The Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, March 15, 1883.
THE PENNSYLVANIA OIL COMPANY.
This resolution adopted by the Live Stock Association, thanking Messrs. Plumb and Ryan, could have been very properly amended by striking out that portion relating to the Pennsylvania Oil Company. That company took their range on the same plan and under similar conditions to other cattlemen who had fenced. It did not attempt to take any advantage of those rightfully holding cattle on the range which they had hired; on the contrary, the company had offered to buy out all such parties, if said parties would sell. Those who did not want to sell were given to understand that they could remain, without interference on the part of the company, so long as the Cherokee authorities were satisfied.
The whole hue and cry against the Pennsylvania Oil Company came from men who had for years held cattle upon the grounds leased by the company without paying one cent to the Cherokee Nation, or to any other government. Under the laws of the United States and the Cherokee Nation, they had no right to occupy one foot of the ground in question, and therefore their howls about monopolies, etc., should never have received the least attention or support from stockmen who had acted in good faith to the Cherokees.
It is the fashion just now to howl against corporations and men of large capital, and therefore any defense of the Pennsylvania Oil Company will meet with but little consideration. Notwithstanding all this, the COMMERCIAL claims that the company and its managers are entitled to fair treatment, especially at the hands of those whose right to hold a range and fence it is not one whit better than that of the above named company.
Since the above was put in type, we have learned that there is no such organization as the AStandard Oil Company@ or the APennsylvania Oil Company@ laying any claim to a range or doing any business on the Cherokee Strip. The firm all the fuss has been kicked up about is composed of W. B. Roberts and J. H. Windsor, and their cattle business has no connection in any way with any oil company on the face of the globe. As individuals, they have put their own money into the stock business, secured a defined range from the Cherokee Nation, and they have not sought in any way to infringe upon the rights of others. When they obtained the privileges of the range they now hold, Messrs. Roberts & Co., were informed by Major Lipe that the range was unoccupied, or if it was, the parties so occupying it were intruders, because they had never paid any tax to the Cherokee Nation. Now, if Messrs. Roberts and Windsor are treated fair, as they should be under the circumstances, they will do what is right by all parties concerned. But if there should be any attempt to coerce them, or trample upon their rights, they are not the men we take them to be if they quietly submit. Give them a fair deal, and the rights of all will be strengthened thereby.
The Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, March 15, 1883.
THE WIRE FENCES.
Agent Tufts= Report to Commissioner of Indian Affairs.
UNION AGENCY, MUSKOGEE, INDIAN TERRITORY, March 1, 1883.
SIR: Referring to cattle letter dated January 6, 1883, I have the honor to report that I have visited the lands known as Cherokee land, west of 96 degrees, and find there a large number of cattle, estimated to be 300,000, ranging on the Strip. About 200,000 are there by and with the consent of the Cherokees, and on which there was paid a grazing tax to the Cherokee authorities of about $41,000 during the year. About 100,000 cattle on these lands belong to citizens of Kansas, who turn them loose on these lands and pay no tax.
After a careful investigation, I have to answer the questions submitted in the above official letter as follows.
1. How much fencing has been done?
Answer: 950 miles.
2. To whom do the fences belong?
Answer: To citizens of the United States and a few citizens
Of the Cherokee Nation.
3. Name each and all companies or organizations claiming to own fences and the quantity of wire in each.
Comanche pool, 55 miles.
Bollinger & Schlupp, 60 miles.
Drumm & Snyder, 50 miles.
Miller & Pryor, 45 miles.
B. H. Campbell, 30 miles.
George Thompson, 40 miles.
S. & Z. Tuttle, 58 miles.
Bridge & Wilson, 45 miles.
Bates & Co., 33 miles.
Hewins & Titus, 60 miles.
Cobb & Hutton, 56 miles.
C. H. Moore, 24 miles.
George Miller, 72 miles.
H. Hodgson, 35 miles.
Dean Bros., 40 miles.
E. M. Ford, 87 miles.
C. H. McClellan, 72 miles.
G. Greever, 60 miles.
T. Mayhew, 37 miles.
[KAY, YOU MAY WANT TO CHECK ON THIS! I TRIED TO ADD UP ABOVE MILES AND CAME UP WITH A TOTAL OF 959 MILES. MAW]
4. How long since fencing was commenced?
Answer: During the spring of 1882.
5. What effect has such fencing had upon legitimate travel and upon mail routes?
Answer: There are but two mail routes through the land in question: from Caldwell, Kansas, to Ft. Reno and points beyond; from Arkansas City to Nez Perces Agency. There are no fences within two miles of either road. There are no other roads for legitimate travel across these lands. Pastures are supplied with gates for the use of parties traveling through. The fences do not interfere in any manner with legitimate travel or mail routes.
6. What effect has the wire fences on the reservation of destruction of timber on said lands?
Answer: Timber extended only along the water courses, and for miles into the Territory along the state line of Kansas, has been destroyed by parties from Kansas, who have used it for fuel and fencing. Much of this valuable lumber has been taken from the Cimarron River, a distance of sixty miles from the Nation line. Unless this wholesale destruction of timber is stopped, it is safe to state that all timber on these lands will be destroyed within three years.
While the value of this timber to those who steal it is not great, its value to the country can hardly be estimated, and whatever disposition is made of these lands ultimately; the supply of water will determine its value for any purpose.
There is no law in the statutes of the United States to punish for stealing timber from the reservations of any of these five civilized tribes, and it is very evident there never will be any, and these people from the states will continue to destroy this timber as they are now doing until it is all gone.
Where ranges have been fenced, the cattle men neither cut timber themselves nor do they permit anyone else to do so; and in my judgment, if the fences now on these lands are permitted to remain, and others are permitted to fence under proper instruction, it will put an effective stop to the destruction of the timber on these lands, and as these cattlemen place fire-guards around their ranches, the young growth of timber will add much to the value of the lands.
I respectfully recommend that the fences now on these lands be permitted to remain, and that others desiring to fence their range have permission to do so.
1st. Permission from the Cherokee Nation must be obtained.
2nd. That no fences shall be erected within two miles of any post road.
3rd. If any parties fencing their range cut or permit any timber to be cut within their pastures, they shall be subject to removal from the Territory and the fences destroyed.
4th. All fences shall be removed at once from the Territory whenever those in possession shall be notified to do so by the department.
The effect of a settlement of this matter in this way will be that the Indian office will not be called upon every few months to remove from the Territory cattlemen who refuse to pay tax. The Cherokee National will collect double the tax; the destruction of the timber will be effectually stopped, and the young timber protected from fire.
The only opposition I found to this fencing was from those who claimed that the timber on these lands belonged to anybody that got it, and from those who live in the states and own large herds of cattle on these lands and refuse to pay tax.
The Pennsylvania Oil Company, who attempted to fence without permission from the Cherokee authorities and enclose the ranges and owners of small herds of cattle on which they had paid Cherokee tax, have agreed to settle with those whose ranges they had intended to enclose in their pasture, and obtain permission of the Cherokee authorities, or go elsewhere for their range.
This arrangement satisfies Mr. Scott and others, who complained to the Department of the action of the Oil Company; and if permitted to do so, will fence their ranges during the coming summer.
JOHN Q. TUFTS, U. S. Indian Agent.
To Hon H. Price, Commissioner Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C.
The Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, March 22, 1883.
A BIG CATTLE TRADE.
M. H. Bennett and H. W. Timberlake sold their cattle and ranges last week to Messrs. Cragin & Marston, who, we understand, are organized under the firm name of the Phila-delphia Cattle Company. The price paid was $95,000 to Bennett and $65,000 to Timberlake. This is one of the largest transactions of the kind which has occurred on the Cherokee Strip for some time.
The Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, March 29, 1883.
It would seem, if the letters of Major Lipe, Treasurer of the Cherokee Nation, are any criterion, that the so-called Pennsylvania Oil Company are not the only parties endeavoring to get the best of previous occupants on the Cherokee Strip. The St. Joseph Cattle Company, an organization of capitalists who went on the Strip last year, attempted to run out Peter Stewart, who held a range and had paid his taxes in a scope of country which the St. Joseph Cattle Company desired to take in. At first, the company sang low and soft to Mr. Stewart, and he was lulled into fancied security by their sweet music, until one fine morning they informed Stewart that his room was better than his company, and that the St. Joseph Cattle Company wanted all the range within the bounds of their fence.
Mr. Stewart, being one of those hard headed Scotchmen, would not submit to the imposition, stood upon his rights, and communicated at once with the Cherokee authorities. The result was a letter to Mr. Stewart stating that he had the first right, and would be upheld in maintaining his range. The St. Joseph Cattle Company will therefore have to let Mr. Stewart severely alone, or fare worse.
THE CALDWELL JOURNAL, June 14, 1883.
The following stockmen are here in attendance upon the Arbitration committee: T. H. Stevens, O. F. Casteen, C. C. Clark, O. S. Northrup, of Anthony; Fin. Ewing, F. H. Shelly, M. Strong, of Medicine Lodge; Charles W. Moore, M. J. Lane, Sam T. Ishmael, J. W. Carter, of Eagle Chief; N. B. Roberts, J. H. Windsor, A. D. Windsor, of Titusville, Pennsylvania (the two former are accompanied by their wives); John W. Blair, of Pond Creek; Ben Garland, city; John Tucker, Wichita; W. J. Hodge and J. H. Tornberien, Winfield; Capt. Nipp, C. M. Crocker, D. F. Fagins, Tipton Brothers, Arkansas City; W. Wicks, Hunnewell; Pink Fouts, Willow Springs; and a number of others whose names our reporter failed to obtain.
THE CALDWELL JOURNAL, June 21, 1883.
THE BOARD OF ARBITRATORS.
The Board of Arbitrators of the Cherokee Strip Live Stock Association, convened on the 12th, inst., adjourned on Friday, and on Monday resumed the task of settlng disputes over ranges and range lines.
The first case before the Board was that of J. A. Hammers & Co., against Northrup & Co. After a portion of the evidence had been given, the parties, by advice of the Board, settled the dispute among themselves, and to the satisfaction of all concerned.
The next one was the Salt Fork and Eagle Chief Pool vs. Broadwell & Co. This case occupied the entire day, the decision of the Board being that Broadwell was entitled to a range of 15,000 acres.
The next one was the Salt Fork & Eagle Chief Pool of the Texas Land and Cattle Company. This was a dispute about water on Sand Creek, and the Board, after hearing the statements from both sides, divided the creek equally between the two.
The case of Windsor & Roberts vs. Hodge [?] & Stewart, owing to the absence of the defendants, was continued until the next meeting of the Board. [COULD BE HODGSON INSTEAD OF HODGE...???]
The case of B. H. Campbell vs. Bates A. Thompson was continued until the next meeting.
The case of John Love & Son vs. Standard Oil Co., P. Fouts, Manager, was next heard. Plaintiff moved for a continuance. Motion refused, and the Board decided that as plaintiff had no tax receipt, or other evidence that they had paid for range privileges, and there being nothing to show that they had a range, therefore, plaintiffs had no rights before the Board. The representatives of the defendants protested against the name AStandard Oil Co.@ It was therefore ordered by the Board that the same should be changed to ARoberts & Windsor.@
THE CALDWELL JOURNAL, July 26, 1883.
Trouble on the Range.
Reports come to us to the effect that parties have been killing sheep and driving stock off the range of Roberts & Windsor, on Willow Creek, south of Arkansas City. Tuesday afternoon Mr. Fouts, manager of the above firm, received a telegram stating that a party of men had driven the stock off the range. If these reports are correct, the Cherokee Stip Live Stock Association will be compelled to take some action for their own protection, for the reason that if lawlessness of that kind can go unpunished in one single instance, it will be but a very short time before others will suffer, and the fact of being a member of the Association will be no protection whatever.
It would seem now that the Strip is made a part of the U. S. District of Kansas, there should be some way of punishing those who commit depredations upon the property of persons occupying the Strip in accordance with the laws and regulations of the United States and the Cherokee Nation. If not, a range on the Strip is not worth a song, and if any man undertake to hold one, he will have to do so through force. No argument is necessary to show that if such a condition of affairs is brought about, the Strip will become a strip of terror, where no man=s life or property will be safe for a single moment.
THE CALDWELL JOURNAL, August 2, 1883.
Arkansas City Democrat:
The indications are now that there will be trouble in the Indian Territory between the Asmall stockmen@ and Pennsylvania Oil Company. Already things are assuming a war-like appearance; so far we have been unable to learn any facts in regard to affairs, but next week we will try to give our readers some light.