Rev. James Sapulpa
Of what may be accomplished by courageous enterprise there is no better example than that furnished in the history of Oklahoma. Here the spirit of American progress has been shown in unrivaled glory, and a trackless wilderness, the travois of the Indian has given place to the wagon of the farmer, the network of railroads, the electric lines and the automobile. Social and commercial growth have kept pace with this advance, and everywhere can be seen and heard evidences of progress, voicing the energy of an aspiring commonwealth. Here nature has been lavish in her benefices, here the willing soil yields forth its generous stores; here the mineral resources, great though the development has already been, offer boundless opportunities for future exploitation; and here are the homes of a loyal, appreciative and progressive people, who honor and receive honor from the whole noble sisterhood of states. No other commonwealth of the Union has a history that so closely touches the life records of those whose first was the American dominion, for the Oklahoma was the final domain of our country that was left to the Indians and that constituted the former Indian Territory. There is thus much of romance touching the development f an enlightened commonwealth in this great domain, and all who are in the least appreciative most view with great satisfaction the large and worthy part the Indians themselves have played and continue to play in furtherance of the industrial and general civil progress of Oklahoma, in which last stronghold they have as a whole responded nobly to the voice of destiny and to the limit of their powers are proving valuable to the state. In this connection there is surpassing interest attaching to the virile and noble man whose name initiates this review and who is proving a true and worthy apostle of righteousness and enlightenment among his own people, the Indians of the former Creek Nation and who is laboring with all of consecrated zeal and devotion as a clergyman of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and that with headquarters in the City of Sapulpa, which was named in honor of the Indian family of which he is an honored and really distinguished member. He preaches to the Creek Indians in their own language and Is not, in fact, conversant in any appreciable degree with the English tongue, though he has learned well the great gospel which he preaches and is a man of fine mental and moral powers.
Rev. James Sapulpa, whose Indian name, given him in childhood, is Wah-lakeyahola, signifying “sweet potatoes,” was born not far distant from his present place of residence in Sapulpa, in the winter of 847 and is a son of the well known old Creek Indian, Sapulpa, who was a leader in the Creek Nation and who eventually embraced the Christian religion, though he never received a personal name other than the one eognomen, Sapulpa, which is perpetuated in the fine little city that has been reared near his former home. He came with other members of his tribe to the section now compassed by Creek County at the time when the Seminole Indians were on the war path, and after the conflict had ceased he here established his permanent home, the Creek tribe having been transferred to this region by the Government. Here Sapulpa married a woman of his tribe who bore the name of Tenafe, and she was an aunt of the wife of the subject of this sketch, Rev. James Sapulpa. For his second wife he married Nekette, who later was given the Christian name of Eliza. No children were born of the firs tmarriage, and of the seven children of the second union was James, to whom this article is specifically dedicated; Hannah became the wife of Ahulak-haco; Sarah is the wife of Timmie Fife, of Sapulpa, and the other children died young. Sapulpa, in accordance with Indian custom, parted from his first wife, who bore him no children, and thereafter he married not only the mother of the subject of this review but also her sister, Japakese, this having likewise been in accord with the tribal customs. He thus had two wives at one time and his total number of children by the two wives, the sisters, was twenty-four. The greater number of the children by Japakese died young, only one of the number now surviving, William A. Sapulpa, who is a well known and highly esteemed citizen of Creek County and who resides near his half brother, Rev. James Sapulpa, of this sketch. The father died in Creek County before the same was thus constituted, on the 17th of March, 1887, at which time he was seventy-five years of age. His wife, Eliza, mother of Rev. James Sapulpa, died January 12, 1889, both having become converted to Christianity, and Eliza having been put aside in furtherance of the Christian ideals, but ample provision having been made for her.
Sapulpa was a fine type of the Creek tribe, and became an earnest exemplar of its progressive element, though ever loyal to tribal laws. He had one time brought home a small buffalo from the hunt and the same was raised by his son James, who retained the animal until it became unruly and attacked him, when he showed discrimination by selling it.
Rev. James Sapulpa has passed his entire life in the section of Oklahoma about the present City of Sapulpa, and his progressiveness was early shown through his extensive and successful activities as an agriculturist and stock-grower. Prior to the Civil War he was sent to one of the Indian schools for a period of six months, and this is all the specific education he ever received in the school room. From a hymn book published in the Creek language he learned to write his native language, this hymn book having been given to him by a Methodist missionary, and from that time forward he has taken a deep interest in church work. He and his wife, who has been his devoted companion and helpmeet, erected at their own expense the Sapulpa Methodist Chapel which is situated on their homestead farm. At his home he began holding religious services for fellow members of his tribe even before the church buiding was erected, the meetings having been held on the grounds of his present residence, and an arbor having been built to afford to the congregation protections from the weather. In the winter season the meetings were held in his log house which is still standing and in excellent preservation. After continuing his services as a preacher to his people under these conditions for a period of about ten years, Mr. Sapulpa erected the present church edifice, a frame structure. Here members of the neighboring Ute Indian tribe attended religious services until they erected a church of their own, and a number of them were converted under the guidance of Mr. Sapulpa, the Ute Church, about five miles distant being still in prosperous condition. Mr. Sapulpa and his nephew Marchie Hayes, who is a class leader of the Methodist Church are now the only two remaining members of the original church organization over which Mr. Sapulpa presided. On the 12th of March, 1871, Mr. Sapulpa was baptized by Reverend Joshua, who likewise was a full blood Creek Indian, and in 1897 he received license from the Methodist Church as an exhorter and in 1900 he received from the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, his license as a local preacher. He has been an earnest, faithful and successful worker in the vineyard of the Divine Master, and the title of good and faithful servant well applies to him.
The early life of Mr. Sapulpa was marked by active identification with the live stock industry on the great open range, and his present residence stands near the site of the old home of his father who had large herds of cattle and at one time controlled a large area of land, including the present site of the City of Sapulpa, which was named in his honor, at the instance of Gen. Pleasant Porter, who was made an Indian chief.
Mr. Sapulpa is the owner of a quarter section of well improved land, 1-1/2 miles southwest of Sapulpa, and on a fine elevation that affords an excellent view of the city and the surrounding country he erected in 1908, his present pretentious and imposing frame residence, which is three stories in height and has thirteen rooms. It is not only one of the finest dwellings in Creek County but its slightly location makes it an imposing landmark that is visible for a great distance in each direction.
On the 6th of November, 1893, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Sapulpa to Miss Elizabeth Barnett, who was born at Washington, twelve miles south of Okmulgee, Creek Nation, on the 17th of August, 1876 and who like himself is a full blood Creek Indian. She was seven years old at the time of her father’s death and her widowed mother sent her to the Wealaka Mission. While she was at the mission her mother was killed, and so her schooling was limited, but her alert mentality has enabled her to make definite progress in knowledge in later years, and she reads and writes well in both the Creek and English languages, the latter of which she speaks fluently also, so that she is able to assist her husband greatly in both his business affairs and church work as he speaks only the Creek tongue. She is most earnest and zealous in her religious activities and is a devout member of the church of which her husband is in pastoral charge. Mr. and Mrs. Sapulpa have no children of their own, but their kindliness and true Christian devotion have been shown in their rearing in their home eight orphan children. Joseph McCombs was adopted by them when fourteen, but they had reared him from the age of six years. He was educated at Eletsie Mission here and Weleetka Boarding School at Weleetka, Lawrence, Kansas, and Conway, Arkansas, Methodist College. Susanna Sapulpa now four years of age (1915) was taken by them when she was but four months old and was legally adopted by them. She is the life and light of their home and though she is a full blood Creek Indian, she as yet speaks only the English language.
In the various operations of his well improved farm Mr. Sapulpa avails himself of scientific methods and the best modern machinery and he is one of the enterprising and specially successful agriculturists and stock growers of the county, within whose limits he has lived from the time of his birth and in which he commands the high regard of his own people and also of the white population. Among the Indians of the county he is a recognized leader and his influence has been large in the promotion of their social material and spiritual welfare. (A Standard History of Oklahoma, by Joseph B. Thoburn, Volume 4, 1916)
Hon. Warren H. Brown
In the history of the judiciary of Oklahoma the name of Hon. Warren H. Brown is strongly entrenched. His experiences as a jurist have been varied and interesting and include participation in the exciting events that marked the opening of the Kiowa and Comanche country, in 1902, when only men of the most courageous character were chosen for the bench to settle the numerous disputes that arose between men of the most dangerous and reckless nature. Later he served as county judge of Creek County for four years, leaving that office in 1914 to resume his practice as a lawyer and at the time he is junior member of the firm of Mars & Brown, one of the leading concerns of Sapulpa.
Judge Brown was born August 21, 1865, at Tinney’s Grove, Ray County, Missouri, and is a son of Caleb and Martha (Fortune) Brown, the former a native of Richland County, Ohio, and the latter of Georgia. The father was still a child when taken to Ray County, Missouri, in a wagon by his parents, and there his subsequent life was passed in agricultural pursuits, his death occurring February 16, 1915. The mother was two years old when her parents left their native state and made their way by flatboat, to Jefferson City, Missouri, in 1840, from which point they moved into Ray County, and there Mrs. Brown’s subsequent life was passed, her death occurring October 9, 1890. There were three children in the family: Warren H.; Etta May, who is the wife of John F. Hanna, of Tinney’s Grove, Missouri; and John P., of Sapulpa, Oklahoma.
Warren H. Brown was reared on his father’s farm, receiving his early education in the common schools and the State Normal College, at Warrensburg and Avalon, Missouri. He then began his career as a teacher his first charge being in Missouri, Ray County and he taught the first school at Texas, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma and his second at Okland, the present site of New Walla. Deciding upon a professional career, he began the study of law under H. H. Haward, and Judge C. B. Ames, at Oklahoma City, where he was admitted to the bar, but to further prepare himself went to Highland Park College of Law, Des Moines, Iowa, from which he was graduated in 1900, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. Returning to Oklahoma in October of the same year he was nominated for county attorney of Oklahoima County on Taylor and subsequently was made chairman of the republican city campaign committee, his capable direction in that campaign leading to the election of C. G. Jones as mayor of Oklahoma City. At the opening of the Kiowa and Comanche country, Mr. Brown was appointed probate judge by Governor Jenkins and took the oath of office August 6, 1902 his first court held in a large tent in the absence of a courthouse. At that time that part of the country was overrun with outlaws, bad men and desperadoes, who defied the law and the officers and Judge Brown’s first act in an official way was the answering in of thirty-six deputy sheriffs to preserve the peace. Among those were such noted characters of the day as Hec Thomas, Bill Tillman, Ed House, S. W. Fenton and Warren Bennett. The law provided that an individual had to be a resident of the county six months before he was eligible for jury service, and although there were 10,000 people in the city and more than that in the county, it was extremely difficult to find twelve men to serve, and Judge Brown recollects one jury in particular that contained five ex-convicts. Many men who have since become prominent in state, and even in national history appeared as practitioners, in Judge Brown’s court including Scott Farris, L. P. Ross, B. M. Parmenter and Wash Hudson, while U. S. Senator Gore tried his first case in Oklahoma with Judge Brown officiating on the bench. Numerous thrilling scenes were enacted in his court, but he was at all times master of the situation and his service in this difficult capacity was one that demonstrated his fine abilities and power over men. In passing, it may be noted that Judge Brown married the first couple to be joined in Comanche County.
In 1903 Judge Brown moved to Oklahoma City where he engaged in the insurance business in partnership with Hon. W. L. Alexander, now state treasurer. He was subsequently appointed city auditor by Dr. J. F. Missenbaugh, mayor, and held that office until coming to Sapulpa, in 1907 to resume his law practice. Forming a partnership with L. J. Burt, under the style of Burt & Brown he enjoyed a large and profitable legal business un1il 1910 when he was elected county judge of Creek County and receiving the re-election in 1912 served ably and conscientiously in that judicial position for four years. Since his retirement from the bench he has been engaged in practice as Mars & Brown, his partner being Frank L. Mars and the firm enjoys a leading practice is a member of the Creek County Bar Association and the American Bar Association and enjoys the esteem and friendship of his fellow practitioners. He is a fourteenth degree Mason.
On November 25, 1914, Judge Brown was married to Miss Edith M. Henderson of Topeka, Kansas. (A Standard History of Oklahoma, by Joseph B. Thoburn, Volume 4, 1916)
Shelby E. Bailey
In no community is there to be found a more certain and significant index of general prosperity and progressiveness than through the medium of banking institutions, their solidity, efficiency of service and adequacy of executive control. The thriving little City of Kiefer, Creek County, Oklahoma, is thus signally favored in having as sponsor for its civic and material stability and business vitality so excellent and admirably conducted an institution as the Central State Bank, the efficient and popular cashier of which is Shelby E. Bailey. This is the pioneer banking institution of the town and it dates its inception back to the year 1907, when it was established under the title of the Kiefer State Bank, its present name having been adopted after the requisite amendment of its charter. A substantial and well appointed building was erected specially for the use of the bank and is owned by the institution, its location being on Indiana Avenue and in the center of the business district of the town. The Central State Bank duly incorporated under the laws of Oklahoma and its affairs doubly protected through direct state supervision, began operations with a capital stock of $10,000, and this was later increased to the present figure, $15,000. The present cashier assumed his office about two years after the bank was founded, and within his administration as practical executive officer the deposits increased from $65,000 to $185,000, as indicated by the official statement of the bank in the autumn of 1915.
Shelby E. Bailey was born in the City of Birmingham, Alabama, on the 7th of October, 1884, and is a son of William J. and Sarah Elizabeth (Bailey) Bailey, both of whom were born and reared in Alabama, as representatives of old and honored families of that commonwealth. When the subject of this review was about ten years of age his parents removed to Texas and established their residence at Paris, the metropolis and judicial center of Lamar County, Texas, until he had attained to the age of twenty years. He not only received the advantages of the public schools of that county but through private study and well ordered reading he materially advanced himself along higher educational lines. He was employed at clerical work in Paris, Texas, until 1909, when he established his residence at Kiefer, Oklahoma, and assumed his present position as cashier of the Central State Bank, which at that time still bore its original title. He has shown great discrimination and progressiveness as an executive and his well directed efforts and personal popularity have done much to further the development of the business of which he has practical charge and in connection with which he proves a valued coadjutor to the honored president of the bank, Isaac F. Crow, who is one of the substantial capitalists and representative citizens of Tulsa County. Mr. Bailey is a progressive young business man and loyal citizen who takes lively interest in community affairs, both he and his wife being popular factors in the social life of Kiefer. He is a democrat in his political allegiance and is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
On the 31st of December 1911 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Baily to Miss M. Leila Dalton, who was born in the State of Nebraska, and whose parents, Mr. and Mrs. William T. Dalton, now reside at Broken Arrow, Tulsa County, Oklahoma. Mr. and Mrs. Bailey have a winsome little daughter, Sarah Belle. (A Standard History of Oklahoma, by Joseph B. Thoburn, Volume 4, 1916)
Roy T. Wildman
The assured status of Mr. Wildman as one of the representative members of the bar of Eastern Oklahoma is evidenced by the able administration which he is giving in the office of county attorney of Creek County and he is one of the vital, progressive and popular citizens of Sapulpa, the judicial center and metropolis of the county mentioned.
Mr. Wildman was born at Fairfield, Jefferson County, Iowa, on the 18th of April 1883 and is a son of Benjamin and Sarah (Taylor) Wildman both of whom were born in Iowa. He was reared in Missouri and she in Iowa. Benjmain Wildman became one of the representative citizens of Jefferson County, Iowa, in which state he continued his residence until 1900, since which time he and his wife have maintained their home at Neosho Falls, Kansas, and South Haven, Michigan, the major part of his active career having been one of close and effective association with the basic industries of agriculture and stock-growing through the medium of which he has attained to definite independence and prosperity. He now gives his attention principally to contracting and is one of the substantial business men of the city and county in which he has established his home.
He is a republican in his political proclivities and both he and his wife are earnest members of the Christian church.
The eldest in a family of three sons and two daughters, Roy T. Wildman found the period of his childhood and early youth compassed by the benignant influence of the home farm in Jefferson County, Iowa, and in the meanwhile he duly availed himself of the advantages of the public schools of his native county. He was about seventeen years of age at the time of the family removal to Woodson County, Kansas in 1900 and he was graduated in the high school at Neosho falls, that state, as a member of the class of 1903. In preparation for his chosen profession he then entered the law department of the University of Kansas, at Lawrence and in this institution he was graduated in 1907 with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. His professional novitiate was served in Kansas, but in 1909 he came to Oklahoma and established himself in practice at Sapulpa, where his ability energy and close application soon enabled him to develop a substantial law business. In 1911 he was chosen deputy county attorney and the admirable record which he made in this subordinate position marked him as specially eligible for further advancement in the public service, with the result that in November, 1914, he was elected county attorney an office in which he is giving a most effective administration and adding materially to his reputation as a resourceful trial lawyer. His political allegiance is given to the republican party and he is one of its active and influential representatives in Creek County. He is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and is an appreciative and popular member of the Creek County Bar Association.
In June 1913 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Wildman to Miss Dora A. Jones, daughter of Oliver B. and Lucy Snow (Abbey) Jones, of Neosho Falls, Kansas, and the two children of this union are Evelyn Sarah and Roy T., Jr. (A Standard History of Oklahoma, by Joseph B. Thoburn, Volume 4, 1916)
LOU S. ALLARD.
One of the most progressive men in this section is Lou S. Allard, owner and editor of the Drumright "Derrick," a daily and weekly newspaper. He is the son of Lou S. Allard who was a native of Massachusetts, and Sarah (Payne) Allard, a native of Kentucky. His father was a journalist, a collector of customs at New Orleans, Louisiana, and superintendent of the United States Reservation at Hot Springs, Arkansas.
(Source: Oklahoma, A History of the State and Its People by Joseph B. Thoburn and Muriel H. Wright; Volume IV; Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc. New York, 1929; transcribed by Vicki Bryan)
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