HE LEARNED THE VALUE OF DEER HIDES AND MADE BETTER
USE OF THEM
By S. C. Turnbo

This account was told me by Mrs. Ellen Holt wife of R. S. Holt of Lead Hill, Ark. Mrs. Holt is a daughter of Wilson and Hezekiah Wilmoth and was born in Overton County Tennessee October 15, 1836. Her and her husband are old timers of North West Arkansas. But many years ago she lived a few years in Howell County, Mo. She tells of an anecdote of Matthew Cameron an early settler and hunter who lived in Howell County. This man lived in Howell’s Valley some 10 miles south of where West Plains now stands. He was a peculiar man and had strange ways and did not associate with other hunters but little and supposed that deer skins were only called deer hides and had no special value except to dress and make strings and moccasins out of and he saved the hides of all the deer he killed for that purpose. One day while he was visiting a small store he noticed a man bring a bundle of deer hides to the store and exchange them with the proprietor for groceries which surprised Mr. Cameron and he made inquiries as to the value of the hides and the proper name of them and the merchant told him that deer skins were called pelts and were as good as gold and silver as far as they went. The hunter was now astonished more than ever and he told the merchant that he never heard them called pelts before and never knew what they were really good for until now and he said that he had a big supply of them at home and he would go back and bring them to him and exchange them for store things" and he did. He had learned their value now and he made hunting more profitable to himself and visited the store frequently to exchange pelts for the necessaries of life."

Next Story | Table of Contents