By Edward Everett Dale
The Cheyenne-Arapaho Indian reservation was set aside as a home for these tribes by an executive order issued in 1869. It had an area of about four million three hundred thousand acres and was therefore by far the largest reservation formed from the lands ceded by the Five Civilized Tribes in the treaties of 1866. It was bounded on the north by the Cherokee Outlet, on the west by the Panhandle of Texas, on the south by Greer County and the Kiowa-Comanche-Wichita reservations, and the east by the Wichita reservation and the Oklahoma Lands. It was a fertile and attractive region traversed by the two Canadians and the Washita River while the Cimarron formed its northeastern boundary for some distance and its southwestern boundary was the North Fork of Red River.
The Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes who were to occupy this
great reservation numbered, in 1869, some three thousand five hundred to four thousand and were among the wildest and most warlike Indians in North America. This was particularly true of the Cheyenne whose history has been written in blood throughout the entire area of the Great Plains from Texas almost to the Canadian border.
These tribes had met with commissioners of the United States at the great Council of Medicine Lodge in 1867 and had there been assigned a reservation including a part of the Cherokee Outlet. They did not like these lands, however, and never accepted them. By the following summer a portion of them were on the war path. As a result General Sheridan in command of the Department of the Missouri determined to wage a winter campaign against them.
The story of that campaign has been told many times by many writers and any detailed account of it would in itself constitute a lengthy paper. Perhaps it is enough to state that in pursuance of this plan a military post was established at the confluence of Wolf Creek and the North Canadian as a supply depot and appropriately named Fort Supply. From this post General George A. Custer led his Seventh Cavalry south to attack and destroy Black Kettle's camp on the Washita River. This was done on the morning of November 27, 1868, in what is known as the Battle of the Washita, one of the bloodiest Indian battles ever fought on Oklahoma soil.
During the winter of 1868-69 a relentless campaign was waged against the Indians of this region including the hostile Kiowas and Comanches, General Sheridan utilizing Fort Supply and Fort Cobb as bases from which to carry on his work. By the summer of 1869 the task of the army had been accomplished, Fort Sill had been established and this new Cheyenne-Arapaho reservation created, by executive order as previously stated. These tribes were located upon the reservation and an agency established at Darlington was near its southeastern corner.
Under the policy of the United States government to allow churches to nominate Indian agents the first agent appointed for the Cheyenne-Arapaho was a Quaker, Brinton Darlington, for whom the agency was named. He served until about 1872 when he was succeeded by another Quaker agent John D. Miles, cousin of Laban G. Miles, the well known agent for the Osage whose story has been told in such interesting fashion by the book of John Joseph Matthews, Wakontah.
Agent John D. Miles of the Cheyenne-Arapaho reservation was a remarkable man. For more than twelve years he ruled wisely and well these wild tribesmen in spite of difficulties and dangers that might well have brought despair to the stoutest heart. At first he was almost entirely without protection but the establishment of Fort Reno in 1874 placed a small force of cavalry near the
agency. Even so the garrison was so weak that it is doubtful if it could have successfully withstood the Cheyennes if a serious outbreak had occurred. The soldiers were quartered for a time at the agency itself and the first buildings at Fort Reno were not erected until 1875.
In addition to the Cheyennes in Oklahoma there was a large band in Montana and Dakota called the Northern Cheyennes from which this southern branch of the tribe had broken away, sometime about 1835. These Indians made common cause with the Sioux in the war of 1876-77 and a large body of them were present at the bloody Battle of the Big Horn in which General Custer and a large part of the Seventh Cavalry were killed.
A large band under the leadership of Dull Knife had eventually been captured by soldiers and brought to Oklahoma. They were very much discontented, however, and in 1878 fled from the Oklahoma reservation and started north to join their brethren in that region. Leaving behind them a broad trail of blood and ashes, they had reached northwestern Nebraska before they were at last rounded up and returned to the reservation.
This outbreak brought demands for the establishment of another military post on the reservation. The result was the founding in March 1879 of a post known as Cantonment some fifty or sixty miles northwest of Fort Reno. Some substantial buildings were erected but the United States Indian Bureau at last agreed to allow these northern Cheyennes to return to Montana in order to rejoin their kinsmen in the North and in 1882 Cantonment was abandoned and the garrison removed to Fort Supply.
Long before this time, however, ranchmen had seen the value of the rich pasture lands of the Cheyenne-Arapaho reservation and were eagerly seeking to occupy them with herds of cattle. The great drives of cattle from Texas to the north had begun in 1866 but the first trails opened were far to the east of the Cheyenne-Arapaho country. With the establishment of the Kansas "cow towns," however, trails farther west were made. One of these, the famous Chisholm Trail extended north along the eastern boundary of the reservation while the great Western Trail ran directly across it from south to north. It crossed the South Fork of Red River near Doan's Store and continued north across Greer County and the western part of the Kiowa-Comanche reservation crossing the southern line of the Cheyenne-Arapaho reservation a little south of the store and post office later known as Wood. From here it extended north, crossing the Washita near Butler and the South Canadian just west of Camargo, and continued north past Fort Supply to Dodge City.
The Cheyenne-Arapaho had from time immemorial been accustomed to subsist largely upon the buffalo. These animals had formerly occupied in large numbers the lands included in the reservation but had been driven farther west by the guns of the hunters.
In consequence, Agent Miles usually allowed a party of Indians to go to the Panhandle of Texas each spring and autumn to hunt buffalo in order to secure a supply of meat and robes. They were usually accompanied by a white man from the Agency since it had been found that such hunting trips were likely to turn into a raid on the white settlers of Texas.
Except with the permission of the agent, however, these Indians could not leave the reservation and in consequence they must be fed for the greater part of the year. Accordingly, the Indian Bureau made contracts with certain ranchmen to supply the Indians with beef. The herds of these "beef contractors" were the first cattle brought to the reservation for actual grazing. The contractor was allowed to bring a herd to the reservation and to pasture it near the agency in order to issue a certain number of animals to the Indians each week. The semi-annual buffalo hunts served to supplement this beef issue, but by the latter part of the seventies buffalo were growing scarce and by 1880 had entirely disappeared from the Southern Plains. Yet, the quantity of beef was not increased and the hungry Indians soon began to increase their depredations upon the herds of the beef contractors and trail drivers. As a matter of fact, such depredations had been common ever since the Texas trail drivers had begun to cross the reservation with their herds. Indians would camp beside the trail and demand a toll of several beeves from every passing herd on the ground that this was in payment for the grass consumed by the animals on the drive across the reservation. The wise trail boss would usually give them a beef or two, for if he refused they would return to stampede the cattle at night, thereby causing great vexation and delay. Yet, if he were too generous and gave the Indians all they asked the news quickly spread by way of the "moccasin telegraph" with the result that farther up the trail he would be visited by other bands all eagerly demanding generous gifts of beef animals.
The problem was complicated by the fact that the western trail was remote from the agency and in consequence the agent was not able to exercise much supervision over his wards on that part of the reservation. Also the trail drivers would frequently linger for days or in some cases weeks and even drive their herds several miles off the trail where the grass was better than along these well traveled routes, in order to give the cattle an opportunity to rest and gain in flesh. It was not long, moreover, until the cattle of ranchmen along the border of the reservation began to stray across the line or in some cases were driven across by their owners. From these early beginnings it was not long until ranchmen began to seek the privilege of pasturing herds permanently upon the reservation.
While contrary to law this was not too great an obstacle to certain ambitious and resourceful cattlemen. The ranching firm of Dickey Brothers consisting of William and Valentine Dickey even-
tually made a bargain with a band of Cheyennes remote from the agency by which these ranchmen were to give the Indians beef and money in exchange for the privilege of pasturing cattle on the northern part of the reservation. By 1882 they had some 22,000 head of cattle grazing on a range lying partly in the Cherokee Outlet and partly on the lands of the Cheyenne-Arapaho. Other ranchmen did the same while still others in Texas along the border had large numbers of animals on the reservation at least at certain seasons of the year. Among those pasturing cattle on these lands in 1882 was the Standard Cattle Company whose president was G. R. Blanchard also President of the Erie Railroad. No doubt there were many others most of them having made private bargains with the Indians by agreeing to supply the latter with beef and to give them present of goods or money.
In 1882 Agent Miles found himself confronted by a serious situation. The supply of beef for the tribes of his agency was reduced by an order from Washington and the Indians began to grow hungry and to threaten trouble. Miles, with only 80,000 pounds of beef each week to supply a people who required more than 125,000 pounds, wired the Department of the Interior requesting permission to allow cattle to be pastured upon the reservation on condition that the owners of the animals supply enough beef to make up this deficiency. This request the Department of the Interior promptly refused.
Agent Miles in desperation determined to proceed as he thought best without further consultation with his superiors. In December, 1882, he called a council of the chiefs and leading men of the Cheyenne-Arapaho tribes at which the Indians formally requested to be allowed to lease a part of their reservation to ranchmen. In January a second council was held at which the Indians authorized Agent Miles to make leases in conformity with the request of some weeks earlier. Miles complied and leases were signed with seven cattlemen. These were Edward Fenlon, R. D. Hunter, William E. Malaley, H. B. Denman, J. S. Morrison, L. M. Briggs, and Albert G. Evans. They were to have a total of a little over three million acres for a term of ten years at an annual rental of two cents an acre payable semi-annually in advance. The Indians demanded that the first payment be made in silver and Colonel R. D. Hunter brought over thirty thousand silver dollars on pack horses from Caldwell, Kansas.
The Secretary of the Interior refused to give an affirmative approval to these leases but in a letter addressed to Edward Fenlon on April 4, 1883, stated that he saw no objection to allowing the Indians to make such lease agreements with ranchmen and that the Department of the Interior would not interfere so long as the rights of the Indians were properly safeguarded. He asserted, however, that he reserved the right to cancel such agreements and remove all cattle from the reservation at any time when it might seem to
him to be for the best interests of the Indians and the government for him to do so.
Under this precarious and uncertain tenure these seven cattlemen began to fence their ranges and stock them with cattle. Trouble ensued almost at once. Certain bands of Indians who had been deriving more from private arrangements made with ranchmen than they would receive as their part of the lease money complained bitterly that they had not signed the leases and did not favor them. Cattlemen who had such private agreements refused to remove their herds. These bands of Indians grew every day more insolent and troublesome. When the regular lessees erected wire fences these Indians often cut them, set fire to the grass within the enclosures and killed cattle grazing there. The boundary line separating the reservation from that of the Kiowa was in dispute and the latter Indians claimed that the lessees were fencing lands which rightfully belonged to them. In consequence they too destroyed fences, burned the grass, killed cattle and did all possible to add to the general turmoil. Dickey Brothers refused to remove their cattle when ordered to do so by Agent Miles and when the latter appealed to the Secretary of the Interior that official declared that these men had been grazing cattle on the reservation for years and therefore had rights which should be respected. He ordered the agent to allow them to remain at least for the present. Agent Miles asked for troops to restrain the Kiowas and prevent their interference with cattle of the lessees of the Cheyenne-Arapaho reservation but this request was refused by the Department of War on the ground that these leases had not been affirmed by the Secretary of the Interior. Apparently convinced that the situation was hopeless, agent Miles resigned on April first, 1884, and was succeeded by D. B. Dyer, former agent of the Quapaw Indians.
By this time the entire reservation was in an uproar and Agent Dyer had neither the ability nor the resourcefulness of his predecessor. In desperation he made request after request for troops to restore order all of which were ignored. He even went to Washington to urge that action be taken but without success. Allegations of bribery and corrupt practices in securing grazing leases in the Indian Territory had been made and a Congressional investigation was carried on during this winter of 1884-85. This effected little but served to delay matters and it was not until the summer of 1885 that the Department of War acting upon the request of the Secretary of the Interior ordered a strong military force to proceed to the Cheyenne-Arapaho reservation. On July 10, the President himself ordered General Philip Sheridan to go to Fort Reno and assume personal control of the situation.
In compliance with the order General Sheridan with all the troops available in this part of the West reported to the Cheyenne-Arapaho country, Agent Dyer was removed and an army officer
put in his place, the Indians were disarmed and brought under control, and President Cleveland ordered all cattle removed from the reservation within forty days. The order was carried out and fences destroyed. The ranchmen complained bitterly that they never recovered from the effects of the order since the removal of their 210,000 head of cattle to the already over stocked ranges of the adjoining states resulted in the death of a large part of the animals during the winter of 1885-1886. It is said that many years later Edward Fenlon died leaving as a last request that his son: "lick a Sheridan every time he saw one."
Though the cattle could be removed, however, they could not be kept off the reservation entirely. Some drifted back from across the boundary line, trail drivers continued to linger in the country with their herds, and some men brought in animals in the name of members of the tribe, and held them there for many months. During the years following their removal in 1885 there were always a considerable number of cattle grazing on Cheyenne and Arapaho lands.
In 1889 came the opening of the Oklahoma Lands to settlement. This established another "front" of white people on the reservation in addition to the one already in existence from the Texas Panhandle and Greer County. Cattle strayed across this eastern border line and the Oklahoma settlers frequently cut wood on the Cheyenne-Arapaho reservation and hauled it to their homes. The opening of the Oklahoma Lands also made it inevitable that other Indian lands in the region be opened to settlement in the near future.
On May 2, 1890, came the creation of Oklahoma Territory by the Organic Act. This included the Oklahoma Lands and the Panhandle and one provision of the act was that all other Indian lands west of the Five Civilized Tribes except the Cherokee Outlet should automatically become a part of Oklahoma Territory as soon as they were opened to white settlement. The pressure of the whites from without and their insistent demand for homes had grown too strong to be much longer resisted. In 1891 the surplus lands of the Sac and Fox, Iowa, and Shawnee-Potawatomi were opened to settlement, thus adding two more counties to the Territory of Oklahoma.
Demands for the opening of the Cheyenne-Arapaho lands were steadily growing and at last an agreement was made with these Indians by which every member of the tribe regardless of age or sex should take a tract of 160 acres and the remainder of the lands be sold to the United States to be opened to white settlement. An allotting office was opened and each Indian called upon to select his land. Some of the older ones were sullen and refused but in that case selections were made for them by the allotting agent. It has been said, however, that a few Indian women would wrap a small fat puppy in a red shawl, stuff him into one of the baby carriers in which these women carried babies on their backs, and take him
to the allotting agency and have 160 acres of land set aside for him!
On the final day of allotment it is related that a few minutes before midnight the agent in charge was awakened by a violent knocking at his door. On opening it he found there the proud father, and two or three other relatives of a new born baby boy who presented the infant with the request for an allotment. The agent promptly made out the necessary certificate and set aside a choice 160 acre tract for the little newcomer just as the clock was striking twelve. The babe grew up on the reservation and was always known by the cowboys as "Johnnie on the Spot."
With the allotments completed and lands set aside for the military reserve at Fort Reno, some other small tracts for missions and other purposes and sections 16 and 36 in each township reserved from settlement for the use of the public schools, the last obstacle to opening had been removed, and on April 19, 1892, at twelve o'clock noon the great Cheyenne-Arapaho country was opened to white settlement.
In order to avoid some of the disorder that had characterized earlier "runs" and so many "sooners," the President's proclamation was issued only a week before the date and hour set for the opening instead of thirty days as had been the case with the Oklahoma Lands. Even so, it is estimated that over twenty-five thousand people had gathered around the border of the country by the morning of the nineteenth. Here they waited impatiently, nearly all on horseback, until exactly twelve o'clock. A few blue-clad cavalry men had been posted at intervals along the line. These sat on their horses and as the hands of their watches pointed to noon each fired his pistol into the air to give the signal to go and with a great shout the eager watchers dashed across the line and joined in a mad race for homes.
In spite of the shortness of time between the presidential proclamation and the actual opening, many "sooners" had slipped across the line to occupy a considerable number of choice claims. Men who rode hard from the line to that part of the Washita Valley in the western part of the reservation reported most of the best land occupied by sooners and asserted that some of them had evidently been there for several days.
Although so many thousands joined in the great run of fifty years ago a very considerable part of the lands of the Cheyenne-Arapaho country were not occupied until some years later. Most of the eastern part of it and the fertile valleys in the western part were settled immediately but extensive areas of upland in the western portion of the region were not settled until almost the end of the century. It was my privilege to visit the so-called "Cheyenne country" early in the autumn of 1892, only some six months after the opening. My brothers had claims on Trail Elk and Spring Creeks near the store and post office called Combs. Most of the
valley land in that vicinity was occupied by homesteaders but driving north fifteen or twenty miles after a load of timber to frame a new sod house we saw not a single settler after the first four or five miles. There were numerous deer, however, many wild turkeys, and swarms of prairie chickens. In fact for three or four years this region was a paradise for hunters and fishermen. Great coveys of quail were everywhere in the thickets along the streams or in the scrub oak covered sand hills. Prairie chickens came into the fields to feed and mornings and late afternoons the shocks of corn and Kaffir corn were at times black with them with the result that they destroyed much grain. The streams were full of fish and with no game laws or restrictions the wild life was rapidly destroyed.
Naturally since so much excellent pasture land was as yet unoccupied the cattle business still lingered for years in the western part of the country. Small ranchmen from Texas came in, took homesteads along the streams, had their cowboys do the same, and leased the nearby school sections and Indian lands, thus controlling the water supply. Their cattle grazed mostly, however, on the unoccupied public lands and many of these men believed that they would have ample free range for a generation. Not a few of these small ranchmen and cowboys will still be remembered by the old time residents of that area. They include such men as John Quarles, and his partner A. S. Wood who was brother-in-law of the author; others were Louis Williams, the Lorrance Brothers, Tom Shahan, Meck Teal, John Thompson, Jack O'Neal, Tom Campbell, Page Nelson and many more. Farther west were Alf Taylor, Piper Bird, Sid Davidson, T. Witten, George Brandt, and a host of others whom every old timer will remember.
My own first visit to Cordell was in the middle of winter to attend a square dance at the little hotel built and operated by Tom Smith and his wife "Aunt 'Tildy." The latter was postmistress a little later and removed the post office over night in that hectic "town site war" which early settlers must still remember. Cloud Chief and not Cordell was the county seat of Washita County in these early days and the violent county seat controversy between the two towns will not soon be forgotten by the early inhabitants. My first visit to Cloud Chief must have been in the summer of 1898. More settlers were coming in, schools were springing up rapidly and my brother was to conduct a county normal institute at Cloud Chief for four weeks, which it was my privilege to attend.
It was a very small town at this time quite remote from any railroad. There were a few stores, two hotels, the Iron and the Central and two saloons known as the Elk Saloon and the Two Brothers. The court house which stood in the middle of the central square was a long, low wooden building consisting of a single room. Desks were placed along the walls each with a chair and a
sign designating it as the "office" of the county clerk, sheriff, school superintendent, and so on. Only the county treasurer's desk was separated from the rest of the room by a low railing and had an iron safe beside it. In the middle of the room were placed rows of chairs separated from the desks of the county officers by a wide aisle. Here district court was held, the judge sitting at a table just in front of the first row of chairs. Two young men teachers attending the county institute cooked their meals over a camp fire in the rear of the building and slept each night on pallet beds on the court house floor. They had a wide variety of choice since they could sleep in the office of the county clerk, superintendent, sheriff, or any other county officer, or in the district court room. All were enclosed by the same four walls. Travelers also often stopped their covered wagons back of the court house and slept inside on the floor particularly in cold or rainy weather. With no locks on the doors it was in the true sense a "public building."
A short distance from the court house stood the jail, a low wooden structure in which the county had recently installed two steel cells of which the citizens of the town were inordinately proud. Formerly the jail had consisted of only a single room with a big cottonwood log inside to serve as a seat for men confined there. Ordinary prisoners were merely put inside and the door locked. More desperate offenders were put inside, chained to the cottonwood log and the door locked.
The town's water supply came from a public well in the central square fitted with a pump and trough. The water was clear but so strongly impregnated with "gyp" that most of the supply for household use was hauled from springs two or three miles away or in the case of some families taken from a cistern. Most of the some forty teachers attending the summer institute boarded with families in town at a weekly rate of two dollars. In some cases, however, there were no beds available for men so they slept on blankets spread on the prairie grass. During the four weeks of the institute a debate was held between a teacher and a young student of law who has since become one of Oklahoma's greatest jurists. The subject was "Resolved: that law offers a greater opportunity to a young man than does all of the other professions." The young law student won the decision of the judges and so was embarked upon a long and successful career.
The small ranchmen who had hoped and planned for an indefinite period of free range soon realized the extent of their error. One crossing the western part of the country on horseback from north to south in 1899 saw almost no settlement for many miles. In fact there was virtually none from the Canadian to the valley of the Washita, which was the better part of a day's ride. Some five or six years later there was a family living on practically every hundred and sixty acre homestead. The railroads building
westward made such settlement comparatively easy. Men living in Iowa, Indiana, Missouri or Illinois would charter a car, load it with their tools, household goods, wagon and team and come to Oklahoma. At the nearest railway point to unsettled land they would unload the car, place their goods in the wagon and drive out and choose a homestead. In some cases another trip to the railroad to get the rest of their effects might be necessary but within a few days everything they had brought by rail was assembled on the new claim and the work of building a home and transforming a raw 160 acres of land into a real farm was definitely begun.
As more and more settlers poured in the ranchmen were forced back into the barren hills and eventually the pressure of the homesteaders forced them out altogether except for stock farming on deeded lands, or leased school sections and Indian allotments. All public land open to homestead entry was gone. Sod houses and dugouts sprang up, or down as the case might be, little school houses were built and churches established. The tiny towns grew to thriving villages and then to busy little cities, the first sod house or dugout was replaced by an attractive farm home and the years of early pioneering belonged to the past.
It is a far cry from the simple, primitive life of those bygone years to that which we now know in the region of the old Cheyenne-Arapaho country. The trail over which the covered wagons of the pioneer settlers rolled westward has widened to a broad highway. The former village is a modern little city, consolidated schools in the rural districts, city high schools, colleges and beautiful churches have grown up to add to the cultural resources of a prosperous people. The old days and ways are but a memory. Yet there are many who look back to them with a wistful tenderness not untinged with regret. It was a good life despite its hardships and the disappointments that came from time to time to every ambitious settler struggling for the upbuilding of a new country. But these served only to strengthen the fibre of a people and to make the generation who grew up under such conditions one of strong, resolute men and women who were prepared to give to the state and to the nation service in an ever increasing measure.
The old Cheyenne-Arapaho country has back of it a glorious tradition and a remarkable history. With its earliest period are associated great names. Those of such famous Indians as Black Kettle, Whirlwind, White Shield, and Little Robe. Such famous soldiers as Phillip Sheridan, George A. Custer, Wesley Merritt, and some men of lesser rank as Major Elliot and Captain Hamilton, grandson of Alexander Hamilton, both killed at the Battle of the Washita. Nor should we forget those able civilians Brinton Darlington, John D. Miles, and that great friend of the Indians, John Seger.
Not only are these great names of a past generation intimately associated with the history of the Cheyenne-Arapaho country but
there are numerous men and women still living who grew to manhood and womanhood in this region and who out of the stern struggle of those pioneer years developed strength and qualities of heart and mind that have made them leaders of the state and well known throughout the nation. Some of these include our chief executive, Governor Leon Phillips, George Meacham, of the State Highway Commission and his brother E. D. Meacham, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences of the University of Oklahoma—a great scholar who has done and is doing so much for the young men and women from every part of Oklahoma who seek higher education in that institution. They include Kenneth Kaufman, scholar, poet, and philosopher, literary editor of the Sunday Oklahoman and by far the ablest literary critic in Oklahoma. Also must be mentioned Walter S. Campbell, the greatest creative writer Oklahoma has yet produced, whose books are known throughout the English speaking world. Our junior United States Senator, Josh Lee, grew up at Rocky near the southern boundary of this area and has for years owned a ranch on the South Canadian River. Last, but not least, should be named Judge Thomas A. Edwards, your neighbor and friend, great jurist, lawyer, writer, and director of the Oklahoma Historical Society, whose influence for the upbuilding of Oklahoma has been enormous.
Most important of all, perhaps, the Cheyenne-Arapaho country has given to many thousands of people that most precious of all human material possessions—a home and the opportunity to grow and to assume their rightful position in the life of the community, the state and the country as a whole.
The pioneer days are gone but the spirit of the pioneers still lives on. It was that spirit which in half a century changed this region from a wilderness to its present condition of a land of homes and towns and schools and churches. It has been my own privilege to live through that era of early pioneering from its very beginning. More recently it has been my privilege for many, many years to teach your sons and daughters something of that past which has made the present great. It is plain that they as children of pioneers still hold that spirit in their hearts, and will not be unworthy of the heritage that is theirs. So long as they do we can be sure that America may face whatever the future shall hold in store with confidence that out of the darkness of the night must eventually come the dawn.
For the spirit of determination, of courage and of confidence which in fifty years has so tranformed the Cheyenne-Arapaho country is but a manifestation raised to the highest power of that spirit which has conquered and transformed a continent and which regardless of what we may have to face, to endure, or to overcome will carry us through to victory.1
1Address delivered at the annual meeting of the Oklahoma Historical Society at Cordell, April 20, 1942.