"James Noble Haile"

Part X

On December 30, 1905, Jim and Lizzie bought another 200 acres of land.  They now owned 2947 acres and leased probably 400 acres more.  This made the Haile ranch one of the largest in this part of Texas.  Jim Haile was now beginning to realize his dream of owning 5000 acres.
Paw did most of the feeding of the horses and cattle in the other pastures.  He'd haul corn to the horses in the Chitwood pasture every day in the winter.  He had cattle in 3 or 4 pastures and he'd haul cottonseed to them.  It took him most of the day to do the feeding during the winter.  Us kids fed the stock on the home place.  We'd shuck corn and take a hatchet and chop the ears in small pieces and feed it to the milk cows along with some cottonseed, then we'd just shuck the corn and give it to the horses and they got to eat straw at the straw stack too.
It was January of 1906 and school was going on as usual in Gum Branch School.  Two of the neighborhood boys got unruly in class so the teacher gave them a whipping.  I can remember the two boys telling their sisters to be sure and take all their books home.  We started walking home and these two boys said they had forgotten something and they went back to the school.  In just a few minutes the schoolhouse was on fire and we had to finish school that year in the little gray house on our ranch.  We sure didn't have as far to go to school the rest of the year.
The spring of 1906 was beautiful.  There had been rain and the cotton, corn, oats, and wheat were up to a good stand.  Lizzie's garden was very pretty too.  The new calves and colts were growing in number each day and the new chicks, turkeys, and ducks were hatched off.
We had an awful time with the jumbo grasshoppers that year.  Paw would mix arsenic with corn meal and scatter it around the edge of the cotton patch and if that didn't get them then us kids had to take wood paddles and walk around the edge of the cotton patch and beat them to death.  Course we had them every year but they were real bad this year. 
So were the ticks on the cows.  Paw and the boys would bring about 100 head of cattle at a time to the corral at home and get some Beaumont Oil and take brushes and rub it all over the cattle.  They did this every spring.
It wasn't long before the ticks would be back on them.  I've seen the milk cows come in with a gallon of ticks on them and we'd have to brush them off of the cow's bags before we could milk them.  In about 1919 they got to building long dipping vats and putting the cattle through the dip and this helped a lot with the tick problem.
Most cattle in the early days had 'stiff' disease.  Cottonseed wasn't a good feed for cattle and they'd get poor and stiff and when they'd get down they couldn't get up, especially when it snowed a lot.  Paw didn't believe in bailing hay for them and they just didn't have enough to eat.  When there was a foot or more of snow on the ground Paw and some of his neighbors would go rabbit hunting cause the rabbits couldn't run in the deep snow.
Round up time was here again.  Jim, Ollie, Dud, Jim, and some of the neighbors branded and castrated over 200 head of calves.  We had to watch for screwworms all the time.  If we didn't get to the cattle that got screwworms in time, then they would die, but one thing about it, we never had a veterinarian  Paw did all the doctoring.
The summer of 1905 Jim Haile decided it was time to build a larger ranch house.  He hauled the lumber out from Hico and with the help of his boys and the neighbors and Mr. Mason, who was a carpenter from Hico, he built a house that had a front porch all the way across the front.  A larger girls bedroom was off to the left of the long hallway that ran the length of the house.  The living room with a fireplace was the first room on the right. Behind this was another big bedroom where the boys slept and back of that was a large kitchen-dining room with a back porch.  The kitchen had a big iron stove that burned wood and us kids had to cut the wood and keep it handy for Maw to put into the stove.  We also had a nice big striking clock in the fireplace room but it didn't have an alarm  it just ticked.  Maw was sure proud of that house, but we could have still used more room.
The Haile ranch was impressive with all its buildings.  Besides the new ranch house, there was the little house where most of the children were born and where the family lived until they built the new house.  There was a saddle house, a long cotton seed house, two big log corn crib barns with horse stalls attached, a starving lot where they kept horses that needed to be broke.  We didn't starve the horses, we fed them, we just called it the starving lot.  There was a colt lot, two big log house barns, a wagon shed and several corrals to work the cattle.
None of us ever had false teeth, but Paw had a dentist named Dr. Hall in Hico that fixed his teeth up with gold.  We didn't have any hospitals either  when we got sick we stayed at home and had the doctor come out and we either got better or we died, and there were a lot of folks that died too.
The cotton and corn crop the fall of 1906 looked better than average.  However, Carl Carson was wanting to move back to Hico because his parents, Mr. And Mrs. Doc Carson had moved back the year before.  In early September Carl sold his cotton crop and moved Lola and son Oran to Hico and got a job working in a butcher shop cutting up and delivering meat.
We all felt bad that Carl sold his cotton crop cause the man that bought it made 19 bales and sold it for $25 a bale.  If Carl had stayed just another month he could have had this money for himself.
After we got our cotton picked and corn gathered we started to school.  We had to go to Long Point, which was about 4 miles away.  This was because those two boys burned our school down the January before.  Allie, Alma, Kate, Little Jim, and Mollie went every day in a double buggy and boy it sure got cold before the winter was over.
Doc Carson's two younger brothers, Will and Dan, had already moved to Lawton, Oklahoma and had written back to him that there was a good opportunity to put in a general merchandise store there.  Lawton was a new town at the edge of Ft. Sill and was composed of a few wooden buildings and a lot of tents and lean-to houses.
November of 1906 Doc Carson took the train to Lawton to look the town over.  He felt there was plenty of business there to support a general merchandise store either in Lawton or one of the small surrounding towns so he wrote his wife, Mattie, and told her to load everything they owned on a freight car and bring, Arien, Thurman, and Forrest to Lawton and they would start a new life there in Indian country.
Carl decided that he wanted to go to Lawton too, so he began to make plans to load his belongings on the same freight car with his mother and sister Arien and two brothers Thurman and Forrest.  Lola was almost 8 months pregnant with her second child but Carl was sure he could look after her.
When we heard that Carl, Lola, and Oran were going to move we were very sad.  Sue and I both cried when we heard it cause Lola was 8 months along with her second baby and she had had such a hard time with her first one.  They came out to the ranch and ate dinner with us the day before they left.  Maw was awful worried about Lola too, but I guess she understood that wives always went with their husband wherever they went. Ollie and Dora came over to the ranch to say good-bye and he just shook hands with Lola.  "Dora and Ollie, you kiss her good-bye", but he didn't cause we just didn't do things like that then.
All the Carsons got their belongings on the freight car.  Carl took old 'Daisy' the mare that Jim Haile had given him and Lola as a wedding present.  They left about the first of December and arrived in Lawton on the third.  Carl found a place to stay for his family and got a job working in a cottonseed press mill.  Just barely in time too, because on December 10, 1906 Lola gave birth to her second child, Clyde Lewis Carson.
Christmas just wasn't the same on the Haile ranch.  It just didn't seem like Christmas without Lola and Carl, but when we got the letter telling us that Lola had had her baby and that she was all right, then we felt a little better.
We had a storm cellar but we never did go in it.  We had windstorms and a few tornados but mostly we had high winds, rain, and hail.  One time we had a bunch of young turkeys that were beginning to roost in the trees.  A big black cloud began to form and I started trying to get the turkeys out of the trees and into a little shed.  Paw said let them go, it won't hurt them, - but it did.  They were all on the ground the next morning almost frozen to death.  We had to gather them up and dry them out by the fireplace.
Jim Haile had a good calf crop, many beautiful colts this spring of 1907.  His cotton and corn were up to a pretty stand and the oats were almost ready for the binder.  Lizzie's garden and flowers were very pretty and the peach and plum orchards were beginning to make and so were the grapes.
We drove that double buggy to school at Long Point all winter long and we were glad when we came home one day and saw Paw and the neighbors building a new school building where the old building had burned down over a year ago.  It sure would be nice to start to school in a new school in the fall.
Us kids hoed Ollie's cotton and corn just like it was ours.  We always ate dinner there when we worked there and one day we were hoeing Ollie's cotton and Dora was helping us.  She said lets stop and go to the house and get a drink.  Well we'd had fried chicken that day and we all got us a piece and took it back to the field with us.  All of a sudden, we looked up and saw Paw coming back from Hico.  We had all eaten our chicken except Dora.  She had a big piece of breast meat so she dug a hole and buried her chicken.  Well Paw didn't even stop  he just kept right on going.  "Boy, I sure wish I had my chicken back" Dora said.  That just showed how much us kids were scared of Paw, even Dora and she was his daughter-in-law.