Cherokee Bill: Oklahoma Pacer.  Jean Bailey

Abingdon Press, 1952; Awarded 1955.

Synopsis: Along with hundreds of other settlers living in tents and covered wagons along the Kansas-Oklahoma border, twelve-year-old David Rutledge and his parents waited for the opening of the Cherokee Strip. Cherokee Bill, a stray horse, played a big part in claiming the family's homestead. Cherokee Bill also turns out to be a prize-winning pacer.

Themes: Kansas-Oklahoma land run; Prairie claims; Horse racing; Horseback riding; Pioneers

Author information: Jean Bailey was born March 3, 1904 on a farm near Pratt, Kansas. She 'vas a school teacher, author of several children's book, a librarian and served as a lieutenant in the Waves during World War 11. She was a graduate of Southwestern College and received her library training at the University of Chicago. She died in 1992.

Discussion questions:  Standard 1, Benchmark 5
1. What part of our country was known as the Cherokee Strip?
2.  List the crops the settlers planted on their claims.
3. What was the date of the Cherokee Run described in the book, CHEROKEE BILL: OKLAHOMA PACER?

Activities:
1. Describe a claim. How many acres are in a section? a quarter section? Draw a diagram of the Rutledge claim, marking where David deposited the claim stick his father gave him. Show the length and width of their claim in feet.  Standard 2, Benchmark 4
2. On maps of Kansas and Oklahoma trace the route the Rutledge family took when they made the run from Kansas into Oklahoma to locate their claim. Kiowa was near the Kansas border from where they would start the run. Mr. Rutledge estimated the claim was about 15 to 20 miles from Kiowa and maybe 5 or 6 miles from Pond Creek.  Standard 2, Benchmark 4