The following is the brief autobiography of Joseph E. Paden, long time resident of Geary, OK, as told to his daughter Mary Lee on his 87th birthday (1960). It was provided me in October 2002 by my cousin Martha Paden Arntzen, who found it in the papers of our only surviving aunt, Louella Paden Drennan. I am the son of John Malcolm Paden, first born son of Joseph E. Paden.
The following is a list of names that appear in the text of the biography. I have added a maiden name and a few middle or first names to this list to make name searches easier.
John McComb Paden
Sarah Louise Bell Paden
Joseph Egleston Paden
James Buchanan Paden
Annie Lee Lyles Paden
Henry Richard Paden
John Wilburn Paden
Thomas Robert "Bob" Paden
John Malcolm Paden
Joseph Oklahoma Paden
Mary Lee Paden
"Jaw Bone" Jones
THE LIFE OF JOSEPH EGLESTON PADEN
As told to his daughter, Mary Lee
on his 87th Birthday
I was born March 10, 1872, the seventh child of John M. and Sarah Louise Paden, on a farm near Montpelier, Mississippi.
I attended a public school near Montpelier, until I was about fourteen years old. I had a fight with the school teacher and quit school. I helped my Dad farm for about two years before I enrolled in the Mississippi Normal College at Houston, Mississippi. I attended this school two years and quit for a short time, then returned and completed a bookkeeping course. Upon completion of this course, I worked in my brother James' General Store in Sparta, Mississippi and later at Houston, Mississippi. During the time I worked at the store, I met a traveling salesman, Will Lyles. We became good friends and it was through him that I met my wife, Annie Lee Lyles, cousin to Will.
About the time I was twenty years old, I went to Texas with my two brothers, Wilburn and Henry, to buy a car load of ponies to ship to Hennessee, Oklahoma. We sold those ponies for $35.00 to $40.00 each to men who were to ride September 16, 1893 in the strip opening.
I rode a freight train in the strip opening to Enid, Oklahoma. The train didn't stop at Enid to let us off, so we had to jump from the train. I remember seeing a woman jump from the train and break her leg. There was a mad scramble to stake claims so I didn't try to stake a claim, but the next day I located six sites that had not been claimed. I was allowed to claim one residential and one business claim. I asked four friends to sign up for the other four claims and then deed them over to me. I had the deed to four residential lots and two business lots. Henry later traded them to a man for a patent on a cow yoke. We never realized anything out of the patent.
I voted for the first time for Grover Cleveland who was inaugurated in 1893.
I was in Enid about one year. During that year, I ran a meat market. I was getting along pretty good until Henry drew all the money out of the bank and went to Texas to buy cattle. I didn't have any money left to stock my market, so I went to the bank and they bought me twenty-five steers to butcher. By the time I sold that beef, I had enough money to operate my business. Henry bought two thousand steers with the money he drew out of the bank and shipped them to Montgomery, Alabama. He took a fever and was sick for a long time. The cattle were sold and he was left broke.
The first of the year of 1894, I went back to Mississippi to help my Dad run the farm. After his death, September 19, 1895, I started buying and selling cattle in Mississippi.
About the time of the Spanish-American War in 1898, I went to Birmingham, Alabama. I was twenty-six years old. I bought and sold cattle all over Alabama, Georgia and Florida. Most of the cattle from Florida were shipped for canners. Wilburn and Henry were my partners. We shipped most of our cattle to Texas. We averaged two train loads per week. One train load in fifteen cars. Some cars were double decked, holding as many as one hundred twenty five animals. We made lots of money but finally lost it all and after about four years, I went back to Mississippi and lived with my mother and farmed. I ran for Justice of the Peace and was elected. I held that office until after I was married and moved to Oklahoma.
When I was almost thirty one years old, I married Annie Lee Lyles, February 22, 1903. We were married near Houston, Mississippi, by my brother Robert, a Baptist Minister. We lived with my Mother for two years. It was there, my first son, John Malcolm, was born December 28, 1903.
February 2, 1905 we moved to Geary, Oklahoma. We came by train from Mississippi to Oklahoma. My brother-in-law Ben Lyles, came with us. When we first moved to Geary, we lived three miles northeast of Geary. Later we moved on half mile north of Geary. It was there my daughter, Luella, was born December 22, 1905. In 1906 we built our home three miles north of Geary, in which we lived until I retired in 1939.
Henry had been living in Geary for seven or eight years before I moved there. Jim Prince and Henry owned eighty acres of land three miles north of Geary. The Property was in Jim Prince's name. Henry made a deal for Jim Prince to deed the eighty acres to me without charge to me. It was on that eighty acres that we built our home. We later bought an adjoining eighty acres. Annie, Malcolm, Luella, and I went to Mississippi on a two month trip while the house was built. "Jaw Bone" Jones was the builder. He worked for me for many years doing farm labor.
My son Joseph Oklahoma, was born February 22, 1907 in the new home. Annie was sick for some time after his birth. Olice was born June 29, 1913 and Mary Lee was born November 13, 1914, both at the home place. I joined the Baptist Church as a young man and was Ordained a Deacon in the First Baptist Church at Geary, during the time my brother Bob was Pastor of that church about 1920. I am still a member of that church. I have been a member of the Masonic Lodge of Geary for many years.
We farmed and dealt in live stock until 1939. In October of that year, we retired from the farm and bought a home at 622 North Cheyenne, Geary, Oklahoma.
Annie was sick for five years with leukemia, and died October 17, 1947. She is buried at Geary.
At this time I am eighty seven years old and living alone in my home at Geary.
JMP COMMENT: The property on which Joseph E. Paden built his home north of Geary and which had been owned by his brother Henry and "Jim Prince" may be the same property described in a 160 acre land allotment during the term of President Benjamin Harrison as being the allotment of "Sa-ah-ate" or "Flat Head", an "Indian of the Cheyenne or Arapaho tribe or band" according to an allotment of land to Sa-ah-ate from the General Land Office of the U.S, number 1417. The land was described as " The East half of the South East quarter of section thirteen in Township fourteen, north of Range eleven, and the West half of the South West quarter of section twenty, in Township thirteen north of Range ten, West of Indian Meridian, Oklahoma Territory, containing one hundred sixty acres." This allotment was made on May 6, 1892 and a "correct and true copy" of it was recorded in Vol. 15. p. 348, by the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indian Agency, Darlington, OK and dated August 18, 1904. A copy of this "correct and true copy" is in my possession. It is possible that "Jim Prince" is either identical to "Sa-ah-ate" or "Flat Head".or that Jim Prince purchased the land from "Flat Head" prior to possibly selling it to Joseph E. Paden. The front of the document has a handwritten "4512 U.S. to Flat Head" and next to that entry is the name "J.W. Prince" (The "W" might also be either an "H" or an "N". I would be most appreciative if anyone can provide additional information on Jim Prince/Sa-ah-ate/Flat Head.
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