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"My mother, Carolina Jones, was born in the state of Tenneessee and is buried there. My grandmother on my mother's side, Nancy Jones, was born in the state of Mississippi and is buried in White County, Tennessee.  I was born April 3, 1849, at Stagestand, White County, Tennessee... "

This paragraph begins a fourteen page interview of William Perry Earles of Ringling, Oklahoma, 1938, as part of a project called The Indian-Pioneer Papers . In 1936, the Oklahoma Historical Society and University of Oklahoma requested a writer's project grant from the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in which they would obtain a grant to interview early settlers in Oklahoma who had lived on Indian land. The more than 100 writers conducted more than 11,000 interviews and were asked to "call upon early settlers and (record) the story of the migration to Oklahoma and their early life here."[1]

The University of Oklahoma Western History Collection has digitized the Indian Pioneer Papers collection which consists of approximately 80,000 indexed entries arranged alphabetically by personal name place name or subject. [2] An index to the Indian Pioneer Papers may also be found at OkGenWeb Oklahoma Genealogy


  1. A.M. Gibson, ed., The West Wind Blows: The Autobiography of Edward Everett Dale (Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Historical Society, 1984), 346-347; Grant Foreman, "The Oklahoma Historical Society," pamphlet, Vertical Files, Library Resources Division, Oklahoma Historical Society (hereafter cited as OHS LRD); "Indian-Pioneer History Project, W.P.A. 131," The Chronicles of Oklahoma, 37 (Winter, 1959-60), 507-509. As reportted on okhistory.org/battlecry.html
  2. The University of Oklahoma Western History Collections http://digital.libraries.ou.edu/whc/pioneer/