I Have Seen Things

by This Land


“I have seen dust rise until it would look like a rain cloud but would be nothing but the dust from wild horses running. I have looked in the sand hills and saw something white. It would look like hundreds of geese but would be the white spots on the throats of antelopes.”

“The Indians used to congregate down on the river bank close to Darlington. I have gone through their camps and seen them cooking puppies and dogs. One of the things that impressed me was the love of the Indians for their children. I recall that when the children were taken away on the train to Haskell Institute I have seen the parents run away after the train weeping.”

“Another thing people had to fight against in them times that people don’t know nothing about today was prairie fires. The grass was as high as a man’s head when he was in a wagon in the spring seat with the sideboards on. When a fire would break out the first thing people would do was to back fire. Two men would take a rope and oil the ends of it and set the grass afire. Or they would kill a yearling, tie its feat together, and drag it down the trail over the grass and others would follow with wet sacks and anything they could fight fire with. When I look back on them days of low prices and many hardships I think of them as good old days when everybody loved one another.”

Excerpts from a 1940 WPA project sponsored by the Oklahoma Historical Society and the University of Oklahoma to preserve the stories and memories of those early settlers of the Oklahoma homestead.