Chronicles of Oklahoma

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Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 7, No. 3
September, 1929

Page 207


Mr. Charles Lincoln McGuire of Oklahoma City, donated to the Historical Society a directory of Oklahoma published in 1890. This directory contains a complete list of homesteaders for Oklahoma Territory, the year 1890.

Mr. O. S. Rice recently donated to the Oklahoma Historical Society a complete census of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians; this is a transcript of the allotment record of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency, in Oklahoma, giving names, relationship, ages and descriptions of lands allotted to these tribes. The allotment was made the year 1891.


The Quivira Society, organized in 1929 by a group of investigators engaged in research pertaining to the early history of the southwestern part of the United States and of northern Mexico, proposes to publish a series of original Spanish documents relating to that vast and interesting field, although rare original English accounts will not be ignored. The books will be available only to subscribing members of the Society. The rates will necessarily vary with the cost of publication, but in every case will be very reasonable. The first volume to appear in September will be $3.50. Dr. Herbert E. Bolton and Dr. F. W. Hodge are the advisory members. Those interested in the Southwest are invited to apply at once. Applications should be sent to Dr. George P. Hammond, Managing Editor, The Quivira Society, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California.


Page 208

A collection of interesting material was added to the Historical Society in July by Mrs. Czarina C. Conlan. It consists of books and papers that belonged to the late T. F. Richardville, Chief of the Western Miami Indians.

Richardville served as interpreter and secretary of his people before he became Chief in 1888. Unpublished minutes of the Miami Council meetings as early as 1870 were kept on a large ledger.

Chief Richardville was a Baptist preacher, having been ordained to preach in Miami Village, Kansas, in 1865. The minutes of the proceedings of the Church of those early days he had kept among his important papers all these years.

Four patents to land issued to Miami Indians, signed by President James Buchanan in 1859, and much correspondence between him and the Indian Department in Washington that is of historic value.

For this material we are indebted to Mr. M. B. Pooler, and his son, Frank, son-in-law and grandson of the Chief, of Douthat, Oklahoma.


Norman, Oklahoma
June 18, 1929

Mr. J. Y. Bryce, Secretary,
State Historical Society
Capitol Building
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

My Dear Friend Bryce:

This letter may be considered an attempt to set the records straight in the matter of the location of the head waters of Red River.

Referring to the article in the June, 1929, number of Chronicles, page 180, "First Explorations of the Head Waters of Red River," by B. I. Phipps of Durant, Oklahoma, describing the trip of Dixon Durant in 1850 or 1851, I quote from the first paragraph on page 181:

"I reached the headwaters of the south branch of the main stream sometime about the last of July, finding it in the foothills of the big mountains (Rockies)."

Page 209

I would comment as follows: The south fork of Red River, which on government maps is named Prairie Dog Town Fork, is formed by Paloduro Creek and Tierra Blanca Creek which streams unite about three miles northeast of Canyon City, Texas, and about fifteen miles south of Amarillo. Soon after uniting, the stream begins to cut a deep canyon known as Paloduro Canyon, which is the deepest gash cut by nature anywhere on the High Plains. This canyon is something like fifty miles long and five to six hundred feet deep. The stream finally flows out onto the lower red beds plains in southern Armstrong County some twenty-five to thirty miles southwest of Clarendon, Texas.

Of the two streams which unite to form Prairie Dog Town Fork, or South Fork of Red River, the shorter one, Paloduro Creek, rises in Deaf Smith County, Texas, some ten to fifteen miles east of the New Mexico line. Throughout its course it is little more than a shallow prairie draw or arroya and in its upper course it usually carries no water.

The longer tributary is Tierra Blanca, the word meaning white earth, so called from the white cliffs and bluffs along the stream. In the vicinity of Hereford, Texas, this stream carries water supplied by springs and has cut a valley in the high plains perhaps fifty feet deep and averaging a mile wide. Farther west, however, it becomes a shallow draw or arroya and is dry at ordinary stages. The government map shows that the extreme head waters of this creek occur in southern Quay County, New Mexico, about twenty-five miles southeast of Tucumcari, this being on the highest part of the High Plains.

Some fifty miles west of the source of Tierra Blanca Creek lies the Pecos River, flowing south in a rather broad valley, and it is about a hundred miles still farther west to the nearest mountains, these being the Manzano Mountains near Albuquerque, New Mexico. Between the head of Tierra Blanca Creek and the mountains the country is usually level, although low ridges of sandstone occasionally occurs.

The point I am trying to make is that Red River does not rise "in the foot hills of the big mountains" as stated by

Page 210

Mr. Durant, but on the flat plains of eastern New Mexico a hundred and fifty miles distant from the mountains.

The four streams of the Great Plains which rise in the Rocky Mountains are the Pecos, South Canadian, Arkansas, and Platte. The larger streams which rise on the plains are: Colorado, Brazos, Red, Washita, North Canadian, Cimarron, Smoky Hill, Republican, and Niobrara.

In my judgment you are doing the right thing in publishing these valuable historical references and I do not wish to do anything to "muddy the waters." At the same time, it might not be out of place to have this memoir in the archives of the Society.

I am sending a copy of this letter to Mr. Phipps.

Very truly yours,

Chas. N. Gould,

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