As you enter the Springtown School House building at the Talbot Library & Museum (TL&M), you will quickly see a beautiful display of quilts donated to our museum.
We are very proud of our quilt collection. Some of the quilts we have include:
Also included are quilts from the late 19th century and early 20th century.
So many of these types of quilts leave such a legacy and are great piece of American history.
Nearly 100 years ago, Doyle Howerton was born in Colcord, Oklahoma. He was born on September 24, 1920. He attended grade school at Beck-Prairie and high school at Colcord High School, graduating in 1939.
He received an Associate's Degree from Southwestern State University in Weatherford, OK. He joined the Army Air Corps in 1941. He was a trained aircraft and engine maintenance technician. After training, he was shipped overseas and was part of the China-Burma-Indian theater for 13 months. He flew gasoline and supplies to many areas including China, Burma, Venezuela and India during World War II.
After over 20 years of service to our country, Howerton retired from the military on July 31, 1961. He received numerous ribbons, medals, and citations as a military Flight Engineer.
Howerton was married in 1955 and passed away on February 14, 2003. The flag from his funeral was donated to the Talbot Library and Museum by his wife, Dorotha Howerton, on October 14, 2003.
We salute Doyle Howerton for his service to our great country!
You may see more of Howerton's story, his funeral flag and photo when you visit the Talbot Library and Museum in Colcord, OK!
The area known as Indian Territory was among the last frontiers in America. Promised to the Indians for as long as the grass "growed" and the water flowed, the areas was inhabited by Indians, their adopted whites and those working in the areas on permits. A lawless element also attempted to use the Territory as a haven from the law.
In the Cherokee Nation, an area located in the northeastern part of the present-day Oklahoma, the people were torn apart by a bitter factional dispute that had raged for over a half century. Into this land came George William Talbot and his bride, the little Cherokee lady, Annie Caroline Smith Talbot. When George and Annie set up housekeeping in the Nation in the late Summer of 1876, he was no stranger to the country.
By the time he was married, George was well acquainted with Aaron "Head" Beck, operator of the Hildebrand Mill on Flint Creek. George acquired the skill of dressing stone mill buhrs, a skill few men knew, even among the milling profession.
With few trading posts in the Cherokee Nation, Arkansas border towns were quite popular. Evansville, Cincinnati, Hico, Cherokee City, Maysville and Bloomfield were busy places.
Life in the Cherokee Nation was simple and sometimes harsh. In fact, electric and telephone service did not come to some areas of the Nation until 75 years later. Horse or oxen were used to plow, pull wagons and other chores requiring "horsepower".
A milk cow was a necessity. If you were well-to-do, you made butter in a churn. If not, you made it by shaking the cream in a jar until the gobbets of butter formed. The annual calf was a treasured possession, either for replacement or addition to the herd, or to sell for cash to buy staple goods.
Hogs were another money crop. Allowed to run on the free range, they grazed on weeds and grass during the summer and fattened on acorns in the fall. Some were butchered for the winter supply of salt-cured pork. The rest were sold. Every spring an old hen or two were set with eggs. The hatching of eggs and baby chicks were watched carefully, for a varmint or black snake could wipe out a whole season of chicken dinners in a matter of minutes.
Farming was the principal occupation. Corn was the main crop with perhaps some wheat or oats and sometimes a patch of tobacco, for home use and for a cash crop.
Corn was gathered by hand, shelled and taken to the mill in a flour sack thrown across the back of a horse.
Wild game meant meat on the table and money in the pocket. Citizens of the Cherokee Nation killed pigeons, squirrels, rabbit, duck, quail, turkey and deer, and dressed them and sold them to buyers for the Eastern markets. Timber was a cash crop.
Coal oil was a necessity for the home. "Running water" was a stream that flowed nearby. Hot water was heated in a black iron teakettle. The bathtub was the galvanized wash tub. The bathroom was the little building that stood a respectable distance from the house.
School was a one room building, erected by the community. The Cherokees were interested in education for their children, and had been since before the 19th century. The local school board was run by a board of directors.
Death could come swiftly and with little warning...or could linger with growing pain. In any case, it was a time when neighbors gathered at the home, to sit up through the night and to dig the grave and build the coffin.
The Good Old Days! There was much good about them. And a lot of bad. Sometimes they could be downright cruel.
--Excerpts from "Life in the Cherokee Nation" which appears in the book The Talbots: Centuries of Service and in the book A Bit of History. Both books are by Virgil Talbot. Both books are available at the Talbot Library and Museum in Colcord, Oklahoma or you may order them at our online bookstore by clicking the link for each book.
Information about this historical event of 1872, including local people and places is also available at our Talbot Library and Museum in Colcord, OK.
From the Talbot Library and Museum Collection:
These gasoline pumps were lovingly restored by board member Bob Stinchcomb a few years ago. It was a huge undertaking but worth the effort!
For years, the old gas pumps had no inside home and were exposed to weather conditions. Bob took them to his home workshop and cleaned, repaired and painted them. They are on permanent display inside of the Adair building on the museum’s grounds.
The red pump was donated to Virgil Talbot in February of 1991 by D.K. Swon, Steve Synar, and Mrs. Ora Rogers, who were at the time owners of the Colcord Ranch. It is assumed that the pump came from the ranch. Bob discovered it was a Fry Visible Pump #17, five gallon. These pumps were very popular between 1924 and 1928 according to published resources.
The green pump was donated to Virgil in March of 1991 by Bill Cooper, Siloam Springs Arkansas. The history of the pump is unknown. It is a Bennett Model 810 Gas Pump (1930-1940).
Bob did a great service by refurbishing these pieces of Americana and now they can be appreciated and enjoyed for years to come, thus upholding Talbot’s motto of “Preserving a Bit of History”.
This watch belonged to Robert Lee Brown who was born at Rising Star, Texas in 1885. He married Mary E. Hodges in 1908. She was born in Indian Territory in 1888. In 1936, the family moved to Colcord and began taking care of the Colcord Ranch and Lodge.
Lowell Brown, the donor of this watch and the son of Robert and Mary, was about 17 and one of the younger children in a family of 9 children. Living at the ranch gave them many modern conveniences that most families in the area weren’t accustomed to. Lowell remembered having electricity from a Delco system and running water. He also remembered pumping gas from one of the old gasoline pumps from the ranch. These very pumps are located in the Adair Building on the Museum property.
The pumps have been carefully restored by Bob Stinchcomb.
Lowell recalled a special story about this watch: While in Texas, his father, Robert, needed some money and borrowed it from a local storekeeper. As collateral he gave the man his watch, who in turn loaned his father his own watch to keep time. It was several years before his father managed to pay off the loan and get his watch back. The watch is an Elgin. The watch and the chain have always been together.
Lowell made the stand the watch hangs on many years ago.
The watch was donated to the Talbot Museum by Lowell Brown in September 1996.
[The following was written in 1954 and appeared in the "The Butcher Workman, Chicago, IL and in the International Molders' and Foundry Workers' Journal, Cincinnati, OH. A shorter version was later published in my book, In the Shadow of the Hills.]
Fear! There breathes no man who hasn't felt the icy fingers of fear seep in to his bloodstream. He knows the sickening feeling when it captures his courage. He hasn't any peace of mind until he understands how to cope with it.
A little fear is a good thing. Fear for our soul gives us love and respect for our God. Fear for our mortal body gives us the common sense to protect it. Through fear of our parents we learn to respect them and, in turn, we are shaped into better citizens in our adult life. But too much fear can turn strong men into spineless jellyfish. They become pawns upon a checkerboard of time, moved at the will of a few.
We have felt the effects of many fears in this century. They have turned levelheaded men into stampeding mobs, trampling the innocent and guilty alike. In our grandfather's time we feared anarchism. As a result, many innocent workers suffered hardship and humiliation. Only through the courage and willpower of our early-day labor leaders, were we able to overcome this evil. In the early thirties it was the great depression. Chaos was fast becoming the reigning king, before we found a solution.
Today we are faced with communism. Because we don't know how to deal with it we are letting tyrannical methods of combating it destroy the ideals and freedoms upon which this great democracy was founded. Strong men are becoming pawns of powers which would in time destroy our right to think, to believe, and to worship.
What can we do to overcome this, the most deadly menace we have faced in the history of our union? Part of the answer lies in education, tolerance, religion and sound economy. While we wisely spend billions for our defense, we pinch pennies for our educational needs. We need more teachers and more classrooms, so that we may give our children the individual attention they so badly need. A diploma is worthless paper unless the child has absorbed the knowledge its represents.
Fear is the forerunner of hate. When hate moves in, communism is close at hand. When Catholic is pitted against Jew, white against black, and majority against minority, communism will make inroads into our way of life. Without sound economy we have less chance to combat this deadly evil. When men are jobless and hungry they are weakened spiritually as well as physically. They are ready to grab the first golden egg offered to them, no matter how rotten the yolk may be.
The pillars of our great nation are common sense, courage, determination, respect for our fellow man. Let not the termites of fear, hate, prejudice, and greed destroy those cornerstones. Let us fight communism, certainly, but as sane men, not fear-crazed animals.
Source: A Bit of History by Virgil Talbot, Page 173.
By Keri (Stinchcomb) Parker
Virgil Talbot’s mission to “Preserve a Bit of History” has been the constant theme and mission of the Talbot Library and Museum (TL&M) since its inception. If we break down the meaning of the individual words in the “name” of the organization we find a very broad and complete understanding of “preserving history”.
“Talbot” – obviously, this is the surname of its found, Virgil Talbot.
In his own words…”I am proud of the name and perhaps more so than most because I came into this world without right or title to a family name and for sixty years I never knew the identity of my natural father. Mine was no joyous moment of birth—there was no proud father waiting, nor caring mother. But there was someone willing to take me into their arms and into their heart and call me their own. That person was James A. Talbot, better known as Jim. He gave me the Talbot name and I have proudly borne it ever since….The name Talbot is up there on that building, not as a tribute to me but to a man who was born on Cowskin Prairie near Grove, OK of ancestry reaching back to the Norman Coast of France, and beyond that to the Norsemen from the far north; whose people came over the long Trail of Tears and settled in this country some 150 years ago; a man who loved history and passed that love on to me; who loved to read and gave me that love.”
“Library” – a collection of manuscripts, publications, and other material for reading, viewing, listening, study or reference.”
There is no doubt this “library” has one of the most impressive collections of written history and genealogical materials in the entire country. People from across the fruited plain request information and use the research materials contained in these humble walls in order to piece together a small part of their own family history and culture. Is this what Virgil intended when he established the TL&M twenty-five years ago?
“Museum” – a building or place where objects of permanent value are kept and displayed.
Piecing together history is often accompanied with obtaining, retaining, and learning the purpose of artifacts that have fallen out of use in today’s society. For example, what was it like to make your own butter in a Daisy butter churn using your own cream from your cow? Learning specifics about these artifacts give us just a small picture of what life may have been like for those in long gone generations. Is this what Virgil intended when he established the TL&M twenty-five years ago?
We are sure Virgil intended for future generations to research and gain knowledge using the available publications in the library as well as to see, touch, and understand about the artifacts of the past. But, did he also hope for something more? Probably.
Perhaps he wanted people to desire an understanding of history and heritage. Virgil understood that heritage comes or belongs to one by reasons of birth or an inherited share or portion. Our personal and collective stories tend to be handed to us as part of our birth right, or in Virgil’s case, his adoption. These narratives, comprised of how one’s ancestors fit into heroic stories of perseverance and bravery, are told at the knee of a relative or as part of a community heritage group. Our narratives cut to the core of our identity---of who we are. We hold our identities close and our emotional integrity is wrapped up in our identity.
So after twenty-five years, the Talbot Library and Museum still hopes to continue to entice all of us to learn more of our genealogy, history and heritage so we can fully understand where we came from and who we are in hope we can make our lives and the future count for good.
In accordance with Virgil’s words, “I pledge to you that I will do all within my ability to assure that the Talbot Library and Museum will be here for generations to come.”
We hope to continue what Virgil began a quarter of a century ago.
Originally published in TL&M Genealogy Magazine Volume XXIII, Number Two, 2015
You may purchase past copies of TL&M Genealogy Magazine. Details here.
A Bit of History Blog