Saturday, October 31, 2009

Nephew of Jerry W. Carlton gives 1938 interview

The follow "1938 interview" was given by Lee Price. This would be the nephew of my Great- Grandfather, Jerry W. Carlton. Lee's mother was Melissa Jane (Carlton) Price, who was the sister of Jerry W. Carlton. This gives us some historical background in the Carlton family as well as the Price Family.

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Interviewee is Lee Price - Son of Constable R. J. Price

Interviewers Name: Jasper H. Mead
Report made on: January 19, 1938
Name: Lee Price
Post Office Address: Amber, Oklahoma
Residence Address: General Delivery
Date of Birth: September 10, 1890
Name of Father: R. J. PriceBorn: Arkansas
Died at the age of 83
Name of Mother: Melissa Jane Carlton (sister of JERRY W. CARLTON)
Born: Coffee, Alabama
Died at the age of 55

My name is Lee Price. I was born September 10, 1890, at a place called Healdton, which was about twelve miles west of Shawnee. My father was about the first settler in this part of the country.

Shawnee about this time was just a small Indian Village. The first railroad that was built through there was called ChoctawRailroad. The country around Healton was very rough and hilly.I have seen plenty of deer, turkey, wild horses and wild hogs. My honest opinion is that there were more wild turkeys then thanthere are tame turkeys now. I have gone wild hog hunting severaltimes with other men and it is a pretty dangerous game to play, ifyou don't know what youare doing.

The main water supply came from dug wells and springs, mostly springs.

The kind of law we had were United States Marshal, one of whom was Heck Thomas. My father, R. J. Price, also was an officer. He putthe first man in the Pottawatomie County Jail at Tecumseh when it wasfirst built.

When I first began to remember good around this place where my fatherhomesteaded there was no school, no church house and no roads. Ifyou wanted to go any place, you just started across the country. Youdirected yourself by certain trees and different land markings.

There were a great many Indians around healdton. Crazy Snake was oneof the chief Creek Indians and an Indian by the name of Big Jim wasthe Chief of the Shawnees. Crazy Snake was all the time causing a little trouble. He was a little copper-colored Indian. Both heand Chief Geronimo lived to be around a hundred years old.

There were several ranches around Healdton. I used to work on theCofis Ranch at $18.00 per month, board and room, but most of thisroom was on the back of a cow horse looking after small calves andrunning the line - that means looking after the outside fence.

I said at the first of my story that we didn't have any church house.We didn't but we had what they call a brush arbor. I have hooked steersto the wagon and driven them to preaching at this brush arborseveral times. A brush arbor is where you take a bunch of polesand put them in the ground so they will stick up a little higher than atall man's head and then run poles from one to the other at thetop and pile the smaller brush across them. This makes a shelterand a very nice place in the summer time.

Willard Johnson, who at that time was a widow's son, but who is todaya prominent business man in Shawnee, told my father if he would buyyp a bunch of lots around Shawnee, some day he would be worthsomething. But my father never did do it. He figered the countrywould always be like it was then.

In those early days around Healdton, people lived differently fromwhat they do today. I was seventeen years old when I saw my firstscreen door. At meal times, some member of the family would alwaystake a peach tree limb and mind the flies off of the table. It wasn't only this way at our house but everywhere youw ent, therejust wen't any screens in those days.

I have lived in and around Chickasha since 1921 and am a farmer bytrade. I am a 1/32 Cherokee, but never did draw anything.

[end]

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