Haskell County, Oklahoma


[Source: "History of the State of Oklahoma", Vol. II - By Luther B. Hill - Submitted by Cathy Ritter]

Emmett Johnson M.D.
Distinguished not only as one of the early settlers of Haskell county, but as the pioneer physician of this entire section of Oklahoma, Emmett Johnson, M.D., is one of the leading citizens of Kinta, and as a man of enterprise, energy, and practical judgment has been an active force in promoting its material growth and prosperity. A son of William Johnson, he was reared in Oregon, where he acquired his first knowledge of books.
Born and reared in Tennessee, William Johnson lived there until after his parents moved to Missouri. Then, being somewhat inclined to rove about, he took his young wife to California. Not satisfied, however, with his chances for obtaining anything more than a mere living on the Pacific coast, he subsequently settled in eastern Oregon as a pioneer of Baker county, in the part now included within the limits of Malheur county. Locating not far from the present site of Vale, he embarked in the stock business, which ha carried on successfully until his death, which was caused by an accident 1895. He married first, Martha Guin, whose parents were early settlers of Saline county, Missouri. She died in 1872, leaving six children, as follows: Sarah M. wife of W. C. Carrollton, of Missouri; James W. living in Alaska. Emmett, the subject of this brief sketch. Allen G. of Westfall, Oregon ; Mrs. Jessie R. Briggs, of Seattle, Washington; and Charles E. of Westfall, Oregon. Mr. Johnson married his second wife America Arnold, who survived him and is now a resident on Ontario. Two children were born of that union, namely, Taylor C. of Westfall, Oregon; and Maude L., wife of Elmer Dorey, of Ontario, Oregon.
Leaving home at the age of fifteen years, Emmett Johnson found employment on the ranch of W.E. Dixon, a man of culture and education, who from the first took great interest in the youth thus brought to his notice. Under the advise and instruction of Mr. Dixon the lad read and studied evenings for three years, acquiring a far better education than the average farmer's son of those times. At the age of twenty-five years Mr. Johnson turned his attention to the study of medicine with Dr. Horn. Of Union, Mississippi, and subsequently entered the University of Tennessee at Nashville, from which he was graduated with the class of 1900, having had the honor of being class president. Soon after receiving his degree of M.D. Dr. Johnson came to the Choctaw Nation seeking a favorable location, and selected the place where he has since resided, for the two years thereafter making his home with Governor Green McCurtain. There were no railways in this vicinity, no town had been laid out, and there were few white people near. Meeting with good success as a practitioner, the Dr. took unto himself a wife, and, in 1902 erected the first house in what is now Kinta, Haskell county, the town being platted that same spring. The land comprised in the town site belonged in common to the Indians, but a white man secured the tract, sold the right to build, and when the restrictions were removed every man received a clear title to his property. The town immediately began to grow with surprising rapidity, business enterprises sprang up as if by magic, a veritable boom of prosperity striking the town. Cotton gins were erected, stores and factories were established , and the population increased. There are now in this comparatively new town three dry goods stores, two groceries, a bank, three churches- Baptist, Methodist and Christian-two hotels, two restaurant, two blacksmith shops, one livery stable, and a population of five hundred good people. When Dr. Johnson first located here his patronage extended eastward twenty-five miles to thirty-five miles towards the northeast, and westward an equal distance, a distance he covered on horseback, building up an extensive and lucrative practice and gaining a fine reputation for skill, ability and fidelity.
The Doctor married in 1901, Catherine Willingham, of Farmersville, Texas, a daughter of J. S. Willingham. Her parents, who were farmers, reared eight children, as follows: Lena, wife of John Jolley; Robert; Pink; Catherine, wife of Dr. Johnson; Murphy; Kirby; Pearl, a teacher in the Kinta schools; and Chester.
Dr. Johnson has acquired much property through his own exertions, in addition to his town holdings, having under a good state of cultivation three hundred acres of as fine bottom and prairie land as can be found in this section of the state, his farm being further improved with good dwelling houses for his tenants, substantial barns, and all the necessary outbuildings. He is local surgeon for the Fort Smith, Western Saint Louis, and El Reno Railways, and has served as president of what is known as the Sans Bois Medical Association. He is vice president of the Kinta State Bank.
Politically the Doctor is Democrat, and, in 1907, represented the western portion of Haskell county as a delegate to the first Democratic convention held after statehood. Fraternally he belongs to Kinta Lodge, No. 318, A. F. & A. M.; to Kinta Chapter, No. 199, Order of Eastern Star; and to South McAlester Consistory, No. 2.
[Source: "History of the State of Oklahoma", Vol. II - By Luther B. Hill - Submitted by Cathy Ritter]



Judge Wesley Anderson
Conspicuous among the better known and more prominent residents of Kinta, Haskell county, is Wesley Anderson, a thriving agriculturist and a citizen of worth and integrity. A son of John Anderson, he was born, in 1849, in Choctaw Nation, and since early life has been actively and prominently identified with its highest and best interests.
John Anderson, a native of Mississippi, came to Choctaw Nation with the migration of 1833, and was in charge of a portion of the Indians, with the title of captain. Settling at Tushkahoma, near the first Council House built by the Choctaws, he engaged in agricultural pursuits, becoming extensively employed in stock raising, but carrying on general farming on a limited scale. Public spirited and active, he did much towards advancing the civilization of the Indians, teaching them how to become self supporting as tillers of the soil. A member of the Choctaw Nation, Captain Anderson fought during the Civil war on the Confederate side for the purpose of protecting the property of his people. He died, in 1874, at the age of eighty-six years. Captain John Anderson was three times married, his third wife, Mary Bohennon, a half-blood Choctaw, who died a short time before he did, having borne him nine children, of whom five grew to years of maturity, namely: Graham, deceased; Wesley, the special subject of this brief sketch; Houston, of the Choctaw Nation; Jensey, deceased, was the wife of Swinney McKinney; and John deceased.
Brought up on his father's ranch, Wesley Anderson acquired great proficiency in the Choctaw language while a boy, but was taught English at that time. Succeeding to the free and independent occupation in which he was reared, he has been exceedingly prosperous in his agricultural operations, acquiring a fair share of this world's goods. Prior to statehood, he was very active and influential in public affairs, the first office to which he was appointed by the chief having been that of Light Horseman as guard to the Governor, a position which he filled most ably. He subsequently served for a long time as a representative from his district to the state capital at Tuskahoma, being first elected for the term of one year, but afterwards re-elected seven successive times to the same position. He was afterwards elected senator for a term of two years, and was subsequently re-elected twice to the same office, serving six years in the senate. Mr. Anderson was later elected county judge for Jack's Fork, which included Pushmataha county, but resigned the position before the expiration of his term. He was then appointed one of the three superior judges of the Choctaw Nation, and served in that capacity four years. Then, just prior to statehood, Mr. Anderson was appointed treasurer of the Choctaw Nation, and served until statehood, in 1907, a little less than a year. Judge Anderson was likewise a member of Dawes Commission, and after the agreement entered into between the Choctaw Nation and the United States was a delegate from the Nation to the meeting in which the agreement was ratified, filling the office to the entire satisfaction of his people. Since statehood he has not held any official position, but has performed his obligations as a loyal citizen with ability and fidelity.
Judge Anderson has been three times married. He married first Mica Yotah Stightly, who was of mixed blood, and their only child, Park J. Anderson, is a cashier of the Kinta State Bank. Mr. Anderson married his second wife Elsie Crefat, a nearly full-blooded Choctaw. He married for his third wife Susan Cansaw, and they have one daughter, Thelma Anderson.
Judge Anderson is an extensive land holder, having under a high state of culture several hundred acres of valuable land, on which he has made improvements of a most excellent character, having a beautiful residence and all of the buildings and equipments necessary for carrying on farming according to the most modern methods. Politically Mr. Anderson is a straightforward Republican. Fraternally he is a member of Kinta Lodge A. F. & A. M. , and of Kinta Lodge, K. of P.
[Source: "History of the State of Oklahoma", Vol. II - By Luther B. Hill - Submitted by Cathy Ritter]


Rev. David C. Murphy
It is most gratifying to be able to present in this history a brief review of the career of this honored pioneer of the state of Oklahoma, though there is no possibility of entering into the details of his service as one of the early missionaries among the Indians of the old Indian Territory or to narrate the many incidents of his specially and interesting labors on the frontier of civilization. None has shown more consecration and zeal in a noble calling, and none has commanded more fully the confidence and affectionate regard of the Indians as well as of the incoming white settlers, than this revered clergyman and missionary of the Methodist Episcopal church, South. He now maintains his home in the village of Chant, Haskell county, and is one of the venerable and honored pioneers of the great commonwealth in which he has so long lived and labored to godly ends.
Mr. Murphy was born in Hardman county, Kentucky, in 1832, and is a son of James and Nancy (Wright) Murphy, both representative of staunch Irish linage. James Murphy, the founder of the family in America, emigrated from the Emerald Isle to this country prior to the war of the Revolution, in which great struggle for national independence he showed his loyalty to his adopted land by serving as a soldier under General Washington. He settled in Virginia, and after the war moved to Kentucky, becoming one of the pioneers of that commonwealth, where he passed the residue of his life. Of his children only two attained years of maturity-James, Jr., and Daniel. The former of these was the father of him whose name initiates this review. James Murphy, Jr., was one of the prominent figures in the early Indian conflicts in Kentucky, and was an intimate friend and counselor of David Crockett, one of the nations historic characters. He was with Crockett on the latter's campaign for Congress in Tennessee. He also served under General Jackson in the war in Florida, in which he endured hardships incidental to traversing the great everglades. He died in 1835, one of the honored pioneers of the old Bluegrass state, and his wife survived him for a number of years, having passed away in 1854. They became the parents of seven children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the youngest in the order of birth, and he is now the only one surviving. The names of the other children were as noted: John, William, Elizabeth, James, Jemima and Martha J. Elizabeth became the wife of John G. Stother; Jemima was twice married, having first wedded Thomas Freeman and after his death having become the wife of Robert Patrick; and Martha J. became the wife of Rev. Levi Colbert, a clergyman of the Cumberland Presbyterian church.
Rev. David C. Murphy was reared to maturity in Kentucky, and his early educational training was most meager, as from infancy he was handicapped by weak eyes, which rendered it impossible for him to devote himself to even the limited educational work otherwise at his command. At the age of fourteen years he was bound out to serve an apprenticeship at the printer's trade in an office at Hickman, Kentucky, but on account of the condition of his eyes he was not long able to follow the trade of compositor, though he gained valuable training in this connection, as it has well been said that the discipline of a newspaper office is equivalent to a liberal education. Upon attaining to his legal majority Mr. Murphy turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, and he also devoted considerable time to work at the carpenter's trade, as he had much natural mechanical ability.
When the Civil war was precipitated upon a divided nation Mr. Murphy showed his intrinsic loyalty to the cause of the Confederacy by enlisting as a private in Company A, Seventh Kentucky Cavalry, commanded by Colonel Faulkner and attached to Lyons' brigade. His company, however, was assigned principally to detached service in scouting, and he participated in a number of the important battles marking the progress of the great internecine conflict between the states. On the authority of a comrade familiar with the details of his protracted and faithful service as a soldier of the Confederacy, it may be said that few men in the service showed more valor and loyalty and few gained a more prominent place in the ranks of the southern armies. He has been honored by many testimonials and marks of approbation by other members of the Confederate forces, including officers of high rank, and has medals awarded for gallant and meritorious service. Mr. Murphy was captured on the Obion river in Tennessee, but effected his escape, after which he was compelled to remain in the brush for five months before he could again join his command. During this period he was fed and otherwise provided for by the southern sympathizers of the locality. He retains a deep interest in his old comrades in arms and is an honored member of the United Confederate Veterans' Association.
After the close of the war Mr. Murphy returned to Henry county, Tennessee, where he remained until 1872, after which he passed one year in Dent county, that state. In 1873 he came to the southwest and in the fall of that year he located in Sebastian county, Arkansas. In 1866 he had become a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, and in 1878 he left Arkansas to become a missionary of this church in Indian Nation. He was assigned to service among the five civilized tribes in the Indian Territory, and among them he labored with all of zeal and earnestness for the long period of seventeen years, within which he accomplished results of a scope and importance difficult to imagine. He became a veritable "guide, counselor and friend" to the red men and did much to uplift them and to bring them into the fold of the divine Master. He also passed one year as a missionary among the Osage Indians, being the first protestant minister sent to this tribe after it was driven from Kansas and Missouri. His life and labors on the frontier have made him one of the most widely known and most honored ministers of the present state of Oklahoma, and in connection with this work in the early years he encountered the most lawless characters and most implacable desperadoes of the frontier. He gained their confidence, however, and they ever accorded him consideration and kindly treatment, understanding the true worth of man, his abiding human sympathy and his desire to aid his fellow men in all walks of life. He knew the members of the famous Dalton gang, was entertained over night at the home of the Dalton boys, and performed the ceremony that united Robert Dalton to his first wife. Mr. Murphy manifested no fear of the most hardened criminals, and this had much to do with the respect accorded him by this element. He is now living virtually retired from active labors, having "fought the good fight" and having ever shown the faith that makes faithful in all the relations of life. He has viewed with pleasure and satisfaction the magnificent development and up building of the state of Oklahoma, and his name merits an enduring place on the roll of its pioneers. In polities he has ever been an advocate of the generic principals of the Democratic party, and he still takes a lively interest in the questions and issues of the hour.
Mr. Murphy has been married four times. In 1853 he wedded Miss Barbara Phillips, who died in 1854, leaving no children. He later married her sister, Miss Adeline Phillips, and they became the parents of eight children, concerning whom the following brief record is given: John D. is a resident of Muskogee, Oklahoma; Joseph M. resides in Washington county, this state; Madaline is the wife of William Fitz, of St. Joseph, Missouri; Mary E. is the wife of Anderson Beshears, of Pawnee, Oklahoma; Elizabeth, who became the wife of Alexander Sellers, of Eufaula, this state, is now deceased; Charles W. resides in Oklahoma; and Nancy is the wife of Charles Shade, of McAlester, this state. Mr. Murphy's second wife was summoned to eternal rest in 1884, and in 1886 was solemnized his marriage to Mrs. Lucy Lowery, who died in 1891, leaving no children. In 1892 he was united in marriage to Mrs. S. Elizabeth (Pickler) Wilson, who has been thrice married. Her first husband was William B. Williams, her second was Caleb Wilson, and by this marriage she had three children, of whom only one attained maturity-Eliza A. who is now the wife of Andrew J. Cooper, a successful farmer of Haskell county, this state. Mr. And Mrs. Murphy are passing their days in quiet and contentment, being surrounded by a host of devoted friends and finding that their "lines are cast in pleasant places" as the shadows of life begin to lengthen from the golden west.
[Source: "History of the State of Oklahoma", Vol. II - By Luther B. Hill - Submitted by Cathy Ritter]


Dr. John C. Robinson
Of Chant, Haskell county, Oklahoma, was born July 8, 1866, near Columbia, Missouri, and is the son of Louis and Annie (Campbell) Robinson. Louis Robinson was a successful farmer, and died in July, 1887, leaving a widow and several children; Mrs. Robinson still resides at Columbia. Their children were: Harvey, a farmer; Edward, deceased; John C.; Clara, wife of J. McIntire, of Audrain county, Missouri, and Clark, an attorney and county recorder of Boone county.
The early education of J. C. Robinson was received in the public schools, later he attended the State University at Columbia. He completed his education by a course at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, graduating in 1890. After practicing a few months in Boone county, Dr. Robinson moved to Oklahoma, and for nineteen years practiced his profession at or near McAlester. In 1908 he located in Chant, where he has built up a large and lucrative practice. He is in partnership with Dr. Henderson, and they have the practice of the three large coal mines, which employ from three hundred and fifty to four hundred men, with their families. Thus they are given the most extensive practice of any physician in the country, and they also have quite a practice throughout the country surrounding Chant. Dr. Robinson is a local surgeon for the Fort Smith & Western, and he is a member of the State Medical Association. He is a comparatively new man in his community, but has made and is still making warm personal friends among the old settlers and all classes from whom he receives professional calls. Politically Dr. Robinson is a Democrat.
In 1901 Dr. Robinson married, at Denver, Colorado, Mrs. Alice Anderson, whose maiden name was Dobbins, and Mrs. Robinson has one child from her former marriage, Vehna. Dr. Robinson is a thirty-second degree Mason, a Master Mason of Solomon Lodge, No. 32; a member of Indian Consistory, No. 2, at Old McAlester, and of the Consistory or Scottish Rite, Albert Pike Lodge, No. 2, at South McAlester. He is also a member of the Elks order, and is affiliated with McAlester Lodge, No. 533.
[Source: "History of the State of Oklahoma", Vol. II - By Luther B. Hill - Submitted by Cathy Ritter]

Samuel T. Phillips
The vice-president of the Farmers' and Merchants' Bank of Chant and one of the honored and essentially representative citizens of the thriving little city of Chant, Haskell county, Mr. Phillips is to be noted as a pioneer of this section of the state and as one of the founders and builders of the town in which he now maintains his home and in which he established the first mercantile business. He is now living virtually retired, and is one of the influential men of his county. He has contributed in generous measure to the civic and industrial development of this section, and is well entitled to representation in this historic work.
Samuel T. Phillips is a scion of stanch old southern stock and was in Chickasaw county, Mississippi, on the 19th of April, 1847, being a son of William and Mary (Vandriver) Phillips, both of whom were natives of South Carolina, whence the respective families moved to Mississippi in an early day. William Phillips was a carpenter and wheelwright by trade, and one of the first settlers in Okalona, Pontotoc county, Mississippi, in which place he erected the first house and opened the first grocery store. Both he and his wife continued residents of Mississippi until their death, and they ever commanded the high regards of all who knew them. William Phillips continued in the mercantile business for a number of years, conducting a small store, and was one of the well known citizens of Prairie Mount, Mississippi, at the time of his death, his devoted wife having preceded him to eternal rest. He served for a short time in the ranks of the Confederate army during the war between the states, with the rank of sergeant. Of the ten children nine attained to years of maturity, and concerning them the following brief record is entered: William H., is a resident of Poteau, Oklahoma; Bettie is the wife of John Maloney, of Terrell, Texas; Margaret is the wife of William Brown, of Brownsville, Mississippi; Samuel T., of this sketch, was the next in order of birth; Mollie is the widow of John Chrisman, and resides in Calhoun county, Mississippi; John is a resident of New Mexico; G. Lemuel maintains his home in Faughtner; Myra is the wife of Benjamin Chrisman, of Calhoun county, Mississippi, and Henry is a resident of Texas.
Samuel T. Phillips was reared to maturity in Pontotoc county, Mississippi, where he received limited educational advantages, but ha has effectively supplemented his early training by the valuable lessons learned in connection with the practical affairs of life. He was loyal to the customs and institutions under whose influence he had been reared, and when he was but sixteen years of age he tendered his services in defense of the cause of the Confederacy. He became a member on Company I, First Mississippi Cavalry, with which gallant command he saw long and arduous service. His regiment served for a long time under General Forrest, later was with General Ross in Texas, and finally was assigned to the command of General Van Dorn. Mr. Phillips participated in the battles of Jackson and Harrisburg, Mississippi, and in the innumerable skirmishes in which his command was involved. His regiment was largely engaged in the scouting service, and many of the skirmishes in which it took part might well have been dignified by the title of battles, so severe and sanguinary were they. Mr. Phillips continued with his command until the close of the great fratricidal conflict between the states and his regiment disbanded in Georgia. After his return to Okalona, Mississippi, he took the oath of allegiance to the Union and prepared to win the victories of peace. He had learned the trade of carpenter under the direction of his father, and in 1869 he set forth to seek his fortunes in the great southwest section of our domain. He took up his abode in Yell county, Arkansas, where he continued to reside for the ensuing eighteen years, during which he devoted his attention principally to agricultural pursuits. At the expiration of the period noted, in 1886, Mr. Phillips removed with his family to the Choctaw Nation, in the present state of Oklahoma, and took up his residence near the present town of Cameron. He has thus been a citizen of Haskell county for nearly a quarter of a century, and has not only witnessed but has also materially aided in the development of this favored section, with whose interest he thus identified himself at a time when it was still a part of the Indian Territory. He reverts with pleasure to the experiences and conditions of the early days, and states with much appreciation that at that time the moral tone of the community was fully as high as at the present, though it was a period of primitive facilities and conditions. Upon coming here Mr. Phillips resumed his active and energetic association with the great basic industry of agriculture, having leased land from the Indians. He continued to be thus engaged in the vicinity of the present town of Cameron for two years and then removed to Red Oak, in which locality he was identified with the same important line of enterprise for two years. He was employed by the Choctaw Railway Company for two years. In 1893 he came to Poteau, and in 1897 moved to Bonanza, Arkansas.
In the year 1902 Mr. Phillips became one of the first settlers in the new town of Chant, where he engaged in the grocery, flour and feed business, opening the first store in town. In this new field of endeavor he had the able co-operation of his wife, who continued his coadjutor until he retired from business. He initiated his mercantile enterprise upon a small scale, and by fair and honorable dealings and by keeping pace with the growth and development of the country he succeeded in building up a large and prosperous business, expanding the scope of the same to meet the demands placed upon his establishment and gaining a secure hold upon popular confidence and esteem. In 1909 he disposed of his business and he and his wife are now enjoying a season of rest and recreation after many years of toil and endeavor. They are well known throughout this section of the state, and their circle of friends is practically coincident with that of their acquaintances.
In politics Mr. Phillips has ever been a staunch supporter of the cause of the Democratic party, and has been an active worker in its behalf. He has never been ambitious for public office, but in 1906 he was appointed United States marshall for the Choctaw district of Oklahoma, in which position he served for eighteen months. He and his wife hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and he is affiliated with cazer Lodge, No. 26, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, and with Cazer Lodge, No. 222, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
Mr. Phillips has been twice married. In 1869 he wedded Miss Mathey B. Reed, daughter of Irving and Ellen (Garman) Reed, of North Carolina, and she was summoned to life eternal in 1895. They became the parents of nine children, concerning whom the following brief data is given: Lula is the wife of Adam McAnnally, of Rushville, Arkansas; William is a resident of Blocker, Oklahoma; Mollie is the wife of Oscar Adams, of Chant, this state; Timothy H., Samuel and James are all three residents of Chant; Elizabeth is the wife of William Moore, a prosperous merchant in Chant; Alice is the wife of James Wilsey, of Chant, and Joseph married and lives in Chant. On Christmas day of the year 1898 Mr. Phillips was united in marriage to Miss Mary A. McConnell, who was born in the state of Arkansas, and who is a daughter of Samuel and Catherine (Miller) McConnell, the former a native of Tennessee and the later of Alabama. Mr. McConnell, who became a successful farmer and stock grower in Arkansas, served four years as a soldier in the Confederate army. He died in Sebastian county, Arkansas, on the 24th of March, 1899, his wife having passed away on the 28th of the preceding month, so that "in death they were not divided". They reared three children to maturity-Dr. John W., who was a physician, engaged in a practice at Booneville, Arkansas, died in 1908; Rachel, who is the wife of John Williamson, of Sebastian county, Arkansas, and Mary A., who is the wife of the subject of this review.
[Source: "History of the State of Oklahoma", Vol. II - By Luther B. Hill - Submitted by Cathy Ritter]


Durward R. Branham
Within the past decade few citizens have been more prominently identified with the development and up building of the present state of Oklahoma than have the subject of this sketch and his honored father, Dr. George H. Branham. He whose name initiates this review is one of the essentially representative business men and influential citizens of Haskell county, where his capitalistic interests are wide and varied, and he maintains his home in the flourishing little city of McCurtain, where he is cashier and one of the principal stockholders of the McCurtain State Bank, which has the distinction of being the first banking institution established in Haskell county. The McCurtain State Bank was founded by Dr. George Branham in 1901, in which year it was incorporated with a capital stock of fifty thousand dollars. It is now one of the substantial and popular banking houses of this section of the state and controls a large and prosperous business, the while it affords facilities that are potent in furthering the industrial and civic progress of this part of the vital new commonwealth of Oklahoma.
Durward R. Branham was born at La Plata, Macon county, Missouri, on the 10th of October, 1882, and is the son of Dr. George H. and Icy (Edwards) Braham, both natives of Kentucky. Dr. Branham is a graduate of the Louisville Medical College, of Louisville, Kentucky, and prior to his removal to Oklahoma he devoted practically his entire time and attention to the work of his profession, gaining prestige as one of the representative physician and surgeons of the state of Missouri. Since coming to the southwest the exactions of his large and important interest have precluded him from doing professional work of more than nominal order. In the year 1900 he removed to Oklahoma and took up his residence in what is now Hughes county. He identified himself most intimately and prominently with local interests, both civic and industrial, and it may be said without fear of legitimate contradiction the few residents of this state have contributed in more generous measure to its development and social and material up building as one of the sovereign commonwealths of the Union. He became the owner of a large landed estate, and still retains much valuable realty in Hughes, Haskell and other counties. Recently he is continuing in the same line of worthy and productive enterprise in the territory of New Mexico, where he has large interests, and he now maintains his home the greater portion of the time in San Jon, that territory. Dr. Barn ham has been twice married, his first wife, the mother of the subject of this sketch, having been summoned to the life eternal in 1884 and being survived by three sons-James, who is associated with his father's business at San Jon, New Mexico; Garland E. who is engaged in the general merchandise business at Echo, Oklahoma, and Durward R. whose name forms the caption of this article. In 1888 Dr. Branham was united in marriage to Miss Clara Gordon, of Chillicoate, Missouri, and she died in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1909, being survived by one son, George H. who is with his father at San Jon, New Mexico.
Durward R. Braham gained his early educational discipline in the public schools of his native state, and when but fourteen years of age he secured employment in the drug store of Hugo Kohler, of St. Louis, Missouri, with whom he remained three years, within which time he became a capable pharmacist. At the expiration period noted Mr. Branham became a bookkeeper in the Bank of Mokane, Missouri, a position he retained for several years, gaining valuable experience in banking systems and business methods, so that he was well equipped for the position to which he was called soon after coming with his father to Oklahoma in 1900. In the meanwhile he amplified his experience through other and important business connections. In 1901 he engaged in the hardware business at Wetumka, Hughes county, this state, as one of the interested principals in the firm of John D. Richards & Company. Later a reorganization was effected, and the business was incorporated under the title of the Richards-Boyle Mercantile Company. Its operations were greatly amplified, and well equipped stores were maintained at Okemah, Dustin and Wetumka, Indian Territory, now a part of the state of Oklahoma. With this prosperous business enterprise Mr. Branham continued to be actively identified until 1905, when he disposed of his interest and removed to McCurtain, where he became a cashier of the McCurtain State Bank, which had been founded by his father four years previously, as already noted in this article. He has given a most able administration as the active executive of the affairs of this institution, in which he is a large stockholder, and is now one of the ably managed and most substantial of the banking concerns of the new state.
Mr. Branham is also president of the Sans Bois Land and Development Company, incorporated under the laws of the state, with a capital stock of four thousand dollars; is secretary of the City Electric Light and Power Company, of McCurtain and Chant Telephone Company, and owns and operates a number of farms in Haskell county. No citizen is more progressive and public spirited, and he is ever ready to give his influence and tangible co-operation in the promotion of measures and enterprises tending to advance the civic and commercial interests of his home city, county and state.
In politics Mr. Branham is one of the recognized leaders in the ranks of the Republican party in the state. He is an active worker in behalf of the cause of the "grand old party," and is at the present time chairman of the Republican central committee of Haskell county. Upon the admission of Oklahoma to the Union he had the distinction of being secretary of the first Republican congressional convention, which met at McAlester in 1907. In a fraternal way Mr. Branham is affiliated with McCurtain Lodge, No. 126, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
On 14th of June, 1950, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Branham to Josephine Branham, daughter of Charles A. and Caroline Branham, of St. Louis, Missouri, where Mr. Branham is a representative business man, being one of the interested principals in the wholesale grocery house of Goddard Grocery Company. Mr. Branham has two brothers and two sisters. Blanche is the wife of Boyle A. Buckner, of Nevada, Missouri; Grace is the wife of Harry Ogden Crane, of New York City; Guy is a resident of Los Angeles, California, and Ross remains at the parental home in the city of St. Louis,. Mr. And Mrs. Branham have one daughter, Josephine Laverne, who was born on the 21st of October, 1906. They are prominently identified with the best social activities of their home city, and their popularity is of most unequivocal order.
[Source: "History of the State of Oklahoma", Vol. II - By Luther B. Hill - Submitted by Cathy Ritter]

Elizabeth J. Cox
In the thriving and attractive little city of Chant, Haskell county, no person is better known or held higher esteem than Mrs. Cox, who has the distinction of having been appointed the first postmaster at this place, an office of which she is still capable and valued incumbent. It was largely due to her efforts that a post office was established in Chant, and she waged a royal battle with the neighboring town of McCurtain before she was able to secure post office service for the town in whose development and up building she has taken a vital and helpful interest. She is the widow of T. K. Cox, who died in Chant on the 17th of November, 1908, having been assistant postmaster at the time of his demise. Mrs. Cox is a woman of distinctive culture and of gracious personality, is known as a specially able executive and business woman, and is well entitled to representation in this history of her home state.
Tandy K. Cox was born in the state of Missouri on the 19th of May, 1857, and was a child at the time of his father's death. His mother later became the wife of Franklin Tobey, and soon afterward they moved to Franklin county, Arkansas, being numbered among the earliest settlers in that section, where Mr. Cox was reared to manhood and where his marriage to Miss Elizabeth J. McCormick was solemnized in the year 1889. Mr. Cox devoted the major portion of his active career to farming, and was one of the early settlers of the town Chant, where he and his wife took up their residence in 1903 and where his death occurred in 1908, as noted in the initial paragraph of this sketch. He was a staunch Republican in politics and was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, as are also his widow and daughter.
Mrs. Elizabeth J. Cox was born in the city of Topeka, Kansas, and is a daughter of Rev. Charles W. and Mary E. (Mock) McCormick, the former of whom was born in Ohio and the latter in Illinois, their marriage having been solemnized at Lawrence, Kansas. The father was a man of marked intellectuality and was one of the early clergymen of the state of Kansas, in Shawnee and Douglass counties, where he maintained his home until 1879, when he removed with his family to Franklin county, Arkansas, where he became the founder of the town of Vesta, where he established a mill, a cotton gin and a general store, and where he built up a large and prosperous business, becoming one of the prominent and influential citizens of that section of the state. After having assisted in the up building of the flourishing village of Vesta, where he continued in business for a number of years, his health became much impaired, and he removed to his farm in Sebastian county, Arkansas, where he continued to reside until his death, which occurred on the 25th of January, 1893. His cherished and devoted wife, held in affectionate regard by all that knew her, died on the 24th December, 1900. Of the four children, Mrs. Cox is the eldest; Lucy E. died at the age of thirty-eight years; Annie is the wife of Robert Kersey, of San Antonio, Texas, and John H. is a successful businessman in the city of Seattle, Washington. The linage of the McCormick family is traced back to staunch Irish extraction, and the original representative of the family of which Mrs. Cox is a member came to the United States from County Cork. He was a relative of Cyrus McCormick, whose name is known throughout the world in connection with the invention and manufacturing of mowing and reaping machines.
Mrs. Cox was afforded excellent educational advantages, including a course in Lane University at Lecompton, Kansas. She turned her scholastic acquirements to good use when a young woman, becoming a successful and popular teacher in the public schools of Sebastian and Franklin counties, Arkansas. After her father founded the town of Vesta, that state, she was appointed its first postmaster, in 1884, under the administration of President Hayes. She retained this office for a period of seven years, at the expiration of which, in 1891, she engaged in teaching in the public schools of that section, having followed the pedagogic profession most successfully in Franklin and Sebastian counties, Arkansas, until 1903, in which year she came with her husband to Haskell county, Oklahoma and located in what is now the town of Chant. This place was then known as Panther, and was entirely unorganized as a village, the San Bois Coal Company representing the principal industrial enterprise of the locality. As the nearest post office was two miles distant at the time of the arrival of Mr. And Mrs. Cox, the latter, by reason of her present intimate experience in connection with post office affairs, discerned the imperative demand for an office at Chant. The people of the community rallied to her standard, becoming informed of her facility in postal work, and they valiantly supported her in her earnest and indefatigable efforts to secure a local post-office, in opposition to the insistent objection of the town of McCurtain, in which was established the nearest post office. The conflict between the rival towns waged vigorously for a year, and it should be a matter of recorded history that the laurels of victory were gained to Chant mainly through the effective labors of Mrs. Cox. After the post office department had given instructions to drop and receive mail pouches at Chant the railroad company refused to give this service for a period of fourteen days. In this emergency the valiant woman, who had responded to the general request to assume charge of the new office, proved well her fertility in expedients, for she secured a mail pouch at Fort Smith, Arkansas, and within the fourteen days noted she made several trips back and forth from Chant, where mail was to be dispatched. The Chant mail had been sent back from McCurtain to Fort Smith, and under these belligerent auspices Mrs. Cox finally succeeded in establishing the office in the thriving town which is now her home. It is a matter of record that no conflict and difficulty has attended the founding of a post office in any other section of the Union in many years. The Chant office is now the second in importance in Haskell county, and is the largest money order office in the county in volume of the business of the registry and mail order departments. It will undoubtedly soon be advanced to the position of an office of the third class. The postmaster's salary at the beginning was about seven hundred dollars, and by increase of the business it is now eleven hundred dollars, including money order work. No rural free delivery routes touch this office, but it supplies the demands of a large and appreciative service, all patrons having unstinted admiration for the able postmaster and according to her unequivocal esteem. Mrs. Cox is a member of the National League of Postmasters of the United States; is denied the right of franchise, but is well fortified in her convictions as to matters of public policy, thus placing her faith in the principles of the Republican party. She and her daughter are zealous members of the Methodist church, and are popular factors in connection with the social life of the community. Mr. And Mrs. Cox became the parents of two daughters-Mary E., who is now the wife of James E. Bennight, of Acme, Wyoming, and Myrtle B., who is deputy postmaster under the administration of her mother.
[Source: "History of the State of Oklahoma", Vol. II - By Luther B. Hill - Submitted by Cathy Ritter]


Visit the National Genealogy Trails Site
© Genealogy Trails