Partial Transcript: WN: August the 16th, and I'm in the church that the Reverend Mayes, Percy Mayes has helped establish, and he's gonna tell us today about himself and also about his church. First of all, Reverend Mayes, I'd like for you to tell us your full name and when you were born and anything you can think of, like your parents and your grandparents, their names on both sides of the family because we want this to go in the genealogical library in Bristow. And maybe one of these days, one of your grandchildren may come back and wanna know everything about Granddaddy.
PM: Thank you. I'm Percy Alford Mayes. My parents were Eric Arthur Mayes and Gurtha L. (Lee) Wortham Mayes. There were six children born to the family. I have one older brother, Ozie Mayes, who passed away last year. The rest of the children are all living. Just one had passed.
Segment Synopsis: Reverend Mayes talks about his parents and his siblings and where he was born.
Keywords: Arthur City, Texas; Doris Maybell Mayes Terry; Eric Arthur Mayes; Gurtha Lee Wortham Mayes; Ozie Lee Mayes; Roxie Lillian Mayes Tate; Vera Mayes Dade
Partial Transcript: WN: And did you come up to Bristow about when, Reverend Mayes?
PM: I came up, I came to Bristow with my parents in 1929, in the month of November.
WN: You came right at the height of the depression then, didn't you?
PM: Yes. And just before in that awfully bad winter, 29 went to 29, 30 real cold. We walked across a pond during the time when it was real cold being in an area we were unfamiliar with, we did not know that we were walking across a pond on our way to school because it was all iced over, and you just think he was walking on the ground if he didn't know where he was. So one day on our way from school, from the Sand Creek School in Okfuskee County, east of Boley. We walked out on the pond that we didn't know was there, and it began to crack.
Segment Synopsis: Reverend Mayes remembers coming to Bristow in 1929 with his parents.
Keywords: Boley (Okla.); Sand Creek School
Subjects: coming to Bristow
Partial Transcript: PM: Fell in the pond or anything like that. But the entire group, that is myself, the rest of the children, finished our elementary schooling at the Sand Creek School. I went on along with my brother to Boley High School, where we finished high school in 1937. During that time, we were, they were accepting boys in the service and they had a cc, what they call a CC Camp. There, boys could find employment. When I was not able to get enough money to go to college, I wanted to be in the CC Camp where I could earn enough to get,
WN: Yeah, that was amazing.
PM: To pay for my own college education, and there was a group of boys along with myself who took the examination, and we were all accepted, but they took the number they wanted before they got to me. I left home to go to work, then, in order to put myself through college.
Segment Synopsis: Reverend Mayes remembers attending school at Boley High School and also attending a CC Camp to find employment and raise enough money to attend college.
Keywords: Boley High School; CC Camp; Thelma Ryans Mayes; college
Subjects: CC Camp; school
Partial Transcript: WN: How old were you when you were married?
WN: 21. And how old was Thelma?
PM: Thelma, if I got a correct age, she was 19.
WN: Very romantic.
PM: And we've lived ever, we've lived together since that time. Have six children.
Segment Synopsis: Reverend Mays recalls marrying his wife, Thelma Ryans Mayes and also talks about his children. He had six children, five girls and one boy. The only boy passed away at a young age.
Keywords: Eliza G. Watts Ryan; Thelma Ryans Mayes; marriage
Subjects: children; married life
Partial Transcript: PM: And I have always studied the Bible from a small child. I've been interested in what was written in the scripture, the message for us.
WN: You've always had such a wonderful way of speaking every time I've ever been around where you've done anything, you just do the Word so nicely. You put everything together so well.
PM: I think you, kindly. I believe in studying and I love it. I still do that today. I'm doing a little more writing now than ever before. So, I was appointed a deacon of the church at an early age at Saint Emanuel Baptist Church, where I served as superintendent, the Sunday School at one time, and also, a deacon of the church.
WN: Alright, now. Where is that church?
PM: It's at Boley,
Segment Synopsis: Reverend Mayes recalls studying the Bible from a young age. He felt called to the ministry. He was appointed Deacon of Saint Emanuel Baptist Church at an early age, and his love for ministry grew from there.
Keywords: Boley; Greater Mt. Herman; Saint Emanuel Baptist Church; Sunday School
Partial Transcript: PM: Duffey Chapel Baptist Church History. This was written in 1981.
PM: “In Bristow, Oklahoma, on August the 15th, 1919, near a persimmon tree on the east side of this present structure, Reverend Frank Duffey, Mrs. Frank (Lela) Duffey, Mr. Beatty Duffey, Brother McKinley Shoals and a borrowed deacon from Lincoln High named Johnny Williams, met in a small oil field house measuring approximately 14 by 14 by 16 feet. These charter members organized the Duffey Chapel Baptist Church and later purchased this lot where the church now stand for $125.
Segment Synopsis: Reverend Mayes reads the written history of the Duffey Chapel Baptist Church.
Keywords: American National Bank; Beatty Duffey; Carl Cole; Clyde McDaniel; Duffey Chapel Baptist Church; First Baptist Church; Johnny Williams; Jonas Thompson; Lela Duffey; Lewis Hamilton; Lincoln High School; Lodge #74; M. Jones; McKinley Shoals; Raymond Bird; Reverend A.M. Garrett; Reverend David Shibley; Reverend Eric Arthur Mayes; Reverend Frank Duffey; William Cheatham
Subjects: Duffey Chapel Baptist Church History
Partial Transcript: WN: Great. And this might give us some other people to contact also when we get to do and on the black community. And then you have a summary of the past reunions there and some wonderful pictures. Oh, I think that's great. That is really good. I will. We surely will. Alright, now then, let me ask you, let's go back to the town then. Can you think of any businesses that were here on the street? I know some of 'em are gone 'cause I can remember there used to be a funeral home there, I know. Wasn't there? At one point in time.
PM: The Fields Funeral Home (ph) was located in this block on the south side of the street and on the corner of the 10th and Chestnut Street, there was a hotel, a two-story building.
Segment Synopsis: Reverend Mayes recalls different businesses that were located near his church.
Keywords: Fields Grocery Store; Masonic Lodge; Oliver's Grocery Store; Peevy Grocery Store; Willie Fields
Subjects: Bristow businesses
Partial Transcript: WN: You know what I really would like to know, too, is I'd like to know some of the feelings that some of the early people had about living in, in the Bristow area. What kind of relationships did we, I mean, to me it's always been really good. But then, see I was over there and somebody was over here, so I've never known of any friction but I'm sure there has been. But I know that horrible thing they had in Tulsa spilled over into Bristow at that one point in time when they were doing things to the Black. But I, I've always felt like that's the black people in our community have been so wonderful about so many things, some so cooperative and so, you know, they just have been, I don't know whether it, I just have wondered about their real feelings sometimes and it maybe it's not worth expressing, you know.
Segment Synopsis: Reverend Mayes recalls being black in Bristow was a peaceful experience, and that there was a lack of prejudice between the races.
Keywords: Boley; Earl Walter Ford; Lincoln School; peaceful
Subjects: being black in Bristow