December 29, 2001
My Grandparents Betty Frances Hufstedler and William Henderson Horn were married one hundred years ago from
today. They were married in Success, Arkansas. Effee was born in December 1903 in Success, Arkansas. Because she was born
in the same area where they started as man and wife, I reason that they spent the years of 1902 and 1903 living in that area.
Sometime between Dec. 1903 and Aug 1905 the young Horn family packed all their worldly belongings in a covered
wagon and moved to Coweta, Indian Territory, Oklahoma. The first son Jesse James was born in Coweta. However, the family soon
packed that wagon again and moved to the town of Barden in western Oklahoma. Three daughters Nellie, Mary, and Edna were born
In the nineteenth century and at the beginning of the twentieth century the home was regarded as the proper
"place" for women. For the wealthy women this meant a life of leisure, for others like my Granny, it was endless drudgery.
To the Oklahoma pioneer women, hearth and home meant the heaviest of work loads. In it's isolation, her family, existed as
a proudly self-sufficient unit able to provide for itself and persevere in the face of hardship. Men and women worked together
as partners. As a result pioneer women found themselves on a fairly equal footing with their men.
Oklahoma's mothers and daughters helped with the traditionally male tasks of planting and harvesting, tending
livestock, hauling water, gathering fuel and even hunting. Gathering the family's fuel supply was an chore. Without any ready
source of coal or firewood, the early settlers of Barden, Oklahoma were forced to scour the prairie for anything burnable.
The most popular source of fuel, was chips---the abundant chunks of dried dung left by grazing herds of cattle and buffalo.
In the arid and treeless land of western Oklahoma, dugouts and soddies took the place of log cabins. The
Horn family literally dug their home into the side of a hill, with the front wall of sod bricks.
The dugout was damp and dark and practically impossible to keep clean, the dirt from the roof and walls sifted
onto everything. However, the thick earthen walls did afford a warm shelter from the cold and strong protection from the wild
winds of western Oklahoma.
The isolation of women on the frontier was particularly alarming during crises. Childbirth was a difficult
time. For most part women struggled through labor and delivery with little assistance. Homesteading for my Grandparents was
not a success and they were sadden by the death of their daughter Mary. After a struggle of about 6 years the growing Horn
family left western Oklahoma.
Home then became Neshoba, Oklahoma in the Kiamichi Mountains. Grandad was cutting timber for railroad ties
and Granny gave birth to my Mother, Iva in August 1913. The stay in the mountains of southeast Oklahoma was short because
by the time Ruby was born in 1918 the family had moved back to Coweta. Louis and Bettie were also born in Coweta. Louis in
1921 and Bettie in 1926.
After the move back to Coweta things were easier for the family for awhile. The family bought a farm on the
banks of the Arkansas River and drilled several gas wells, Gas was so plentiful that some of it had to be burned. Mother remembered
playing outside at night with the area "lit as bright as day" by the many torches from the wells. However as fast as the wells
provided money Grandad spent it. He started a reglious commune. He housed and fed many families. All they had to do in return
for a home for their families was to attend Grandad's church meetings and listen to his "HELL FIRE AND BRIMSTONE" messages.
To tell the people in the area about his meetings he bought a team of Clydesdale horses. He dressed the up as circus horses
with bright colors, bells, feathers, and tassels and paraded them around the county.
When the wells stopped producing, Grandad had spent everything. Granny and the girls had to take in washing
to provide for the family.
When Commander Mills opened in Sand Springs, OK. Grandad found a job for everyone old enough to work at the
cotton mill. The family moved to Sand Springs 75 years ago. They have lived and are buried (except Louis who is buried in
Bristow, OK.) in Woodlawn Cemetery in Sand Springs. Where my remains will be at the end of my days.