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Indian Pioneer Interview

Mount Olivet Cemetery
Garvin County, Oklahoma

Submitted by: Sandi Carter

Willis Richard Campbell

Interview: #4705
Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Date: June 28, 1937 Name: Willis Richard Campbell
Residence: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Place of Birth: Arkansas

I was born 1852, in Alabama.

I brought my family to the Indian Territory in 1895.

I left Arkansas with my wife, and twelve ohiidren.

I had four wagons working two head of mules to each wagon. We were on the road sixteen days. I first located at Beef Creek, in the Chickasaw Nation [it is now called Maysyille]. I leased a farm and started farming. I had been farming in Arkansas but only farmed a small place. When I got out here and saw that men with only small families were farming from sixty to a hundred acres, I knew I could operate a large farm. The first year I sold* over three thousand bushels of oats. I hauled them to Wayne, a small town on the Santa Fe Railroad, south of Purcell. I got fourteen cents a bushel for corn.I hauled my corn to Pauls Valley. Corn was piled up like wood in great long piles at Pauls Valley.

There was open range around here at that time, people let their hogs and cattle run out, only the farms were fenced.

There was a school near 'Beef Creek. It was a subscription school. I had to pay one dollar a -month for each child I sent. I had leased a large farm and in trying to make a living I couldn't send all my children to school like I should have, so the small ones went and my larger boys helped me with the farming.

I took the contract from the Government to carry the mail from Pauls Valley to Old Center and back, and from Pauls Valley to Erin Springs. My oldest boy carried the mail to Erin Springs and I carried it from Pauls Valley to Old Center. We used one horse carts and would have to make one trip a day. I owned several horses and mules; I would switch them, around and hot work the same one each time.

My other children took care of the farm work, in this way we made a good living. I also dealt in cattle. I borrowed thirteen hundred dollars, at the bank from Mr. Garvin. At that time it was easy to borrow money if you were using it to buy cattle. In that time people tried to help each other.

There were lots of wild fruits, berries, plums, and grapes. We never canned any then like we did in later years. My wife would make lots of jelly out of the plums.

I now live at the southside of Pauls Valley.

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