Written By Clara Louisa Stone McDaniel
About her early years living in Stroud, Oklahoma
1889 - 1913
Edited by Donald Ray McDaniel
Published by Doyle Edward Barfield
Excerpted by Judy Stevens
(Spelling corrected, but grammar left unchanged
so as to not affect the tone and style)
The Land Run / Stone Homestead:
I remember my dad (Russell Elijah Stone) talk about the Cherokee Strip when he made the Run. He homesteaded one mile west and two and one-half miles south of where Stroud is now. (But old Stroud was a mile west of the current town site.) Dad made his "Sooner Run" in 1889. Dad, Riley Hines, Bill Cannon and Al Burris all made the Run and homesteaded close together. Burris was on the south side and Bill Cannon and Hines were east of Dad. It was the Indian Territory then and when Dad got his land grant it was 1901. He had 160 acres. He made the Run, then later built a one room log cabin.
I can remember a few little things of our first house. I was born there. It was a one- room log house with a fireplace in one end. We had our picture made there, Dad, Mama, the twin boys Lawrence and Clarence, and I was standing in the high chair. Mama's brother, Uncle George Cox, was standing by his horse (above).
My sister Verna was born in the little one room house. I don't remember how long we lived there, probably three years. The neighbors helped Dad build a bigger house about a quarter of a mile south of this one. We had a real big fireplace and a big one room downstairs and one room up. It had a window in the east, and a door with a glass and a window in the south, and a door in the north with no window in it. He moved the little log house close by, so he could have renters. Later, he used it for a smoke house. We had a bed downstairs and a trundle bed. It went under the big bed at daytime and us girls slept in it of a night. I remember Mama made big ticks. She put straw in them. We didn't have mattresses. We had feather beds. Every three weeks, she took the straw out and washed the ticks and put fresh clean straw in them.
Dad always kept a hired hand; Raymond Haring worked for Dad. Dad had a rock quarry on the place. He'd get the big squares of rock, haul them to town for building. Dad bought a sorghum mill, he made molasses. He showed us how to heat the plummies after they went through the mill and all the juice was out, heat them real hot and hit them over a rock. What a noise they make, like a big gun!
Mama had an antique dresser with an oval mirror. She would take soap and draw pretty white flowers all around the mirror, and her cupboard had glass doors and she would draw little designs on them. It was real neat.
Dad had about ten head of cattle, horses, and lots of pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks. In the fall, he would kill his hogs, cure them, and smoke his own meat. Kill a beef, dry it. But he take a lot of it to town and give it away. We always had lots of sausage. Mama put it down in big jars. We had cheese, in the winter it was real good. We would gather the wild grapes. Mama put a layer of grapes and a layer of sugar. That was real good stuff. Dad would make our sauerkraut and cucumber pickles. Mama would can, seal with sealing wax. And we dried lots of apples and peaches.
Chores / Food:
Us girls would get up in the morning, start the breakfast, and later Mama came in and fixed the biscuits or hot cakes. We grind the coffee, set the table, get cream and milk for coffee and oatmeal, cook the meat and eggs, make the gravy. By that time, Dad and the boys would have the stock all fed and the cows milked. They'd wash, clean up, and we all set around the table. Dad would give Thanks before we would eat. Then it was time to chop cotton or get the weeds out of the corn. We be out working after breakfast. We went into the fields and worked.
We take broken dishes and hammer then up real fine for the chickens to eat.
When Dad would kill the hogs, he make sausage and head cheese. Mama would render out lard; it was pretty and white. Us kids would eat the cracklins; they were real good. Dad cure his meat and smoke it. Us kids would help keep the fire going. He get hickory trees, cut them up to smoke it with. We always had our larder full of meat.
On Monday morning us girls get up and heat water, do out the washing, and then get ready for school. Mama always hung out the clothes and after school there were always two or three set of irons - one on the stove, hot - and we start in to iron the clothes and get them all put away for the week.
In the wintertime, the boys cut wood. Dad take it to town and sell it to help Dad's brother, Uncle Marshall out. Dad help him and his family a lot. One year, he sharecrop with Dad. Us kids chop their cotton and pick it besides doing our own. We really didn't like that.
Mama would have us girls take the tableware out and clean up the knives, forks and spoons. We take ashes to clean them with. Mama had a big iron pot, she put ashes in it, put water in the pot, let it stand; she made her lye. She put a cup full in the boiler and we wash clothes. Put the white ones in the boiler, boil them to sterilize them, I guess.
Games / Entertainment:
As we sat around the fireplace of a night, he made us jumping jacks and home made toys. We play, he tell stories. He always have something for us to eat — dried beef, popcorn, make popcorn balls, roast a chicken or a rabbit over the fire, or bake potatoes. Us kids would go out to the kraut barrel, get us a handful and eat it, or get us a sour pickle. Sometimes in the wintertime, we crack a big pan full of nuts, get horseshoe nails to pick out the goodie with. When it got too cold to pick cotton, we pulled cotton bolls and set around the fireplace picking out the cotton and burning the hulls. He always got more money for the cotton that way. I remember when we were little, Dad put our cotton in the house, up stairs, as the Ku Klux Klan were going around burning all the cotton.
We had neighbors lived across the road from us, Mr. and Mrs. Swan. They had five girls and two boys. We were together a lot in the summer. Mama and Dad would play with us — Annie Over the House, Black Man Bluff, Shinny (just like when they play hockey now), Go Sheep Go, Mulberry Bush, Rotten Egg, Pussy Wants a Corner, Comes a Black Bird through the Window, Granny Grunt, of course Baseball, Crack the Whip, and Jump the Rope and they flip our dresses up when we jump the rope.
I do remember my Mama. She would play with us girls, dance Indian dances around the table. She say, "You girls run out to the toilet for me." We would wonder how we could! She had long black hair and dark eyes. She was part Cherokee Indian. She combed her hair up on her head in one big roll and one hairpin in it that looked like brass or copper, and a pretty back comb for her hair. She was the best dressed lady in that neighborhood. Belle Cannon would borrow a dress to go to town and Clara Hines would. Carrie Cannon said she was real neat in her clothes and always had real nice dresses. She had a beautiful black velvet cape lined with black satin, black beads sewed on it in a big flower design and it was real heavy. She wore it all the time in the winter. Her clothes had to be just so, and her shoes were real nice; had three or four pair. Nothing shabby about our Mama. Her underskirts were starched and ironed just so.
We kids had a big grapevine. We get on it and swing away out over a ditch and drop off. It was fun. But it wasn't fun when them brothers threw cotton balls at us girls. We always try to fight back, but they get the best of us. I remember one time they put cockell burrs in my hair. Boy, was it a mess to get out. I don't think they did that again after Dad got through with them.
We go out in the woods, climb up a sapling as high as we could, and then we ride them down. And, boy, we ride them up and down! Sometimes we go pretty high on them.
We would fix us soda pop. Bet no one ever thought of that! Us kids would get vinegar and put a little in a glass, put water in it, put a pinch of soda. It foam up and we drink it for soda pop.
Dad would take his knife and play mumblety-peg with the boys. Guess no one would know much about that game. He made whistles for us also.
Dad bought a croquet set, the only one in the neighborhood. Everyone would come and play of an evening when we had long evenings in the summer.
Clothes and Grooming:
When I sat on a chair for Mama to comb my hair, it would touch the floor. She would brush and comb it. I didn't think she would ever get through. At a certain time of the moon, she burn the ends off our hair. That keeps it from splintering at the ends, and it grew longer. She was very particular about our hair. Mama said when she was a young girl, she seen a lot of stars fall, and one time, the eclipse of the sun. It got real dark. She showed us how to smoke clear glass then look through it at the sun.
We never thought of brushing our teeth. We didn't know what tooth brushes were. We chewed up sticks and pretend we were dipping snuff.
I and Verna both had long hair; Mama was always combing it. Finally, when we got nine and ten, we were out in the fields picking cotton; that was really hard on your hair. And Mama said if Dad was going to make boys out of us .... so she cut our hair. It was very hard to keep nice.
Once Mama got us girls a hat. I had a red one and Verna's was white, with big feathers on them. I know we looked a fright in them.
I went to my first school in a one-room log school house at Oak Grove School.
Sometimes the teacher couldn't get there. Miss Bessie Lippert taught, and she lives two miles from the school house. She was a wonderful teacher. Then Miss Edna Keeler was another real good teacher. She got a big long string, and as each kid bring a button to school, she write our name. We all seen who could get the prettiest button to give her. She had at one time 120 kids in school to teach, from the chart class to the eighth grade. Now that was some job for one teacher.
The big boys keep the fire going in the big heater. Some days we all sit as close as we could to the stove. You know it had to be a big stove to warm up a big room like the school house. Them two teachers were wonderful teachers. They had a prayer every morning before they start school. But Miss Creek-Hogan, she didn't teach long. She gave my brother Lawrence a whipping, then another boy, Bert Renfro. Well, the next day, she didn't have a school. Then there was a Mr. Ed Castleberry. He wasn't too bad, I guess.
We would have spelling matches at school and "literaries" - - people got up and recite poems and put on a little play, then some readings, like "This one girl was going with a fellow and as they were walking home, an old owl said, ‘Who? Who?' She said, ‘I don't know, but I know who I like it to be!" Things like that.
Our teacher we all liked was Miss Bessie Lippert. Everyone gave some money and they bought her a vanity set, comb, brush and a mirror in a real nice box. And the last day, we school children march in and Reba Renner said a speech and gave her the gift. She always read out of the Bible and had prayer before she started the school.
We have spelling matches and ball games with other schools - - Golden Valley School. Our teacher taught us these yells:
Hobble, Gobble, Razzle, Dazzle
Zip, Boom, Bah
Oak Grove, Oak Grove,
Rah! Rah! Rah!
Of course our school was the best!
Whackle Lackle Loo
Whackle Lackle Loo
North Slope, North Slope
Who are you?
I remember when the Indian Territory became a State. We were out in our field picking cotton. We could hear the whistle.
Then I remember Halley's comet. We see it for three nights in a row. A neighbor said they were going to live in their cellar as the trail would sweep the earth and burn everything up. Mama said the cellar wouldn't do much good. If it got that hot, there not be too much left.
I remember our first moving picture. They came to Oak Grove School. We went. Don't know what they use for lights as we had no electric them days, maybe a battery. It was a Charlie Chaplin show. No talking, just words on the screen. It was funny. Mama said maybe we could learn something by that show.
We had a Fourth of July picnic across the road from our place. They had stands, lemonade, ice cream, swings, all kinds of stuff. We thought that was great. We had dinner on the ground at the school house, stay all day. They have singing in the afternoon, preaching in the morning, and Sunday school. Us kids got a lot of playing in.
One time, Dad let the boys hitch the horses to the buggy and we went to Davenport to a carnival, stayed all day, and in the afternoon we started back home. And when we got home there was a surprise for us girls - - a new Crown organ. We started to take music lessons. We were proud of it. Mama keep it covered up with a sheet. On Sunday, we would dust it and uncover it.
If anything was going on in town, Dad would always take us. We saw lots of big shows and circuses - - Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey, they were big. I remember the first merry-go-round. It had swings, and a mule pulled it around.
At Eastertime, Clarence, Lawrence and their friend Everett Childs, get their eggs and go on the creek. Be gone all day. They make a fire, boil their eggs, eat on the creek. They stay in the woods. Mama would wrap our eggs in colored material, boil them, so we have colored eggs for Easter. Us kids would hide our eggs and Dad would get them and hide them someplace else. We thought he didn't see us. He knew all kinds of things as he lived with the Indians up at Skiatook. (All the Indians around Stroud wore their blankets and I remember they were scary to us girls.)
I seen a Madstone, also, and seen it working. You put it on the bite, and it stick there and when it fell off you put it in some sweet milk. It turn the milk green, when the poison get out. You put it back on the patient. I seen that.
Family / Neighbors / Community:
Our Mama and Dad never had a cross word to one another. They were a perfect couple. We kids knew we had to mind them. If we wanted to go some place we would ask. If they said no, we never ask again. Mama and Dad were good Christian people and us kids had a good Christian life. Mama would always read a few verses out of the Bible and have prayer every night before we went to bed.
Our Grandma Cox would come down with her little trunk. Boy, what sweet smelling it was, with all her fancy soap and perfume. The till in the trunk had little compartments in it, they have little lids. Hankies, lace collars, gloves, all kids of jewelry, perfume and sweet smelling soap, and her silks and satins, all had their place in the trunk. Boy, we thought she was a rich lady. She had her little black satin Dunker bonnet, trimmed in white lace, and a big bow tie, for Church. [NOTE: Grandma Cox was a "Friend."] Of course, she had her everyday clothes. She was a very prissy gal. My Mama was so glad she had all these nice things. It was so long she didn't. After Grandad Cox died, she married again, then she got all these nice things.
I'd say there were about 50 families lived in and around Oak Grove. Well, let's see if I can think of any more families I knew there.
Up the road about three blocks, Clara Hines lived, her daughters, Lucille and Lelah. She married George Fisher. And later all them Renner kids, Aunt Matt and Uncle Bill, and Mother Renfro and Bob, and their kids. The Blacks, Whitts, Whites, Greens, Loys, Grays, Teeters, Gordons, Richardsons, Seiforts, Crisses, Staffords, Doolens, Deshons, King, Hydes, Dollards, Raymonds, Pickerall, Chapones, Nennis, Harringtons, Mashburns. There were five of the Renfro families lived there, two of the Teeters families, and the McKinleys, Walter Crouch, Grandad Lockhart and family, Wellmans, Terrys, Miltons, Freeds, Bowers, Redfords, Waltmans, Yates, Stipps, Massey. Well, Dad McDaniel's family lived there a year. The Craigs, Olivers, Childs, Uncle Marshall Stone. Oh, yes, people named Harding and Palmer.
When anyone would get sick, people would go and sit up with them and give them their medicine. They go and work in their crops, plow and chop cotton. The women would cook and take dinner out and serve it. One time a lot of families went up to the Green place. The men and boys pick peaches. Us girls peel them. The women would can them up. All the people were good like that, to help one another out like that, do for each other if they need help.
Sunday afternoon we would go to people's houses and have singing -- whoever would have an organ. And we would have ice cream parties. I remember we went to Renners and they had a little party, played games. Dad and Mama were always in the midst. They had ice cream and cake. I ate with Claude Adams. Mama tease him some. She was always in with everything when it came to games. When Fronnie Swan got married, Mama fix a cake. We took stuff over there and all ate dinner together. They, the newlyweds, were sitting together in the bedroom. Mama took two pie pans and hit them together, like she was shivareeing them.
We always had lots of company. Dad Lockhart, he was an old soldier. He was in an old soldier's home in Kansas, and once in a while he came down to see us, stay two or three weeks. Us kids were always glad he came as he was always telling funny jokes. We go to the Renfro's, stay one or two days, they come to our house. Mama and Aunt Matt make Baptist pallets on the floor for us to sleep. We all played so hard, we all fall in, boys and girls, and before we hit the floor we were asleep.
Reba Renner took sick. We had a new couch you could make it into a bed; it had a mattress on it. Reba was real bad and she wanted the new couch. Dad loaded it up and took it over to the Renners. Mama had a real pretty dish, and she wanted to eat out of it, so they took it also. It wasn't long before she passed away. She was just 16 years old.
Mama left us when she was 35 years old. I was 14, Verna was 12, Orlando about 9 or 10, Blanche was about 4 years old, and Rex was 11 months old. Clarence and Lawrence were 16 the March before. Mama died in November, so I had to take over the cooking, keep house, take care of the two youngest kids, wash clothes. Dad did help some. Then he sold the place and moved to Bristow. We stayed there a year. In the meantime, Dad had bought another home, but his sister, Aunt Hannah, wanted him to come to Tulsa so we be close to her. So Dad and Uncle Wes rented a place together. Verna and Orlando went to school there. I never did get to go to school after Mama died. Dad didn't like the way Uncle talk around us girls and the kids, so after a year, Dad rented a place close to Sand Springs; it was probably two miles north of Bruner's crossing and some west. We lived west of Tulsa, stayed there a year. I had my 16th birthday there. Then he finally came to the place he bought east of Drumright. We lived there, walk to Olive for our mail, go to Bristow to get groceries. We were still a happy bunch of kids, if I did have to be the mama, do all the house work. It never hurt me. We had plenty then. Dad had a share cropper; he did most of the work on the farm. Dad just had 140 acres on this place.
Of course, I know Dad miss Mama so much. Then that third of July, we buried our Dad. I would have been 18 that July 14, 1913. We laid him beside Mama out at the Oak Grove Cemetery, across the road from our old place.
Neither one got very far from where they started their family. They were wonderful parents to us kids. We should never forget to thank our Heavenly Father for them.