Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Name: Louis R. Jobe
Post Office: Muskogee, Oklahoma
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth: Creek Nation
Father: Leroy Jobe Place of Birth: West Tennessee Information on father: buried in family cemetery on my farm
Mother: Syracuse Sells-Jobe Place of birth: Alabama Information on mother: buried in family cemetery on my farm
Field Worker: L. W. Wilson Interview: #____
I am 75 years old and one-fourth Creek Indian. Fathers name. Leroy Jobe born West Tenn. Don't know date born or died. Buried in family Cemetery on my farm. Mothers name. Syracuse Sell-Jobe. Buried in family Cemetery on my farm. Both father and mother came here in 1836, maybe it was 1838. Mother was on the Trail of Tears that history speaks of so much. Father was driving team for the government and to make the time definitely when he came here it was the year that the stars fell. If you can figure that out.
My education was in the National and Boarding Schools in the Creek Nation and then when older attended school in Kansas. English was taught in all the schools.
Our social organizations was the churches. Ministers would preach in Creek sometimes and then would be interpreted. Others preached in English entirely.
We spent our time hunting, fishing, horse racing, ball playing, gathering nuts, gathering berries and other fruits and did some farming. We simply lived as one would say at home. Course we raise and grazed lots of cattle. Cattle raising was our principal occupation.
ROADS & TRAILS
The old Ft. Arbuckle road as far as I can remember started about the mouth of Grand River and came west through the north side of my present farm on to the old Creek Agency on the east side of Fern Mountain then south toward Okmulgee and on to Ft. Arbuckle. This was the old Military Road. The wagon teams had their camp on my present farm.
The Texas Road I believe was first blazed by Gen. Leavensworth 18 1834, and started at Grand River Mouth. This road here at Grand River connected with what we use to call the old Military Road that ran into Missouri. Leaving Grand River the road ran in a southwestern direction through what is now known as Bacone College on to the west side of the present City of Muskogee, Okla., thence south to about three miles east of Muskogee at a place we called North Fork Town. It went further but I was never over the lower part of the road. On this road between Muskogee and the present town of Checotah, Okla. was two toll bridges. One on the north fork of Elk Creek, another on the south fork of Elk Creek and there was a ferry across the North Canadian but I cannot recall the name of same.
The Nevins Ferry at the mouth of Grand and the Verdigris River was run by Julia Nevins and her husband. This was the ferry which was the main artery between Tahlequah and Ft. Arbuckle Freight, mail and passengers going to and fro to all directions used this ferry.
The Harris Ferry was over the Arkansas River about where the M.K.T. R.R. bridge is located today. It was run by Red Bird Harris and was abandoned about the year 1875 or 1974* after the railroad came across. It was no longer needed it seemed.
There was a Brewer Ferry in latter years that paralleled the Nevins Ferry just north. The Brewer Ferry was run by a man named Brewer and another man whose name I cannot recall. I just can't recall the date it started operating but it ceased before the Nevins Ferry. The Nevins Ferry I believe operated up to the year of State-hood. The Frozen Rock Ferry was operated by the Roger boys. Connell ROGERS was one of them. It was located due east of the present Frozen Rock School. It was abandoned the year the Frisco railroad built their bridge and made a toll bridge out of it. I can't say just what year that was. The Frisco Bridge was built just about where the Jack Rabbitt ford use to be.
There was the Smith's Ferry that was further down the road in the Goose Neck Country. The reason they called it Goose Neck is because the river so runs in a way that forms a Goose Neck. This Ferry was used extensively in the handling of traffic between the west and Webber Falls, Okla. Cannot say now when this started operating. It is however in service altho seldom used.
There was a store and commissary run on the west bank of the Ark. River at the Nevins Ferry Landing by a man named Nip Blackstone. This was near the present Muskogee Pump Station. I think possibly some of the remains of the old store is still there or it might be the house used by the ferrymen. I remember the ferry house as being a 3 room affair.
On the Texas Road described above across north Elk Creek operated by Jim McIntosh and on south fork of Elk Creek operated by a Mrs. Drew. Cannot say when these bridges were established and will say they were abandoned soon after the railroad (M.K.T.RR.) went through this part of the country it may have been in service however until 1884.
Steam boats of small nature, and light draught plied the river between Ft. Gibson or rather from the Nevins Ferry which was near the present Muskogee Pump Station to Webber Falls, Ft. Smith and occasionally a boat from Memphis and New Orleans. It was a gay time when the boats came up, the river and landed. People would flock to the docks to greet it. They carried cargoes of mail and provisions, Feed and dry goods, etc. And the people was always it seemed to be looking for some of their kin in on the boats.
The boats tried to run on schedule on once a month in the beginning but later wound up by trying to bring enough of everything in June when the river was up to last them until the next June. I cannot recall the name of any of these boats at this time altho I should as well as some of the Captains.
The return load was usually hay and logs. Lots log rafting was going on, on the river in those days also.
Some time the boats could get no farther than Webber Falls and then the freight would be transported by Ox Carts and Wagon Teams to Nevins Ferry for points east and west.
The government freight camp was located on my place in 1876 that that traversed the Ft. Arbuckle Road.
Mr. Jobe felt a hesitancy in speaking of civil war days but did reveal that there was a confederate fort known as Ft. Davis to the east of his place and between his place and the Nevins Ferry and that it was burned in 1873 by the Union Soldiers and that further of across the Ark. and Grand River was Ft. Gibson occupied by the Unions which fort portions still exist also spoke of Camp Washita in the Arbuckle Mts. Ft. Arbuckle but he would not, dwell to any extent on any of them.
L.W. Wilson, Field Worker: P. S. I feel that a great deal more could be revealed by Mr. Jobe on the civil war days, folk lore and family and social customs but he is quite incapacitated. He would not talk much of his activities as a boy.
Comments by submitter: The date the road was made by Gen. Leavenworth is typed exactly the way it is in the interview. "18 1834". The date "1974" I am sure must be typo error it probably should read "1874". I typed this interview exactly as written. Transcribed and submitted by Lynda B. Canezaro <LBCane@aol.com> 07-2000