Field Worker: John F. Daugherty
Date: August 31, 1937
My father was Matt Wolf, born September 17, 1851, in Texas. He was a farmer, stockman and banker.
My mother was Ellen Howell, born in Idabel, Indian Territory, July 28, 1851. She was one sixteenth Choctaw.
My father came to the Indian Territory in 1876 bringing a herd of cattle. He stayed with Doctor T.P. Howell's father, and it was here that he met and married Ellen Howell in 1877 at Pauls Valley. They were married according to the Chickasaw law.
I was born December 14, 1878, south of the present site of Wynnewood and have lived here continuously since. (Ed: This would be in the old Washita Community).
I went to school in a small log house. It was a subscription school and was in session about three months out of a year. There were about thirty pupils in attendance. Father paid the tuition for a number of families so that we might have a school.
Money was very hard to get in those days. We did not need much money, for we had a living at home and there was no place to spend what little money we had.
We got our mail from Old Cherokee Town.
While the Santa Fe Railroad was being built in 1885 and 1886 a crew was blasting the road bed through the Arbuckle Mountains. They were several months getting it through.
Father sent the railroad men much beef. One day Father put us in a wagon and we all drove down and ate dinner with the crew. We never forgot this.
Father had a ranch on Mudd Creek in the Chickasaw Nation west of Ardmore. He spent much of his time there. Sometimes he would be gone for five weeks at a time and we would not know where he was. There was no way to communicate with him so we just had to wait for his return.
While he was away one night some horse thieves made a raid on our home. Late in the evening a neighbor overheard the conversation of these men and came to tell mother that these horse thieves were planning to rob her that night. This neighbor told her to hide her money away from the house and she hid it in the ash hopper. Father had just sold a bunch of cattle and the thieves knew that he must have left the money with mother when he went away. They came and searched the house but took nothing, only some food. We were frightened nearly to death.
When mother moved here the Comanche Indians were camped in the Arbuckle Mountains. They would set houses afire and kill the occupants as they ran out. They stole many horses from my grandmother Howell and my Uncle John. Uncle John followed them to their reservation but didn't recover any of the stolen horses.
Father drove his cattle up the Chisholm Trail to Coffeyville, Kansas to sell them. This was before the Santa Fe Railroad was built.
Transcribed by Brenda Choate & Dennis Muncrief, July 2001