Indian Pioneer Papers
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Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date: Febuary 9, 1936
Name: George W. McGinnis
Residence Address: 536 North Katy Ave., Muskogee, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: August 26, 1874
Place of Birth: Franklin County, Arkansas
Father: Elija McGinnis
Place of Birth: Tennessee
Information on father:
Mother: Nancy Ellen Cooper
Place of birth: Arkansas
Field Worker: Carl L. Sherwood
Interview Number: 12943
Vol. 78, Page 461
An Interview with Mr. George W. McGinnis.
536 North Katy Ave., Muskogee, Oklahoma.
I was born August 26, 1874, near Webb City, Arkansas. My father was, Elija McGinnis, born in middle Tennessee. My mother was Nancy Ellen Cooper, born in Arkansas.
My parents came to the Indian Territory in 1892 and rented land from Robert Gentry in the Deep Fork bottom southwest of Checotah. My father took a contract making fence post for Robert Gentry, who had miles of fencing to build for cattle pasture; we received two cents per post. The timber was large, tall and plentiful, which enabled us to make hundreds of post each day.
My brothers and I had about two dozen steel traps of various sizes which we would bait and set along the banks of Deep Fork, some were placed in the edge of water and others on trees which had fallen into the creeks and rivers. In these traps we generally caught raccoons and mink. For opossums we would set our traps along rocky ledges at the top of hills and in the Canyons. In this way we would sell several hundred dollars worth of furs each winter, which would provide clothes and food for the family and was real sport for us boys. During the spring and summer we would get extra work from the cattlemen, repairing fences, setting new post when needed, stretching new wire, and enlarging pastures.
In 1902 we moved over in the Cherokee Nation, about four miles east of the present town of Porum. My father rented a farm from Pat Foley.
When Midland Valley Railroad started building their road from Ft. Smith, Arkansas to Wichita, Kansas, I worked on the construction gang laying track, and grading for the road bed.
A.T. Ingram built the first brick store building in Porum, and when finished moved his stock of goods from his store at Starville to the new brick building.
Tom Davis built the second brick building, which was a two story, he also organized the first bank.
In August 1907 I married Miss Fannie Crane, a Cherokee maiden, and daughter of Lacy Crane. We moved to Briartown and farmed until the drouth and panic reached Oklahoma. The dry years broke many of us on the farm, and since the drouth most farmers are not able to go back to farming. I am now working at any work I can obtain.
Submitted to OKGenWeb by Johnny Cantrell (firstname.lastname@example.org) May 15, 2003.
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