Inez Elizabeth Farr
Submitted by: Ann F. Pipkins, daughter
Inez Elizabeth Farr was born at her father’s sawmill on Beaver Creek east of Antlers, Indian Territory, on June 23, 1887, the daughter of John Gist and Anna Eliza (Harris) Farr.
Her father, who had led the survey party through the Kiamichi Mountains was sawing crossties for the Frisco Railroad that was being laid from Fort Smith, Arkansas to Paris Texas. After the completion of the railroad, the Farrs moved to Antlers to what is now South Main Street where John Farr had his home and his attorney’s office.
It is not known when Inez started school. Colonel Coleman Nelson, a half Choctaw and a Methodist minister had established a church and a school in the western edge of antlers about 1888. Annie Taaffe, a Harris cousin, was the teacher for the three-month term conducted in 1891. Arthur and George Farr, Inez’s two older brothers were two of the students in this class. Father Ketchum established Saint Agnes Academy in Antlers n 1897. It was the first school building as such in the city. A picture of the student body of about 1901 includes: Inez, Estelle, and “Boss” Farr (John Farr, Jr.). Inez in an interview for the WPA Project “Indian Pioneer Papers” on April 25, 1938, said, “I attended public school and the Catholic convent, then I was sent to the Tuskahoma Female Institute.”
Her mother died on February 23, 1902, and Inez as the eldest daughter assumed some of the responsibility for running the house for her father. “Major” John G. Farr was quite influential in the community. He had been a U.S. Deputy Marshal in Red River and Eagle Counties from 1875 to 1885. He had been the county Judge of Jacks Forks County since about 1898. The Farr children joined the newly established Presbyterian Church sometime after their mother died. The Church was established in Antlers in 1902.
The Farr’s moved into a newly built large two story southern style house in the southeastern part of the city sometime after the death of Anna Eliza Farr. Antlers was quite a thriving town and there were plenty of young people that had their Sunday buggy parties and picnics along the Kiamichi River. A popular summer spot was the “Pavilion” which was about 1 ½ miles north and east of Antlers on the Kiamichi River. The later teenage years were happy years for the Farr girls. The family photo album showed the many friends that they had and the many activities participated in.
In late 1903 the Rev. William Philip Pipkin, the newly appointed Presiding Elder of the Choctaw Mission District of the Methodist Church, moved his family to Antlers. His son Paris Pipkin came with the family but left in the spring for Oklahoma City where he joined the U.S. Army and served the next two years in the Philippine Islands. Upon return to Antlers he attended the School of Pharmacy of the Oklahoma University, completing this in 1909. Paris was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant of Infantry by Governor C.W. Haskell on September 25, 1908 and assigned to Company “L” in the First Regiment of the Oklahoma National Guard then stationed in Antlers. The Company Commander was Captain Victor M. Locke, Jr., who was later appointed Chief of the Choctaws.
Paris worked for his father’s drug store, then in partnership with Stuart Halley Pipkin and Halley Drug Store and finally his own store, Pipkin Drug Store, until his death in 1929. About 1909 or 1910 Paris starting courting Inez Farr. Inez once said she dated Paris Pipkin for over three years before she would agree to marry him.
Inez Farr married Paris Pipkin on April 2, 1913 in the Presbyterian Church in Antlers. The local newspaper printed a report of the affair and the headlines read, “SWELLEST CHURCH WEDDING EVER IN ANTLERS”. The account reported that Paris Pipkin was a member of the Town Board of Trustees and that his best man was Victor M. Locke, Jr., Chief of Choctaws. Inez and Paris went to a camping trip for their honeymoon. They took a tent and camped out north of Valliant for about a week. In the middle of this trip many of their friends and their parents came to visit them. Mrs. Wm. P. Pipkin dug a root of trumpet Vine at this camp and took it to her home. Cuttings of this vine are still in the family today (1995).v
In 1920 Paris and Inez built a new home just across the street north of her father’s. They took in Edith Rollins Wright, a teenage girl who Paris’s sister Bertha had been raising until her death in 1917. These were happy times. In March 1921 they had their fifth child. The store was doing good and there were many late evening car rides. In the summer there were camping trips to the cabin on the 40 acres in the mountains near Nashoba. Paris was an outdoorsman and loved to hunt and fish and the family activities centered around the outdoors.
In 1924, Inez’s father, Major John Gist Farr went blind and they moved him in with them. In 1926, the added him to their home. These two old gentlemen would sit by the fireplace and swap stores. The Rev. Pipkin would gather all in the house around the fireplace in the evening. Someone would pray. The family now consisted of Paris, Inez, seven children, two grandfathers and one “niece”, Edith. The Rev. Pipkin died at their home on May 1, 1927. Major Farr continued the nightly Bible reading and prayer sessions.
Inez was regular in her attendance at the Presbyterian Sunday School and Church. She took her children with her. If they could walk they did and if they were still in a bassinet, they went that way. One of her sons told her that he thought he would stay home for he was sleepy. She told him to come on anyway, there was no place she would rather the Lord find him, if this was the Lord’s day to come, than to find him asleep in church. The Pipkin children had many pin awarded for perfect Sunday school attendance.
The night of February 13-14, 1929, as was her usual custom, Inez waited up for Paris to come home. She waited all night. The next morning she learned that he had died sometime during the night. He had taken an Indian friend about six miles out of town to his home with medicine for his wife. His new Model A Ford became stuck in the mod and froze in. he had walked to the nearest ranch and called for a wrecker which said it would come. He went back and turned on the engine to keep the heater warm. He died of carbon monoxide poisoning. The wrecker never came.
The next few years were very difficult for this little five foot lady who had never had any monetary worries before. She placed the drug store in the hands of any employee, and it went broke. Her son, Thomas Gist Pipkin died of spinal meningitis on October 2, 1930. In December, 1932 a cousin coming to Antlers for a Funeral, had an accident just outside of town and Uncle Henry Wingfield was brought to our home where he died. The night his daughter Willie was taken by ambulance to Muskogge, our home burned to the ground. Inez’s attorney had let the insurance expire.
She lost all of the family farm during the depression. She moved the family across the street to her father’s old home. It was not modern. It had only two flues, one was in the kitchen for the wood cook stove. The outhouse was in the alley in back, and one faucet of running water on the back porch. Baths were taken in a number 3 was tub. Her Christian faith kept her strong and she was devoted a Mother and church worker as ever. She would fry bacon and make gravy for supper. Then tell the kids, to just eat the gravy with the biscuits and save the bacon for tomorrow.
She became a local sales lady for Avon products; sold life insurance for the Degree of Honor Protective Association, but was not really successful for she gave away as much as she sold. She took the annual school census; and finally landed a job as a caseworker with one of the relief programs. This job with a Democrat when she refused to change her registration fro Republican to Democrat. Fortunately Paris Jr., went to work with the post office about 1934 and he supported Inez and the kids at home. The permitted the other children to go on to college as they could obtain working scholarships.
Philip received a scholarship to attend Bacone College at Muskogee, Oklahoma in 1938. His National Guard unit from Bacone was called to active duty in September 1940. He went to OCS At Ft Benning, Georgia in August 1941 and had visited home as a 2nd Lt., in November 1941. When war was declared in early December 1941, Paris Jr., was classified as 4F. He was finally taken in May 1942. Inez put up her two Red Star flag in the front window to show she had two sons in service. Inez anxiously waited daily to see if there was nay mail from Philip who had gone to Australia in April, 1942 and Paris who sailed in May 1943 from the east coast to North Africa via Panama Canal, New Zealand and Suez Canal.
April 12, 1945, the day President Roosevelt died, Inez was visiting the pastor’s wife were hurt when a tornado destroyed a large part of Antlers. Estelle and Charles were taken to the Camp Maxey Hospital in Paris, Texas. Later, Inez and Estelle were transferred to the Sanitarium of Paris. The Red Cross sent telegrams requesting emergency leave for Philip and Paris. Philip returned in late May and Paris on June 1. Paris rented a house in Antlers for the family to live in. he was discharged in October 1945 and returned to his job with the post office. Philip enrolled in Oklahoma A&M. He was relieved from duty December 2, 1945.
Inez never fully recovered from her injuries. She spent much time at the Sanitarium of Paris. Philip finished college in June and brought his wife to Antlers where he was employed as Veterans Agriculture Training Instructor at Antlers High School. His son Bill was born July 12, 1947. In October, 1947 Inez returned to Antlers, and had the pleasure of seeing and
watching her only grandchild play on the foot of her bed. She died at home December 3, 1947.
There were eight children born to this union but one died at birth.
(1) (1) Estelle Elizabeth Pipkin, born June 21, 1914, Antlers Oklahoma. Retired from working Sears. Married, no children. Died June 5, 1990;
(2) (2) Paris Pipkin, Jr., born September 13, 1915, Antlers, Oklahoma.
(3) (3) Bertha Bess Pipkin, born January 31, 1917, Antlers, Oklahoma. Schoolteacher, computer programmer for TRW Corp. Married, two adopted children. Died December 24, 1979;
(4) (4) Anna Farr Pipkin, born June 15, 1918, Antlers, Oklahoma. Schoolteacher, 35 years Presbyterian Missionary to Brazil, never married;
(5) (5) William Philip Pipkin, born March 28, 1921, Antlers, Oklahoma,
(6) (6) Thomas Gist Pipkin, born May 22, 1922, Antlers, Oklahoma. Died October 2, 1930;
(7) (7) Infant son, born and died June 25, 1923 at Antlers, Oklahoma;
(8) (8) Charles Bellew Pipkin, born November 15, 1925, Antlers, Oklahoma. Never married. Veteran of Korean War, farmer. Died January 12, 1987.
She had three brothers and one sister. They were all original enrollees. They were:
(1) (1) Arthur Thomas Farr, born February 14, 1879, at Tom, Red River County, CN,
(2) (2) George Churchill Farr, born November 25, 1884 in Red River County CN,
(3) (3) Estelle Margarite Farr, born February 3, 1890, Antlers, Indian Territory,
(4) (4) John Gist Farr, Jr., born August 27, 1893, Antlers, Indian Territory,
Inez was extremely proud of her Choctaw blood and that her father (an intermarried white citizen of the Choctaw Nation), was the last County Judge of Jacks Fork County of the Choctaw Nation; that her Uncle Henry Churchill Harris was at one time a member of the Choctaw Supreme Court and a delegate for the Nation to Washington, D.C. Also that her great Uncle Peter Perkins Pitchlynn was one time Chief of the Choctaw Nation.
(The above data and the following sketch of Inez’s life has been prepared by her two surviving children: Anna Farr Pipkin, and William Pipkin.)