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Pioneer Ox Driver Carves Out Memories

Bixby Pioneer, Will Archer

Pioneer Bixbian, Will Archer, exhibits one of his many wood carvings, 10-7-1965.
The Bixby Bulletin Collection · ID: BB-10-07-Archer, Bixby Historical Society, Bixby OK

Thursday, October 7, 1965, Bixby OK

A pioneer Bixbian lonely for the early days carved out a memory in wood. Will Archer patiently whittled a log wagon pulled by a team of oxen. He drove such a team, to plow and to haul, when he was a boy.

"I wanted to make something to remind me of my early days," he explained."

The wagon is complete even to the bark. The driver is holding the "bull whip used to drive the team. No lines are used in driving an ox team," Archer explained. A well trained team of oxen will respond to the commands of their driver with only a whip.

Archer's sister, Mrs. Laura Thomas, made the overalls worn by the little driver. The pants are the only item not made by Archer.

The artison moved to Bixby in 1909 and is a retired employee of the Oklahoma Natural Gas Company. He will be 85 years of age this month.

Wood carving is not new to Archer as a tour of the Archer home will reveal. He made a chest of drawers for his bedroom and, "now I don't have to hunt for my clothing," he explained. He carves what not shelves and overstuffed divans and chairs which are really sewing sets.

Mr. and Mrs. Archer will observe their 67th wedding anniversary Dec. 4. Mrs. Archer was 82 years old this week. Her hobby is piecing quilts. Both Mr. and Mrs. Archer enjoy fishing.

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