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The speaker is a 70-year-old American Indian woman with a high school education from Broken Bow, Oklahoma; she was recorded in 1966.



County: McCurtain
State: OK

Commentary:
The timber industry brought many settlers to eastern Oklahoma in the late nineteenth century, taking timbered land from what was once the Choctaw Nation. Many camps were set up to accommodate lumbermen and mill workers. The camps eventually turned into settlements such as Broken Bow, which was founded by the Dierks brothers, lumbermen who came from Nebraska to set up a mill. In this segment the speaker describes the area at the turn of the twentieth century (before Broken Bow was incorporated), referencing the community of Native Americans living there at the time.
Inf: Well, before statehood, I was born in 1895, started school here in nineteen one. And it was just a wild Indian community, Choctaw community, named Con-Chito, that means ???big polecat.??? And I went to school up here in a government schoolhouse made out of logs, no windows in it, just a front door. And we went in there in the wintertime, and in the summertime, the fall, and the spring we sat outside under brush arbor, and hung our charts on poles, you know, to learn our ABC???s, and the small words like a and be and so forth like that. And, eh, we sat, we didn???t have, uh, tablets and pencils, we had slates and slate pencils, and we sat on logs, uh, benches made out of split logs with spikes stuck in ???em. And, uh, that???s where I got my education.

FW: ???Bout how many people were livin??? here?

Inf: Well, there was, I guess, maybe fifteen, twenty houses around in this community that had kids went to that school. I come ???bout two and a half miles. We lived out here to a little community called Lukfata, ???bout two and a half miles. My father had a store out there.

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