Obviously, the article that appeared in last week’s column was not the one I intended to send. It was actually one that I wrote in fall 2017. How it ended up in press, I will never know. If you deal with a computer at all, you will understand how that could happen. I will try again to have something more up-to-date today.
It is a pleasure to read other people’s writings and impressions of Augusta Isabella Corson Metcalfe. Her name immediately seems to describe someone with honor. We would assume that she was. I considered her to be a gentle lady, though I know she had her moments. I picked up a copy of The Chronicles of Oklahoma, Spring 1955 and noticed a paper clip attached to one of the articles. The writing was “My Life in the Indian Territory of Oklahoma—Augusta C. Metcalf,” written by Melvin Harrel. I discovered his opinion of Augusta was the same as mine.
Melvin writes, “Augusta Corson Metcalf is a gentle woman and a loyal Oklahoman. She has reached fame in many states, as well as her own, and is one of the few artists who have achieved fame in the field of Western illustrations. She paints that part of Oklahoma’s history in which she lived. This was during the settling of No Man’s Land, and the days that men and women endured in their effort to possess the land. She lives in a well-kept house nestled along the winding Washita River, near Durham, Oklahoma. She is surrounded with those things that are dear to her heart: an old fiddle, branding irons that tell a story of yesteryear, and wonderful paintings of an interesting era in the West’s history. By chance, one is sometimes allowed to enter the ‘inter-sanctum’ where are an old wood coal stove and for a cupboard, a chuck box. Many times on a long winter’s day, the writer [Melvin] has sat at the table and shared a meal like on that might have been served in the Corson home, in No Man’s Land referred to by early settlers as the ‘Neutral Strip.’ These cherished memories will always be remembered.”
Melvin continued with a very interesting article about Augusta’s life as she remembered it in Indian Territory. I would like to use some of the stories in future articles. So many of our storytellers of that time have long since passed.
Visit our website at www.metcalfemuseum.org; email metcalfe@dobsonteleco. com; or call 580.655.4467.