Terry Mason's Family History Site
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Marriage Notes for Alexander Washington Huddleston and Emma E. Hatley
Resident of Datto, married by H. W. Johnson, Minister of the Gospel.
Anna Myrl Meridith
RESEARCHER: Information provided to T.Mason on 22 Apr 2006 by Joyce Tiner [email@example.com]. "They lived in Dyess, Ar. before moving to McCrory, Ar. in 1949. Then they moved to Memphis, Tn. in 1955 where Mom lived until her death."
7140. John Ferguson Cox
Occupation: Illinois River Towboat, Diesel Engineer. Education: High School. Religion: Methodist.
7171. James Marvin Ansley
RESEARCHER-DESCENDANTS: Information sent to T.Mason on 20 May 2004 by Karen Ansley.
Compiled for the Texas County History Book by William Doris Ansley and Ina Ione Ansley Reece, his children:
James Marvin Ansley came to Oklahoma Territory to Beaver City (Oklahoma) in 1903. He went to work for his uncle, J.W. Ansley. His uncle was a land agent. He drove a settler's hack that carried immigrants to find locates to homestead. They were from all over the country, as far away as St. Louis, Chicago, and New York. He had to find the land numbers to that they could file a claim for the land.
In the fall of 1903, he (James Marvin) went back to Texas and went to college at Baylor University.
In the summer of 1904, he came back to work for his uncle, who had moved his business to Guymon. His uncle had homesteaded on land four miles southeast of Optima, Oklahoma Territory, on the Beaver River. They hauled rock and built a house and corral. His two neighbors helped. Then they hauled more rock and dammed the Beaver River and made a canal to carry water for irrigation. Then he (J.W.) grew cantaloupes for market. At harvest time, they were boxed and hauled to Optima where the Rock Island (railroad) had cantaloupe sheds to take care of them until they could be shipped. He got $2.50 a box for them. His uncle (J.W.) let him live with him, and they drove to Guymon in the wagon to their business.
In the fall of 1904, James Marvin went back to Texas and married Sally Lou Southerland, on December 24, 1904. In the spring of 1905, he homesteaded and brought his wife out to live on the prairie. They had very few neighbors. They had to build a place to live. With a saw, hatchet, square shovel and pick, he built a half-dugout-four feet in the ground and four feet out. Water was the next problem. There was no well, and the closest water was about two miles. They hauled water in a barrel on a wagon for about five months, then later drilled a well.
James Marvin's homestead was four and a half miles northwest of Optima, in Texas County, Oklahoma Territory. When he homesteaded, the homestead law required that they build a house and live at least three years on the land to claim it. Times were very hard. (There was) very little work to be done to earn a living.
He bought a team of mules before he went to homestead. Later, he bought a sod plow and broke sod for neighbors to earn a living. Walking behind the plow all day could only plow about one acre at $2.50 an acre.
He had to break sod for land to farm. For heating and cooking, they used coal or cow chips, whichever they could get. They used rope tied to a washtub pulled round to pick up chips and then loaded them into the wagon and hauled them home for fuel. He had neighbors not too far off, and they exchanged work. They were very neighborly. The half-dugout was his home out on the prairie where cows and coyotes roamed.
In 1910, his father, L.L. Ansley, came from Texas to live with him. When he came, he shipped three head of horses and $500 worth of lumber, and he built a four-room hip-roofed house. About five years later, his father moved to another place he bought.
All of these years, times were very hard. Maize (sold for) $.28 to $.40 per hundred, hogs (sold for) $3.50 to $5.00 per hundred pounds. He had cows, hogs, and chickens, and that was about all they had to live on.
In 1922, James Marvin moved east of Optima and farmed and worked for the Rock Island Railroad. In 1924, he retired from farming and just worked for the railroad. From 1905 to 1921, (he and Sally) raised a family of four boys and three girls: William Doris, Merlene, Henry, James B., Mary, Wilson, and Ione. He was fortunate enough to have a job with the railroad during the Dust Bowl days.
During the few years from 1930 to about 1936, he was transferred several places by the railroad. About 1937, he transferred to Hooker, Oklahoma, where he retired from the railroad.
When he first came to Oklahoma Territory, Old Buffalo was his post office. The marker is along Highway 54 about 6 miles west of Hooker, Oklahoma. Optima was later his post office. At one time the Optima post office was about three miles west of where Optima is now.
James Marvin Ansley and his wife Sally both passed away in 1959 and are buried in Hooker.
Guy Earl Dickson
RESEARCHER: Information sent to T.Mason on 30Oct2002 by Joyce Jackson [firstname.lastname@example.org] of Bedford, TX. "Additional family shown on descendancy chart."