History of the Pioneer Town in Greer County, Oklahoma, It's surrounding communities and families (1898 - 1994) by: The Willow Community Historical Association (Max Post, Norma Hill and Murl Wootton) Willow, Oklahoma 73673, page 14 and 15.
Calvin A. (Bunk) Beeson came to Greer Co., in the late 1888, from Wise Co., Texas along with his father Josephus Beeson and his three brothers, John Fieldon, McDuffle, and William Beeson. They were game hunters and made a good living by shooting quail, wild turkeys and other game and shipping it to markets in Kansas City and Chicago. They were attracted to the Willow area, possibly because of the wild game in the area a few miles to the north along the North Fork of Red River.
The Beesons plowed a furrow around four sections of land, which would include the present site of Willow. They used three yokes of oxen and a Cassidy plow to break out 200 acres of sod in 1889. As they plowed, coyotes would follow the newly-made furrow, sometimes getting within a few feet of the plow. Even as Bunk Beeson and his coyotes walked behind the plow on the spring morning of April 22, 1889, a major event was taking place about a hundred miles to the north and east -- the great Oklahoma land rush. This would eventually affect the political status of the settlers in Greer Co., with the formation of the State of Oklahoma some 18 years later. News reports stated that more than 200,000 people lined up along the northern border of Oklahoma for the signal at noon to begin the largest land rush in American history. Some however, slipped over the border earlier and earned the label, "Sooners."
The Beesons continued to work their claim in the spring and summer, then hunted in the winter. They dressed the game and hauled it to Quanah, TX, the closest point to the railroad, for shipment to distant markets.
According to the Mangum Daily Star, Mr. Beeson recalled hunting with "Uncle Johnnie" Richerson and his son Jim. Richersons settled in Greer Co. in 1882 and lived near the river.
After living at the Willow site for a few years, Bunk Beeson moved to a claim 24 miles north of Mangum. He later lived in Arkansas for several years, then returned to Mangum in 1928.
The information on the Beesons is taken from the history published by the Old Greer County Museum and Hall of Fame, Inc., Mangum, OK. In examining the land records, it appears that the Beesons abandoned their land claim at Willow. Whether they lost interest in farming and liked the hunting better, or sold their claims to others, we do not know. This was during the period when the ownership of the land was in question because of the dispute between Texas and the U. S. Government. After 1896, the rights of the settlers were confirmed by legislation.
The Beesons did not stay around long enough to see the town of Willow sprout up and grow into a prosperous community. They did blaze the trail and prove that the rich land could be tamed. They wouldn't have believed what was about to happen to the quiet prairie.
Josephus Beeson who died 28 Feb 1901 and buried in the Doxey Cemetery near Sayre, Beckham County, Oklahoma was the father of the following children.
John Fieldon Beeson
Tennessee Jane (Beeson) Blanscet
Martha I. (Beeson) Terry
Sarah Josephine (Beeson) Woods
David McDuffle "Mack" Beeson
William "Bill" Harrison Smith Beeson
Calvin Andrew Taylor "Bunk" Beeson
If any one has information on the Beeson family please contact Patricia Dill at the following address:
Patricia (Blanscet) Dill
7011 Johnson Road, Huntington, Arkansas 72940
email address: patdill @ ipa.net