William Archer “Uncle Bunch” Fullingim

William Archer “Uncle Bunch” Fullingim

Clarksville, Red River County, Texas, USA
Death 6 Aug 1965 (aged 110)
Lawton, Comanche County, Oklahoma, USA
Burial Lawton, Comanche County, Oklahoma, USA
Memorial ID 60184950 · View Source
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William Archer Fullingim was born 7 July 1855 in Red River Co. in northeastern Texas, the fifth of five children born to William J. and Catharine Eliza (Reynolds) Fullingim, who had migrated to Texas from Alabama.

When he was eighteen (in1873), he migrated westward to Wise Co., Texas, where he hired out as a ranch hand for Matian Barnes at $15 per month. He later moved to the next adjacent county west, Jack Co., and went into the cattle business for himself.

At age twenty-three William was married to Nancy Ellen "Nanny" Watson (age 18) on 11 Aug 1879, as recorded in Texas County Marriages #1 (1845-1877), Denton County, p. 24. It seems that they forgot to pick up their marriage certificate, and officials sent it to them after reading about the couple in a newspaper article, following his 100th birthday in 1955!!

W.A. moved his family by wagon to Oklahoma in 1894, crossing the Red River near Ryan--en route to William's claim near Cloud Chief in Washita County. The trip took nine days. When they arrived, they had $50, along with two worn-out wagons and teams with chain harnesses. William's first claim was located six miles west of Cloud Chief. He built a dugout for himself and his young family, Will (14), Frank (10), and Madge (2, almost 3). In addition to farming he worked at a gin in Cloud Chief. Since there was no railroad at Cloud Chief, William freighted goods in the wagon between Cloud Chief and Duncan—cotton, dry goods, hay, wheat, oats, groceries, and people. According to Madge, "It was rough on him, being exposed to the weather. Freighting in the winter time was just terrible."

After about six years, at the turn of the century, William sold his Cloud Chief farm, loaded the family in the wagon, and moved about forty miles east to Chickasha in 1900. He had been a butcher in Decatur, and so he opened a meat market in Chickasha. He had the contract to furnish meat for the Frisco railroad that was being built from Chickasha to Lawton.

At the opening of the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache lands for settlement in 1901, young Will turned 21 and was lucky enough to draw a claim on the North Fork of the Red River six miles west of Snyder. In an interview Madge commented about this new claim, "It was a lovely place, just the heart of the river out there." According to Madge, "Daddy had sold the place up in Cloud Chief, and they were kind of unhappy because they didn't have any land so when my brother drew the new place, they were thrilled to death. Daddy up and sold his meat market and we all moved out there."

In 1901 W.A. went back to Washita County, and later he staked a claim at Ledger, near Altus, and in 1917 he acquired the spread near Mountain Park.

The "O Cross" brand of his ranch became widely known in the southwestern part of the state. Just how well known the ranch was is illustrated in an article by H. B. Carroll, "Steward A. Miller and the Snively Expedition of 1843," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Jan 1951:270-1, who wrote, "The [Snively] expedition probably camped for the night [10 May 1843] in the vicinity of the present headquarters of the well-known O-Cross Ranch, where the absence of timber and the 'abundance of rock' led the W.A. Fullingims, father and sons, to build out of native stone one of the most colorful ranch homes in western America. The 'healthy climate' which Miller noted is also borne out, for in 1947 the elder Fullingim was ninety-three, his wife was ninety, and their hale and hearty son [Will], aged seventy, was then 'beginning to take over a lot on the ranch.'"

A cowhand at the age of ten, W.A. had already almost lived in the saddle until he had to give up riding a few years before his death because of his age.

He was a butcher in his early days before lands in southwest Oklahoma were opened for settlement.

My father, Furman Fullingim, visited "Old Uncle Bunch" once while working on the Frisco Railroad (at Snyder, Okla.), but they could never figure out how they were related or even IF they were related.

He didn't lose his natural teeth until he as more than a century old.

DEATH: Died in a Lawton hospital--his first time as a patient.

No living descendants (as of 1990)

There is a geographical feature named "Fullingim Flat" located in the Wichita Mountains Natural Wildlife Refuge, which is in Comanche County, OK. The primary coordinates are: Latitude 34.7903 and Longitude -98.8048.

Family Members


  • Created by: J. Michael Fullingim
  • Added: 16 Oct 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 60184950
  • J. Michael Fullingim
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Archer “Uncle Bunch” Fullingim (7 Jul 1855–6 Aug 1965), Find a Grave Memorial no. 60184950, citing Highland Cemetery, Lawton, Comanche County, Oklahoma, USA ; Maintained by J. Michael Fullingim (contributor 47255008) .