Monday, March 8, 2010


Mysteries continue to rise up, out of the sandhills, from the sagebrush and the grassburrs. Even the goatheads may be butting together.

Where is the boundary line: at the fence, on the river bank, in the middle of the river or on the other side of the river?

Where does Oklahoma end and Texas meet? How many acres were there / are there in Grandpa's 320 acre farm?

When I first became aware of this question, the SunRay (?) Oil Company came asking to sign a five or ten year contract with Mother and Daddy for the right to possibly someday drill for oil on the farm. I believe they paid fifty cents an acre per year. The payment included acreage beyond our south fence, out into the river. That extra half dollar for those extra few acres made a huge difference in the annual income of the farm. But I'm not sure how far that went. The oil company never came to drill.

In 1801 President Thomas Jefferson tried to buy the City of New Orleans from Napoleon, but the deal fell through. Spain had ruled Louisianna from 1799 - 1803. The final transfer of the Louisianna Colony was made from Spain to France on November 30, 1803. The next day France was to transfer the Louisianna Purchase to the United States, but the sale was not confirmed until December 20, 20 days later.

The United States purchased Louisianna for $11,250,000 and assumed claims of its own citizens against France up to $3,750,000, for a total purchase price of $15 million on December 20, 1803. On that day the United States took formal possession of the full Territory of Louisianna in St. Louis three months later, but its boundaries were vaguely defined, when France handed over the rights to the upper Louisianna Territory.

Various boundary disputes have continued since that time. The Red River as the border between New Spain and Louisianna Territory had areas of dispute. Finally it was Oklahoma and
Texas. For instance, after 200 years the United States Congress, in the year 2000, finalized (hopefully) the line between the those states where it runs through Lake Texhoma. The lake spans the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma. The south vegitarian bank of the river is the dividing line. So I don't know if the 320 acres of Grandpa Easley's farm are all inside his fences, or if some of those acres lay outside the south fence in the river, or if the acres in the river to the south of the fence are additional acreage.

I do know the south bank of the river is slowly moving north. Papa told me when they moved to Oklahoma Territory, the river was three miles wide. When we were growing up, it was about a half mile wide. Now days it is much more narrow than that.