Welcome to the news from Indiahoma. I’ll introduce you.
Indiahoma, Oklahoma is located in the southwest part of the state. Founded in 1901 as part of the Oklahoma Land Drawing. Nestled in the foothills of the Wichita Mountains. Settled by European Immigrants and Native Americans. Built on the back of cotton, much hand picked by the mostly German-Russian ex pats.
By 1911 the town had “six grocery stores, four dry good stores, two department stores, two meat markets, one implement and hardware store, one racket store, two drug stores, a tailor, a state bank, newspaper, doctor, furniture store, bakery, hotel, two restaurants, one brass band, one livery barn, two churches, two cotton gins, two pool halls, a barber and more!
A tornado destroyed the school one October in the late 1920s. No injuries as the children were all required to be afield picking cotton.
In 1930 State Highway 62 was built from Cache to Snyder and ran smack down the middle of Indiahoma, now called Showplace Blvd. In two years the Great Depression and Dust Bowl would change everything.
My grandma Katie (Penskofer) Lindgren was an immigrant from Germany. My grandfather Iver arrived from Sweden. By 1904 they were in a marriage of convenience, he being 20 years her senior. She provided 9 children, all born at home. Living in a “dugout”, a hole dug into the ground bracketed by limbs and tied taut with canvas. Dad recalled the ground being packed so hard you could sweep it out. The early dust bowl days found the kids’ ears and noses and mouths caked with dust no matter how tightly the hides were drawn.
The family moved to the land where I’m sitting over 100 years ago. A small house, real shelter finally provided. The last good or easy thing to happen. Grandpa Iver died of the Dust Bowl Pneumonia in 1939. Leaving grandma to raise the kids during one of the hardest chapters in American History.
This is the actual structure. A hole in the ground covered by tarps. Most likely my Aunt Elsie in front, she shares my birthday and will be 97 this November.