Woodson Wadley, Son of Adah Gertrude Jones Wadley and Daniel Wadley.
My father got tired of farming because he
had to hire help. He moved to Perry, Oklahoma and opened a bicycle and
repair shop. In between times he worked at Oklahoma City since they stole
the capital from Guthrie, which was the first capital. A new railroad was
put in from Denver to the Gulf of Mexico, called the Denver, Enid, and
A new town was laid out called Marshall,
Oklahoma on this road between Enid and Guthrie. Dad decided he wanted to
put in a bicycle and repair shop there and we moved to Marshall where he
built a business and was there when the train came in. The people who
built their homes and businesses were disappointed. The railroad wanted
the people to pay them a big price to build the depot there. They were not
able to pay so the railroad built the town one mile south and the people
had to move to it. Some moved their buildings, others built new buildings.
All businesses moved but some people lived in their homes and drove a mile
to work. There was old Marshall and new Marshall. There was an opening of
new homes by a lottery. You paid a ticket and if you drew a number you had
a new home.
THE PANHANDLE OPENING
Dad wanted to come west, so he sold his
farm homestead which was ten miles east of Marshall, and his bicycle shop
and came to Tyrone, Oklahoma for the opening. He could not file again, so
he bought a relinquishment. He loved this western country but after three
years of crop failures he went back to the Osage.
I met my husband in the meantime and we
were married, September 6, 1905. this began our own pioneer days of happy
times and hard times. We started off wrong. Dan went to Liberal, Kansas
and got his license. He should have gone to Beaver City, Oklahoma for a
license to be married in Tyrone, Oklahoma. We were going to be married at
his father's home and everyone was gathered there for the wedding. The
preacher, Brother Ihde, of the First Baptist Church, looked at the license
and said, "You can't be married here, you will have to go to Kansas
to be married.
The Kansas line was three miles north of
Tyrone. The preacher and his wife got into their buggy. The best man,
Glenn Liston [now of Amarillo], Dan's sister, Ellen, was in Glenn's buggie,
they were dating then. Dan and I was in our buggy. We drove out north over
the Kansas line, near Wide-Awake School and was married out there on the
beautiful grassy prairie. We came back to the house for the wedding supper
and there was a party. The older folks visited and the young folks went
next door to a large half dugout where we were going to live.
We were having lots of fun when some of the
rowdy boys of that day decided they would "chivaree" us. They
climbed up on the roof with their boots and spurs on and would slide off,
climb up, and slide off again, while everyone inside was playing games.
We were lucky the preacher knew about the
license. Some more folks were not so lucky. A real estate man and his
wife, Mr. Haden Sayler and the depot agent Mr. Wicks and his wife lived
together, one for three months, the other six months, before they knew
they weren't married. They had to drive over the Kansas line since they
had their license at Liberal, Kansas and were married in Oklahoma and
When we were married, Dan was working for
Mr. Huber, in his general store and U.S. Post office. He worked in the
store and Post Office wherever he was needed. He had filed on a homestead
seven and one half miles south of Tyrone on the south side of the
correction line. Before he was married he could go out and stay all night
on it once every six months until he proved it up. But when he married, he
had to move on it. We didn't have but only his wages to live on. Before we
had to move onto the farm, they got the first mail route out of Tyrone
which went south by our farm, then east, and north back into Tyrone. We
were the first to carry that mail, and most of the time Mrs. Healy was the
Post Mistress. Dan signed a paper for his brother-in-law, Bill Martin, to
be his substitute.
Bill was sick a lot and we found ourselves
as the carrier. There were thirty-five miles a day and we had to be on
time. Those days when it rained, I think it rained frogs. You had to drive
over the little toads and you could hear them popping as the wheels rolled
WE MOVED TO THE FARM
Now, came the time we had to move to the
farm. We did not have money to build a home, and he had a small half
dugout he had built to batch (term meaning bachelor). There was one window
and one door. The door was a slanting door like a cellar. The floor was
dirt. I crocheted rag rugs for it. We papered the ceiling and walls with
newspaper we bought at the Post Office which you could buy for a nickel a
tow sack full. I papered the walls right on over the dirt wall in heavy
layers. I hung the paper from the wall board down. After so long the
papers would turn yellow, and the mice would eat holes in them. I would
get a new sack of paper and paper right over it, again. I don't know which
was the biggest pest, mice or fleas.
I had never had fleas. I had seen them only
on dogs. These were smaller; yet not like the stick tight that gets on
chickens. They would get in the seams of your clothes. You couldn't rest,
day or night. We would undress on the chairs at night and step from the
chair to the bed.
The next morning, the floors would be black
with fleas. Everyone had them. We would go to entertainment and when any
one left the room we knew he was going out to shake the fleas off. Some
people put liver on paper by their beds, to catch the fleas. We didn't
have the liver.
We didn't have money to buy horses to farm.
We went out on the range and caught wild horses which had never been broke
to use and we broke them. By broke I mean we trained them to get used to
the harness and pulling.
Dan worked in town part of the time and we
drove back and forth to work. We got us a wild buggy horse and it was
doing just fine, even if it had never been driven before. One day we were
coming back from town when she took a notion she didn't want to pull any
more. She started running. I had my foot on the little step on the side,
fixing to jump. She stopped all at once and threw me out, caught me
between the wheel and the bed. She started kicking, got her leg caught
over the shaves and couldn't get it off. I was trying to get out of the
way. I said, "Oh Dan! she is going to break her leg. She is going to
break her leg!
He went around to her head, trying to hold
her. This was the only time I can remember him ever speaking angry with
me. He said, "Get out of there before she gets loose and starts
running again. I can't hold her."
For the first time I noticed where I was. I
got out and went around to the front with him. She took out after me and
he could hardly hold her. She would lift him up off the ground. My uncle
lived about a quarter of a mile from where this was taking place. Dan told
me to go get him. He said he would try to hold her until he got there. I
did, and the two almost never got her home with the buggy. They took her
back to the range the next day. They told him she was the wildest thing on
the range, and there we had been driving her for about three months,
sometimes when there was snow all over the ground. This was when
"ignorance was truly a bliss."
We had to put up fence for the pasture. Dan
and I always worked together. I was small, so he could not see me a mile
away. He decided he would go to the fence corner since he was tall and I
could see him. In order to stretch the barbed wire we put the spool on the
back of the wagon. He fixed it so as I drove it would unwind. He got to
the corner and waved for me to drive straight to him. Well, when I started
the horses up it began to unwind and it scared them. They started to run.
I tried to stop them but I couldn't. I knew enough to keep them going
straight ahead. Well, it didn't take me long to string that wire. We had
several runaways with our teams, and our team of mules too. We had built a
small calf shed near the road. We were driving along the road when the
horses were spooked by the shed.
They ran about one half mile before we
could stop them, right on out across the prairie. It was pretty rough
riding but we made it. These were the hard times, the sad times, and the
HARD TIMES 1904
A barber and another man had farms that
joined just west of town. The barbers name was Benedict. He and his wife
were Italians. The other man was a Jew and a bachelor. The barber was an
ill-natured man. The two men had trouble over a fence line. They met out
at the fence one day and the Jew shot and killed the barber. He came clear
at his trial and lived there a long time, but he said he would be killed
first, even if he was right and it was in self defence before he would
ever kill another man.
There was another shooting out of town
between a Mr. Dryant and a Mr. Adams. I can't remember if one of them was
killed or not, but one had an eye put out. They met at a cross fence on
the highway and went to shooting at each other.
There was a man who lived about half a mile
from our farm on the correction line who killed a young man. I can't
remember the boys name. He left our store and was killed on his way home
by a Mr. Jones. I can't remember why.
One day Mr. Davis's sister Ellen and I went
to the south side of town to a store to shop. AS we came back home, down
main street on the north side, we ran into a fight. It was right out in
the street in front of the store.