In 1893 we felt sure the opening would occur that fall, so in July we loaded our belongings in a covered wagon, 4 cows and 4 calves, and 4 horses; one of which was my race horse, noted for speed and endurance, and $190 in cash.
My wife drove the team, and I drove the cattle. We had two children at that time, John and Mable. We were 10 days reaching Arkansas City, having traveled at the rate of 15 miles per day...camped near the line in a farmer's yard till the opening. In a short time after our arrival near the border line, the President, Grover Cleveland, issued his proclamation opening the Cherokee Outlet to settlement and designating the day and hour of September 16, 1893 at high noon. The last Monday preceding the opening was set as the first day for Registration of entrance in the race, and in order to be on time, I left our camp on Sunday night, arriving at the Registration Booths at 2 o'clock A.M. Monday morning where I found a multitude of men waiting for the booths to be opened. The crowd in waiting were formed in lines around the several Registration Booths and such a mass of humanity was there waiting that it took several days to register them all. I was in line from early Monday morning 'till Turesday evening before I could ge registered. When night came, the men in lines would lay down upon the ground on blankets, if such were be had; when they left their place in line, the man next to them would guard their place till they returned.
A strip of land about 100 ft in width along the border line in Oklahoma Territory was set apart for the use of people coming to take part in the race; this strip of land was completely filled with men, horses, wagons, buggies, carts and every known means of conveyance that could be used. When the thousands of people gathered on the line with their blanketed race horses, I began to wonder why I had moved my stock and family until I had secured a claim. This country was burned by drought, and I think there were 10 men here for every claim, a large percent of them would not hve taken a claim as a gift. A great many just here for an outing.
The morning of the race my wife and children came to the line in the wagon, I with my horse, prepared for the run. A few minutes before 12 o'clock, the hour of the opening, we heard some shots fired out in the new territory and one man started to run on a fiery horse, but before getting far the soldiers shot and killed him, and falling from his horse immediately the horse proceeded on his way, with empty saddle on his back and ran for miles before being caught. As the final hour aproached for firing the signal gun, I chose a position one half mile west of Chilocco Indian Reservation to start the race. The shot was fired at 12 o' clock and the wagons, buggies, carts, buckboards, started; nothing like it had ever been seen. I proceeded over the bare, burned black prairies 17 miles south and angled two and a half miles west, and staked the northeast of nine township 26 and range one east, in one hour and 5 minutes. I had found out that race horses, use to only running short distances, and wagons, and buggies, were not in it....my cow horse, that had both speed and endurance out distanced them all.
Eight days later, September 24, I moved my family and stock to the claim. As we drove down between Duck Creek and the Chicaskia River, my wife was looking around and said Ed, this is the prettiest land I have ever seen in my life.' We pitched our tent and went to living on a place we could call our own.