Nora Lorraine Smith Lorrin

Nora Lorraine Smith Lorrin, was an investigator for the WPA in the 1930s. She interviewed people in Oklahoma about their pioneer experiences. The following comes from her self interview dated 28 Apr 1938:

"In 1901 I went out to Mountain View, Oklahoma, which at that time was a typical wild west cow town, to visit my sister who was married and running a millinery store at that place. Mountain View had one main street, about three blocks long, with typical old wooden buildings on either side. It had a bank, a confectionery or two, several saloons and several dry goods and hardware stores. While there I got to attend my first real Indian dance. It was out southeast in the Kiowa country about ten or twelve miles from Mountain View. (Here she goes on to tell about the Indians.) We stayed there three or four hours and then went back to Mountain View.

Later, for some reason, the men in Mountain View went away. It had been a scorching hot dry summer and those wooden shacks were like tinder. An habitual drunkard about town took a notion to go on an extra spree and he drank at the various saloons until his money was all gone and one of the saloon men kicked him out of the saloon. Anyway, that night, that man set fire to the saloon and that whole block, including the bank, a hardware store, and a lot of other establishments went up in smoke. Away in the night I woke up and a man was rushing madly up and down the street shouting "fire, fire" and shooting his gun at every step.

The men, for the most part, were gone from town and the few who were left could do very little. Everybody came to watch, including all the riff-raff from the "Red Light District". They were drunk, cursing, and many of them about half dressed. All they could do was to keep the fire from getting across the street. There wasn't much of a breeze but the flames shot into the air an incredible distance and made a rainbow over the town and many of the embers fell a mile or more north of town. If they could have found the culprit that set that fire he would have lost his life, I have no doubt, but he went away from there without hesitation."

This self interview of Mrs. Lorrin was submitted March 20, 2012, by her grandson, Marc Lorrin , and remains the property of Mr. Lorrin, All rights reserved. This is another personal view of the fire in Mountain View in 1901.

Return To Main Page

Copyright, 2001-2012

NOTICE: Ethel Taylor grants that this information and data may be used by non-commercial entities, as long as this message remains on all copied material, for personal and genealogical research. These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format for profit, can not be copied over to other sites, linked to, or other presentation without written permission of Ethel Taylor.