Surname: Neel

Marriage to Velma Yarborough

I had went with several girls but had not given much thought about marriage. Doubt I would ever have married as long as my mother lived. I was going with Velma YARBOROUGH. We got married in September [1920]. Dad and I made a good crop. We thrashed 1300 bushels of oats. Our corn and cotton was good. But we just got one load packed while the price was good then it got so low it would not pay for the picking. We left it in the field. I had 25 head of cattle, yearlings in pasture. They were outside on the range and were scattered all over the country. I sold them to my wife’s father, Joe YARBOROUGH for 25 dollars a head. When I got them rounded up knew that I had to sell my little horse that I had bought at Ft. Gibson. I was making a good cow horse of him. I had so much to buy, because I was getting married, I thought I had to let him go But I could have of kept him. Andy TAYLOR at Gideon got a hold of him. He made a roping horse out of him.  Andy let him go he said for 900 dollars. He weighed 900 pounds. He sold for a dollar a pound. He would bring in the thousands now. He was said to be...

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Move to Neosho Missouri

The next year we moved to NEOSHO [Not sure about the name of this place.] Missouri. Me and Dad and my older brothers worked on a fruit farm called the SOEAKMAN farm. We stayed up there until the fruit harvest was over then we moved back to FLINT. Dad rented a place from Rich BECK the man who ran the BECK store and Post Office. We were just across the creek from the water mill. Tony BECK ran the mill. He was a brother of Rich BECK. I was big enough to go to the mill several times a day by myself. At the water mill, the place we lived in belonged to Roy BECK.  Roch BECK’S boy. He was just a little older than me. We went to school together and fished a lot in FLINT CREEK. He lives on the same place now only in a different house. He lives alone. I have been up to see him 3 times and he has been down here to see me 2 times. He has a nice home and he does his own mowing. He makes a garden. His wife has been dead 2 or 3 years. Ava POTTS was our school teacher. She was raised down here at LOSTCITY. She boarded with us. She gave dad 10 dollars a month for board. I think she got 40 dollars...

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Swimming at the Lower Falls

When I went to Shady Grove I went to school with Herb BYNUM and his brother [probably Leonard who later married his sister Eva] also Bill and John TIGUE and their sisters. There was a big hole of water down on 14 mile creek. It is what they call the lower falls. It has a rock fall of about 8 feet. [Water drops off of rocks?] It forms a big round hole of water below and is very deep. People used it for a swimming hole. They swam in it and swam horses in it too. One day all of my brothers were at home and after lunch they all decided to go to the swimming hole. They took some horses along to swim. I couldn’t swim but I went along . They swam the horses first and they tied them up to dry. Then the men all went swimming. I got a log and was playing around the edges of the swimming hole on the log. One of my brothers came along and gave the log a push and it landed out in the deep part of the hole. The water scared me and I climbed out on one end of the log and it kicked out from under me.  I went down twice and started to go down the third time but by that time dad had...

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Trading Horses

The first day we made it to Flint OK. We stayed all night with Bob BENNETT. A man that used to be our neighbor when we lived at Flint. The next morning we started on east we got into Gentry Arkansas late that evening. We run onto a man that had a farm close by to Gentry. He hired us and we went home with him. We fed all the stock, milked 8 cows and got to bed about 10:00 PM. We got up at 4 o’clock AM and fed all the stock, curried the work teams and harnessed them. We milked the cows and was in the fields by daylight. We was getting 75 cents a day. One the third day about 4 o’clock in the evening I went to where my cousin was working and told him I was a quitting. He was ready to quit also. I went to the pasture and got my pony and saddled her up. I then went to the house and got our pay and we started for home. We went through Siolam Springs about midnight. We ate breakfast in Oaks and we got home about noon the next day. Home sure did look good to me. I never did want to leave home any more. I traded my little yellow mare for a four year old horse. A nice riding...

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Peggs Cyclone of May 2, 1920

On May the 2nd in 1920 there came a cyclone and blowed Peggs away. It killed about 100 people. It come on a Sunday night about 8:00. Peggs was a little country town with about 6 good stores, 2 drug stores, 2 cotton gins, a hotel, 3 churches, a good school. There was a lot of people there on Saturday shopping and doing business.  It was an incorporated town. Joe YARBOROUGH was the town Marshall. Jennings CAGLE was the Justice of the Peace. They had a little jail house. I went to church that Sunday Morning. We lived about 2 miles south east of Peggs. A boy by the name of Wyley WILKERSON went home with me he lived 2 miles west of Peggs. We intended to go back to Church that night. It was a miserable hot evening. There was a dark cloud in the north west all evening. About the time Wyley and I started to church the dark clouds got closer. We got about a half a mile from my house and the cloud was coming fast. I told Wyley that I was going to go back home. I told him I thought that that cloud would catch us before we got to Peggs. I tried to get him to go back with me but he said no. He thought he could get home. He made...

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Move to the Davis Nursing Home

I went to the Davis nursing home and stayed 4 months while they were building onto the house. I was about ready to go home when I took sick on Saturday night. I was visited by about 10 angels. They come in my room about 8 o’clock at night and stayed until 3 o’clock in the morning. That night they had on white robes and white hoods. I talked to some of them. Some of them I knew. The next day on Sunday I looked on the ceiling and I saw Christ and his Disciples. I seen him when he was riding the colt that had never been rode before. People were spreading blankets in front of the colt and waving tree twigs [tree branches?] as he passed by.. I seen him when his mother was taking him out of Bethlehem. After lunch on Sunday I was laying down on the bed but was wide awake. I heard a voice coming though the concrete blocks at my head. I knew the voice. It was Frank WARREN a man I had knew about all my life he was a neighbor and a close friend. He had not been dead too long. He was talking to someone here on earth. I thought it was his boy Jack. Whoever it was asked Frank how he liked it up there. Frank said it...

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A Little Family Genealogy

My dad was Alex NEEL. He passed away in 1927 [Feb 1st]. My mothers maiden name was HANEY. She was born in Missouri and she passed away in 1920 [25th of July]. Dad had three brothers, Tom NEEL, Calvin NEEL and Oscor NEEL. Grandpa NEEL [William Calvin NEEL Sr.] was born in Illinois [Marion County.] he passed away in 1901. Grandma Neel’s maiden name was SHELTON [Lettie/Letty/Leticia]. She was born in Missouri [not so, she was born in Tennessee]. She passed away in 1918 [June 8th]. I had 7 brothers and sisters 3 boys and 4 girls. Charlie Neel married Tilda [Matilda] DEAN. Tomie [Thomas Edward] Neel married Eva DEAN. Callie [Benjamin Calvin] Neel married Willora BEE. I, Walter NEEL, married Velma YARBOROUGH. Evie [Eva] NEEL married Leonard BYNUN. May [Matilda May] NEEL married Jim LITTLEFIELD Fay [Letticia Fay] Neel married Clyde RUDY. [Fay married first Keith McWILLIAMS and they had a daughter Allamay. Fay and May were twins and were delivered by my great grand mother, Julia HILDBRAND BEE, who was a midwife.] Pearl NEEL married Mack HOUSTON. [Mack Houston was a barber for over 50 years in Thalequah. He was ½ Cherokee and was well known for his knowledge on Oklahoma and the Indian Nation] Grandpa Haney was an Englishman. I was told that he was born in England. [Census says that he was born in Alabama.]...

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Recollections of My Life

Part of an exclusive collection of material on the Bee, Neel, and Proctor families. This specific collection comes from a hand written 90 page auto-biography by Walter Alexander Neel. Walter spent most of his adult life in Oklahoma, much of it in the small community of Peggs Oklahoma in Cherokee County, where he “served” as the unofficial mayor. From his upbringing to his later life Walter shares his humble experiences, and in the process, gives us insight to the lives of at least some of the area occupants who may have crossed his path.

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Brush Harbor Revival Meeting

There was a Brush Harbor revival meeting going on 3 miles east of us. Henry WATKINS was holding it [in charge of it and the preacher too]. We were going and we were going to ride with my wife’s brother, Jim YARBOROUGH, and his wife. We was ready to go and were waiting on them to come pick us up. My little grand daughter was crying. I had her in the bed room trying to get her quite. My wife and daughter was in the front room. My wife hollered at me and told me to come there. I went to the front room and she told me a man walked in front of the house and raked his hand across the screens on the windows and the screen door. It was a warm night the windows were up, the door open and there was a full moon. It was as light as day. I gave her the little girl and I went out the back door. As I went out I got my gun. I looked every where and there was no way any one could have got away. I went back in and I told her she must have been mistaken and that it might have been a bird. She said no she wasn’t mistaken  for she seen his hand and it was as plain as day....

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Move from California to Texas

Claud and I was up at Yucaipa one day in a barber shop getting a hair cut. Claud was in the chair and I was a waiting. A man came in hunting firefighters. I got up and left. I went through the orchards to the house. I was afraid to go by the way of the road. I was afraid I would meet some more men hunting fire-fighters. In a little while Claud come home. That night about dusk there was some boys who lived close to us and I saw a truck stop and pick them up. There was a high bank behind our house. Claud and I got behind it. They stopped and asked our women if there was any men there. They told them no and they went on. We didn’t stay to long in California. Claud had a sister in Texas and I had a brother [Thomas or Tomie Neel] in west Texas. They were cotton farmers. I went to my brother’s place and Claud went to his sisters. In 1924 when I lived on the WILLAYARD place there was a revival brush horbar meeting. It was 5 miles from our house. There was a freewill Baptist preacher, a missionary Baptist, a Methodist and a holiness preacher were the ones who were in charge of the meetings. They would take turns preaching. There were people...

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Biographical Sketch of Neel, Adam S.

Adam Sylvester Neel, named for James Sylvester, one of the captors of Santa Anna, was born in Fort Bend County, near Stafford’s Point, on the 25th of August, 1844. His father was William T. Neel, a native of Louisiana, who came to Texas with William Stafford. He was a young man and unmarried at the time, and was not entitled to as much land as heads of families, but located a labor near, Stafford’s Point, at which place he built a home, and afterwards located a league in the west on the Medina River during the Presidency of General Lamar. He married Mary, the daughter of William Stafford, who was the mother of Adam S. Neel. When the Mexican army came William Neel and wife had two children, James D. and. William T. Neel. They went with the Stafffords and returned with them, and while their home had not been burned, a party of Mexicans had been there and thoroughly pillaged the place, carrying off and destroying the property, even the bread tray was found in the well. Two more children were born, Sarah and Adam S. Sarah was not married, and died with yellow fever at Hodge’s Bend during the terrible epidemic of 1853. The family at the time were living in Richmond, and fled from the scourge, but Sarah had contracted the fatal malady and died at...

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