
Place of Birth:
Information on father:
Place of birth:
Information on mother:
Field Worker: Nettie Cain
Interview #12575
Charlie Rider, 211 North Lowe, Holdenville, was born 1854 in Fairville, Missouri and moved to Texas with his parents when he was a small boy. Mr. Rider when a very young man would help drive cattle from Texas to Canada. He came to the Indian Territory and settled near Anadarko about 1885 and here for three years raised cattle.

Before long, the Indian Agent offered Mr. Rider a job taking care of the Government cattle at a salary of $50.00 a month. Mr. HUNT also told Mr. Rider that he could put his own cattle in with the Government cattle and take care of them all together until they were all ready for the market. These cattle were for the Indians. They had ration day once a week and on these days several head of steers were rounded up and put in the corral and the way they would divide the cattle was to call out the name of an Indian man, let him mount his horse then open the gate and let the steer out. Of course, it would run and the Indian would let it run away from the crowd and then he would shoot it. Then his wife or squaw would skin it and all of their children would go to the place where the beef was being dressed and lots of them were so hungry that they would eat the meat raw. Mr Rider has seen them eat the liver with the blood from it running down their hands and arms.

An inspector would come from the Government to inspect the cows before they were issued. So some of the cowmen got to making the inspector drunk and then they could sell poor old cows or any kind to the inspector for the Indians and some of the cows were very poor. One morning after ration day, a Comanche chief, CORNOR, with several big buck Indians rode up to the Indian Agent, Mr. Hunt, and told him that they were getting tired of their people eating poor old cattle and if it happened anymore they were coming after him. So from then on the Indians got good fat meat.

Mr. Rider had Mexican men to help him. They would take hammers and nails and would make daily trips to see that the fences were repaired so the cattle could not get out.

Once a pilgrim man came down and he thought the Indian men would make good helpers so his report back to the Government was to employ the Indian men instead of the Mexicans.

There were about a hundred Mexican men working so the Indian men were asked to do the work. They said "No, let squaw do it" and the squaws had to do all the men's work.

The bucks were too lazy to work. They were told they would have to ride the range and brand cattle. The brand was IT. The cattle thieves would steal the cattle and rebrand them PD, FD, ID, but the Government brand could always be identified by Mr. Rider.

At this time court was held at Fort Graham, Texas, and it was there that the cattle thieves were tried for stealing the Government cattle. A short time after this the Government decided to divide the cattle among the Indians. In 1858 a band of Cheyennes claiming to be a hunting party reported to Fort Hays, Kansas, drew ration, smoked the peace pipe and left about three days later. The same band of Indians killed many of the settlers of the valley of the Saline River in Kansas and it was thought that Black Kettle who had been attacked at Sand Creek was the leader of the band but the charge was never proven.

The Cheyenne band withdrew to Oklahoma from Fort Dodge, Kansas. The Kansas Volunteers marched to what is now Woodward County. The camp supplies were very low and the Indians' ponies were so very poor that they could hardly go but the attack was made and Black Kettle was killed and several hundred horses were killed.

The Payne County Newspaper, "The Oklahoma War Chief" was first printed in 1883.

Mr. Rider was working for the Indian Agency when the run was made April 22, 1889. He was stationed on the Canadian River to keep the crowd back until the time for the signal, which was to be given at twelve o'clock noon. There were several hundred people waiting for the signal and they begged Mr. Rider to run his watch up.

There were men, women, and children, some on horseback, some walking and some in wagons.

The signal was to be given by a shot from Mr. Rider's gun. There was very little water in the river before the signal was given but none at all afterward. Mr. Rider staked one hundred and sixty acres for himself and also a hundred and sixty acres for his girl friend, Miss ROBINSON, who was a teacher in the Anadarko Mission.

Miss Robinson taught for five years at the Anadarko Mission of which H. H. PATTON was the superintendent.

There were ten teachers in this school. The teachers had no place to board so they hired a cook and bought their groceries and this cost each about $10.00 per month.

Miss Robinson received $50.00 per month salary from the United States Government. Miss Robinson and Mr. Rider were married at Anadarko, and moved to what is now Holdenville, Hughes County, in 1895. Mr Rider worked about four years for G. W. MCSHAWN in his store.

Mr. McShawn was the first white man in Holdenville. Mr. Rider later worked in the bank there. 

Submitted to OKGenWeb by Lynda Bell Canezaro <LBCane@aol.com> April 2000.