William H. Clift was born in Grayson County, Texas, February 27, 1871. His grandparents
were pioneers in the Red River country, settling near the present site of Texarkana as early as 1840. Reared among rustic pioneers where tales of border warfare and hardship were often recounted, his interest in the history of the southwest dates from the years of his early childhood. Never forgetting these stories, many of which were told by some of the original actors, he has often taken time, through the years of busy life to go out of his way to run down or locate some point of historical interest. Inheriting the thrift and ardor of his Celtic ancestors, he fitted himself in country schools to secure a teacher?s certificate and began teaching school at the age of seventeen. Later, in college and university he did double work, and engaged in business for himself at the age of twenty-six. He settled in Oklahoma after the opening of the Kiowa-Comanche country and engaged in the cotton business. He is reputed to own more cotton gins as an individual than any other person in the south. He is also the owner of a number of a great deal of farm land in Oklahoma and Texas. Like other men of personality and attainments, he has a hobby, or side-line, to which he turns for recreation and pastime. His hobby is that of searching out and locating and recording everything of local historical interest which might otherwise be lost to knowledge. Living as he has for many years among the Indians of the Comanche, Kiowa, Apache and Wichita tribes, he has made numerous field trips at his own expense, often accompanied by a hired interpreter or guide. He has visited and inspected old Indian field sites, battle fields and other places of historic interest in the Red River country in Oklahoma and Texas. He believes that the stories of this region should be gathered and recorded while it is yet possible to get them and thinks they will become more interesting as the years increase. He is a life member of the Oklahoma Historical Society and is accounted one of its most active contributing workers. ""