December 26, 1905 letter to Claude Brown from Willis Brown

December 26, 1905

To: Claude Brown, Chicago, IL

From: Willis Brown, Lawton, OK

Describes Oklahoma. Geronimo is quartered at the fort. Will is now able to tell an Apache from a Comanche but not a Kiowa from a Comanche.

Scan of 1905-12-26 Willis Brown to Claude Brown

Lawton, Oklahoma

Dec. 26th 05

C. K. Brown
Chicago, Ill

Dear Nephew,

It is some time since we have heard from any of the folks and we are anxious to hear how you all are. It is not much like Christmas weather here. Just imagine the finest day you can in the latter part of February with a white frost and the thermometer at about 24° in the morning and the sun running it up to about 60 by noon with just a slight breeze blowing and you have about what the days are here now though today there was quite a strong wind, like March there. The roads and streets are very fine except when it rains and they dry out very quickly when it stops raining.

We have been especially favored with chances to ride about the town and some of the farming country, but the finest trip we have had was up to Fort Sill and to Medicine Bluff two weeks ago last Sunday. I wish you could see the rocks and hills and all that has been jumbled together to make an ideal place for the training of Soldiers. In one place there is a perpendicular rock some 300 feet high and ¼ of a mile long of the most delicate greenish shade imaginable with here and there a cedar tree clinging without a sign of soil to give it support and at the bottom flows as pretty a stream as one could wish to see with about as much water as flows in what we used to call the “Olmsted brook” or was the day we were there. They tell me there are trout in the stream and as I did not see a fin of any kind I am inclined to believe it. There is considerable timber mostly Pecan trees some of which are more than three feet in diameter though not very high and any amount of that strange freak of nature “mistletoe” which I was surprised to find was a fungus getting its nourishment from the sap of the bough to which is attached and causing the part of the limb beyond to wither and dry up till the mistletoe is like a bunch of green twigs sometimes as large as a bushel basket at the end of a branch from 1 to 2 inches in diameter in almost any kind of a tree.

We saw one tree litterally loaded with paradise berries. It was 15 or 20 feet high and the top was probably 20 ft. in diameter and it was a like a gilded dome in the sunshine as you may imagine if you will hold some of the berries up to the sunlight – Those Lizzie[1] sent Edith.[2]

There are many interesting scenes and personages on the reservation and you would enjoy it very much I think as well as the comanche indian village a short distance away and then you would be able to gather some interesting curios for your den and they are the genuine stuff and I tell you I would have liked to have sent you some of the things but I’m too blamed poor to even trade with an indian.

At the fort old Geronimo and his band of Apaches are quartered. They live in a village by themselves and are aparently as well off as anybody though they are prisoners. I can now tell an Apache from a Commanche when I see them but cant yet tell a Kiowa from a Commanche. They are both large, fat and fine looking but with a tendency to bow legs and “straight” feet almost “pigeon toes.” They are mostly rich and drive or ride good horses and ponies. Their buggies are mostly covered ones and usually they have brakes on. I wish I had a camera and could get some views to send you. I know you’d be as interested as I am in the strange things seen here and if we stay here I want you and Edith to plan to make us a visit. The indians here are of course different from what they were 25 years ago and are constantly changing and you ought to see them before they get any farther away from nature.

The climate here must agree with me. I have gained 14 pounds in weight and if I had nothing to worry me I would feel fine but you know it was a crazy move to come way off here and leave the boys[3] the way we did and I don’t think this is any place for a boy unless he has the snap to take hold and hustle and you know our tribe are not famous for that. Ray dont cause us any worry only that something may happen to him but Perry ought to be with us I guess.

We had an 8 lb. Turkey for thanksgiving and another for Christmas – 10¢ a pound and we have quails for our dinner tomorrow, a donation – the second one of the kind we have had. A good quail hunter don’t think anything of going out and getting 25 to 40 quails in a day and as there is no closed season its sport the year round but woe upon the one caught selling any. The prairie is alive with meadow larks but their songs are not heard at this season of the year. Jack Rabbits are plentiful but I have not seen a live one yet. One of the firemen has 6 greyhounds and he goes out a little ways and gets them most anytime. His dogs got 3 wolves in one day about 5 weeks ago.

Well I must stop. Would like very much to hear from you.

Your loving Uncle Willis A. Brown

Did you get any circulars from the Davis Elton Land syndicate?


[1] Will’s wife, Elizabeth (Ogden) Brown

[2] Claude’s wife, Edith (Neumaier) Brown

[3] Will’s sons, Ray (age 19) and Perry (age 17)

This entry was posted in 1900 Letters and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to December 26, 1905 letter to Claude Brown from Willis Brown

  1. Genie Brown says:

    They go into so much detail something we don’t do today!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s