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Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date: 
September 28, 1937
Name: Dolby West (Miss)
Post Office: 
Eufaula, Oklahoma
Residence Address:   
Date of Birth:  
Place of Birth: 
Eufaula, Oklahoma
Father:  
G. W. West
Place of Birth:  
Information on father:
Mother: 
Hattie Ellis Ballard
Place of birth:   
Information on mother:
Field Worker:
Margaret McGuire
Interview #7718

Mrs. Hattie Ellis Ballard, my mother was a widow with one child, a small son, when she went to Tulsa. There were only three business houses in Tulsa when she went into business there. Mr. J. M. Hall owned one to them and R. N. Bynum owned the other and mother bought the third one. She was the first one to put in a milliner and dressmaking shop there. In Tulsa she rented a little business house where the Lyric Theatre now stands and paid $5.00 a month rent for the building.

Mother had a fine trade. People came from all around near Tulsa to buy goods from her. Tulsa was rather wild then and Indians would come to her store and buy beads and feathers and they would buy big plumes and have her sew them on their hats. She could not understand the Indian language but the Indians were able to make her understand what they wanted and she sold them shawls too.

One night the people got rough and were shooting and fighting so that she was frightened. The next time a traveling salesman came along she asked him where she might find a quiet town to move her stock of goods to and he suggested Eufaula which was not much larger than Tulsa then. That was about 1887. Mother packed up and moved over to Eufaula and put in the same merchandise she had while in Tulsa. She had a wonderful business in Eufaula and had a lot of Indian trade here.

After a few years in Eufaula, mother met G. W. West, a doctor of medicine, and they were married. But she still ran her store and he practiced medicine, driving a horse to a buggy and riding horseback over roads that he could not go over with a buggy. Dr. West was about the first doctor here. Motherís store in Eufaula was called the "Madam Westís Millinery and Ready to Wear Shoppe." My mother was a very shrewd businesswoman. She loved her work and put her whole soul into it and she sold high-class merchandise.

After motherís marriage to Dr. West she became the mother of a son and daughter ó my brother and myself. The elder, the son, having grown into a man went into the meat market business and was a merchant for a number of years, but died in 1918. Mother and I ran this same business until 1934, when she passed away. My mother, who was known as Madam West, was in business in Eufaula for fifty years.

Submitted to OKGenWeb by Marylee Jones Boyd, August 2001.