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HISTORY AS LITERATURE: Fannie E. Borden Between The Red Rivers: Life on the Boggy Creek This interview with Fannie Borden was conducted on October 19, 1937, in Altus, Oklahoma, by Zaidee B. Bland, a field worker for the WPA which sponsored interviews during the Depression, leaving a valuable and sometimes fascinating record of life on the frontier. This is from the Indian-Pioneer Papers of the Western History Collections at the University of Oklahoma Library, and published with their cooperation. Occasional minor changes in spelling or punctuation from the original transcription have been made by the editors. BETWEEN THE RED RIVERS: LIFE ON THE BOGGY CREEK 1878-1885 / Fannie E. Borden ILIVE WITH MY CHILDREN NOW, sometimes in CaUfornia, sometimes in Texas and sometimes in Oklahoma. But the years from 1877 to 1885 I spent in this country almost aU the time, for I insisted on accompanying my husband on the trail when he would start north with his cattle in the faU. In 1876, I was ready to go away to school. I Uved in ElUs County, Texas, with my parents. Cattle dropped in price to where a good, prime, fat three-yearold would bring only two or three doUars. Father raised cattle but never drove them north to market, always selUng to some herd boss as the cattle came through on the way to market. It was out of the question for me to be sent away to school with cattle at that price. I was moody and despondent. Mr. Borden had been driving his herd through from farther west for several years and we felt that we knew him quite weU for his herd always moved slowly; for several years he had planned to have his herd winter between the Red Rivers and drive on into Dodge City in the spring. His cattle would get on the market early and be prime beef if they were not too long on the traU. I had an older sister, and in those days it was not proper for a sister to go alone even with an escort so, while never having beaux right out, I had been with Sister so many times that it seemed I knew aU about society. I was large and weU developed for my age. No one realized that I was only thirteen. Mr. Borden had always admired me and had often stayed at our house three or four weeks whUe he bargained for cattle in the local neighborhood. He always said he had his eye on me, just waiting untU I had finished school so when he found me despondent he was afraid to go away again without obtaining my promise to wait for him, or marrying me then. I was wiUing, but when he approached my parents and found out my age he was very much surprised but insisted on marrying and so he promised to leave me home with my parents for two years and that he would come and stay as long as he could and as often as he could. In February, 1878, our first son was born and I did not know The Missouri Review ยท 53 where my husband was, except that he was somewhere to the north with his cattle. Letters were very uncertain and there was always the fear of Indians. Mr. Borden always assured me that he went far to the west of the Indian reservation and never had any fear, but nevertheless, I was afraid for him. When he came home I laid the law down. I was going to accompany him. Where he went I would go; his dangers would be my dangers; his joys my joys; his sorrows my sorrows if I was to be his wife; I would not have it any other way. Between the Red Rivers, north and west of Vernon somewhere, there was a stream which we called Boggy because the cattle were always bogging down in it. About two miles away from Boggy Creek, Mr. Borden had his cowboys dig us a hole in the ground and Une the waUs with white flat rock that was in abundance everywhere over the country, even building the rock walls two...


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