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P.R. Sanders' house, 302 N. Fourth Street, next door to our family home in Sayre.


P.R. Sanders' Indian Maiden

There was a rather elegant old gentleman living next door to us. I still remember the little sign in front of his house, “P.R. SANDERS, LAND MAN DON’T GIVE YOU DIRT.” The uninitiated wondered how on earth a person could be a land man without dealing in dirt. It was explained that persons who dealt in oil and gas leases during the twenties and thirties were called landmen. Landpersons probably would be the correct term today. He made enough on his oil land dealings to eke out a living. He was tall, a little stooped, always wore a large felt hat and a little black string-necktie. There was a gold chain across his vest attached to a gold watch.

He had never been married. He didn’t talk much to anyone but once he told my father an interesting story about his one big romance in life.

Oklahoma, being the Indian territory, had several tribes of Indians whose culture was a blend of tribal life and the new “white man’s” civilization.

In his younger days, Pez Sanders had come across this delightful Indian maiden. She was beautiful, everything he ever needed in a wife. It was all set; he would marry her. He reasoned that even though she was an Indian, she was so feminine and nice that she would make a good wife. He was happy with his choice of brides, up until the night before the wedding when he happened to see her bare- footed. Despite her young years, growing up bare-footed on the prairie had apparently taken its toll on her feet. P.R. Sanders cancelled his wedding and never married.


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