Saturday, May 3, 2014

Cousin Frank in 1938 Remembers the Generosity of the James and Younger brothers

Works Progress , Indian-Pioneer History, April 1938, #13802
Frank Tucker, P.O. is Eufaula, Ok., was born March 7, 1877 in Tobucksy County, Choctaw Nation, near Eufaula. His father, Robert Tucker, ran a ferry at Rock Ford, Ok., born in Mississippi. His mother, Tilda
Edmiston, born in Missouri.

I was born in 1877 in Tobucksy County, Choctaw Nation. My father had come from Mississippi many years before. He made the trip in wagons drawn by ox teams. At the time of my birth my father ran a ferry across the South Canadian at a point known as Rock Ford where the old Texas Trail crossed the river. I think you will find that the Missouri, Kansas and Texas line through Oklahoma follows pretty much the route of the old Texas Trail as it was in territorial days.  Andy Edmiston, my grandfather on my mother's side, was the first bridge watcher for the Missouri, Kansas and Texas line in this part of the country, at Eufaula. The firebox of a train in those days was so loosely constructed that there was danger of live coals dropping from it and setting a bridge on fire. My grandfather's duty was to prevent bridges from burning. My boyhood was quite like that of other boys of that time. I went to school as did others in a shirt that reached below the knees. The length of it did away with the need of trousers to go over it. When I was about ten years of age, our family was at dinner one day; we heard someone hail us from our yard. We went to the door. There on horses that had fancy saddles with trimmings, dressed very neat and nice, sat Jesse and Frank James and the Younger boys. They needed corn. Father asked 50 cents a bushel for the corn. The outlaws paid him $1.00 a bushel. The South Canadian ferry happened to be out at that time; the stream was quite swollen, however, this didn't slow the outlaws down any. They plunged their mounts into the stream and swam them across.  

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