Forgotten Landmark-Site of Silver City, Tuttle, Oklahoma

Silver City Cemetery (2 miles north on Cimmaron Road, 0.3 mile west on Sliver City Ridge Road, 0.6 mile north on local road)

Lying on the South Canadian River, Silver City was one of the important halts and trading points on the Chisholm Trail. Early ranchmen in the neighborhood found it necessary to herd their cattle and horses, and pen them at night, to prevent them from being drifted away by grazing buffalo herds. It is said that they also employed African-American or Native-American herders rather than white cowboys because white scalps were preferred by the raiding Comanche and Kiowa Indians.

Notes on Silver City by J.C. Malcom:

At the age of fourteen years I moved with my father and mother and three brothers and three sisters in 1889 to the Indian Territory (from Ozark, Arkansas), crossing the Arkansas River at Webbers Falls. There in the Cherokee Nation we were joined by some old friends of ours named Polk. We hit the trail there going west. The next place was Hartshorne. From there we came to Wewoka and from there to Sacred Heart Mission; and from there to Purcell on the South Canadian River. The next morning we hit the trail going on west. The next place we came to was Leeper, a little store and postoffice by the side of the trail; and from there on west to dear old Silver City, Indian Territory. There we landed on the Jimmie Bond ranch. That was about the 20th of March, 1889. Silver City at that time was a great trading place for the Indians.

The town of Silver City was located about two miles north of where Tuttle now stands. J. D. Lindsay was the merchant and his helper was Will Sawyer. Silver City consisted of a store, few houses and a hotel which was run by a party by the name of Cornett. This was 1889. Will Erwin’s folks were the last ones to run the hotel. That was 1890. Billie Nelson ran a blacksmith shop. He was a half-brother to Bart and Jake Horn. Mrs. Dr. John Shirley lived just east of the store on the east side of the old Chisholm Trail. She was a widow having a family of five girls and two boys. Their names were Lawrence and Oscar; the girls’ names were Alice, Cora and Blanche and the other two were Frank Clayton’s wife and Dick Fryriar’s wife. The Smith and Tuttle ranch house was about a half mile north of the store.

In the spring of 1890, Silver City was moved to Minco which was the end of the Rock Island for about two years. I, J. C. Malcom, and my father hauled the goods and the building to Minco, having no road. We started across the prairie picking our way but by the time we got through hauling we had a very good road. We crossed Store Creek as it was called straight west of Silver City, running west to a lone cotton wood tree and Beaver Creek; and from there southweat going about one-fourth mile south of where Allen Hill lives now, and crossing Boggy Creek about fifty yards south of where the road is where Ray Thomas lives now. The creek did not have any banks there, and one could cross anywhere you came to it. After Silver City was moved the old schoolhouse was left standing alone out on the prairie. The neighbors organized a Sunday School there. That was 1891. My mother died March 5th, 1891, and was buried at the old Silver City cemetery; and my father died February 14th, 1899, and was also buried there where many pioneers and heroes were laid to rest.

The schoolhouse built by the leading cattlemen of Silver City was where Miss Meta Chestnut opened the first school in September of 1889.  She later married, and is well known in the history of Minco as Mrs. J. Alba Sager.  The school opened at Minco in 1890 where it was established later as El Meta Bond College, with Mrs. Sager as principal until 1920.  J.P. Bond and Montford T. Johnson were well known cattlemen in the Silver City region.  They were citizens of the Chickasaw Nation as their families were of Chickasaw Indian descent.  Mrs. J.P. Bond was active in securing the establishment of the El Meta Bond College at Minco.[i]

Marker in Tuttle

Marker in Tuttle

P1010623

P1010625 P1010626

[i] Chronicles of Oklahoma Volume 36; Oklahoma Historical Society; 1958, pg. 211-212.

 

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