The collection is described by Laura in her own words below. Click any image to enlarge and see a slide show of all.
The couch was in that room when I bought the building. In the old days, someone used to sit up with a body. You never left it alone. Either family members or friends sat up different shifts and spend the night there. They also had a couple of chairs in the next room. I added most of the things in there, so I had to take the chairs out, because I needed space. The body was in the chapel room, where the family had the service.
There were not many decorations in here, but one landscape painting was hanging over the couch. It is quite beautiful, but I took it upstairs and hung it next the burial clothes because it did not work well with my theme down here, with what I was planning.
All these things are from Arbie Elliot’s collection. In the glass display, there are pouches for the bullets that he made himself. He had two different kinds of moulds to cast them. They fold over, you pour the lead in and it forms the bullet. Arbie had collected lots and lots of arrowheads in paper envelopes. They are very old, certainly were made and used when this land was Indian territory, before Oklahoma became a state in 1907. For each one Arbie listed where it was found: this one by Highway 81, in the sand plant south of town. I grew up on the Red River, my dad worked there for an oil lease. My brother would just go down to the river and dig for arrowheads and always found some. Even on the oil lease up on the banks of the river we found them when we digged in the dirt, making roads for our toy cars.
Arbie also had a peace pipe in his collection and many different makes of barbed wire fence. They can be very artistic, how they are made. He had a large family with five children, but apparently managed his money well and could afford having his magazines bound in volumes. Arbie was hiding all these treasures in a shack behind his house. Nobody was allowed to enter, not even family members. We found all of this spread out on shelves after he died.
The native man’s name is Quannah Parker, he was a chief of the Comanche. He is buried in the Lawton area. The photograph is an original, not a copy. He was a handsome man, he looks good in every picture I saw of him.
These torchiere lamps project the light up high to the ceiling and a soft light shines down. In the earlier days they had one of those on each side of the casket to make things look prettier.
The lady in the photograph in the oval frame is Cathy Brown. The town of Sugden is named after her father, it is not far from here. Cathy lost her husband at a young age. She had the first car in the county. If any family in the area needed assistance, she would go over and help with whatever they needed. If someone was sick or if someone couldn’t cook, then she helped to feed the children. Although Cathy wasn’t a doctor, she could help with a lot of things, she was a big caretaker in this area. The house she built for herself and her mother to live in is close to mine. It is still a nice home, owned by family members and taken care of.
Proceed to the Chapel Area.