Mary Lillian Gilpin
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Mary Lillian Gilpin
Avoca, Pottawatomi Co., OK.

Mary Lillian Courtney came to Wynnewood, Garvin Co., OK. when it was IT in 1889 with her parents, Jacob Courtney and Margaret Porter. She married Edward Gilpin who also arrived there in 1889. She was a school teacher and rode a horse to school. Their 1st child, my husbands grandmother, was b. in Wynnewood. Their next 5 children were b. in Avoca between the years of 1895 and 1903. Mary Lillian ..or Lillian as she was called, was at one time, an acting Post Mistress at Avoca. Her husband, Edward carried mail in Asher. (I have a great pic. of him in his postal uniform taken beside his horse and buggy with the mail stacked next to him.) It was taken in Asher. Their last child was born in Asher in 1907.
Submitted by Barbara Hammons Davis [email protected]


"Pottawatomie Co. came up for homesteading in Sept. 1891. Nearest Post Office was at Sacred Heart 10 miles east. Wewauka Springs was known as good camping ground for people driving cattle and hogs to Purcel to be shippped. Several people came and ren! ted ground to live on. A petition was circulated in 1892 (I think) and sent to Washington with the name Wewauka Springs. The government was doing away with double names and Wewoka was already established and Wewauka was to confusing so they rejected that name and sent Avoca. (Post Office was established in1893) Mrs. Bess was the first Postmistress. The first Gin was moved to Avoca in the summer of 1893. Someone had put in a sawmill prior to that time. The first merchandise sold in Avoca was sold by Uncle Rube Perkins. (my note: Reuben Perkins was married to Matilda (Aunt Til) Edwards. She was the sister of Mary Edna Edwards who was the mother of Edward Gilpin husband of the writer.) Uncle Rube had built a double log house in the NE corner of his place. A board across the north end of the living room held a few caddies of tobacco and some boxes and cans of snuff.

Mrs. Bess and Bob Crawford came in with 2 tents, lived in one and had a few groceries and dry goods in the other.

George McCurry bought Buck Blevins place and paid the government for the land. He put up a store but it didn't pay so he closed out and kept travelers..drummers and what have you.

Jim Buckler, Bob Rutherford, Bob Crawford and Mr. Ryan bought and moved the Gin to Avoca. Talk of turning a certain acreage into a townsite was very alluring but Rutherford didn't have the money to buy the land from the government so a blacksmith (Mr. Merrill) agreed to furnish the cash if Rutherford would deed him the SW 40 acres and alternate blocks of the townsite. Later Merrill bought a piece of land NE of Avoca known as boggy springs. There are several oil wells on it now. The youngest Merrill boy owns it.

Avoca was a nice little thriving town until Asher started in 1901. It had its tragedies, murders and so on, but there were a lot of nice people there. People I thought a lot of.

The first murder was an outlaw killed by his own gang in Uncle Rubes store. The next was a fellow by the name of Blackwell I think. He was killed at a public dance. The Mounts brothers were killed down on their farm on the river. Dr. Short and a man by the name of Bowers (We thought that to be assumed.) He was shot by either Doc Garrison or Castleberry.

McCurry sold his farm land to John Harris. They lived there until their death. Alf the youngest boy died at about the age of 21. Paul went to California. This is about all I know as I was to busy raising my youngsters to keep very good tab on what other people were doing........signed Lillian Gilpin"