Indian Pioneer Papers - Index
Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Name: John Tinkler
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
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
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
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".
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