Garvin County, Oklahoma

Charles David Carter

August 16, 1868 - April 9, 1929
Of Cherokee and Chickasaw heritage, Charles D. Carter was born on August 16, 1868, near Boggy Depot, Indian Territory. His parents were Benjamin Winsor Carter and Serena Josephine Guy Carter, sister of Chickasaw Gov. William M. Guy. During his youth he lived in both the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations. He attended the Chickasaw Manual Training Academy at Tishomingo. From 1887 to 1892 he worked on a ranch and in an Ardmore mercantile establishment.

Carter served the Chickasaw Nation in various capacities: auditor of public accounts (1892-94), council member (1895), and superintendent of schools (1897). From 1900 to 1904 he was mining trustee of Indian Territory. In 1905 he became a partner in the Carter and Cannon Fire Insurance Agency. In 1906 he served as secretary of the first Democratic Party executive committee of the proposed state of Oklahoma.

Carter married twice. He wed Gertrude Wilson on December 29, 1891, and they had four children: Stelle LeFlore, Italy Cecile, Julia Josephine, and Benjamin Winsor. Carter's first wife died on January 30, 1901, and he married Cecile Jones on January 8, 1911.
At statehood, Carter became the first person to represent Oklahoma's Fourth District in the U.S. House of Representatives and represented the Third District in 1915 after redistricting. He served in Congress from November 16, 1907, to March 3, 1927. His 1914 visit to the school in Bug Tussle inspired the career of future Speaker of the House Carl Albert. Carter worked on legislation affecting Oklahoma's Indians and played a role in keeping Indian homesteads under the protection of the federal government. He served as chair (1917-19) and ranking minority member (1919-21) on the Committee on Indian Affairs and as a member of the Appropriations Committee (1921-27). During his last years in Congress he chaired the Democratic Caucus. In 1926 he lost the Democratic primary to Wilburn Cartwright.
After leaving Congress, Carter returned to Oklahoma, where he served on the Oklahoma Highway Commission from 1927 to 1929. He died in Ardmore on April 9, 1929, and was interred in Ardmore's Rose Hill Cemetery.
[Bibliography: Carl Albert and Danney Goble, Little Giant: The Life and Times of Speaker Carl Albert (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1990). Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1996 (Arlington, Va.: CQ Staff Directories, 1997). Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 10 April 1929. Oklahoma State Election Board, Oklahoma Elections: Statehood to Present (Oklahoma City: Oklahoma State Election Board, 1988). Who Was Who in America, Vol. 1, 1897-1942 (Chicago: A. N. Marquis Co., 1943). --- Source: "Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture"]

Samuel J. Garvin
Samuel J. Garvin was born Jan. 28, 1844 in Kentucky, the son of John and Mary (Stithe) Garvin. At the outbreak of the Civil War he migrated to Colorado. He joined a freighting caravan headed for the Southwest. There were seven wagons loaded with merchandise and each pulled by five or six teams of oxen. They were owned by Henry Myers. Experience gained on this trip from Colorado east down the Santa Fe Trail fitted him for his years as a freighter in the Indian Territory. At Fort Arbuckle, he met and married an Indian girl, Susan Muncrief, and by so doing became an adopted member of the Chickasaw tribe. He gained control of large blocs of land, which were later relinquished when allotment by severalty was enacted.

He moved to Pauls Valley and operated a mercantile business.
One of his employees was Walter J. Harris, who provides some clear impressions of the character of the namesake of Garvin County. Mr. Harris regards Samuel Garvin as one of the best judges of character he has ever known - a man who could size up a customer's honesty, credit rating and future potentials with a glance. In the many years he worked for Garvin in his store and banks he does not recall this judgment ever causing his boss a loss. Hard life as a freighter had been a good teacher, Mr. Garvin became widely identified with the banking institutions of the area. With Calvin J. Grant, he first organized a private bank which was followed by the First National Bank of Pauls Valley, of which he was president at the time of his death on July 20, 1908. He was also president of the First National Bank of Maysville and a director and vice president of the State Bank of Elmore City. He was president of the Pauls Valley Mill and Elevator Company also, and retained extensive ranching interests. He married Susan Muncrief in 1870. Their children were Lizzie, Robert, John, Birdie and Vivian. Samuel Garvin was a Mason, 32nd degree, Scottish Rite, Odd Fellow and a member of the Knights of Pythias.
(Taken from the Garvin County History book dated 1957. Chronicles of Oklahoma, Vol. 26, No. 2 and Vol. 27 No. 3)

Susan Garvin
Mrs. Susan Garvin, wife of Samuel Garvin and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Muncrief, was born at Fort Arbuckle but established a residence at Pauls Valley after her marriage in 1870 to Mr. Samuel Garvin. She platted and dedicated ‘Garvin Addition to Pauls Valley'. She remembered as a child her parents defending their homestead against attacking Kiowa Indians who succeeded in burning a portion of their property and driving off their livestock. Mrs. Garvin was a true pioneer and her influence in Pauls Valley was wholesome and progressive. She stood on the high red bluff at Purcell, Okla., and witnessed the opening of old Oklahoma and the run from that point on April 22, 1889.
She gained state-wide publicity and prominence after the first World War for encouraging aviation and as often as she could, she made airplane rides with Earl Witten, son of Cody Witten, a lifelong friend of Mr. and Mrs. Garvin. (Taken from the Garvin County History book dated 1957.)

Isaac Levi Garvin
In Garvin, Oklahoma, a four-foot granite marker has been erected at the grave of Isaac Levi Garvin in Waterhole Cemetery as part of a project of the McCurtain County Historical Society. Isaac Levi Garvin was born April 27, 1832 in Mississippi and was brought at the age of two to new Okla Falaya District in what is now Oklahoma by his parents. The family settled about six miles southeast of Wheelock Mission, about o­ne mile southeast of the site of present day Garvin, which was named for the Chief. Educated at Norwalk and Spencer Academies, Isaac Garvin became an attorney and later served as a county judge, a district judge and as presiding officer of the Choctaw Nation Supreme Court. In 1978, the prominent jurist, who had also served o­n the ChoctawNation General Council was elected as Principal Chief. He became the first Choctaw Principal Chief to die while still in office. He died Feb.20, 1880, seven months before his first term, as Chief would have expired. The community, called Garvin in his honor, that had grown up around his farm-ranch home, continued to thrive.
In 1902, when the Choctaw and Arkansas (later Frisco) Railroad line was built, the community was moved northwest about one mile to the rail line, but continued to commemorate the chief with its name.

Waterhole Cemetery is located on a county road connecting US 70 at Garvin with SH 37 at the Iron Stob community, and in addition to Chief Garvin they also have the grave of his noted son-in-law, James Wood Kirk. He was buried at his home place and a monument is standing to mark his grave. It is not known who his first wife was but his second wife was Melvina, daughter of Capt. Miashambi, and sister of Peter J. Hudson's mother. Peter J. Hudson tells about Isaac Garvin coming to his father's house when he was just a little child. The father and mother were both out when he arrived and as the children didn't know who he was and he looked so much like a white man, on Mr.Hudson's sisters said in Choctaw "No count white man come to our country." They felt very much ashamed when they found he was a Choctaw and knew what had been said.
By his second wife, Isaac Garvin had one daughter, Francis, who married a man by name of Dr. Shi. They emigrated to Chickasaw Nation with Isaac Garvin's widow and have all died out with exception of one son, Isaac Garvin Shi now living in Chickasaw Nation.

[Chronicles of Oklahoma Vol. 17, 1939 p. 202 and]

Milas Lasater
MILAS LASATER, son of George Milas Lasater a pioneer cattleman of Palo Pinto County, Texas, and of Mary Sophronia Johnson Lasater, born near Oran, formerlly called Black Springs, in Palo Pinto County, Teas, January 8, 1872, and died at his home in Wichita, Kansas, March 11, 1929. His grandfather William L. Lasater came from North Carolina to Tennessee where he married Susan Byers, but soon thereafter removed to Fannin County Texas and later to Palo Pinto County, Texas, where he helped organize said county, serving as its first county judge, in which county he died leaving surviving George Milas Lasater, the father of Milas Lasater. Milas Lasater attended the county subscription schools of Palo Pinto County, Texas; afterwards attending the city schools of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and also Whitt Academy in Whitt, Parker County, Texas, from which institution he entered De Pauw University, Greencastle, Indiana, where he completed his education. After leaving college he taught in, the rural schools in Texas and Indian Territory and also in the public schools in Archer City, Archer County, Texas, and Strawn College, at Strawn, Texas, and in the Wynnewood, city schools in Garvin County, Oklahoma. At Wynnewood he was associated with Prof. John Lemons and in Archer County with Prof. Amos, Bennett, a former teacher in Whitt Acadamy, who was a graduate of De Pauw University and who had much influence in shaping the educational trend and future life of Milas Lasater. On December 4, 1895, at Gainesville, Texas, he was married to Miss Sarah Waite of Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, a daughter of Thomas Fletcher Waite, a pioneer settler and merchant of Indian Territory. His wife, an educated and cultured woman, is a graduate of Oberlin College, at Oberlin, Ohio. In 1898 he retired from teaching and engaged in ranching and farming in what is now Garvin County and later engaged in the banking business at Pauls Valley. He was elected in 1906 as a member of the Constitutional Convention for the proposed State of Oklahoma and served as chairman of the Committee on Revision, Compilation, Style and Arrangement, and also on the committees on County Boundaries, Banking, and Public Institutions. In 1908 he was appointed by Governor Haskell as a member of the first text book commission and the same year as a member of the Board of Control of the Training School for Boys at Pauls Valley, and 1909 as State Insurance Commissioner. At one time he was president of the First National Bank of Pauls Valley, and publisher and editor of the Pauls Valley Democrat. Later he was manager of the Equitable Life Insurance Company for the State of Oklahoma. At the time of his death he was president of the Federal Land Bank of Wichita, Kansas, and a director of the Equitable Life Assurance of N. Y., he held many positions of honor among which were President of the Life Insurance Association of Oklahoma. Honorary lien fiber of the Luther Burbank Society, Member of the Oklahoma Life Underwriters Association of Wichita, Kansas, Honorary Member of the Mentor and Geographic Magazine, Member of the Wichita Press Club, Member of the Booster Club for Safety, Member of the Board of Welfare of the Y. M. C. A. of Oklahoma City, Member of the India Temple, 32nd Degree McAlester, Oklahoma,, Member of the Lions Club, Oklahoma City, and Wichita, Kansas, Member of the Chamber of Commerce, Oklahoma City and Wichita, Kansas, Member of the Country Club, Oklahoma City, and Wichita, Kansas, Member of the Town Club, Oklahoma City, and Wichita, Member of the Hammer and Tongs, a literary Club of Wichita, Member of the Southern Society, a social Club of Wichita, Member of the Delta Kappa, Epsilon Fraternity, Member of the Unitarian Church, and a Democrat. He is survived by his wife, Sarah Waite Lasater, and his daughters Corrine Lasater and Carol Lasater, all of Wichita, Kansas. He exemplied in life the words of Channing: To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy. not respectable; and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to lister to stars and birds, to babes and sages with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never; in word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow tip through the common . . . this is my symphony."
[Source: Chronicles of Oklahoma Volume 7 #3 September 1929 pages 350-351]

Autobiography of William Tabor
I was born in Kemper County, Mississippi in the year A.D. 1850. My mother died when I was an infant only three weeks old. My father brought me to my grandmother, Rebecca Williams, who lived at that time in Jefferson County, Ark. She raised me until I was in my 17th year. When she died, my father, Carroll Tabor, died. I do not remember seeing him. I was so small when I (saw him) last. In 1869, I went to Texas. Stayed there 29 years all except four years of my life have lived and made my living on farms, farming, raising and handling stock. Have served in Texas as a deputy sheriff. Had some experience with thefts inforcing (sic) the law. One time I was shot in trying to arrest thieves. I was halled (sic) home and was 14 days had to be turned on my bed. Have been preaching for the last eleven years. Am a minister in the Missionary Baptist Church, at the same time making my other living. In 1898 I moved to the Indian Territory where I have resided ever since. I became a candidate for the legislature in complyance (sic) with the wish of my many friends who (indecipherable) requested and (indecipherable) to make the race. I have never studied politics to be a politician, have only taken such interest as to enable me to vote for the best interest of my county and this makes me an ardent supporter of democracy. Will send photograph as requested. Please pardon me for this delay as was not convenient for me to attend to this sooner. This Aug. 16, 1907,
William Tabor

Submitted by Bernadette Tabor Pruitt (great-granddaughter):
*This is my transcription of a handwritten autobiography submitted to the Oklahoma Historical Society on the occasion of his being elected to the first Oklahoma legislature in 1907. On Nov. 16, 1907, Oklahoma became the 46th state. He served in the Senate in the first Oklahoma legislature and in the House of Representatives in the third. He died in 1917 and is buried in Paoli Cemetery.

The source of the picture is "First Administration of Oklahoma," p. 189, compiled by John S. Brooks, Oklahoma City, and published by Oklahoma Engraving and Printing Co.

Fredrick Tecumseh Waite
Fred Waite, who truly went from Outlaw to Statesman, is Oklahoma’s connection to the Billy the Kid legend. From the very first book on the Kid, writers have proclaimedthat Fred Waite was Billy’s best friend and tried to get the Kid to go straight and settle in Pauls Valley. Just how true that is, is open to discussion. What is true is that Fred Waite in 1875 decided to strike out on his own and announced his intention to go to Colorado. Instead, Fred, after narrowly avoiding being strung up for a no good cattle rustler, found a job with the famous cattle baron, John Chisum. By the fall of 1877, Fred was in Lincoln County, New Mexico, working for John Tunstall. Billy Bonney did not start working for Tunstall until January, 1878. Fred, having been assigned the task of driving a wagon loaded with trunks and stuffs, took a wagon road to Lincoln while Tunstall and his men drove a small herd of horses cross country, and therefore, did not witness the shooting of his friend and employer, John Tunstall. Fred heard about it the next day, and accompanied Constable Martinez and Billy Bonney to the Murphy-Dolan store to make arrests of the alleged killers. Upon entering the store, Sheriff Brady, who was surrounded by all the men who had been in his posse, refused to assist the constable, and instead disarmed and arrested all three men.
Brady turned the constable free, but kept Waite and Bonney confined for 2 days, and thus, Fred did not get to attend the funeral of Tunstall. Within 2 months of Tunstall’s death, two members of the sheriff’s posse, along with a man thought to be friendly with them, were assassinated by a group of Tunstall’s friends who called themselves Regulators. Then, the Sheriff and a deputy who had been a part of the posse which shot Tunstall, were ambushed and murdered on the streets of Lincoln. Immediately after, one Buckshot Roberts, a member of the posse, decided to turn bounty hunter and go after the reward the county had issued for the killers of Sheriff Brady. Instead of becoming rich, Mr. Roberts became very dead, but not before single handedly wounding four, and killing one of the Regulators. Fred Waite was very much a part of each of these gun battles and was credited with killing the deputy accompanying Sheriff Brady. Fred also became the subject of a county and two Federal murder warrants. Fred was officially an outlaw. Fred, after unsuccessfully trying to get all of them, Billy the Kid included, to come to Pauls Valley to live, said his good-byes and started for the Washout River Valley. Fred Waite belonged to the extended family of Paul, McClure, and Waite’s who settled the fertile Washita River valley of South Central Oklahoma around 1859. His grand mother was the famed Ela-techa, or Ellen Brown McClure Paul, beloved wife of Smith Paul, and mother of Sam Paul, on whose land the Santa Fe’s Paul’s Valley depot was built. Fred was the first son of Thomas and Catherine McClure Waite, and was born in 1854, at Fort Arbuckle, Indian Territory. His father, Thomas, farmed and operated a trading store and stage stand southeast of present Pauls Valley. During the Civil War, Fred and his family, together with Tecumseh McClure, left the Valley to refuge in the Sac and Fox Reserve located in eastern Kansas. While being chased by Confederate soldiers, who were attempting to stop the family’s exodus, Fred’s maternal great uncle, Ja-Pawne disappeared and was assumed killed. Fred, within two years of his arrival home from Lincoln County, was charged with murder in the shooting of an alleged horse thief, however, as Waite was part of a posse formed legally by his Uncle, Sam Paul, the case was dropped by the Federal courts In the meanwhile, Fred married, started a family, ranched, tried his hand as news paper editor, owned a back door saloon fronted by a drug store, and entered tribal politics. As a politician, Waite served as a U. S. Indian Policeman; was appointed a delegate to an Inter-tribal conference where his performance so impressed Gov. Wm. Guy that he was invited to join Guy’s political machine; was then elected as a Representative and Senator from his home district; elected as Speaker of the House, by members of the House for 3 consecutive roll calls; elected as Attorney General of the Chickasaw Nation and finally appointed by the Governor as National Secretary for the Chickasaw Nation. Only Fred’s untimely death, from natural causes, in 1895 prevented Waite from being the Governor of the Chickasaw Nation. During his political career, Waite was effective in delaying the dissolution of the Chickasaw Nation and statehood until the rights of his people could be assured.
(Source: "Fred Tecumseh Waite, Outlaw Statesman", by Mike Tower, and "Chronicles of Oklahoma", Vol. 76, No. 2, Summer 1998 by Michael Tower )

Alma Bell Wilson
Alma Bell Wilson, the first woman to serve on the Oklahoma Supreme Court and its first woman as chief justice, was born on May 25, 1917, in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, to William R. and Anna Bell. Alma had a twin sister named Wilma. Their father was an abstractor and lawyer in Pauls Valley. Inspired by her father, at age eight Alma knew that she wanted to practice law. After graduating as valedictorian from Pauls Valley High School, she attended Principia College in Elsah, Illinois. She continued her education at Oklahoma City University and graduated with a J.D. degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1941. In the 1940s only 2.4 percent of the nation's lawyers were women. She married Bill Wilson, a Pauls Valley attorney; they had one daughter, Lee Anne, who became an attorney in Oklahoma City.
In 1982, one year after Sandra Day O'Connor became the first female appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, Gov. George Nigh appointed Alma Wilson to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. At that time, women represented 5.4 per cent of all federal judges and less than 5 per cent of state court judges. From 1995 to 1997 Wilson served as chief justice.
Wilson personified the woman who entered a male-dominated field and by diligent work garnered the respect of her peers. Her achievements have been recognized through many awards including induction into the Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame (1983) and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame (1996). She was named Appellate Judge of the Year for 1986 and 1989. She died at her Oklahoma City home on July 27, 1999, after a brief illness.
[Bibliography: "Daily Oklahoman" (Oklahoma City), 5 January 1995, 28 and 29 July 1999. Cynthia Fuchs Epstein, "Women in Law" (New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1981). Norman (Oklahoma) Transcript, 17 February 1982. "Pauls Valley (Oklahoma) Enterprise", 31 May 1917 -- Source: "Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture"]

Morris F. Bayless
Bayless, Morris F., banker of Stratford, Okla., was born on July 11, 1883, in Berry county, Mo. He is cashier of the First National bank.
[Herringshaw's American Blue-Book of Biography by Thomas William Herringshaw, 1914 – Transcribed by AFOFG]

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