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Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Name: John Tinkler 
Post Office: 
Residence Address: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma 
Date of Birth: January 17, 1870
Place of Birth: Texas
Place of Birth: 
Information on father:
Place of birth: 
Information on mother:
Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson 
Interview #1002

Mr. John Tinkler was born January 17, 1870 in the state of Texas.   His mother died when he was an infant.  His father died when he was eight years old.  Both deaths occurred in Texas.  He lived in Texas with his uncle, A.S. Lee until he was 17 years old. He then left Texas and came to his grandparents home in the Indian Territory near Byars, Oklahoma, that was in 1887.  Their names were Eli and Rebecca Lee.  He stayed with them four years.  His grandmother died in 1889 at the age of 6 [sic] years.  His grandfather died in 1891 at the age of 84 years.   After his grandfather's death he went back to Texas and stayed four years with his Uncle A.S. Lee.

In 1895 he came back to the Indian Territory in a covered wagon and stopped at Johnson Post Office, located near Byars, Oklahoma, at that time.  He went to work for a man named Gaylord who ran a gambling place at Byars, Oklahoma, then , he says he was a card dealer at one of the tables.  At his table, "the sky was the limit".  He has seen thousands of dollars won and lost at his table.

He says at that time the militia came and collected $5 for permit to live in the Territory.  They were Indians but he does not know their tribe.  He says in 1896 some white men claiming they were with the militia collected $5 fee and some of those that paid were forced to pay again as the white men were imposters.  He does not remember the names of those who had to pay again. He also worked at gambling houses in Ada and Stratford. 

In 1905 he joined the Baptist Church at Stratford, Oklahoma.  After that he quit gambling and moved to Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, and did common labor and has lived here since.  He now draws the "old age pension check".

Transcribed for OKGenWeb by Brenda Choate.