The Archivist: Oklahoma land connects William R. Taylor, Washington Irving

Mary Phillips: More than 90 years apart, William R. Taylor and Washington Irving share history along Crutcho Creek.
BY MARY PHILLIPS, For The Oklahoman Published: February 3, 2014
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What is the connection between county Judge William R. Taylor, who died in 1923, and author Washington Irving, who visited Oklahoma in 1832 and wrote his “Tour on the Prairies”?

They never met in person, but they have a common relationship to a piece of land at NE 23 and Air Depot Boulevard.

In October 1832, Irving and his fellow explorers began their trip from Fort Gibson, and on Oct. 26, the travelers found themselves in a valley along Crutcho Creek. There, they stayed for three rainy days.

When the weather cleared, they continued their explorations south to the Moore area before turning back east to return to Fort Gibson.

Irving describes the location in his book, “On overtaking the troop, I found it encamping in a rich bottom of woodland, traversed by a small stream, running between deep crumbling banks.”

With a drizzle beginning, they prepared for rain and built shelters to keep their provisions dry.

“These precautions were well timed. The rain set in sullenly and steadily, and kept on, with slight intermission, for two days. The brook which flowed peacefully on our arrival, swelled into a turbid and boiling torrent, and the forest became little better than a mere swamp.”

Pioneer judge

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