Table of Contents
The Beginning of Tulsa
(c) Karolyn Kay Garland (1997)
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Dr. C. W. Kerr (con't)
largely by the home mission committee when he first came to Tulsa and had but a small salary for his family for many years.
MRS. C. W. KERR
Mrs. Kerr has traveled right along with Dr. Kerr for thirty-three (33) years in building up the First Presbyterian church. Dr. Kerr's troubles have been her troubles, his joys have been her joys. They have been very happy together
Mrs. Kerr takes part in all the activities of the church. She is also a member of the National Board of Home Missions in New York. Attends the meetings of the Board.
Mrs. Kerr attended the General Assembly meeting in Denver in 1932, where Dr. Kerr was elected Moderator. When Dr. Rogers of Kansas City placed Dr. Kerr in nomination I can imagine Mrs. Kerr felt like standing in her chair hollowing: "Hear me! Hear me! I know this man better than any of you fellows. He is the man for Moderator. Don't place anyone else in nomination. Put him over. Do it now! Do it now! Don't wait! Members of the First Presbyterian church are as happy over Dr. Kerr's election as Mrs. Kerr is. The entire city of Tulsa feels they have been honored.
EARLY FARMINGMost all of the Indians who lived near Tulsa when the town was located had gardens or farms of just a few acres. The largest farm near Tulsa was one of 60 acres. It was three and one half miles south of the railroad.
There were several reasons why the farms were not larger. First, there was no market for things raised on a farm. Second, there was no railroad within 50 miles until the Frisco was built to the Arkansas river. Third, most of the Indians were poor and not able to put much of the land under cultivation. Fourth, not many of them knew how to work a farm. And, of course, the farm machinery of that day was not the power machinery of today.
Hogs fattened on the maize-acorns, pecans, etc. Most of the Indians had a few head of cattle. These kept fat on the grass the year around. Grass along the river and the creeks grew very tall, in the winter time the tall grass, having fallen over the green grass, kept it protected and growing every day It was a paradise for cattle. And, by the way. The Indians were very careful about prairie fires. They knew the value of this grass for pasturage.
ATTEMPTS AT BETTER FARMINGH. C. Hall, who had built the first store, was also a farmer and cattleman. He made arrangements with some of the Indians to put into cultivation several large farms south of Tulsa along the river. He found it expensive grubbing out the pecan stumps and underbrush.
He bought several mule teams in Kansas and brought experienced farmers here but this did not prove profitable. Freight rates were too high to ship the farm products to the markets which were far away, and after a few years he turned the new made farms over to the Indians. In later years, after the freight rates had been adjusted it was profitable to farm near Tulsa
At one time, in order to dispose of his corn and other farm products, Mr. Hall bought a lot of three and four-year-old steers. He fenced in a corral at the end of West First street, dug a well and fed the cattle and some hogs together. He made some money on this deal.
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