Indian Pioneer Papers - Index
Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date: August 12, 1937
Name: J. D. Lindsay (Mrs.)
Post Office: Chickasha, Oklahoma
Residence Address: 511 N. 5th St.
Date of Birth: February 14, 1860
Place of Birth: Prairie County, Arkansas
Father: John McBride
Place of Birth:
Information on father:
Mother: Harriet A. DAVIS
Place of birth:
Information on mother:
Field Worker: Lillian Gassaway
Mrs. LINDSAY has lived in Oklahoma sixty-six years.
My mother and I came to Atoka, Oklahoma, to my uncle Jim DAVIS, in 1871. He owned the land where Atoka was built and the bridge there. He kept a sort of an inn for transients. I was only nine years old then. The Katy Railroad was built into Oklahoma about two years later. Dr. MURROW came to Atoka in 1867. He had been working among the Indians since about 1851, as agent, teacher, missionary and advisor. He was with them through the Civil War and went with them wherever they went. He was a true friend to the Indians. Whenever the Indians moved their villages, the first thing that was done was to prepare a place to hold services, even if it was only an arbor.
Dr. Murrow was a prominent member of the Masonic Order. He was instrumental in founding the Order in Oklahoma.
My brother, Will MCBRIDE, married Dr. Morrow's daughter.
After my mother's death, I lived with my brother in Atoka until I was married in 1880. Then we stayed there for a few years. Mr. LINDSAY and my older brother were learning the mercantile business from J. J. PHILLIPS, and my younger brother was learning it from J. J. MCALESTER. Mr. McAlester gave the ground for the town of McAlester, and Mr. Fritz SITTEL gave the land for South McAlester. He and his wife lived there in a little log house with a dirt floor.
In the fall of 1885, Mr. M. T. JOHNSON bought out P. A. SMITH's Mercantile business at Silver City, and we moved there and went into partnership with Mr. Johnson. Two years later Mr. Johnson sold his interest in the store to his son Ed.
Silver City was situated on the old Chisholm Trail. There was only one house, and it was a boarding house owned by a Mr. CORNETT, a blacksmith shop owned by W. H. NELSON and one store in Silver City. The post office was located in part of the store. Mr. C. L CAMPBELL owned and established Silver City.
We had been living in a small house and we decided to add another room. Mr. Lindsay knew a man who had logs already cut and hewn for a house and were ready for use. He bought those logs and ordered shingles, casing for the doors and windows and built the room. Gradually we added more rooms until we had a very comfortable home.
There were no schools at Silver City until 1886. There was no place to hold school so Mr. C. L. Campbell cleared her (sic) parlor to be used for school purposes and Miss Callie GRAHAM was employed to teach the first and second terms of school. This arrangement didn't prove very satisfactory and so before the second year we built a school house. In looking over the old records I find that the lumber for this little school house cost $39.19. Mr. Lindsay donated all but fourteen dollars of that. The cost of building the house was nothing, for all the men in the neighborhood donated their work and built the house themselves.
We had no churches so no regular pastor. But there was a farmer, who was also a preacher, who lived at some distance, by the name of A. M. LUSK, who would come on Saturday in time to hold services Saturday night and two services on Sunday, going home Monday morning. He did this except when he was very busy with his crops, then he came Sunday morning. Services were held in the M. T. Johnson home.
While at Silver City Mr. Lindsay and Ed Johnson held the beef contract with the Government for Darlington Agency and Ft. Reno, then in 1886 Mr. Lindsay got the Issue and Hay contract with the Government to haul all issue supplies to the issue houses at various agencies for the Indians, and cut and haul all the hay for Fort Sill and Fort Reno. Mr. Henry MINNETT was the Government man to handle the supplies. Mr. Lindsay held this contract until the railroad was built to Rush Springs. Then the supplies were hauled from there to Fort Sill and Mr. Minnett was moved to Ft. Sill. In 1887 he got the contract to furnish charcoal to Ft. Reno, as that was their fuel at that time.
In 1890 Mr. Lindsay bought out old Ed Johnson's interest in the stock of goods and we moved to Minco and Mr. Lindsay went into business there. There we dealt with many tribes of Indians; the Kiowas, Comanches, Caddo, Wichitas, and Cheyenne and Araphaos. The Indians bought sugar and green coffee by the barrel. Often they would come and camp before the wagons would get in with the supplies from Arkansas City, and Mr. Lindsay would take the last bit of flour and sugar I had in the house and let them have it, to hold them until the wagons got in. Many times wagon loads of stuff would be lost in crossing the Canadian River. One time we lost a whole load of flour in this river and they had to take the wagon to pieces to get it out.
We lived over the store for a while but later we had the upper floor of the store torn off and built a house. This house is still standing, just across the track from the Rock Island Depot. Mr. Lindsay shipped out the first load of wheat, and had the first car load of binders shipped in. We sold out at Minco in 1896 and moved to Taloga in D county (now Dewey). We bought a large herd of cattle from R. D. FANT, who had cattle all over Kiowa country, and drove them through the country of Taloga. There was no transportation then except overland on foot. Mr. Lindsay's hay contract with the Government didn't run out until the spring of 1899, so he had to come back each summer to put up the hay for the Forts.
He finished his contract in the summer of 1899 and in the fall of that same year we moved to Chickasha, where he put in a meat market. He was elected to the office of County Clerk the first and second elections after Statehood.
Col. WILCOX came to Oklahoma with the Boomers in 1889. With him came his secretary, Mr. STINSON. Later Mr. Stinson married Col. Wilcox's daughter. They moved to Cloud Chief where Col. Wilcox put in a stock of groceries, then when the Chickasha Mangum line of the Rock Island was put through, they moved their stock of goods to Mountain View, where this store is still in operation. Mrs. Stinson still lives there. She is the mother of Buck Stinson of Chickasha.
I have ledgers used in the stores, both at Silver City and Minco, dating back as far as 1885. Many accounts run into thousands of dollars. The cattlemen had to sell their cattle before settling their accounts.
In these ledgers are such names as:
M. T. JOHNSON, father of Ben JOHNSON, Conservator of a bank in Shawnee
C. L. CAMPBELL, owned and established Silver City
J. H. BOND, father of Reford BOND, Chairman of the Corporation Commission
James TUTTLE, who married Reford BOND's sister
C.A. CLEVELAND, Indian Trader at Anadarko
Dudly BROWN, Indian Trader at Anadarko
Agent DAY, Indian Agent at Anadarko
It is also interesting to note the differences in prices of merchandise, then and now.
Sugar $2.75 per 100 lbs.
green coffee 2.00 per 100 lbs.
men's hats 4.50 each
men's gloves 4.50 pair
boy's suits 4.00 each
cattle on foot
cows 5.00 each
cow and calf 18.00
cowboy boots 2.75
prints .07 per yard
domestic .07 1/3 per yd.
lawn .08 3/4 per yard
lemons .20 doz.
eggs .10 "
butter .20 per lb
bacon .09 per lb
potatoes 3.50 per bu.
Submitted to OKGenWeb by
Gay & Tim Wall