Newspaper Archive of
The Perkins Journal
Perkins, Oklahoma
May 25, 1967     The Perkins Journal
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May 25, 1967

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THE PERKINS JOURNAL PAGE FIVB is Memorial are given to gave their those pie- this nation, the devo- nation. town., Per- by its to the Un- old timers of will day with grown memorial Will sprout : vic - colorful men Wives. Pull grass and marking Plants will be lerkins ceme- too much in or Weeds. This of the come- continues the ceme- incorporated lots and sees Despite it still officers: president; ial Day Kathline Butler, vice president; and Lenora West, secretary- treasurer. ' They continue the tradition started 53 years ago when Emily A. Vinson, Addle M. Wilson and Cora Wagner filed the incorpor- ation papers as officers of the as- sociation. People returning to pay hom- age to friends and relatives will find memories not only at the cemetery, but in the town where vacant buildings stare into the street, and new buildings beckon from new locations. They will remember how things were, for a moment; for- getting those black headlines that tell how things are now. Tuesday will be a nice day for these memories. Many stores will close, freeing employees for the day. Holiday will gradually re- place Memorial Day as rivers and lakes are fished, swam and boated. Country roads will welcome new visitors as family outings turn into a search of new sights after a long, busy winter. The dust billows high on most roads. On others, the gravel crunches loudly beneath tires, except in the cemetery where the gravel muffles the sound of the slow- driving cars. Tuesday is Memorial Day. of The Old West 00ank "Pistol Pete" Eaton Old Timers Page 0 owtng Pistol Pete's Life The next year was the year 1869. In the spring, after the grass was good, the Texas herds of cattle came along the Santa Fe Trail. One herd had with them a young buffalo -- it was the first buffalo I had ever seen and it was fairly tame, so I got a good look at it. How I wanted to own that buffalo! After the third herd had gone by, the native cattle began dying of the "Texas fever" all along the Santa Fe Trail. When the next herd came up from Texas they were met by a crowd of armed men and the owners were forced to turn and drive the cattle back. But the dffmagfflad been done. By fall nearly every- one along the trail had lost his entire herd. Our cattle were all dead. The herds belonging to Mose Beaman, Arthur Duffy, Perry Manning, Marcus Whitt- enburg and George Saffles were completely wiped out. There was nothing left but sad memories and dry cowhides. That same fall Mother mar- ried a man by the name of J. N. Goodhue. He was a good man and I liked him. Mother was a wonderful woman and she was beautiful, too. She had brown hair that was long and wavy, big dancing brown eyes and a happy disposition. She was slen- der, of medium height, very ac- tive and ambitious. An excellent cook and homemaker, she fairly worshiped her family. She was a devout Christian and a mem- ber of the Episcopal Church. Shortly after my mother married Mr. Goodhue they sold the farm and moved to southern Kansas. We settled on Onion Creek, west of Coffeyville, Kan- sas. Coffeyville was a thriving little town and a shipping point for the cattle from the Indian Territory. It was a wide-open O/d West border town, in those days, full of saloons and gambl- ing halls. Nick Martin had one of the saloons, on the Grand Plaza. Dutch Plover owned the Southern Hotel, and a livery stable south of the hotel. Ford and Lang had a furniture store. Reed Brothers, Wells Brothers, Kimball and Kellogg were some of the grocery stores. T. B. Eld- ridge ran the bank, and a hotel called the Eldridge House. The newspaper, the Coffey- ville Journal, was published by a man named Peffer. Mr. Peffer was a distinguished-looking old gentleman with a long white beard. Later he was elected a member of the Kansas Legisla- ture on the Populist ticket. There were three doctors, named Graham, Frazier and Tanner, and all of them had a good practice. There were a score or more of small firms all doing a thriving business. A man by the name of Mob- ley had a big water mill down by the water tank in the south part of town on the Verdigris River. The railroad stopped about three miles south of town at the state line; that was where the stockyards were located. There was a small town there called Parker, but all the busi- ness was done at Coffeyville. It was near Coffeyville that the notorious Bender family were captured by armed men and, according to legend, driven into the.quicksand of theArkan- sas River. I remember the Bend- ers, but all I ever knew about what happened to them I learned by snooping and by accident. The Benders -- old man Bender, his son John, and a daughter, Kate Bender, ran a lodging house on the main traveled road north of Coffeyville. Lots of peo- ple stopped there . . . and many were never seen or heard from again. One morning I was down at the barn currying the horses. Mother was sick, and my step- father was up at the house. Ben Saffles, who stayed with us, was down at the creek, looking after the fish lines, when Bill and Os- car Luce came riding up and asked for Ben, who bout the same time came up from the creek. He had a couple of cat- fish; he told me to take them up to the house and bring down his gun. P When I came back with the gun he had his horse saddled up and he rode off with Bill n| Oscar, who were also Vigilantes. He came in the afternoon, and I had curried the horses, cleaned out the barn and was out behind the barn resting. My stepfather was down at the barn and he thought I had gone to the creek to set some lines. I heard him say to Ben, "How did you make it?" Ben answered, "All right?' I was curious about where Ben and the other men had gone, anyway, so I looked through a crack in the barn. My stepfather said, "Did you have any trouble with them?" "John and the old man were gentle as mild cows, but Kate fought like the devil. Look here!" Ben raised, his left arm and there was a bandage where a bullet had gone through the flesh. He was all bloody and bandaged up. "That was a close call," y stepfather said. "Yes, and I've got the gun that made it," said Ben; "but don't let any of the boys know I have it or they will make me throw it way. It's the first gun that ever made a mark on me and I'm go- ing to keep it." He showed my stepfather a Colt revolver, all brass-mounted and engravedj a beautiful piece of work. The gun, originally a cap-and- ball gun, had been changed into a cartridge gun. It shot about a thirty-eight shell  father a long one, too. You could put a long thirty-eight and still have room to spare. I was looking through that crack in the barn all this time and if either of them had known it they would have kicked me all over the creek bank. Ben put the gun into his pock- et and said, "We didn't let any- body take anything away. Just put the whole thingin, horses, wagon and ail." Later, when we moved to In- dian Territory, Ben gave me that gun and told me it had belonged to Kate Bender. I had it for a long time; then a few years go I gave it to Mary Chaney up:at Salt Fork, Oklahoma, and she still has it. and Pictures from the Good Old Days W' N. Baker Drygoods Perkins Journal Lee Kirk Williams Mobil Service Riley's Steak House Payne County Bank and Son Hardware Ralph's Packing Co. Cimarran Valley Auction Co. HERSHELL CROSS, AUCTIONEEK ] i i