by John H. Bates
When the county was organized, Steve Franklin filed on a section of land for Mr. Gulick. This land was section 6, located about three and one half miles northeast of Goree or one mile east and one mile south of what is now Hefner.
In 1885, Mr. and Mrs. Gulick sold their claim on section 6 to J.H. Bates and filed on section 12. The southeast corner of this section is one and one half miles east of present day Hefner and the west side is FM Road 266.
The Gulicks reared their family on this section of land. Their daughters are Mrs. Hamp Jones and the late Mrs. Jessie Jones of Goree and Mrs. Willie Parks of Rotan.
In October of 1886, J.H. Bates came to Knox County and bought the claim to section 6 from W.M. Gulick. He gave Mr. Gulick a wagon, a span of little mules and $125 for his claim to section 6. He went back to Den-County and on December 17, 1886 him, his wife and four boys, Ross, Frank, George Bates and M.L. Arnold (a son of Mrs. Bates by a former marriage) arrived at the claim that he had bought from Mr. Gulick. They moved into a one room house that Mr. Gulick and Mr. Calthrop had constructed for their wives. Mrs. Gulick and Mrs. Calthrop used the house as a sort of parlor when company arrived. They lived in a half dug-out.
As near as I can trace about all the people that were there in the locality in December of 1886 were the families of Bill Gulick, J.H. Bates, Ham Calthrop, Bill Benedict, Lee Newsom, Fred Franklin, Bud Holt, and Bill Gibbs.
In 1887, others began to arrive. They were Newt Martin, Jap Martin, A. Parks, Bill Newsom, Tom Anderson, Algie Sams and E.M. Coffman.
In 1890, Bud Coffman, Al Coffman, W.W. Coffman and others came.
My reason in trying to name these early settlers and bring them into the picture of Goree, is that they were the picture. And actually the seed that grew into present Goree. Everything must have a beginning and unless they were the beginning of Goree then, I am confused.