Granddad Inman was born in Worthington, In., Mar. 27, 1873 and died Dec. 11, 1955 at Waynoka, Ok. He married Susan E. Graves, Sep. 18, 1895 and three children were born, Tommie J. Inman, Nettie (West) and Elsie M. (Hutchison). His father was Amos Mattison Inman born in Jasonville, Greene County, In. He died in Waynoka, Ok. His wife was Martha Campbell. They had three children: Kitty, William Douglas and Robert Wilson. When granddad was six months old his mother died and the families of Gonsers and Coopriders took the two boys and raised them. The parents of Martha (Campbell) Inman took the daughter Kitty to raise, and nobody ever saw her again. Granddad spoke often of her and remembered vividly her long beautiful hair. Both he and his brother Bill cried when she left in a wagon with her granddad Campbell. Kitty is also the sister he spoke of who encountered a panther in a low hanging tree limb as she was returning home with live coals for house heat. She blew the coals making sparks to scare him from leaping on to her.
Granddad's granddad Campbell was a Spanish American war veteran and was awarded a Spanish land grant neat Austin, Tx. He had worked for his Granddad Campbell but it seems there was a conflict with some young men by the name of Wheat, described as "real tough guys". Granddad was never one to get into trouble if it could be avoided, so he left. He was only around 17 and he worked at the Red River crossing. He lived with the Negroes for awhile. He told of how they sang at nights and fished while not working. The barge or raft would swing from shore to shore using an anchor and a rudder carrying payloads from one shore to the other.
Granddad's father remarried two years later in 1880 in Terre Haute, In. Her name was Mary Wier and they had a daughter, Netty, who died at the age of 13 months.
Granddad lived in Kansas for some time near Sawyer where he nearly froze in the bitter winter weather from lack of clothing and possibly lack of proper nourishment.
In 1893 the "Oklahoma land rush" was about to be signaled at 12 o'clock high noon. The Rangers had warned the nervous riders about breaking out with their mounts as they lined up facing the south as far as the eye could see. A couple of minutes before 12 o'clock one man either let his horse break out or was uncontrolled and a ranger near by shot the rider. This shot was mistaken for the signal to start and the rush was on. Granddad was a little under his required age limit for homesteading but in those days birth records were almost unheard of and usually weren't necessary. The land seekers almost went crazy trying to get to the choicest land and some plunged over creek banks, wagons were upset and there were run-away teams. As he progressed southward to what is now Alva, Ok., he came upon a wagon with a wheel run off. He wasn't in too big a hurry since he was getting a big kick out of this anyway. So when the woman asked him to fix it, seeing the children in the back he had to oblige. Others were racing on by on both sides.
When he got a little further south he decided to stake a claim. An older man came by who seemed to hint he might make trouble if he wouldn't sell to him. So granddad sold for $5 and rode on South. Later he learned the site he staked would have been the site of of the courthouse at Alva. He staked a claim south of the Cimarron River just north of Griever Creek. Hudgeons and Monforts were homesteaders near by. Other early names were Stapps, Bonnewell and Baine. The rough land in the hills controlled by ranchers named Stylings was grassland for large herds of cattle and the cowmen were very perturbed to see the settlers closing in on their free range. Some of the cowboys let the cattle break into granddad's corn. The next time this happened granddad met the men with his shot gun in hand. They didn't hanker to tangle with him so they respected his borders from then on. My mother related the story of how cattle were driven over their "half dugout". She as a small child retained the memory of hooves thundering over the logs and causing dirt to fall on them. This was another deliberate attempt to drive the settlers from their homesteads but Granddad wasn't ready to go.
One time he ran onto a trapper up in the hills known as the Glass Mountains. They struck up a real friendship and decided to capture wild horses and break them for sale. They had broke out quite a number of horses and some others they had traded for but the demand for horses and mules seem to be gone just at this time. Without a prospective buyer in sight they decided to ship them to Arkansas by railroad car. There Granddad thought the demand for horses and draft animals would be greater due to the lumber industry there. This was the country grandmother came from, around Benton and Pine Bluff. But disappointment hit again and he found no buyers there.
Since his claim was proven up back in Oklahoma he decided to "go whole hog" and buy a saw mill and utilize his own draft animals. He made arrangements to pay his sawyers and laborers in tokens redeemable at the local store. By doing this he got a bonus for sending trade to the store. This is typical of his ingenuity and steadfastness which made him a successful business man. When we think of the greatness of our country and how much it has progressed in the last century we cannot overpraise these great pioneers who tamed the frontiers and made it so much better for us to live here now.
From the County History Book, Woods Co., OK