An interview with
F. L. ANDERSON
An Interview with F. L. ANDERSON
Field Worker’s name: Johnson H. Hampton
Date of Interview: September 27, 1937
Post Office: Miller, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: August 18, 1872
Place of Birth: Tennessee
Submitted by Teresa Young
I was born at Cookville, Tennessee, August
18th, 1872. I came to Indian Territory, Choctaw Nation in October 1901. I
was about twenty-one years old when I came to this country. My mother died
in Tennessee. My father come from there to Texas where we lived for a few
years, then my father died and I moved from Texas to Indian Territory and
located in the Choctaw Nation.
One of the principle reasons for
moving here was that the land in Texas was so high that I was not able to
buy a home. I decided that if I came to the Nation I might have a better
chance to acquire a home and for the further reason that I had heard that
this country was an open country for stock, and also that it was the best
place for a young man like myself and my family.
When I first moved
to this country, I located between Miller and Jumbo; there were a few
Indians around Miller and the next community was at Jumbo. These two towns
were about ten miles apart and between the two there were no houses of any
kind, so we located at this place; the land was claimed by a white man who
has married into the Choctaw Tribe so we took a lease from him for five
We broke the land and built the room house on it and dug a
well and built a barn and other out houses. We lived there for several years
after our lease ran out. We paid the landlord rent for this land and in the
meantime we had to pay a permit for the privilege of living in the country.
This permit cost are $5.00 and my hired hand $2.50 per year. I continued to
pay this permit until just before statehood when they quit collecting the
When we came over from Texas we came over in a covered
wagon drawn by horses. We drove our stock through to the place which we had
leased and turned out on the range. All the country was open; there were no
fences at all, only a few patches where the Indians raised their corn.
We built our house on the edge of a prairie and the grass on this
prairie was as high as the head of a man on horseback. It sure was fine
grass so we did not have to feed our stock any feed during the winter
season. We raised cattle, hogs and a few ponies; the country was full of
wild Choctaw ponies, but there were not many cattle at that time where we
located. We used to have lots of trouble with the wild ponies. Our stock
would get in with them and they sure were hard to catch, after they got in
with the wild ponies.
I was not in the run of ’89 but I was at the
drawing at Fort Sill where I drew a blank piece of paper and I then moved to
When we moved to this country we had no furniture at all
only what we brought in our wagon but after about a year we bought some
furniture for our home. We had a pretty hard time getting started after we
moved over here for the Indians had nothing that they could sell, that is,
no corn and the like, so we had to buy our corn in Antlers, for our feed the
We went to farming and the first year we made plenty of
corn and other things that were needed on the farm and we made some cotton
but it was so far to haul the cotton that we did not raise but very little.
We traded at Antlers, which was about twenty miles from where we lived, and
the way we got our mail was that somebody in the neighborhood would go to
Antlers and bring the mail out to the neighbors.
There were so few
people in the country that it was not out of the way to delivered the mail
as a man passed through and in that way we got our mail about once a week.
The country was full of wild game when I first landed here such as deer,
turkeys and there were plenty of fish in the creeks and some bears on the
mountains. I used to get out on the mountain and kill a deer or turkey any
time I wanted to and some of the men in our neighborhood killed a few bears.
The country I located in is the valley; it is called IMPSON VALLEY.
used to attend Indian camp meeting. I attended IMPSON CHAPEL which was a
Methodist Church and the other church was at Pleasant Cove and was a
Presbyterian Church. The Indians would camp at those churches and feed the
people, both white and Indian, who came to attend the meeting and they would
have some great meetings. I, of course, could not understand them for the
Indians preached in their own language but still I used to go to these
meetings every time they had one and they had those camp meetings about four
times a year.
The IMPSON CHAPEL has been long out of existence but
the Pleasant Cove Church is still there and the Indians still use it as
their church house to this day. This church house has been there a long
time. I was there when I first landed in this country and is still there.
When I first located here there were no white people in the country.
There were some around the sawmills but none out in the country on the farms
but after I had been there for some few years the white people then began to
come out on the farms and they fenced all the country around where I lived.
I do not remember what year it was when the Jumbo Asphalt Mine was
opened, but when the mine was opened a good many white people came to the
mine and put up stores and finally they got a post office there. They worked
there in the mines for several years until one day the mine blew up and
killed about fourteen miners and they then abandoned it and it is still
standing just like they left it when the mine blew up and killed those
I have lived along the Choctaw Tribe of Indians ever since I
moved to their country; they have been to my house and visited me and I also
have visited them. They are all good people to live by; they sure will not
bother anything; you can leave the house open if you want to. In the old
days nothing was bothered by them and they are honest as they can be. After
the white people began to come in and settle the country then we had to lock
the doors every time we had to leave the house.
The Choctaws are
dependable too. Of course, they would fight among themselves but they would
not bother anyone else.
All the Choctaws with whom I have come in
contact are my friends. I was at one time Township Assessor and as such had
occasion to meet nearly all of the Choctaws and I know what I am talking
Transcribed & Submitted by Teresa Young
This material is donated by people who want to communicate with and help
Every effort is made to give credit and protect all copyrights.
Presentation here does not extend any permissions to the public.
This material may not be included in any compilation, publication,
collection, or other reproduction for profit without permission.