Atoka County Pioneer



John Martin Thompson


I moved to Daisy, then called Etna, Indian Territory with my family in the year of 1894 or 95 when I was two years old. Etna was on the old stagecoach line, which ran from Stringtown to Tuskahoma. It was also called "Fishers Old Stand" or "Many Springs". I think George ROLLEN ran the store at that time, and Billy McARTHUR was the store clerk.

My parents John and Sarah (Aunt Sally) Thompson lived one half mile south of Etna on the old Ward COBB place, now known as the WILLIAMSON place. My father hauled freight for the store. He sold the freight to Dr. WOODS, who boarded at our house much of the time. His wife stayed in McAlester with her son by a former marriage, Carl KELLOGG. He and his half brother Willie WOODS ran a big store in McAlester.

Later Dr. Woods married Bertha WHITEHEAD, our school teacher. She was my second school teacher, the first one being Miss Alice DESHASO. Miss or Mrs. GUM was the first teacher I can remember. My sister and I were the only white children in the school. The next closest white family to us was the WASSEN family, which lived north across the mountain on the LOWMAN place.

My father was stricken with cancer and died in the hospital at Little Rock, AR, where he was also buried. My mother was left with the children.

In 1907, the year of statehood, the name of the post office was changed to Daisy and E. S. OLIVER was the first postmaster. My mother was the second. George HENDERSON had the contract to carry the mail from Stringtown to Daisy, and John BENSON was the first mail carrier for the Daisy route.

Following are names of other families settled in the Daisy area in the early days. Indian families were: Isac BILLEY, Arlington MORRIS, Cub IMPSON, Jessie BONDS, Israel P. RENNYS or PERRYS, Ellis CARNS (or CAIRNES) Aaron PETERS.

White families, by the time of statehood or shortly after, were, in addition to my father, John THOMPSON, Jim THOMPSON, George HEWETT/HUET, George POUND, Dave POLLOCK, and Guy BAILEY.

The house my family first lived in was located at the site where the Daisy school was later built. If Mrs. Maudie Thompson GARSIDE of Stringtown is alive, she is the oldest white settler, if not, I am the oldest.

About the turn of the century, the Miner Miller Ranch was built by Dock MILLER, then Joseph RAMEY settled east of Daisy, now called the Miller Ranch, and Buster SPRINGS settled on the old Dave BOND place. Ross BELL and Ira settled one mile east, and a family by the name of MANOR or GARDNER settled in "Happy Hollow". The man was bitten by a mad dog and died two weeks later of hydrophobia.

My mother later married N. B. SMITH, and my uncle, N. B. Smith, settled on the LOWMAN or LAMAR place. Another uncle, W. S. Cole, settled on the old WASSEN (?) place. Mrs. Cole was Aunt Sally Thompson's sister.

East of Daisy, the families were: HENDERSON, RICE, FLOWERS, RENFROW, McDONNAL (?) and SUTTON.

In 1907, when statehood occurred, there was a boom and lots of newcomers arrived. The Gulf pipeline came through and brought lots of new families with it.

The first white preacher was named WEAVER. He was a "brush arbor" preacher. The next preacher was named SMITH, and he preached at the schoolhouse where the Daisy Cemetery is now located. Then preacher GOSS came and established a church at the Goss community. They were all Missionary Baptist preachers. The Indian preachers said Jesus Christ in English, where they had no Indian words for him. The white man also taught the Indians to curse, where they had no swear words in their language.

The first person buried in the Daisy Cemetery was the wife of George PHILLIPS. I have a Grandfather, mother, brother, aunt, and mother-in-law buried there.

One time the Governor of the Choctaw Nation, and Billy FLETCHER, a well known lawyer, were staying at our house during the time that the court was in session. When they came in for dinner, the Governor told my mother about a fight my father and the lawyer had in the courthouse earlier that morning, My father was a witness in a case regarding a debt that someone owed the store, and the lawyer tried to make him appear to be lying, which was a mistake. A fist fight followed, and the Governor said that they fought all the way out of the courthouse, and out into the yard. He said that my father had the lawyer down, and the lawyer's brother pulled up a fence post and started to hit Dad with it, but old Dave POLLOCK hit the brother and knocked him loose from the post. I can remember how the Governor's belly shook when he laughed as he told about the fight, for he was a big Indian weighing about 300 pounds.

I can remember when they whipped Simon BILLY and Horson BONDS. I remember that they shot Charley HOMES, and I think it was for killing someone. I can remember that Charley and another Indian came to our house and talked to my father while Charley was waiting to be shot. The Indian Court had sentenced him to be shot and had given him 30 days to hunt and fish and take care of his personal business. There wasn't any jail, and a man's word was his bond. When his 30 days were up, he was expected to come in for execution, which he did.

Dale Thompson's notes: This document came from Charles Thompson. John Martin was his father and was the son of (John Perry Jr. 1861-1907). I don't know the exact year that he dictated these memories to his daughter who wrote them down for him. Transcribed and submitted July 2000, by Dale Thompson.