Indian Pioneer Papers - Index
Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date: January 12, 1938
Name: J. T. Turner
Residence Address: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: July 26, 1868
Place of Birth:
Father: Jackson Turner
Place of Birth: Tennessee
Information on father:
Mother: Elizabeth Turner
Place of birth: Tennessee
Information on mother:
Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
I was born in 1868 in Texas
and came from that state to the Indian Territory in 1894 in a covered wagon.
I had to ford Red River, as there were no bridges, only ferry boats. It
cost $1.00 for a wagon and team and money was hard to get in that day and
time, so I forded the river to save that $1.00.
I settled on a small farm at
a place called Elk, in the Chickasaw Nation. Later Elk was changed
to Poolville. I rented a small farm from Jim Eaves. There
were no large farms then in cultivation. What farming was done, was on
small farms along some creek.
There were several large
cattle ranches. Jim Eaves, the man I rented land from, was a large
cattle owner and Bill Washington's ranch was located southwest from Poolville.
There was a small school
house and church house at Elk when I located there and it cost $1.00 a month
for each child sent to this school.
The only taxes we had to pay
was $5.00 a year to the Chickasaw Government to live in the Indian Territory.
Meat was something I didn't
have to buy in those days as there were plenty of turkey and deer and there
were hogs that ran wild and didn't belong to anyone.
People in those days tried to
help one another. It was very easy to start in farming as you didn't
have to have the kind of plow tools used today. My first crop was made
with a one-horse turning plow and a Georgia stock which I used to plow both my
cotton and corn. I made nearly a bale of cotton to the acre and fine
corn. Then farmers didn't try to get rich farming. They only
tried to make a living by raising nearly everything they could to live on.
Corn and cotton were cheap at that time. After the cotton was ginned and
hauled to Gainesville, we only received about $25.00 a bale and corn was only
worth from 12 cents to 15 cents a bushel.
We only had Federal Law then
and Federal Court was held at Ardmore when I first settled in the Indian
I farmed in that part of the
country for several years then moved to Pauls Valley where I now live.
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