NEWS FROM VICKSBURG by Mrs. A.D. (Nannie) Valentine
The Pioneer Day celebration at Clinton caused me to reminisce concerning past years.
I came with my parents, to Custer County in 1894. We came in a covered wagon from Kingfisher, it being the closest railroad town. The first dugout I ever saw was north of Kingfisher. My father Upton Crowl and Uncle, C.J. Shively, had come on earlier and had a dugout for us to move into.
Just a few things in these pioneer news items not previously mentioned, were that my brother Dale and I, Herb and Grace Cutrell, neighbors, walked to school three miles in the open prairie range, where hundreds of cattle grazed. The school terms lasted three months. The school was in a church building at Gyp.
At first, we were happy to have our mail once every week or two. One neighbor would go to the Post Office and bring the mail for the neighborhood.
In the fall of 1894, R.R. Cobb moved his store from Arapahoe to Gyp. We were three miles from a grocery store and Post Office. Freight had to be brought by wagons from El Reno.
Later the railroad was built to Weatherford. My! That was a miracle, to be 28 miles from a railroad. Of course Custer City, later Clinton were thriving towns, because a railroad was being built throughout the country.
A few residents which stand out in my mind, was a cowboy's worker who road up to our dugout and told us if we didn't want trouble from the cattlemen we had better leave. Of course we didn't leave and more of our neighbors from Nebraska moved to the community. The cowboys proved to be our friends after they saw we intended to stay.
Vicksburg school and Sunday School were first held in a dugout. Rev. Gideon Wadsworth was our first preacher, and he walked from Arapahoe. Later on he managed to buy a horse and saddle. He then took in a wider range, by going as far as Gage.
One time when we were fording the Cimarron River, one of our horses became dizzy and laid down in the water. We had an "overjet" on the wagon, so we could have a bed. Well, I simply got on the bed and prepared myself for what I though was inevitable, being swallowed by quicksand. We changed horses and we were happy once again.
We were happy to have a new wagon then, and also the buggy which came next, and were as happy about them, as we now are of a new car.
I as a child was more afraid of a centipede than of the Indians, because they said a centipede could go anywhere that you could put a knife. In those dugouts with boxed up fronts there was many a place that a knife could be put through, which was the cause of my fright. Also our porches were made like a brush arbor.
I taught a country school, ELM. My salary was $40 a month. Some of my scholars were Florence Earles Key, Mrs. Jim Shepherd, Mrs. Cleve Shepherd, the Courtney boys, Forest and Joe, and many others. There were 40 in the room, and we had all eight grades.
I was married in 1907 to the late A.D. Valentine. My maiden name was Miss Nannie Crowl.
Upton Crowl (1858 - 1938)
Sarah Elizabeth Shively Crowl (1863 - 1930)
Dudley Valentine (1870 - 1950)*
Elzada E Valentine Faurschou (1910 - 1990)*
Marjorie Ruth Valentine Hire (1911 - 2008)*
Bertie L Valentine Poling (1913 - 1995)*
Albert Chester Valentine (1915 - 1922)*
Arthur Donald Valentine (1917 - 2001)*
Created by: Barb D
Record added: Sep 20, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 42187135
Added: Sep. 14, 2011
Added: Sep. 21, 2009