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Maysville barber cuts hair and shares stories for about 55 years

John “Dugan” Adkins, 78, has been cutting hair in Maysville for over 50 years.
by Bryan Painter Published: August 5, 2012

The handwritten sign reads “Haircuts $10.”

Customers at the Trend Barber Shop in Maysville know they'll get a lot more than a nice-looking cut.

Actually, the haircut is about the only thing John “Dugan” Adkins doesn't talk about.

Adkins, the 78-year-old barber, doesn't have to.

Louis Norton, 79, Maysville took a seat on a recent morning.

For 50 years, he's had his hair cut by Adkins, always short on the sides and medium on top.

As Norton handed the barber two Lincolns to pay for the cut, Butch Bourne, 63, Elmore City, eased into the same third chair from the window.

For the last couple decades, Bourne's been coming in to Trend Barber Shop and asked for one style, kind of high on the sides and short on top.

Coalgate to Maysville

Adkins went to barber school in 1957 and soon after started working the front chair in this barbershop. That's why customers don't have to waste any time on “How would you like it?”

That way they can get to the good stuff, such as why Adkins came to Maysville in the first place.

Work was hard to come by in mid-1940s in his hometown of Coalgate and that made food a little scarce.

“We didn't let a squirrel or rabbit get away in eastern Oklahoma,” he said. “I tried raccoon once — didn't taste like squirrel.”

Dugan and brother Linzie, who was a year older, had heard their uncles talk about abundant work in the broomcorn fields around Maysville.

So each year from 1947 to 1949 the two would hitchhike the unpaved roads west, roughly 80 miles.

“There was a pecan grove out here at the west edge of town,” Dugan Adkins said. “We rustled up a couple of old Army cots and slept right there under those trees. If it come a rain, you got a free bath.

“If it didn't there was always somebody with an old car or pickup and we'd ride with them out to the farm pond to take a bath.”

The 13-year-old earned somewhere around $4.50 per day cutting broomcorn. The best he can remember, he'd pay 30 to 35 cents for a bowl of chili and a soda pop.

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by Bryan Painter
Assistant Local Editor
Bryan Painter, assistant local editor, has 31 years’ experience in journalism, including 22 years with the state's largest newspaper, The Oklahoman. In that time he has covered such events as the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah...
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