Gantz Family

A few months ago, while browsing through some library books about Oklahoma that we have on the shelves of the Cheyenne Library, I found a small book by Lomax Dawson entitled The Cheyenne Arapahoe Country. It had to be old because of the spelling of Arapaho. I started reading  and found it fascinating with details of living the early days in Day and Washita Counties. One of the families mentioned in this historical narrative was that of the Gantz Family. The following is an original summation of the story contained in this book.

{Editor’s historical background notes.    In March of 1892, a month before our land run, the Cheyenne and the Arapaho Indians had been promised $75 for their quarter section of land, they had been given their money, the Indian had selected his particular 160 acres.  230,000 acres had been designated as school lands, 32,000 acres for military use and Indian agencies and the balance left was 3 ½ million acres which was to be opened for settlement  on April 19, 1892. This would amount to almost 22,000 claims of 160 acres each. The Indian claimed his allotment with an eye for wood, water and shade.  It was estimated that 25,000 people made our land run with 5,000 running in from the west border from Texas.  As late as 1910, there were still a few parcels of land that were available for homesteads. So I gather that many of the people who made the run were younger than twenty one years of age or they would have been claiming land for themselves. Or perhaps the estimation of the number of people making the Cheyenne-Arapaho Land Run was only about 20,000 people.}

“By 1883, many people had traveled the 28 days it took for them to come from France to New York City and had met up with their families who had come before. Mathis Gantz was forty-six years old and his wife, Margaret was thirty-four  years old while their son, George Gantz was only four years old. Margaret wrote that she was taught the story of Ruth in the Bible as a wonderful love story and she abided by “whither thou goest, I will go.”

There were 2700 homeseekers on their three-decked ship. They read the Bible and prayed and had no fear. George Gantz thought it odd that his father kissed the ground after they landed in New York City in April of 1883.

By 1901, George was twenty-two years old and still at home in Willow Springs, Kansas where his father had a small thresher and ran a saw mill. George ventured into another community near Richmond, Kansas and had become acquainted with Dora Lutz, the oldest daughter in a family of twelve. George brought Dora to meet his family and he kept hearing that there was still land to be homesteaded in the Cheyenne and Arapaho part of  Oklahoma. His brother Fred had already left for these parts.

Three years prior to this, the Henry McQuigg family had come by wagons and buggy to the Snaky Bend area. Mary McQuigg, 21 and a close friend Mae Dunn, ( who was an orphan and taken in by the McQuiggs) had come with this family. Later Mae Dunn would marry Will Thomas. Mary McQuigg married Ansley Ellis, the last Sheriff of Day County. By the time George Gantz came, Mae and Mary had each filed on quarter sections themselves. Other neighbors were the Crawford family and the Churchill family; Bert Fay and his wife Lou  (one of the Churchill daughters). Fred Gantz later married another Churchill daughter, Sarah.

Fred and George came to Kingfisher to check about land that was still open for filing. They selected one parcel each and made it back to Kansas before moving to the new land. In November, the two young men headed south to look over the claims they had filed. Coming to Sayre on the train, they hired a horse and buggy for $3 a day and drove as far as Cheyenne the first day and began to inquire as to how to find their land. Hi Walck, the Day County Surveyor helped them with marking the four corners of their lands. George’s land was full of ditches, gullies and rocky spots and he was disappointed; but Fred Churchill suggested he keep it temporarily. The Gantz were invited to spend the night at the John

McQuigg Ranch and met Mary and Mae Dunn. George began to make improvements on his claim

by digging a shallow well and crude dugout.  After talking with Bert Fay Churchill, George learned that there was another 160 acres near Cox Spring which was a much better claim, so he rode to Grand and with a lawyer’s help, and  three years later, he had the second claim as his. Grand had a post office and six Star Routes: one going near the Durham post office of today. Fred Gantz noticed Sarah Churchill, a younger sister of Bert Fay and they were later married. During this winter, plans and preparations were made for the return to O.T. with George and Fred taking wives to their crude dugouts. Dora found that their dugout was warm and a good shelter though she loved spending time outdoors. Now and then she would be invited to join other wives in a day of quilting in someone’s home. When a house had not been ceiled overhead, the four corners of the quilting frames would be suspended by stout strings from the joists overhead. If ceiled, staples would be driven in to fasten the corner strings. At night, the unfinished quilt would be raised to allow walking underneath.

All of the settlers worked hard and put in long hours. They might go for a week or two without seeing any of their neighbors, then the call would go out that there was going to be a dance, a pounding, a candy pulling or something and they would all get together. Mae told that they danced the old timey waltz, the two step, the square dances, and the waltz quadrille. The day after the first Christmas in Day County, Vede McQuigg took Mary and Mae to a dance where Ote Richards, Sid Beran, Quin Walck, the Harness brothers, the Carpenter brothers, and Ansley Ellis were in attendance. This is where most of the “sparking” began

In this area, the Bellview School was begun and in 1902, the Clifford District had a 16 x 18 school house but in 1905, they  built a building twice that size. (These schools transferred to Durham and Crawford by 1941)

George and Dora had their first son Harry William, then Walter. A daughter Erma was born in 1914 followed by Ima (Mrs. Robert Bachman) in 1917.

During 1903, George and Fred Gantz cut six thousand posts from this land, mostly walnut and coffee bean, selling most of them for ten cents each. They had a sawmill,l which was eventually burned by a prairie fire. Mathis Gantz died in 1904 and soon Margaret moved from Kansas to live with George’s family. All the family enjoyed her telling them of their trip over the Atlantic on a ship. About 1914 the George Gantz family moved four miles and into a small house which they kept adding to it from time to time. Later a larger home was built with a good garden spot and several apple trees (some 50 years old in the 1960’s). In 1966, trumpet vines were growing in abundance around that home and a large coffee bean tree.

From time to time, some of the early settlers wished to move elsewhere for one reason or another. They always seem to come to George Gantz to sell their land—they felt he would deal with them fairly.

For about 15 years George and Fred were partners then they split their holdings…to always come together for a roundup. The settlers drove the cattle across the river to a railroad town. They would separate the cattle by brands to ship them on to Oklahoma City or Kansas City. Over the years farming methods changed, more machinery was necessary for farming. In hauling wheat to market and crossing the South Canadian River, quite often 8 or 10 drivers would help each other across, double teaming and doing whatever the situation at the time seemed to require. It was quite common to load two wagons with wheat, the second wagon being hitched close up behind the first by means of a device known as a buckeye. Six horses would then be hitched to the lead wagon, four abreast next to the wagon and two in the lead. They would scoop sixty bushels of grain on each wagon.

George once told the story about taking his hogs to market, it was customary practice to haul them at night so they didn’t become overheated. He had 40 hogs to take to market and had a good acorn crop that year. He knocked  the acorns from the trees with a stick and the hogs followed him from tree to tree picking them up as they fell.

Some of the sights and sounds in Roger Mills County had been the same as other parts of the Cheyenne Arapaho Country. Grand, the county seat of old Day County, to those who were there and remember it, was just what the name implied. A town whose Methodist Minister had batching and sleeping quarters in the court house. That minister would preach in Grand and then travel three miles to Pinkston to preach that evening. The next Sunday he would be at Packsaddle and Lone Bell and yet another Sunday he would be at Allmon school house and on to Lone Tree ( it was at the large cottonwood tree, the only tree near when the naming was done). Grand was where Dr. Newman began his practice and accepted any food that people brought as payment of their doctor bill.

When Oklahoma became a state November 16, 1907, many county boundaries were changed. Shattuck and Arnett contested for the county seat of Ellis County. The town of Grand was no long the seat of county government because Day County went out of existence.

For the George Gantz family, the years went by, working, visiting, rejoicing in good times with their neighbors, sorrowing in sad times as they made good neighbors around the Antelope Hills.

Dora died in 1958. George moved into the town of Durham and as 1966 closes, he is living across the street from his youngest daughter, Mrs. Robert Bachman. George Gantz and Howard Metcalfe went to the annual threshing bee at Waukomis, Oklahoma where wheat is threshed with a steam engine and separator, reenacting the former procedure.

As the pendulum swings back and forth and the sound made as the clock strikes for the hours and the half hours throughout the night, we are reminded of the many pioneers who came, who persevered, who gave so much of their lives so that we would have the land and our heritage here today in Roger Mills County.

{Cheyenne-Arapahoe Country Book published 1968}

By  Dale Tracy

The first white settlers to permanently occupy the Cheyenne and Arapaho Country after the opening by land run were hard pressed to provide shelter for themselves and their family, if they had one. Next to food, shelter was of primary importance for the new settler. The land runner was not the first to make use of the dugout in this country. The early day cowboys would have needed shelter as well and they were the first to build dugouts. These dugouts would have served as line camps for the large ranches, which ran cattle in this area from about 1879 to the summer of 1885, when the U.S. Government ended leasing of Indian grass to ranchers. Many men had come on horseback and had little more than a bedroll with which to begin. Some came with wagons and these served as shelter for the women folk and younger children while the men slept nearby or underneath the wagon if the weather dictated. As soon as possible the settler would try to provide more suitable accommodations. Unless he was well to do, and very few were, his first home would have been a dugout. Lumber for houses had to be hauled by team and wagon from El Reno, Quannah, Texas or Canadian, Texas. This was an expensive undertaking and made a frame house prohibitive for all but the wealthy.

On occasion, sod strips would be turned with a plow and cut into short lengths to be laid and stacked to make walls for a house. One such building was built near Durham and used for a store. However, a dugout could be built much easier and had some advantages over a sod house.

A man could build practically any size dugout he wanted. However, there were limits dictated by length of native trees available and the time and effort which he was willing to devote to construction.

One such dugout, or half-dugout actually, has been described as being ten feet wide by thirty feet long. It was built on a south slope with a door on the sunny side and a window in each end. These windows consisted of one sash, which would slide to one side to open.  In building a dugout, cottonwood was the local lumber of choice as of the native trees it is the largest and tallest. Sometimes the walls would be shored up with cottonwood logs. A long straight cottonwood would be used for the ridgepole. Sometimes these would have to be drug several miles by horses to the location of the dugout.

Smaller limbs were placed between the logs followed by red dirt packed into any open space left. This made the first barrier between foul weather and varmints.

Another dugout of which the author has viewed the ruins several times, was less than half this size and dug into the ground completely with steps going down into it. It would likely have been covered on top with logs which were overlaid with brush and then dirt and sod. The walls were of hewn red rocks.

It is my understanding that hewing red rock is not as difficult a task as it might seem. The red rock is quarried toward the end of a wet spell when it would be softer and easier to work. The mortar would be native clay or gypsum.

The dugout described above was known as the Koontz hideout where the Koontz family lived northwest of Cheyenne. A  story is told that after the Koontz gang robbed the Crawford Bank the outlaws were trailed to this dugout by a posse. The lawmen were unable to make any arrests at that time as the gang was hiding in a small cave in the rear of the dugout with the entry to the cave hidden by a moveable cupboard.

The early dugouts had earth floors, which surprisingly were not that hard to keep tidy. The floor would be sprinkled with water and swept with a broomweed broom. When dried, the floor would acquire a hard surface somewhat like today’s ceramic kitchen tile. The same procedure would be used to maintain the floor and after repeated sprinklings, the surface would continue to get thicker and harder. Sometimes gunny sacks would be used as carpet. A two sack carpet meant you had a large home.

The old timers acknowledge that the dugout was not much in an artistic sense but was quite comfortable during cold weather. Since the area occupied was not large, a small stove would provide plenty of heat. One can only imagine the boredom, which must have ensued when one was driven inside by one of the “blue northerners” which occasion Western Oklahoma from time to time during the winter months.

In the summer time most of the cooking would be done outside as heat from a cookstove in such a confined area would make living on the inside unbearable. Most likely the bed would be moved outside during hot weather as well. Since a dugout was simply a hole in the ground similar to that of a burrowing animal, it was also occasioned by other occupants. These would  include snakes, spiders, scorpions, centipedes, salamanders, flies and an occasional skunk if the door were left open at night.

From the first day the construction was completed the structure would begin to deteriorate and rot. The roof, being made of untreated poles and in contact with wet soil, was the first to fail. One such instance is reported in the Cheyenne Sunbeam in December of 1894, just two years after the land run.  “While asleep in bed one night, the ridgepole of a dugout gave way and two tons of dirt came down onto the entire family who occupied the same bed The woman of the house was quite large and since she was lying on her side was able to save her husband and children from certain death by bearing most of the weight of the cave in.”  In other instances, individuals actually would be killed in a cave in of a dugout. The cause of a cave in was usually the added weight of water from a rain.

One family claimed to have the best dugout in the country. It was sixteen feet by thirty-two feet in size with two rooms and an attic. It was ceiled and papered throughout and had real glass windows. Mrs. S.R. Richardson described the Richardson home as “being a queer looking thing. One room was built into a sand hill, adjoining that was a harness room, then a hen house, then a living room of logs and a kitchen made of pickets. I guess you would call it streamlined. It was just one room tacked onto another and all under a dirt roof. Snakes fell in and some crawled in.”

The women whose lot fell to occupy a dugout took pride in their home. They did everything possible to made it cozy and homey. Their dugouts meant peace and contentment, hope and prosperity and in their way of thinking even affluence.

It was not unusual for a family to have two dugouts if they had the need and were so included to build such.

Out of necessity, the homesteader was always forced to improvise. The story is told of a distant relative of the author who was living in a dugout in the Texas Panhandle with her husband and two children. During one particularly heavy rainstorm, water began to percolate through the roof and soak everything inside. The mother rose to the occasion and placed her three week old baby in a trunk, propping the lid open a bit for air circulation and observation. The baby slept through the ordeal and the only thing needing changed was her diaper.

The pioneer family would be the first to acknowledge that a dugout was not the ideal home even though they could withstand the  howling winds of a blizzard quite comfortably; perhaps better than in a frame house above ground. Still, every family dreamed of moving out of the dugout and into a nice frame home.As finances for the homesteader were always short, many of the early frame homes incorporated the existing dugout into the new home. The new home might be built so as to use the old dugout as a kitchen, a pantry, or root cellar as well a storm shelter.

Many times, before this point was ever reached, the homesteader would have sickened of pioneer life and its hardships of dealing with wood and water, low income, family problems, etc. After a year or two of dugout life, he would abandon the dugout and head for more civilized surroundings.

Today when riding across the prairies, it is not unusual to come upon a sunken area in the ground and by observation one can determine that the site was once a dugout home for some early homesteader. If time allows, this author will dismount and examine the remains of this early day home and wonder who lived there, how long they stayed, where they moved, and whether they were able to stick it out and become established in the county or if they “starved out”.

For those who stayed, the dugout served well as a first step to forging a better life from the harsh prairie.


             Wash day was special, as everybody had to help in someway. The big iron kettle had to be loaded in the wagon and baskets of soiled clothes were carried by the older children. Lye soap, washboards and tubs were soon at the creek. They had no clotheslines so they spread the wash on the high grass near the dugouts.


Most colonial counties and towns usually taxed free adult males and were called poll tax. It became due when a young man reached either sixteen, eighteen or twenty-one, depending on the area. This tax was stopped when he reached fifty or sixty, again, depending on the area. Sometimes the law made the father liable for their son’s tax when the son reached sixteen to twenty and the tax lists showed them as unnamed tallies under the father’s name. These poll tax lists and property tax lists can be combined and used as a substitute census. Sometimes the county/town clerks added useful descriptions of the common names such as John Smith one eye, John Smith gambler, and John Smith blacksmith. A search of these lists can be crucial to identifying men with common names and can show when men entered or left the county/town. The lists are in initial order, in other words all the “A” surnames are together just not alphabetical. The following were usually not on these lists: women, children, slaves and indentured servants, landless men over the poll tax age, paupers, ministers, justices of the peace, militia officers, tax assessors and any men that were granted exemption.

One good advantage of the county tax lists is that many states also received and stored copies. So, when you find out the county courthouse burned down, try to locate the duplicate copy in the state archives, library or state capitol tax office.

The Quitrent Tax was a land tax that went to either to the crown or to the proprietors. It began in England as a land obligation that was due to the manor and was an annual money payment. The American Revolution ended the quitrents.

Federal Direct Tax, starting in 1798 and through 1917, was used to raise money for armies. In the early years it was levied against real property and slave owners and produced extensive name lists. Later, during the Civil War and later, these direct taxes were levied as income tax, property taxes and license fees. Most of the early surviving lists have been microfilmed and most are in the state historical societies. The lists from the Civil War and later are microfilmed by the National Archives.


Family reunions are great opportunities for gathering information from family members that you may not see often and for updating current data. Below are some ideas that may help you stir interests in your shared heritage in fun ways and interesting for any age.

·         If the families that you contact are not all online, then you can send our blank pedigree charts and see how far people can go back. You can send this with the reunion invitation. When you receive these, you may want to combine them on a big chart so everyone can see how they are related. You might want to use a tablecloth or bed sheet that can be hung up or laid out for all to see.

·         Make a map that traces the migrations of your ancestors. If possible cite hometowns in the old country where they lived. Travel brochures or a search on the Internet might turn up pictures of the home town.

·         Make up questionnaires for everyone to fill out. Include vital info: birth, death dates and places, marriage info, parent info, medical history. Also ask for personal info like memorable events in their lifetime, traditions from their youth, places that they have lived or visited, hobbies, and any other info that will be of interest to future family historians.

·         Put together handouts with your family information in them. Organize the information in different ways. You can include charts, timelines, copies of old photos, news clippings, copies of original documents or transcribed family stories—anything you think will revive old memories.

·         Kids love to put on shows. Provide them with costumes and props and let them act out scenes from your ancestors’ lives—-the crossing to American, overland treks in covered wagons, how Grandma and pa met, or any other interesting family story. This will preserve these memories in their minds and actors and audience will have a good time. If no actors in family, storytellers can narrate the family story for those interested.

·         Make up games from your family’s history. You can create your family’s version of “Trivial Pursuit” where participants have to answer questions about your family to win pieces of the pie. Make a collage with copies of old photos and baby pictures and award a prize to the person who correctly identifies the most people. Ancestral Charades can have players pantomiming an ancestor’s life as the audience tries to guess the identity of the ancestor.

·         While you’re at the reunion, don’t get so caught up in the past that you neglect the present. Take pictures and make memories for the kids to treasure, so that they can reminisce and tell stories about this reunion at future reunions.

·         “Tips for a Successful Family Reunion by George Morgan, “Along Those Lines….” (18September 1998)

·         Begin early – a year in advance.  No time like the present to begin.

·         Other resources on line: Better Homes & Gardens Guide to Planning a Successful Family Reunion——click on family, then on family reunions (you will have to click off the top offers of Better Homes items to see what you are wanting.  Another one:

·         Need help in finding long-lost cousins:——–


Brands and Marks have been traced to the Egyptian tombs until the present time, the first recorded brand dated 200 B.C. Brands are a mark made by burning with a hot iron or by other means on cattle and horses to verify ownership. They became a trademark of ranchers.

Brands are read, first;  left to right and second; top to bottom.  The small letters under the brands tells the position on which the brand is registered.  EXAMPLE   RHC (Right Hip Cattle)

LShC&H (Left Shoulder Cattle and Horse).

There are six positions on which a brand can be registered: LSh (Left Shoulder)  RSh (Right Shoulder)  LR(Left Rib)  RR (Right Rib)  LH (Left Hind Quarter)  RH (Right Hind Quarter).

The use of legible registered livestock brands will aid in suppressing Cattle and Horse rustling and serve as positive evidence in a Court of Law. At this time there are about one hundred fifty registered brands for Roger Mills County..

A complete transcript of brands for cattle and horses registered by the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association can be obtained. Brands are to be re-registered every four  years at a nominal fee.

As the number of cattle and ranches grew across our county, cowboys and ranchers had to be inventive and the following resulted: Lazy (turn letter on side) Crazy (turn letter upside down) Walking (add feet) Flying (add wings)  Running(as in handwriting)  Bar (a short line)  Circle(place circle around it)  Swinging(half circle over top)  Rocking (half circle under letter) Box(place square around it)  Connected(connect the letters).

*RESOURCE for the following brands: Jack Rose (1993) shared some of these with us; most are on the wall of the Pioneer Museum in Cheyenne, OK.

F.E. Herring

Shorty Hubbard

W.T. Brown

Mr. Hendershot

Sons and grandson, Jim

Jim Patterson

Edd Holder

Arch Lamb

Clarence Oaks

Glen Brittian

Mr. Passmore

Jack Rose

John H. Anderson

Barton Brothers

Tony Day

Laurel Leaf

W.A. & John Young

Young & Morgan

Clyde Young

Oscar Caudill

Fred Caudill

Thurmond Bros.

J.W. Dunn

W.W. Duke

A.O. Miller

Clyde Young

Colburn & Stahl

Bill Slack

A. Hall & Sons

D.H. Collier


Notice is hereby given that the following taxes are now delinquent. Unless paid on or before the 25th day of March 1900, I will, as the law directs, place the same in the hands of the sheriff for collection. G.W. Hodges, County Treasurer.

Anderson, A.W.    $13.00

Anthony, R.B.           2.12

Anderson, Ben       99.05

Allen, J.A.                  1.75

Adkins, W.J.              2.64

Adkins, J.H.               3.10

Armstrong                  4.21

Blosser, Frank          2.87

Blunt, J.B.                  10.33

Bonell, Harvey          20.84

Boyd, C.L.                 18.91

Bowers, A.L.              4.45

Bowers, C                  .37

Baker, Mun               2.47

Bills, W.H.                  4.18

Briant, H.H.               2.97

Bird & Hawkins        71.05

Beatty, J.A.                1.28

Barnhart, Mrs. B.B.  .92

Brothers, J.P.            1.57

Burnard, J.C.                        1.20

Bunty, S.A.                6.31

Bell, Fred                   .33

Bell, Charlie              1.36

Bell, Frank                 1.86

Bates, Bascom         5.15

Carson, Mrs. L.         .52

Cunningham, F.M.  1.58

Creach, E.B.             1.36

Cooper, J.H.              26.28

Cecil, W.B.                .71

Clark, J.A.                  4.29

Clark, Q.D.                 1.29

Cogland, W.E.          .77

Creecy, J.L.               .74

Clark, W.A.                26.25

Campbell, Neil          2.46

Clark, C.H.                 .48

Crump, W.R.             3.56

Conyers, John          6.27

Cay, Mathias             4.00

Dane, L.L.                  1.75

Dalaney, C.W.          .43

Dabney, A                 1.08

Duncan, J.C.                        6.79

Duncan, S.B.                        1.64

Drew                           15.98

Dante, E.M.               38.96

Davis, A.P.                3.21

Doran, M.A.               3.15

Erwin, Wm.                4.11

Evans, J.H.                91.57

Fonchen, J.G.           2.46

Francis, Harry           1.73

Francis, R.B.             5.11

Fitch, L.M.                  4.00

Guinn, A.L.                1.16

Guinn, D.W.              3.06

Goddard, J.D.            3.06

Goddard, L.A.            .94

Guernsey, Chas.      74.93

Guernsey & Baker   148.10

Garrett, J.A.               .15

Gaskin, B.F.              4.03

Gilland, Bob              44.65

Gaither, J.B.              24.66

Hunt, Robt (estate)  3.69

Heffernan, J.F          4.48

Holland, P.E.                        .08

Holder, D.N.              2.23

Hutton, R.P.              333.23

Hamilton, J.H.           69.91

Howard, C.D.            .79

Howard, S.S>           3.37

Hawkins, R.A.           1.03

Hill & Trichett            126.64

Hughs, J.M.               6.32

House, A.W.              21.05

Houston, J.F.                        280.91

Houston & Elsie       42.70

Hardesty, J.               2.01

Hardesty, Alf             .28

Hardesty, Wm           3.16

Helener, G.W.           1.61

Hunter, W.L.              2.01

Hunter, W.H.             6.29

Howard, G.W.           3.32

Hensley, Lyman       1.76

Hurst, G                     .90

Hernden, P.S.           .50

Henson, Jack           4.97

Hickman, E.O.          10.97

Inman, F.J.                14.12

Jackson, John          4.92

Jacox, C.E.                .66

Jackson, T.H.            8.69

Johnson, S.F.           2.32

Jones, E.E.                .62

Jones, O.D.               29.19

Johnson, Tom          2.68

Jackson, W.O           . 1.70

Jones, W.A.               11.22

Keen, J.F.                  1.11

Keen, O.K.                 24.09

Keen, T.L. & Sons    123.43

Keen & Sons                        187.64

Keen, Mrs. M.A.        23.54

Keen, Ursi                 42.89

Kirby, Price                .95

Lent, Bert                   .18

Lane, Henry M.         .73

Long, C.L.                  .71

Ledbetter, P.E.          4.86

Lusk, W.P.                 .44

Morris, J.M.                .18

McGinnis, Flein        6.71

Martin, Sid                 1.42

Mattock, M.M.            2.32

McGilton, Fred          .58

McGhee, D.B.           44.78

Moffit, A.R.                9.98

Moffit, Geo                 2.40

Moss, E.B.                 3.23

Meyer, Fred               4.26

McLemore, D.M.       22.20

McCullough, L.A.     17.91

Maulding, P.M.         41.43

Miller, J.L.                  1.02

Morris, P.B.                4.05

Markham, G.C.         8.83

Mason, J.R.               1.03

Morton, J.M.              4.02

Nichols, T.K.             12.02

Nichols, W.N.            93.97

Newsom, R.J.           .33

Pickering, W.P.         1.58

Patterson, S.J.          2.54

Perry Bros                 2.95

Peuttgen, Chris        15.21

Parris, S.E.                .16

Preston, T.A.             1.14

Pickett, Dick              1.50

Prestige, J.J.             .14

Pennington               .93

Polk, J.W.                  2.54

Pettus, John S.         9.89

Pensock, J.F.            .50

Pruett, M.F.    4.00

Rinker, S.H.  .95

Ramp, A.M.   14.99

Robertson, Mrs. V    2.99

Robinson, R             2.37

Rowland, W.C.         1.49

Stephens, Chas. A  6.97

Salyers                       6.29

Sanders, P.R.           .75

Smith, C.E.                .58

Shufeldt, G.E.           103.51

Smith, Chas              6.63

Smith, J.H.                 4.49

Sterling, O.B.                        2.60

Sterling, T.O.             1.83

Smith, C.F.                40.59

Smith, H.J.                 41.42

Sanderson, J.W.      3.03

Smith, A.L.                 1.44

Shackleford, E.P.     3.61

Strode, John             1.94

Sutton, W.A.              6.23

Sutton, W.W.             8.93

Sparks, J.H.               9.28

Simmonds, A.J.        2.59

Smith, T.P.                 .21

Savage, C.F.             13.96

Stratton, J.M.             10.63

Smith, A.J.                 1.65

Smith, F.                    2.12

Staples, David          .97

Shay, Frank              .17

Sullivan, W.A.           7.34

Sims, J.A.                  4.00

Tracy, E.E.                 10.19

Tidwell, A                   2.60

Turpin, W.W.             4.34

Tunnard Mrs. E        2.19

Thompson, Newt      7.34

Thomas, J.J.              2.31

Tabor, Geo                2.42

Thomas, Tom            4.02

Winn, B.A.                 11.74

White, E                     1.20

Williams S.M.            1.58

Winn, S.M.                5.73

Williams, Ed              6.95

Wafford A.                 .49

Wells, John D.          .40

Wood, C.E.                .90

Wagner, C.O.            3.03

Heredity: Everyone believes in it until their children act like fools!

I am always late. My ancestors arrived on the JUNEflower.

Genealogy is like playing hide and seek:   They hide…..I seek!


New____________          Renewal ______________

To help us serve you better, memberships are issued in January annually at $15.00.(This includes four Journals a year)  Please make your check payable to “Roger Mills Genealogical Society” and mail to P.O. Box 205, Cheyenne, OK 73628. Please include your name, address and phone number and your email address if available. Those memberships received by February 26, 2003 will receive the next Journal on time.

We answer all queries made to our society and suggest a donation to our society when we answer your question, so that we may purchase more research materials. Queries may also be left on our county web site at

We have a new “Family Histories” shelf in the Genealogy portion of our Cheyenne Library and invite you to submit your family history (thus far) in a booklet or book form. These may be sent to the same address.

FIVE STAR SCHOOL  1915-1916   Mr. Hunt, Teacher (Paul Hunt’s dad)

Front-Stanley Hyman, Bud Hill, Millie Caudle, Millard Caudle, Willard Walker, Orlan Walker (Kirk’s) Paul Hubbard, ______, ______, ___Caudle.

Second-Doyle Malson, Leonard Throne, Lloyd Leddy, Jenkins Malson, Howard Throne, Mildred Malson, Howard Throne, Lowell Malson, Mr. Hunt.

Third-Vida Walker, Thelma Walker, Mildred Walker, Lena Hill, ____ Throne.

Fourth-Lloyd Caudle, Hosea Leddy, Boyd Hyman, J.T. Lacey, Bernice Walker, Floyd Malson, Winifred Hubbard, Sid Hill’s daughter______, Claude Hubbard.

{If anyone can fill in the blanks, please advise at Box 205, Cheyenne, OK 73628}



Cheyenne Sunbeam,   July 27, 1900

Those jurors paid between $1.00 and $8.00 to serve in the summer session of court at the Cheyenne Court House were as follows: D.H. Collier, T.L. White, R.L. Hutton, Jas Jones, J.H. Brazel, J.A. Oldham, F.M. Bates, Mack Beeson, James Sitton, A.O. Miller, J.R. Caffey, W.A. Beaty, Geo Dietrich, E.G. Thurmond, J.W. Weddle, Jno E. Pullen, J.W. Yost, A.B. Morton, J.M. Morton, W.W. Oden, J.H. Beasley, J.M. Anderson, J.P. Turner, H.M. Lee, John Evans, Jeff Duke, H.D. Cox, J.H. Stillwell, C.M. Davis, Seth Millington, I.H. Thomas, H.C. Dykes, Ben Winn, G.W. Brown, W.B. Burns, J.A. Butler, Wm. Evans, C.N. Carter, M.J. Calvert, E.F. Stephens, B.F. Tatum, L.L. Collins, T.T. Wagoner, J.Caffey, Geo Smith, H.S. Caudle, W.E. Church, V.D. Cunningham, J.A. Parrish, T.C. Tubbs, Charley Hackett, Tom Henderson, O.T. Scott, H.W. Anderson, S.A. Wallace, Elmer Vance, Arch Anderson, Will Silevan, J.H. Enslin, M. Cozby, W.B. Amos, Walter Richerson, W. Wilson, Joe Evans.


Cheyenne Sunbeam,    October 19, 1900

Those paid to serve on the fall court session and were paid between $1.00 and $4.00 are as follows: O.H. Thurmond, J.A. Maddux, R.N. Higgins, J.D. Williams, Fleming McGinis, J.N. Arnold, J.W. Weddle, Joe Beasley, Edgar Taylor, R.L. Hunt, W.B. Cree, J.F. King, T.L. White, J.M. Farmer, H.C. Dykes, W.S. Farmer, Allen Jones, W.N. Goodwin, J.F. Cunningham, C.B. Howerton, S.A. Wallace, O.W. Nelson, J.H. West, John B. Cross.




         President Ruby Martin     Vice-President Ike Lucas   Secretary-Treasurer Wanda Purcell

Reporter Lahoma Wheeler    Historian Anna Damron    Journal: Nelda Davis, Sue Suttle, Billie Bailey, Betty Wesner,  and Barbara Little.

               Organized in 1996      Annual Dues $15.00    P.O. Box 205, Cheyenne, OK 73628


It was on a three day horseback scouting trip back in 1932 that the idea of a mounted troop was born. Dr. C.E. Pyatt, the Scout Master, was the power behind it, reinforced by the Cheyenne Kiwanis Club and the town of Cheyenne who backed him to the hilt—with money, cooperation and participation.

In 1934 the services of Sergeant O.E. Scull of Fort Sill were secured to train the boys in good horsemanship. Riding horses western style is what comes naturally for area boys. Many of the boys were sons of men who earned their daily bread on horseback. Their grandfathers came into this raw, new country ridin’ a horse in ’92. The type of show they were hoping to perform needed a little polish.

From this embryonic idea developed the horseshow, a spectacular performance given entirely by the Boy Scouts. There was fancy riding, trick jumping, drills, Roman rides, hurdling, roping, barrel races, climaxed by the feature attraction—the Educated Pony.

The Cheyenne Circus Horseshow was performed twenty times at Cheyenne, El Reno, Oklahoma City, Altus, Hobart, Mt. View, Woodward, Elk City, Weatherford, Sayre, Hammon, Reydon, Amarillo and Canadian, Texas.  John and Klina Casady wrote in the Cheyenne Star, “We followed the boys every step. It was one of the biggest projects ever to develop here. Because of its universal appeal, it brought us worlds of good publicity.”  From the Kiwanis Magazine in 1935, “The mounted troop again covered itself with glory at a circus put on by the scouts of Western Oklahoma at Weatherford.”

Special mention was given to the act done by the Educated Pony, saying simply that the pony was owned and trained by a scout.  Who was this scout? How can you educate a pony? Sue Shotwell answered, “The first time I ever saw Eli Shotwell, he was breaking that little mare, Silver.”  “At the age of thirteen Eli spent two hours each day with his first love, Silver. He taught her to lie down, kneel, sit up, shake hands, walk up and down a teeter-totter. She was an educated pony!”

The Kiwanis Club and town of Cheyenne bought Silver from Eli and presented her to Dr. Pyatt in appreciation of his work with the boys in town. Eli sold his pony to gain marrying money. Soon after Dr. Pyatt took the little mare home with him, she’d jump over the corral and come running home to Eli. Gradually she was weaned away from Eli and turned her heart to her new master.

Dr. Pyatt always gave Thursdays as his day with the Scouts; his backyard would be full of boys, noise, confusion, horses and trucks. It took two trucks for the horse show, one for the horses, another for the arena properties and a bus to transport the boys. One indispensable man was Henry Hawkins for it was he who was in charge of the trucks and the horses. Dr. Pyatt never let the boys down and they responded in kind.

A dramatic never-to-be-forgotten moment of the Scout Circus was the closing number when Dr. Pyatt and Silver did a very professional act—“The End of the Trail”. Silver learned to perform perfectly with her new master.

No accurate record could be found of the entire scout membership. Not all were present for the picture of the troop which is included in this article.

Dr. Pyatt  was a dentist in Cheyenne who later moved to Kingfisher where he continued his practice. He and his wife, Bess had two children: Joe and Mary Beth. Joe continues to live in Cheyenne in 2002 while Mary Beth Mahaney teaches in the Clinton Schools. Doc credited these three members of his family as his best and most consistent boosters through all the years of his scouting work. It is doubtful if any man has given more.

In 1965, Doc Pyatt had 37 years of continuous scouting service to his credit as a member of the Executive Board of the Great Salt Plains Council.

There are two of the original scouts who continue to live in Cheyenne in 2002, They are: Chink Beaty and Billy Chalfant.

This group of scouts and their scout master have a special place in history as the ONLY MOUNTED BOY SCOUT TROOP IN THE WORLD!


Roger Mills County, O. T.   Friday, November 9, 1900

   Pursuant to section 63 of chapter 13 of the session laws of Oklahoma 1899, the Board of Commissioners met as a canvassing board. Present: Commissioners W.A. Bright, S.R. Richerson and A.A. Hitchcock, Sheriff C.B. Thompson and Clerk A.G. Gray. The Board canvassed the returns of the November 6, 1900 election and found that the vote cast at said election is as follows to wit:

Delegates to Congress, Robert A. Neff with 643 votes over Denis Flynn 407 votes;Councilman 13th Council District  John B. Harrison with 748 votes; Representative 25th District  Frank Mathews with 555 votes;County Sheriff Andrrew J. Bullard with 759 votes, County Treasurer G.W. Hodges 710 votes;County Clerk A.G. Gray 568 votes, Percy Wightman 439 votes;Probate Judge Rufus K. Houston 497 votes; County Attorney D.W. Tracy 699 votes;County Superintendent Toney VanVacter with 669 votes; County Assessor George Sanders; Register of Deeds William O. Mounts; County Surveyor David C. Field;Coroner Victor Waggoner; Public Weigher John Rudloff; Co Comm #1 E.G. Thurmond, #2 James J. Tomlinson, #3 John E. Pullen

In 1900 there were only three townships in Roger Mills County and the results (Winner listed first) of the Township Officers are as follows:

Pictured above is the first Cotton Gin to be erected in Cheyenne. In the summer of 1900 Hez D. Cox, local businessman began to promote the growing of cotton in the county. He promised farmers if they would plant cotton the next year that he would build a gin and have it operational in time for the fall cotton pickin’ in 1901. This he did and the first bale of cotton to be ginned in Cheyenne was ginned through this building about October 1, 1901. The gin was powered by steam. H.D. Cox  (better known as Daddy Cox) was a land runner into Cheyenne-Arapaho Country. He and his wife, Granny ran and staked a townsite where they began the first café out of the back of their covered wagon and fed Cheyenne’s population of 50 at the close of that day, April 19, 1892; they were very enterprising pioneers. He settled on a claim at RedMoon, sold it in a few years and moved to Cheyenne where he built a lumber yard and grist mill prior to the Cotton Gin. In the early days he owned more of the original townsite than any other individual. The Gin was later sold to the Planter’s Gin Company sometime prior to 1922. The Planter’s Gin was later managed by Doug Kendall, followed by John Gowdy. Location of property was just across the road west of Chad Smith’s Fertilizer Plant today. (2002)                        {Photo courtesy of Anne Cronin Puffinbarger}



Cheyenne, Oklahoma 73628

October, November, December  2002

(Photo courtesy of Anne Cronin Puffinbarger)

Dugouts                                   56

Washday                                 58

Gantz Family                           59

List of Jurors                          61

Family Reunion Ideas           62

Delinquent Tax 1900             63

Cheyenne Star Tidbits          64

Early Day RMC Brands         65

1900 Election Results           67

Five Star School                     68

Mounted Boy Scout Troop  69

Tax Lists-Census Help         71

Society Officers                     72


Trustee-Seaborn A. Wallace

Treasurer-William C. Ernest

Clerk-Thos. B. Cree

Justice of Peace-M.H.Deniston, Jasper N. Arnold (tie, both elected)

Constable-George B. Cree, John H. Hooper

Overseer#1-Smith Harrison

Overseer#2-Robert Deniston

Overseer#3 Kid Dobbs

Overseer#4-Dean Cunningham



Trustee-Chas. B. Dallas

Treasurer-Jesse T. Gibbons, P.C. Pinkerton


Justice of Peace-B.F. Gaskin, Geo. B. McCullein, Robert Allred, A.L. Baldwin

Constable- Robert B. Francis,R.S. Burrows, R.E. Martin

Overseer#1-John Jones

Overseer#2-J.F. Foster

Overseer#3 Joe M. Allee

Overseer #4-S.R. Bivins


Scout Circus, Weatherford, Oklahoma

October 2, 1934

Top Row-John Dunn, Brian Wesner, Jack Drake, Salyer Horton, Mickey Hall, Perry Bradshaw, C.E. Pyatt, Scout Master

Second – Bobbie Higgins, Lloyd Martin, J.E. Taylor, Johnny Leach, J.N. Cross, Orval Watson

Third-Dale Wesner, Vance Sprowls, Merle Dean Calvert, Hollis Gillette, J.T. Boggs,

 Billy Chalfant

Bottom Row-Guy Clark Davis, Bud Hills, Johnny Daugherty, Ernest Lee Glenn, George Wallace Prestridge, Chink Beaty, Billy Burns, Winford Hunter

Cheyenne’s MOUNTED Boy Scout Troop #108

Scout Circus, Weatherford, Oklahoma

October 2, 1934

Perry Bradshaw, Billy Chalfant, J.E. Taylor, John Dunn, “Red” Glenn, Jack Drake, Bob Higgins, “Tub” Horton, Hollis Gillette, Mickey Hall, Vance Sprowls, George Drake, Bobby Daugherty, Chink Beaty, George Prestridge, J.N. Cross, Dr. Pyatt (Scout Master)

Program from a Cheyenne Horse

Show on May 27, 1934

From Tom Steere

Practice at Dr. Pyatt’s

Silver behind Dr. Pyatt

Photo from Nettie Boggs’ Collection


When you find yourself on a web site in which you have to search for your surname because the site is not indexed; save yourself a lot of time by clicking on the page anywhere then hold down the Control (Ctrl) button and hit F. This will bring up a box on your screen which is a “Find” box. You simply type in the name for which you are searching and the computer will highlight every item until it tells you there are no more.  Sure saves time in searching.!!! Enjoy!!

In 1900, Day County contained four precincts: Square School House, Rawdon, Grand and Dewey, while Roger Mills County had the three townships: Berlin, Cheyenne and Elk.

When Statehood arrived for Oklahoma on November 16, 1907, Day County was no longer in existence. The dividing line between Day County and Roger Mills County  (which had been one mile south of the present Dead Indian Road, better described as south side of Township 15N) was changed to follow the curve of the South Canadian River. Ellis County was then formed to the north of the river and Roger Mills County to the south.  On the south side of the former Roger Mills County, the line dividing Greer County from Roger Mills County had been at the North Fork of the Red River south of Sayre. That south line was moved to basically highway 152 to three miles southeast of Berlin,- jogging north for six miles and then east again, forming the north boundary of a new Beckham County.

In the 1910 and 1920 census there were in Roger Mills County, the townships of Bar X, Berlin, Bowman, Cheyenne, Dewey,  Kiowa, Meridian, Streeter, Washita, and Wilcox.