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Read "When I was Healed" by Florence Carpenter


Born Steelville, MO July 16, 1871--Died Claremore, OK June 10, 1955

Her Journal in her own words

(This is a replication of a handwritten journal which she completed in 1951)

Amos P. Carpenter and I (Florence Harman) were married December 16, 1891. We lived with my father until 1892. Then we lived on the banks of the Meramec river 8 miles east of Steelville, Missouri. We lived there for one year.

Fred B. Carpenter was born October 7, 1892. We moved to Ozark, in Christian County, Missouri in December of the same year and lived there until November 1893

We moved back to the same place we left on the river. In 1894, we lost our two fine iron-gray mares and one colt. They were stolen.

On October 8, 1894, James Job Carpenter was born. We were still living on the Meramec river. On July 23, 1896, Willis Claud Carpenter was born.

In 1898, on July 8th, we had an awful flood. Washed our crops away. That was the flood that washed Steelville, Missouri partly away. Several people were found covered with sand and dirt 8 miles down the Meramec river.

On August 9, 1898, Lola and Zola Carpenter were born--twins. Lola weighed six ½ pounds and Zola 6 pounds. We then moved to Springfield, Missouri. We lived there for three years and moved back to Crawford, Missouri, eight miles east of Steelville on Sam Harman's place.

In 1904, we moved to a little farm of twenty-two acres that my daddy had deeded to me. It had a one room log house and we built two more rooms and fenced it. We built some out buildings and set out a lot of fruit trees.

On May 11, 1904, Ila Maud Carpenter was born. On October 20, 1906, Catherine Florence (Kate) was born. We were still living at the same place and Grandpa Carpenter (James Anderson Carpenter Sr.) was living with us.

On October 8, 1907, Grandpa Carpenter, Fred, Jim and Judge started for the Indian Territory with a team. They were on the road for 14 days. December 1, 1907, the rest of us moved out there near Okmulgee, Indian Territory. We moved on the train. We stopped at Nianguag, Missouri, where Royal Carpenter lived. They had two children, Eva, about two years and Edgar, two or three months old.

We moved to a farm 4 miles north of Okmulgee, known as the Joe Gibson place. A full blood Indian lived near Otto Schatt's place. There was a bad drought, didn't raise much.

Sure was wild times, those days. A man killed another one close to our house with a pick. They were working on a pipeline. The law was all the time hunting for someone in the mountains that had killed someone.

On November 16, 1907, Oklahoma became a state. Dave Carpenter was born January 13, 1908.

In 1909, we moved 7 miles south of Morris, Oklahoma on a farm on the prairie; nearest tree was 2 miles. Oil wells were all around us. Gas had broken through the ground into a branch of water and had caught fire by lightning, it was supposed. It burned all the time and the water was boiling all the time, about half a quarter from our house. We cooked with crude oil and didn't have to buy it; just go and get it by the barrel full.

We raised lots of corn on that place and made quite a lot of money making pictures. In 1910, we moved on Graves Creek, 2 miles west of Hitchita, Oklahoma. Didn't do much good that year; was too wet for cotton.

In 1911, we moved to a new place about half way between Hitchita and Hoffman. Had a good, new house; moved into it before the plastering was dry.

Royal and his two kids lived with us on that place and Travis. I had six men and five children to cook for. We just lived there one year and moved to W. W. Wood's place, 4 miles east of Hoffman. We lived there several years. It was an old ranch house; had been several people married there; had been built in the early days.

In 1914, we moved back to Missouri again and bought the place that we had sold and 40 more acres with it. Fred and Nellie were married before we left and went to Kansas City to live. We had accumulated quite a lot of stuff. We had three good mule teams, one team of mares, one colt, and the boys had a buggy team, a saddle horse, two bicycles, and lots of farming machinery. We had a cow, some hogs, and chickens. We sold everything and we had about $2,000.00.

We stayed three years and went back to Oklahoma. During the time we were gone, W. W. Woods, the man that owned the place we left, had built a nice four room house on the place we left. We rented it back while we were in Missouri and when we got back to Oklahoma, there was somebody living in the house and we stayed with Fred and Nellie till the first of the year, when we got possession of the place.

Fred and Nellie had come back to Oklahoma before we did. We lived at this place several years. Ila was married to Solon Criswell while we lived there, July 1917. Jim was married to Alice Green.

In August 1918, Jim left for the Army in the World War. First went to Des Moines, Iowa and then to Denver, Colorado. He was gone 14 months. He worked at the General Hospital.

On July 14, 1920, Catherine was married to Lois Sessions.

In 1921, we left this place and moved to Hitchita. The children were all gone but Dave. I was sick and could not do the house work. Dad and Dave decided to quit farming, sold everything but household things. They couldn't find any work. Catherine and Lois were living at Morris, Oklahoma. We moved there and lived there about four months and then we moved back to Hitchita. Catherine and Lois moved with us.

We had bought a house and some lots. We all lived together till spring and Dad went to work at St. Louis. Dave and I lived with Catherine and Lois all summer. Dad came home in the fall. While he was gone, I traded our property for another house. I got a pretty nice little house.

Next spring, we didn't have anything but that house and the things in it. Dad and Dave wanted to go back to farming. We bought a fellow out about a half a mile from Hitchita, on a hill known as poker Hill. We got a span of mule, a wagon, some farming tools, a cow, a calf, a heifer, and some hogs. We borrowed the money from Jim. The amount was $175.00. He was living at Richardville at that time.

With what Jim let us have, we moved to Poker Hill and planted a patch of watermelons. We sold enough of them to pay Jim the $175.00. We paid him by the middle of August. We lived on Poker Hill for two years and made a good crop both years. The last year, we sold $2,000.00 of cotton. We hauled Negroes from the town of Wild Cat to pick the cotton. In those two years, we had accumulated quite a lot of stock and things to farm with.

Dad and Dave took a notion to quit farming again. I begged them not to, but they over ruled me and just about gave everything away. We had 14 head of cows and yearlings, 25 head of hogs, chickens, a saw mill, a truck, a wagon, and all kinds of farming tools. We sold two good cows with their calves and a heifer for $40.00. Everything else sold accordingly, price wise.

We then moved to Richardville, a full blood Indian town. Jim was living there at that time. We only lived there for two months. We had a fine house with nine rooms while there and we bought a new Ford car.

From there, we moved to Verdigris, Oklahoma. We moved a lot of household things to where Ila lived. Dad and Dave were going to build Jim a garage at Verdigris, so they just took a batching outfit to Verdigris. I was going to stay awhile with Ila and Catherine. They both lived in Hoffman, Oklahoma.

I moved away from where she did live and that left our things there. We had no way of bringing them up here. There were two telephones; one was a desk type and one was a wall telephone. There was a couch, dishes, cooking vessels, fruit jars, clothes and other things too numerous to mention.

We lived at Verdigris for three years. We built a house; first bought a lot, gave $100.00 for it. Then built a house big enough for a restaurant and living quarters, plus three rooms to keep people over night. We then kept a restaurant for one year. We did pretty well. It was while they were paving the road by Verdigris. We had a short order and kept boarders and roomers. We sent out lunches on the road and fed the road workers at noon.

We had a long table and would have 25 to 30 men for dinner. We fed some of the men and carried lunches to the agent at the depot. Sure was busy times. I sure did like it. The busier we got, the better I liked it--but Catherine and I were all the one that liked the work. Catherine had worked in a restaurant at Stillwater and she was good help. Ila didn't like that work. Dave and Dad didn't like it. When we would get right busy at the front, Dad would run out at the back door to the garage.

We then sold the place to Jim. I didn't want to quit keeping the restaurant, but Dad and Dave; they didn't want to stay there. We just had 125 foot by 50 lots and we were in Jim's way. He had eight lots on the other side of us. I thought we had better sell to him but I would not have sold to anyone else. Anyway, we sold it all for $800.00.

Dad made a trip to California. Dave and I rented us a house in Verdigris. We lived there till the next spring. While we lived there, Dave and Maggie were married the 14thof July, 192- . (Editor's note: should be Sept. 10, 1927)

Dad just stayed three months in California then in the spring, we moved to a farm known as the Shellburg farm and lived there two years. The first year Willis and Elsie, Raymond, Gladys and Pearl visited us at the Shellburg place from St. Louis, Missouri.

From there, we moved 4 miles southwest of Verdigris on what was called the J. R. Smith place close to the river. We had a drought; it didn't rain much but we raised about 300 bushels of corn but not much cotton, nor watermelons.

Then the worse time of all came. We had to move and couldn't find any place to rent. Dave just about wore his car out hunting a place. Winter coming on and no place to go; we couldn't even get a little shack in Verdigris to put our corn in. There were 2 houses on that place; Dave and Maggie lived in one and Dad and I lived in the other one.

We had just concluded to scatter out--Dave and Maggie were going to go to her mother and we were aiming to go first to one of the kids and then to another. We happened to run onto a little farm, not enough land for a farm, with a little 2-room house 2 miles north of Verdigris and 1 mile east. There was a good size garage, so we packed our things we had in the house into the garage. There was a barn and hen house, so that gave us a place for the corn and stock.

We all moved there and I stayed all winter with Dave and Maggie, while Dad went and worked for Fred in Hitchita. In the spring, we first went to Oklahoma City where Ila and Peeler lived. Stayed with them three weeks and then back to Dave's. We stayed there two or three weeks and then went to St. Louis and stayed there all summer with Lois and Katie and with Bill and Elsie part of the time.

On August 18th, we left there and came back to Dave's and still yet no place to live. So, we fixed us a bed in the garage and fixed to live in it but I didn't sleep much. There was just a dirt floor in it and I was afraid of snakes. We stayed there about a week.

Ila and Peeler came. They quit Oklahoma City and were hunting a farm. The next day, Peeler bought a man out, a place about 2 miles west of Verdigris. They got us to move there while they went back to Oklahoma City after their cow and some other things.

We lived with them until the first of the year and Dave had rented a place ½ mile east of there. It was called the Katie Bacon place. The house had 4 rooms, so we lived with them again. We lived there one year and then we were fixing to move to the Spavinaw water line. We had a tent and had cleared off a place to put up the tent.

There was a man by the name of Hal Smith lived close to us. He was farming and he got bad sick. He just had a wife and one little one about two years old. She could not take care of him. She took him to the hospital at Tulsa and she went to her father's home to stay.

They hired Ted Emory to take care of their things while they were gone. Someone came and took Ted off and killed him.

Mr. Smith and wife were afraid to come back to live there and they had to have someone to stay there and take care of their things. They had four cows to milk and other stock to tend to. On Monday evening after Ted was killed on Friday night, we went there to stay and we took care of things. We lived there for five years, almost. We had a fine house and everything fine and well furnished. In place of moving into a tent, we just stepped into a mansion.

From there, we moved to Verdigris again and lived there for three years and then moved to Claremore. We lived there one year and moved back to Verdigris and now have lived here at this place for three years. We own it and probably will live here until we pass away. This is August 30, 1943.

We moved to Claremore March 1, 1948 and on October 28, 1948 Amos Carpenter passed away very suddenly, only five minutes after he had talked to me.

I am alone at 708 North Catalayah, Claremore, Oklahoma. It is 1951, still living at this place.
Florence Carpenter, age 78

(Editor's Note:) Florence (Harman) Carpenter continued living at this place until her death June 10, 1955.

Jim Carpenter