1 day you wake up and all of your hero’s are gone. My husband is gone (more on a Mission he flew in a subsequent post), my Great Grandfather is long gone. Its at these times you’re glad you stashed away write ups and posts on them that, at the time when they had been living, only went on the back burner. Below is a write up on my Great Grandfather accomplished by a reporter by the name of Robert Ford in Oklahoma several years back. I believed I should of lived 100 years back. I wanted to be like my Grandpa. Now I understand why. I hope you like the report.
Jessie James, Cole Younger, Geronimo all infamous names from American History of this’ “Old West”. To us now these are only names from the past. We think of it as history. However, the (days of the authentic old West were again relived when Ivisited Peoples Electric Cooperative’s eldest member-a 97 year old authentic American cowboy from the days of the old west.
Jim Ingram was created in May of 1866 in Coffee County, Tennessee. When he was two years old, his family moved to Indian Territory by ox wagon. At a young age his mother died. When he was 7 his father died, and he’s been on his own ever since.
Jim Ingram still shaves himself, and he’s very few grey hairs in his entire head of black hair. He doesn’t look his 97 decades. He and Mrs. Ingram reside on Route 2, Wyneewood, Oklahoma, where they’ve lived since 1919.
“I worked with inventory and cattle all my life until I retired,” says Ingram. I’ve rode across Oklahoma when I’d never find a white man. There were not many homes and no fences.”
“Did you ever meet any of those older gun fighters and outlaws of these days?” I asked. He answered, “I have seen a great deal of gun boxers while I worked all over Oklahoma. I knew Jessie James quite well, but I understood Cole Younger better. They would come to our cattle drive camps to conceal. I have slept in camp with them a lot of time. Jessie James was as calm a man as I ever saw. “He didn’t bother poor people, only robbed banks”
“Well,” I said, “I guess you’ve had a good deal of interesting experiences?”
“Well,” he explained, “after I was riding my horse when this storm blew up
I could pull on the reins, but I had no control of my horse since we were up in the air, but I do not know how high. It was so black I could not see. Pretty soon, it set us down on the floor.
“Were you hurt?” I asked. “No, we were not hurt.” he replied. “You know,” he explained, “I have seen wild buffalo where Oklahoma City now stands.
“I worked issuing government beef into the Comanche and Apache Indians. The Indians would kill the cows immediately. I saw them eat the meat. When they were completed, there would not be anything left. They used it.”
“There was a time once you saw an Indian, and when the Indian didn’t run, you should run.”
“Once, I had a horse race Geronimo in Ft. Sill when they had him there.”
“From granny, I won the race!” he replied.
1 time a friend and I went to an Indian dancing, but the Indians would not dance with us. I still have that snare.
The stories we read today, the T.V. and films we see about the “Old West” don’t tell the real story of the life of the cowboy. It was hot and dusty in the summer and cold and wet in winter.
“You see guys now,” said Mr. Ingram, “who say that they are cow boys, but they couldn’t wear the slicker of the older real cowboys. I could tie a steer in 22 seconds, and would grab 99 throws from 100. When we drove cows, we had a good deal of mean horses, and we had to ride them without holding to the saddle horn. If you held into the horn, the other cowboys would whip your horse and make him buck. I was a true cowboy and a great one.”