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An "Old Town" Story

THE LINDSAY NEWS, Lindsay, Oklahoma - Friday, June 29, 1917 - Vol. XV. No. 37

The following article was recently published in the Mignon News, a weekly paper printed on a type-writer, by Miss Mignon Faith Laird, the 13-year-old daughter of Dr. and Mrs. H. C. Laird, who have been residents of Lindsay for several weeks, living in their private car "Mignon."

Miss Laird prints one copy of her paper each week, which is bought by her father at one dollar the copy.

The Mignon News shows excellent grammar, punctuation and expression and best wishes are extended to the small editress.

May 20th 1917, while the Laird society was motoring they came upon a "settlement." It was built in the country inland. There was a small building that had been painted but now looked weather-beaten and had "Grosers" painted in black letters on each side of its neglected outside walls. One other building had a porch on which sat a number of loitering, carefree men of the Village. There was also a small white church looking peaceful and still in the gentle air on which floated happy bird calls in the calm of the quiet Sabbath afternoon. The village had one well kept road but the rest of it had no pavements and the grass and wild flowers grew free and unmolested.

While looking at all this our eye happened to catch sight of a large stone mansion a block or two from the village. It had a large porch on either side of it with white pillars and a veranda running all around the second story. It looked like a castle of olden time and it seemed as if any moment a valiant Knight in glittering armor might emerge from the plendor of its portico. As we sat entranced at the sight Dr. Laird said, "I'm going to find out the history of all this." So saying he stepped from the auto and followed by the Editor walked up to the men sitting upon the porch of the store and entered into conversation with them, and told them of his curiosity when one man spoke up.

"I'll tell you Doctor," said he. "I've lived here since 1870. Was born at Ft. Gibson in the Indian Territory, 1848. I've done scout duty around Indian posts all my life, came here and married a Miss McCaughey (McCoy) 16th Indian. My name is Jerry Carson."

"Any relation to Kit Carson?" asked Dr. Laird.

"Yes" was the answer, "he was my father's brother." Then we were talking to a nephew of the famous Scout Kit Carson. I pressed closer for more.

"Yes," he went on "General Sam Houston boarded with my parents in Ft. Gibson in the year 1836. That white stone house up there? Why it belonged to Mr. Murray. He married a sister of my wife's. He is dead now but his widow lives there. They were the first settlers after me, so they fenced in a big lot of land, put cattle out to graze, got a lot of cowboys and built a ranch house. Got along mighty well. After that some more settlers drifted in, but Murray had the most land and the most everything. They owned a wide lonesome prairie on which roamed countless herds of lowing cattle, rounded up and herded by crowds of cow boys. So of course they kept the table set and ready all day at the ranch house and when one bunch was nearest the house they came in and ate and went out again until some more could leave their herds.

They called the settlement "Elm Springs." The Indians were bad though and a terror to most of the settlers. Once in 1872 the Comanches just about broke up Elm Springs and all of 'em set out for Pauls Valley for shelter and safety. 'Twasnt long though they all drifted back. Seemed as if folks couldn't stay away. Elm Springs sorter called 'em back. I came back too.

I forgot to tell you I was too young to go to the war. I last though the good old days passed. Injuns got good. Bison got cleared out. Land was fenced in, cattle were scarce and folks begun to plow and plant and put in trees and fix farms. An they put in some stores here and a postoffice, then we had to change the name of the town 'cause there was another Elm Springs in the country so as there were so many Irish here we just named her Erin Springs. The Murrays soon turned their prairie ranch into a fertile farm and built that stone mansion there. So that is the story of the little neglected village Doctor, I've told you all."

And thus ended the true tale of the scene before our eyes, and I looked on in wonderment while Mr. Jerry Carson with his head bowed low in thought was thinking regretfully of the present conditions which we think to be a blessing.