Oklahoma Genealogy Trails    
    A Proud Member of the Genealogy Trails Group
 

Oklahoma

The History of Oklahoma Biographies Vol. II
by Luther B. Hill
Page 24

DR. CHARLES E. SANDERSON

One of the principal physicians of Council Hill, Oklahoma, was born in Polk County, Missouri, a son of John A. and Sophronia A. (Clark) Sanderson, natives of Alabama. John A. Sanderson and his wife were married in Alabama in 1851, and in 1867-68 removed to Missouri, locating in Polk County, where he engaged in farming, which he continued until June 1, 1873, when he was murdered without provocation by a half-blood Indian, leaving a widow and five children, namely: Mary deceased, wife of S. P. Corn; George, of Los Angeles, California; John, of Ridge Farm. Illinois; Jennie, wife of James S. Tuckness, of Schofield, Missouri; and Charles E. Mrs. Sanderson died in 1904.

Charles E. Sanderson received his education in the public schools of Polk County, Missouri, and when twenty-four years of age entered Barnes Medical College of St. Louis. He spent two terms there, and in 1807 graduated from a medical college in Memphis, Tennessee. He first located in Slagle, Polk County. Missouri, for the practice of his profession, and remained there five years: after spending six years in Brighton he removed to his present location, under date of May 22, 1007. Although Dr. Sanderson has been a resident of Council Hill for only a short time, he is well established and has built up a good practice, having won the confidence and esteem of all. He carries on general practice and covers a territory radiating some six miles from Council Hill in all directions. Like most other professional and business men of the section. Dr. Sanderson is not entirely dependent upon his profession for a livelihood, but owns a farm which has some of the best land in the county.

Politically Dr. Sanderson is a Democrat, with modern principles and ideas. He is a member of Council Hill Lodge Number 22S, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He stands well in the community and has many firm friends.

Dr. Sanderson married, in Polk County, Missouri, Laura McWhinney, whose parents were of Scotch and German descent. She has two sisters living, Alice, wife of George Burnett, of Chicago, and Grace, wife of John 0. Fanner, of Willard, Missouri. Dr. and Mrs. Sanderson have two children. Mary and Grace.


THOMAS F. MCINTOSH

A member of one of the oldest families of McIntosh County, Oklahoma, is one of the leading citizens and was born in what is now McIntosh County in 1867. He is a son of William F. and Betty (Bartholf) McIntosh, the former a son of Chief McIntosh, who made the treaty with the whites for the removal of the Indians to the territory. Further mention is made of this treaty and the assassination of Chief McIntosh in the sketch of Cheesie McIntosh, elsewhere in this work.

William McIntosh was a slave owner and a large farmer and stock raiser. For many years he was a member of the Creek Council, and served two terms as Judge of the Creek nation. He had the distinction of attending the first council held by the Creek nation. Although not an attorney, Mr. McIntosh was well educated, and was one of the leading ministers of the Baptist church. He traveled throughout the territory and taught the gospel to the Indians, being a faithful servant of the church for many years. On more than one occasion he was sent to Washington in the interests of his people, and in the nation's capital he attracted great attention and respect by his eloquence and broadminded principles. William McIntosh died in July, 1898, at the age of seventy-two. He had been married three times. His first wife was a Mrs. Island, and had several children, all deceased. His second wife died in 1877. They were parents of two children, only one of whom lived to maturity, the other one dying in infancy. After the death of this wife Reverend McIntosh married Mrs. Marthey Grayson, by whom he had one daughter. Lena, wife of Sam Cheiso, of Wagoner, Oklahoma.

Thomas F. McIntosh received his education in the Creek and Cherokee schools, attending the Male Seminary at Tahlequah and also the Creek Welaka. Upon leaving school he engaged in farming and stock raising, as had his father before him, and has since successfully devoted himself to agricultural pursuits. He and his family own four hundred and fifty acres of land under good cultivation and eight hundred acres of pasture, comprising one of the largest ranches now to be found in the county. They have good buildings throughout and keep everything in good condition. Mr. McIntosh takes no active part in public affairs, paying strict attention to his business interests and his home. Politically he is a Democrat, and is keenly interested in everything making for the welfare and growth of the county and state. He is the friend of education and progress and supports every educational cause.

Mr. McIntosh married, August 2, 1891, Kate, daughter of John and Julia (McIntosh) Casey-her father a native of Ireland and her mother a half Creek. They had three children, namely: Kate, Mrs. McIntosh; Nellie, wife of Thomas Johnson, of Muskogee; and John, of Muskogee. Mr. McIntosh and his wife are the parents of seven children living, namely: John, Julia, Bettie, Jewel, Edith, Vivian and Nellie. Mr. McIntosh is a member of Checotah Lodge Number 86, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.


ROBERT J. GENTRY

Of Checotah, at the time of his death, November 11, 1900, was a worthy representative of southwestern citizenship and of the family which had been so prominent in the agricultural and public affairs of the Creek nation for more than forty-five years. He has prospered as a farmer and a stock raiser; had attained standing as an able business man; and in the public affairs of his home city and nation stood especially as a foremost representative of law and order. In every particular his influence and his action were in the cause of permanent progress and prosperity and his descendants and honored widow, now enjoying the protection and advantages of the laws of the young state of Oklahoma, have cause to be proud of the record left by the husband and father.

Mr. Gentry was born in what is now McIntosh County, on the 1st of June, 1856, and was the son of James and Caroline (Bush) Gentry, both of whom are deceased. He was also the grandson of Elijah Gentry, a white man and planter of Mississippi who married a full blood Catawba Indian in that state. James Gentry, the father, was married in Calhoun County, Mississippi, and in 1855 the family settled on the banks of the North Canadian river, near Eufaula, when; they successfully engaged in farming and stock raising and passed the remainder of their lives. James Gentry and his wife were the parents of the following children who reached maturity: Mary, now the wife of Mr. Bowen, of Okmulgee; William E., deceased, who served in the Second Creek Regiment of the Confederacy, was long prominent in the business affairs of Checotah and the councils of the Creek nation, and whose family still resides in that city; Scott, a citizen of Muskogee; Lee, deceased; Rachel, who married Charles M. Duff, of Canadian, Pittsburg County, Oklahoma; and Robert J., of this biography.

The early days of Mr. Gentry were spent on a farm, and he received his education at Asbury Mission. Eufaula. Upon attaining his majority he engaged in farming and stock raising, served on the Indian police force and filled several county offices. In fact, he became one of the best known men in that section of the territory, his influence being widely felt as a peace officer and his fearlessness inspiring wholesome respect among the lawless. There were many bad characters at large in the surrounding country, especially horse and cattle thieves, and by these Robert Gentry was considered a man whom it was best to keep at a distance; but of the government authorities and the law-abiding he had the hearty approval. Mr. Gentry was a life-long Democrat; acceptably filled the office of councilman in Checotah: was a representative citizen of the place, and his death was generally deplored. Fraternally he was a member of Checotah Lodge No. 20. I. 0. 0. F. The deceased was both a prosperous and a generous man. a social favorite, a fond husband and an indulgent father.

Robert J. Gentry was twice married- first, on August 14, 1879, to Miss Lizzie Fife, who bore him two children, viz: Mamie (deceased) and Elizabeth. Mrs. Lizzie Gentry died in 1883.

In 1884 Mr. Gentry wedded Miss Henrietta Draper, who was born in the Empire state and is a daughter of Richard and Mary (Council) Draper, natives respectively of England and Ireland. Her parents were married in the latter country before coming to the United States and settled in New York, where the husband was employed in clerical work. Later the family moved to Kansas, where Mr. Draper died, the widow taking her children to the Indian territory and settling in what is now McIntosh County. In time the sons leased land, engaged in farming and stock raising and became well-to-do and respected citizens, eventually marrying and scattering to different parts of the country. Mr. Draper died in 1908 at the age of seventy-six years, the six of her ten children who survive being as follows: Emily D., now the wife of E. M. Grant. a resident of Saco, Maine: Charles, of Little Falls, New York; Elizabeth, who .married John C. Meyer of Oneida, New York: Richard, who lives in Arizona; Henrietta, widow of Mr. Gentry; and B. F., a resident of Checotah. The two children of the second marriage are: Pearl M., who was educated under the auspices of the Sisters of Bethany, at Topeka. Kansas, and is now the wife of A. 0. Johnson, cashier of the Commercial Bank of Checotah. and Robert James, formerly a student at Henry Kendall College, Muskogee, who is living at home. Elizabeth Gentry, the daughter by the first marriage, was also educated at the institution named. Mrs. Gentry is a member of the Episcopal church, as are the other members of the family, and she is both popular in social circles and highly respected by those who are promoters of charitable and religious movements.


JEFF T. PARKS

First County Judge of Cherokee County under the commonwealth of Oklahoma, was long identified with the education, civic and moral progress of the Cherokee nation before he became a strong figure in the onward march of the state. He is a native of Oklahoma, born in Delaware County, January l, 1862, to Thomas J. and Ann (Thompson) Parks. In 1839 his father migrated to the Cherokee country of the southwest from Cherokee County, Tennessee, where his birth had occurred in 1822. It was as a youth of seventeen, therefore, that he located in the Delaware district. The paternal grandfather. Samuel Parks was a white man and a farmer of North Carolina ancestry and, more remotely, of Scotch origin, and the grandmother (nee Susan Taylor) died near Cleveland, that state, mother of six children, of whom Thomas J. was the eldest. The latter was vouchsafed but little schooling in his Tennessee home, but was reared to know the value of labor. After living for a number of years in the Cherokee nation he married a Miss Thompson, daughter of Jim Allen Thompson, who had come into the Cherokee country from Georgia. She died in 1882, mother of the following: Susan, who married E. E. Carr, of Greve, Oklahoma; Johnson, a 'resident of Delaware County; Mary, widow of R. F, Browning, of Los Angeles, California; Emma, who married Robert Samuels and resides in Kansas; Anna, wife of J. B. Woodall, who lives in McIntosh, New Mexico; Jeff T., of this notice; Alma, who married Henry Ballard and resides in Afton. Oklahoma; Rev. James A., pastor of the Methodist church in Durant, that state; and Fannie, now the wife of Davis Hill, of Vinita, Oklahoma.

Judge Parks reached manhood in Delaware County and received his advanced education in the Cherokee National Male Seminary at Tahlequah. from which he graduated at he age of twenty-two with the degree B. S. His record as a scholar earned him a place on the faculty of that institution as professor of natural science and mathematics, which chair he held with credit for fix years. While thus engaged he decided to adopt the law as a permanent profession. After a thorough course of reading he was admitted to practice both in the Cherokee and the Federal courts, in 1896 passing his examination before Judge Springer and opening his office in the capital city. His legal ability was promptly recognized and he also soon became active and influential in Cherokee politics. The Judge's first office was the clerkship of the Tahlequah district, and following the incumbency of this position he became president of the Cherokee National Board of Education, secretary of state under Chief Buffington and superintendent of the Cherokee Orphanage. Upon the entry of federal politics into the Indian country he adopted Democracy, and at the first state election that party elected him to the County Judgeship by a majority of one hundred and twenty-five votes over his Republican opponent. He has made a faithful and able official, thereby fully maintaining the record he had made under territorial and tribal government.

Speaking from the local standpoint Judge Parks is a stockholder in the First State Bank of Tahlequah and the Richards-McSpadden Company of that place, and has substantial farming interests near the city. He stands high in Masonry, being a member of the Tahlequah Chapter and McAlester Consistory of the Scottish Rite (thirty-second degree.) Both the judge and his family are members of the Methodist church. On June 29, 1889. he wedded Miss Etta Duncan, of the Cherokee Nation, who is a daughter of John Duncan, a thriving farmer, and niece of Rev. Watt Duncan, a pioneer Methodist minister of his people, who performed the ceremony which united Judge and Mrs. Parks. This good man of God and worthy representative of Methodism passed into the future at a recent date, leaving both works of virtue and the influence of a lofty nature to speak for themselves. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Parks were as follows: Clarence, who died at the age of thirteen years; Ruth, Mildred, Wahlilli and Junior. The family adheres to the Methodist faith. The home residence stands on a high knoll west of Tahlequah and almost adjoining the corporation, where some of the family allotments were taken.


JAMES A. KING

For many years a resident in the vicinity of Tahlequah, is a representative of one of the pioneer families of the Flint District, and was born near where Stillwell now stands, July 24, 1853. His father, Richard Wiley King, was born near Nashville, Tennessee, in 1800, and his grandfather, Reverend King, was a prominent citizen and planter of that state. Reverend King was, like all other pioneer preachers, widely known, and his ability in financial matters, coupled with his usefulness, made him doubly influential and esteemed in his county. He was a man of immense proportions, weighing four hundred pounds, which also helped to make him a notable figure. He was a white man and became wealthy. He married and both he and his wife died there, where they had reared their family. Reverend King and his wife had children as follows: James, who was killed in Tennessee; Richard Wiley; Dorcas, who married a Mr. Wilson; and two other daughters, both of whom married.

Richard Wiley King grew up in luxurious surroundings, and had splendid educational advantages, of which he took advantage, and received diplomas in law, medicine and theology. However, his education served him only for his personal satisfaction, and his whole energies were turned in the direction of his trade of carpenter. He left his native state and came to the Cherokee country, soon after the "old settlers" took possession of the country. He located in the Flint District, where many of the Cherokees had settled, and married Miss Cooper, a Cherokee woman, who died near Stilwell, leaving a sun, Benjamin C, an old citizen of Park Hill, Cherokee County. Mr. King married second) Sarah Jordan, daughter of John Jordan, a white man, who had married a half-breed Cherokee woman, Miss Love: he was one of the pioneer merchants of the Flint District, where he was killed when his children were young. His children were: Eliza Griffin, Malinda Allen, Edie, Nancy and Sarah.

Richard W. King built in many sections of eastern Oklahoma, and worked for the government in the construction of the buildings at Fort Gibson. When he moved to the vicinity of Tahlequah he continued his work as carpenter until incapacitated by old age. He died in 1887 and his widow passed away in 1889. Their children were: Mary E., who died young; James A.; Richard S., who died unmarried; and Nancy, who became Mrs. Lewis Payne, now deceased. Mr. King maintained his interest in literary matters throughout his life, and was endowed with unusual powers of reasoning and oratorical gifts. He never desired political office for himself, and entered with great interest into the education and training of his children. He always used the best English in his home, and had a command of the language that was of great benefit to his children, and his literary gifts have been in a large measure transmitted to them.

James A. King was known to the community around Tahlequah from the time of early boyhood, and he received his training in a home that was loyal to the Union, as his father was not a believer in the holding of human chattels, and had no sympathy with the southern cause. He received his education chiefly under his father's guidance and direction, and began work as a clerk in 1875, continuing this occupation until his marriage. From this time on he engaged in farming and trading, and became a man of affairs. For many years he lived on a farm near Tahlequah. but for several years past he has been a resident of the capital, becoming a property owner, and has been one of the .prominent builders of the city in a material manner. He holds the position of vice president of the Richards-McSpadden Company, one of the leading mercantile house of the city, mentioned elsewhere in this work.

Like his father, Mr. King has always desired to escape the perplexities and entanglements of political office, though in politics he espouses the cause of the Republican party. He holds membership in the Knights of Pythias order of Tahlequah; in a business way he is esteemed and respected, and is numbered among the successful men of the county.

Mr. King married, in 1878, Mary E. Livingstone, whose father, a white man, was killed in the battles around Vicksburg as a Confederate soldier. Their first child. Ulysses S., was a stock man, who married Gertrude Gansby; William A. is a barber living in Centralia. Oklahoma: James A., Jr., is a soldier in the United States Army: Richard E. and Ben T. are both associated with the Richards-McSpadden Company: and Sarah J. is the only daughter.


FRED W. PALMTAG

He has been identified with the mercantile interests of Tahlequah since 1903, having received his education and business training in Arkansas, to which state he removed in early childhood. He was born in Placer County, California, January 1, 1870. His parents were both natives of Germany, who came to America in their youth from Baden. The father, Fred Palmtag, was born in 1829, and when twenty years of age crossed what was then called the great American desert and settled in the gold fields of California, where he lived the remainder of his life, save for a few years when at the close of the Civil war he returned to Arkansas and lived there until the time of his marriage. He married Anna Schillinger in Arkansas in 1869, and took his wife back to Placer County, California, where he had mineral interests, and where he died in 1874. Of their union two sons were born, Fred W., and B. Frank, the latter a resident of Wewoka. Oklahoma. After the death of her husband Mrs. Palmtag returned to Arkansas with her children, rearing them in Van Buren.

Fred W. Palmtag attended the city schools of Van Buren, and later spent a year at the military school at Huntsville, Alabama. He and his brother grew up on a farm near Van Buren. and at eighteen he began his mercantile career as a clerk in a hardware store in the city, first in the employ of the McKinley-Hawkins Hardware Company, and later with their competitor, with whom he remained eight years. Having in that time been able to acquire some capital of his own Mr. Palmtag became interested as partner in the Van Buren Hardware Company, but after two years disposed of his interests and took a position as clerk in the Boston Store, which occupied the same building. About six months later he left this company and came to the Cherokee country, establishing himself at Tahlequah. He joined forces with J. B. Brown and opened a new hardware establishment in the Cherokee Capital, the firm name being Brown and Palmtag. and a few months later Mr. Brown sold his interest to R. E. Brown, the new firm keeping the old name. After the death of Mr. Brown he still kept the old name, representing the interests of his estate until January 1, 1907, when he bought out the interest of the heirs, and has since been sole proprietor of the concern.

The establishment of Fred W. Palmtag is one of the most popular trading centers of Tahlequah; he carries a complete stock of hardware, both heavy and light, also a large stock of furniture and house furnishings, as well as farm implements and machinery supplies. He occupies a double building on a prominent corner of Main street, and there are extensive warerooms in connection. The standing and popularity of the concern are largely due to the sterling qualities of the young man at the head of the enterprise, who is always courteous, taking keen interest in the needs of his customers. His relations with the city in general have been most happy and he has given liberally of his time and in more substantial ways as well towards the progress and growth of its educational and charitable institutions and movements. He has served on the aldermanic board and is a member of the board of education. Although in political sentiments he is not in accord with the principles dominating the state, his general trustworthiness and stability commend him for public service in responsible offices, and his fellow citizens have delighted to honor him with their regard and trust. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias and of the Woodmen of the World.

On January 31, 1899, Mr. Palmtag married, in Van Buren, Arkansas, Mary, daughter of Jacob Lane, now of Ozark, Arkansas: she was born in the latter place in 1875. They are the parents of Frederick L. and Lane S.


W. ERNEST FLOYD, M. D.

He was born at Shubuta. Mississippi, on the 1st of August. 1877. and is a son of J. C. and Octavia E. (Bethea) Floyd, both representatives of sterling old southern families. The Floyd family was early founded in North Carolina, and the Bethea as represented in the Mississippi branch was from South Carolina. Both families are of staunch English lineage and were founded in America in the colonial epoch of our national history. Judge John M. Floyd, grandfather of the Doctor, was for many years an influential citizen of North Carolina, where he gained a high reputation while serving on the bench. J. C. Floyd is a successful merchant in Shubuta, Mississippi, where he has maintained his home for many years and where he has ever commanded unqualified popular confidence and esteem. He was a loyal supporter of the cause of the Confederacy during the war between the states, and one of his brothers sacrificed his life while serving as a soldier in the Confederate ranks. Two of the maternal uncles of Dr. Floyd likewise rendered yeoman service to the Confederacy during the Civil war, one having been a surgeon in a Mississippi regiment and the other a member of a cavalry regiment. The parent" of the Doctor are now venerable in years, but his father is still actively engaged in business. Of the two children one died iii infancy, so that the subject of this sketch is the only living child.

Dr. W. Ernest Floyd gained his early educational discipline in private schools in his native town of Shubuta, where he also completed the curriculum of the high school. At the age of sixteen years he was matriculated in the historic old University of Mississippi, at Oxford, where he completed a special course, applying himself to studies more particularly pertinent to the profession for which he had determined to prepare himself. He continued a student in the university for a period of three years, and thus, at the age of eighteen years, was well fortified for taking up the work in the medical department of Tulane University, in the city of New Orleans, where he continued his studies for two years. He then entered the medical department of Vanderbilt University, at Nashville. Tennessee, in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1903, and from which he duly received his well earned degree of Doctor of Medicine. In 1903 Dr. Floyd came to the present county of Wagoner, Oklahoma, and located in the old town of Coweta, where he initiated the practice of his profession. At that time the site of the present thriving little city of Coweta, about a half mile distant from the old town of the same name, was represented by a cotton field, and the only building was a small frame structure, utilized as a town-site office. Dr. Floyd was the second physician to locate in the new town. He had previously erected a good house in the old town, and he still retains the same in his possession, though he afterward occupied an attractive residence in the newer city, with whose progress he was closely identified. He gave effective service as county health officer, and by virtue of this incumbency became a member of the state board of health. He was the first president of the Wagoner County Medical Society, of which he is now secretary, and he is held in high regard by his professional confreres, as his preferments in office indicate. He recently moved lo Muskogee and now has his office over the postoffice. He is a valued member of the Oklahoma State Medical Society. He exemplified the most modern ideas and agencies in the sciences of medicine and surgery, and in the active work of his profession his success has been of the most unequivocal type.

In politics Dr. Floyd is found arrayed as a most ardent advocate of the principles and policies for which the Democratic Party stands sponsor, and he has rendered most effective service in the promotion of the party cause in his home county and state, though he has not been an aspirant for political office. As a citizen he is loyal and progressive, and his aid and influence without reservation are given to measures and enterprises tending to advance the material and civic development and prosperity of the state of his adoption.

He is affiliated with Coweta Lodge, No. 78. Knights of Pythias, of which he is a charter member and in which he was the second to be chosen to the office of chancellor commander. Both he and his wife hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church. South.

On the 25th of December, 1903, was solemnized the marriage of Dr. Floyd to Miss Ade Hayes Garrett, who was born and reared in the state of Tennessee, being a daughter of Colonel A. E. and Ada (Hayes) Garrett. Colonel Garrett served with distinction in the Union army during the Civil war, in which he was colonel of a Tennessee regiment, and after the close of the war he was the first Democratic congressman elected from his district in Tennessee. His wife's brother, Addison Hayes, president of the First National Bank of Colorado Springs, Colorado, married Miss Margaret Davis, daughter of Jefferson Davis, the honored president of the Confederacy, and she died in the summer of 1909. Colonel Garrett died in 1907 and his wife still resides in Tennessee. Dr. and Mrs. Floyd have one child, John Ellison Floyd.


EUGENE WETZEL

HE has been a familiar figure among the residents of Ponca, Oklahoma, since 1893, and for this reason is entitled to be classed with the pioneers of Kay County.

Mr. Wetzel is a native of Tuebingen, Wuerttemberg, Germany. He was born August 3, 1871, son of Paul and Louise Roecker) Wetzel, who passed part of their lives in the hotel business, from which they retired in 1887 for the purpose of enjoying the fruit of their labors during the remainder of their days, and the father died at Tuebingen in 1897. These parents had six children: Emelie, wife of Herman Kiess. of Tuebingen; Eugene; Carl, an osteopathic physician of Ponca City; Maria, wife of Professor Friess, of Stuttgart. Germany; Miss Emma, of Tuebingen. Germany; and Miss Frida, of Ponca City, Oklahoma.

Eugene received his early training in the schools common to the German youth of his station, attending the Commercial School in Leipsic, Germany, and later, at Chemnitz, Germany, he attended a school for weavers, where he was taught every detail of the manufacture of cotton and wool into cloth. He did not, however, engage in the business of weaving after he left the school, according to his original intention. Circumstances ruled otherwise, lie came to America and drifted into other lines of work. On August 17. 1900, he lauded at New York, a youth of nineteen, with a cash capital of one hundred and twenty dollars, and from here went direct to Zanesville, Ohio, where he visited his brother. His first work in this country was in a hotel at Columbus. Ohio. From there he went to New Orleans,
Louisiana, where he found employment in a hotel, and where he remained a few months until the approach of hot weather, when he went north to Chicago. He was employed in the famous Auditorium hotel in Chicago when the Cherokee Strip was opened. Resigning his position he at once started for Oklahoma, where he landed with a cash capital of eight hundred and twenty dollars. Hero he engaged in the feed, grain and seed business, and in 1898 associated himself with his brother Carl, they having since successfully conducted the business. Carl Wetzel was liberally educated in Germany and passed there "das einjahrige freiwillige examen" which entitles a young German to serve only one instead of two and three years in the German army. In 1907 he decided to study osteopathy, and entered the school of that science at Kirksville, Missouri, where he completed his course with the class of 1910.

Eugene Wetzel was one of the first settlers of Cross, where he built the best business house of the place. This house was moved to Ponca when the compromise settlement took place. Mr. Wetzel now owns six business places on Grand avenue, Ponca, has two farms adjoining Ponca County, and is vice-president of the Germania National Bank of Ponca County. He is without domestic ties save those existing between brother and sisters, and his ambition has never led him to seek public favor. He has the best interests of his town at heart, however, and can be depended upon to support any public enterprise which, in his opinion, will benefit the town of Ponca.


ROBERT C. FULLER

A merchant, banker, farmer and property owner at Tahlequah. was born in Crawford County, Arkansas, December 15, 1860. His father, William A. Fuller, spent his last years among the citizens of Tahlequah; he was a native of Bedford County, Tennessee, where he was born in 1822. He was left an orphan in boyhood and was reared among friends of the family, where he learned the trade of tanner. He came west by wagon, the only available method at that time, settling in Arkansas about 1839. He located in Crawford County, near the mouth of Mulberry Creek, where he became the owner of a good farm. He remained in that locality until 1870 when he removed to Cincinnati, Arkansas, where he engaged in the tanning and harness business, plying his trade until 1880, when he followed his son into the country of the Cherokees. and he is laid to rest in Tahlequah.

During the war William A. Fuller sympathized with the sentiment of the region around Van Buren and Fort Smith, and entered the Confederate army. He was captured by the Union forces operating in the state of Missouri, and kept a prisoner of war during the remainder of the struggle. Mr. Fuller married Mary, daughter of John Morgan, a settler from Tennessee, and a farmer by occupation. Mrs. Fuller died in Cincinnati, Arkansas, in 188t5. She was the mother of children as follows: Ann, who married James Higgins, and lives in Texas; Cornelia, wife of John Rhea, of Arkansas; Helen, who married George W. Smith, and died in Oklahoma: Elizabeth, who became the wife of Harry Woolston, of Collinsville, Oklahoma: Robert C.; James, a physician at Fort Gibson, Oklahoma; and Jeff D., who died in Cincinnati, Arkansas.

Robert C. Fuller spent his childhood and early manhood in Cincinnati, Arkansas, where he acquired his education, with an additional course at Cane Hill College. When twenty years old he married and the next year set up in business for himself as a merchant at Tahlequah. At this time he had few resources other than a good business training under his father, and more than average mental ability, which have contributed so largely towards his success in all branches of his undertakings. He first opened a harness shop and store, and subsequently engaged in the hotel business. He erected and conducted the "Fuller House," still retaining his former business. With the, passing years his prosperity grew, and in company with other business men of the capital he organized the Cherokee National Bank, being chosen its first president; he has since been a member of the official board of that institution, which has now become the Oklahoma State Bank.

As opportunity was shown for the investment of capital to good advantage, Mr. Fuller became one of the moving spirits of the Tahlequah Mercantile Company, with himself as president, and he retained his interest until March, 1909, when he sold out and engaged in the grocery business on Main Street. He has been an important factor in die material growth of Tahlequah, having erected several buildings, among them the Oklahoma State Bank building, and through his influence the brick block in which his store is now located was built. He has erected several cottages in the town, and is the owner of considerable city property, as well as extensive farm land in Cherokee County. He superintends the breeding of cattle and mules on his farming property.

By his marriage Mr. Fuller acquired a citizen's interest in the Cherokee Nation and took part in its political affairs. He was a Downing man, and sat in the council once as a representative from Tahlequah. He became a Democrat when statehood took the place of Federal control, and has frequently been alderman of the capital city.

Mr. Fuller married, in September, 1880, Tennessee Steele, whose father was a white man, and her mother, Mary Vann, a Cherokee. Mrs. Fuller passed away in Oklahoma in 1901. They had two children. Robert Vann and Willard S. The second marriage of Mr. Fuller took place January 11, 1903, to Jennie Duffy, formerly of Missouri, where she was born. Mr. Fuller is a member of the Woodmen of the World, Knights of Pythias and of the Masonic order. In religion he is a Presbyterian.


JOSEPH P. SOULIGNY

One of the original settlers of the Cherokee Strip and one of the pioneers of Ponca City, has attained prominence here as a farmer and business man. He belongs to that class of staunch and worthy men who have been instrumental in establishing order and developing a community of progressive citizens in and around one of the principal towns of Kay County.

Mr. Souligny made the run into the "Strip" on the opening day in 1893. and located in the northeast quarter of section 25, township 26, range 1 east. He started on the Kansas line, three-fourths of a mile west of the Chilocco Reservation, with a team of ponies and a buggy and made the phenomenal run of twenty-one miles the first hour. He covered the distance of twenty-five miles to his location in an hour and twenty-two minutes, and established a record which set the horse people of that time talking, and performed a feat which is, in its way, the wonder of the time. Immediately after taking up his abode here Mr. Souligny directed his attention to the improvement of his claim, his first work being the erection of a two-roomed house. He prepared the soil and put in seed, and as showing his faith in the future of the country and his perseverance in those pioneer days we note that the first two years his crops were utter failures. He cultivated his farm for five years before he identified himself with Ponca, just three miles to the east. When he decided to engage in other occupation he turned his attention to real estate and opened an office in Cross. He owned some of the desirable business property of the place when the compromise between that town and Ponca resulted in the abandonment of the former and the injection of new life into the latter. To his is given the credit for having made the first compromise which broke the back of the fight between the two towns, a matter for which he was then strongly ensured but for which he is now regarded as a pacifier, and a unifier of interests in the building of one good town. His connection with the handling of real estate brought him into contact with many contests during the first five years of occupancy and his efforts resulted in the settlement of many of such contentions without recourse to the courts. As soon as titles were obtained for lands he became a loan agent, representing the Union Central Life Insurance Company, and this, together with fire insurance, has remained a prominent part of his yearly work. From time to time he has invested in farm lands until he has accumulated about two thousand acres, the management and cultivation of which forms a no small feature of his many-sided business. In 1909 he erected the Souligny building in Ponca City, a brick business house twenty-five by one hundred feet, two stories high, and his residence on East Grand avenue is one of the most commodious and attractive homes in the city.

Mr. Souligny was born in Kankakee, Illinois, November 7/1862. His father, Pruden Souligny, was a French Canadian by birth, and his life was passed in agricultural pursuits. He was a soldier in the Civil War, a member of the Twelfth Illinois Cavalry, and he died in hospital at New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1864. His wife who, before marriage, was Miss Mathilda Lebreyz, a French woman. She died in Clay County, Kansas. Their children are Tarcile, wife of Dennis Underside, of Kay County, Oklahoma; Joseph P., the subject of this sketch; and Mrs. Charles Stewart, of Clay County, Kansas.

In 1879 when Joseph P. Souligny was sixteen years old the family moved to Kansas and settled on a farm in Pottawatomie County. He had attended the rural schools in Illinois, and his education from that time forward was obtained in the school of experience. In 1890 he moved down to the south line of Kansas, and he made his home in Arkansas City, where he awaited the opening of the Cherokee Strip, during this time being engaged in the real estate business, and when the day of the opening arrived it found him and his wife both prepared with teams and ready to win two home from the domain of Uncle Sam. Mrs. Souligny was accompanied by a lady friend, who located a claim and spent her first night there upon the land she staked.

On January 15, 1884, Mr. Souligny married in Pottawatomie County, Kansas, Miss Ellen Regnier, daughter of Edward Regnier, a Frenchman from Kankakee, Illinois, and the children of this union are Edward P., Venitte N. and Earl C. Personally Mr. Souligny is of a genial nature, hopeful and sympathetic. He is a firm believer in the great future of Oklahoma and has just reason to be proud of the success he has already attained here. Fraternally he is a Workman, a Modern Woodman and an Odd Fellow.


LAWRENCE WRIGHT

Among the representative business men of the state of Oklahoma stands Lawrence Wright, general manager of the Clarksville Trading Company, one of the extensive and substantial mercantile concerns of the state, with headquarters in the thriving little city of Porter, Wagoner County. Mr. Wright stands exponent of that progressive spirit which has brought about the development of a great and prosperous commonwealth within a period of only a few years, and in building up the successful enterprise conducted under the title above noted he has contributed much to the material and civic advancement of the various places in which his company maintains its stores. He is one of the honored and valued citizens of Porter and is essentially public-spirited and liberal in his altitude.

Mr. Wright was born at Van Buren, Crawford County, Arkansas, on the 23d of October, 1875, and is a son of William and Melissa (Robinson) Wright. The father was one of the prominent and influential citizens of Crawford County, where he was an extensive farmer and stock-grower, and there his death occurred in the year of 1882. His widow now maintains her home in Porter. Oklahoma. William Wright was loyal to the cause of the Confederacy when the Civil war was precipitated on a divided country, and served in the command of the gallant General Morgan, under whom he took part in the historic Morgan's raid in Ohio in 1863. In this raid Mr. Wright was captured and was sent to the Federal prison at Rock Island, Illinois, where he remained in captivity until nearly the close of the war. He was finally transferred to old Fortress Monroe. Virginia, from which he was released at the close of the great internecine struggle. He had previously established his home in the vicinity of Honey Grove. Texas, and from that state he removed to Arkansas and located in Crawford County in 1865. In that county was solemnized his marriage to Miss Melissa Robinson, with whom he had become acquainted in Texas, whither she accompanied her father, Elisha Robinson, who left Arkansas and took with him his slaves to Texas when the war became imminent.

Later Elisha Robinson returned to Crawford County, Arkansas, where he passed the residue of his life. William and Melissa Wright became the parents of seven children, all of whom are living and of whom Lawrence, the immediate subject of this sketch, is the fourth in order of birth; A. Sidney is a successful business man of Muskogee, Oklahoma; Herbert is manager of the business of the Clarksville Trading Company in Porter; Alice is the wife of William H. Coyl, of Olive, Creek County, Oklahoma; Fannie is the wife of Marlow W. Maddox. of Spring Hill, Arkansas; Myrtle is the wife of Thomas E. Williams, of Muskogee, Oklahoma; Jabez F. resides on the old homestead in Crawford County, Arkansas.

After duly availing himself of the advantages of the public schools of his native county Lawrence Wright entered the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where ho continued his studies for a period of five years. At the age of twenty-two years Mr. Wright became associated with his brother Herbert in opening a general store at Catcher, Arkansas, where they continued operations for two years. They then disposed of their stock and business and Lawrence Wright removed to Clarksville, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, where he established a general store. The town had been started only a short time previously, and from 1891 to 1894 he there conducted a very successful business. In the year last mentioned ho removed his stock to Porter, and here has since been maintained the headquarters of the Clarksville Trading Company, of which he is general manager, having the supervision of the various stores conducted by the company. At the present time the company has eight stores, located in as many different towns of the state, and each having its resident manager. Mr. Wright was among the first to erect a building and engage in the mercantile business in Porter, whither he came soon after the town was platted, and his is now the only one of the original business concerns still conducting operations in the town. On this score the Clarksville Trading Company now represents the pioneer business house of Porter, where it has ever enjoyed the highest reputation by reason of fair and honorable dealings and the personal popularity of its interested principles. In the main store in Porter is carried a stock representing an investment of about twenty thousand dollars, and the annual business transactions have reached an average of from fifty to sixty thousand dollars. At the main store the business is conducted on a strictly cash basis, and prior to the adoption of this system the annual trade would frequently be in excess of one hundred thousand dollars. The company is incorporated for fifty thousand dollars and is one of the substantial concerns of the state, maintaining a broad and progressive business policy and having a representative patronage in the various localities in which its stores are established.

Mr. Wright takes a lively interest in all that touches the welfare of his home town and county, and in politics he gives a staunch support to the cause of the Democratic party. He is affiliated with Porter Lodge, No. 1777, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and in this community his circle of friends is coincident with that of his acquaintances.

On December 31, 1899, Mr. Wright was united in marriage to Miss Ozette White, of Barling, Sebastian County, Arkansas, where she was born and reared. She is a daughter of John and Amanda White, who removed from North Carolina and took up their residence in Arkansas about 1866. The father became one of the successful farmers and stock-growers of that state, where he continued to reside until his death, which occurred in 1889. His wife is now residing with Mr. and Mrs. L. Wright, at their home in Muskogee. They became the parents of five children: Julia, who is the widow of Professor William Carico, and resides at Springdale, Arkansas; Martha, who is the wife of Dr. J. C. Coffman, of Lavacca, Arkansas; Ozette, who is the wife of the subject of this review; and William, who resides at Texanna, Oklahoma; and Fannie, wife of James Bugg of Spring Hill, Arkansas. Mr. and Mrs. Wright have two children: Marguerite and Gladys.


JAMES N. CLARK

Professor of English in the Northeastern State Normal at Tahlequah and for nearly thirty years prominently associated with education in the middle west, was born in Adams County, Ohio, June 20, 1858. His father, Samuel E. Clark, was born in the same county in 1822, was educated there and passed his life in farming. He was of Irish descent, his father having been Arthur Clark, of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, who came to Ohio when it was a new state, and died in Adams County.

Samuel E. Clark married Sarah A. Kirker, daughter of William E. Kirker, of Scotch ancestry, whose family had long lived in Ohio. Mr. Clark entered the Ninety-first Ohio Infantry as Captain of Company E in the Civil war, and died in service. In early life he had been engaged in teaching, but before the war had settled on a farm. His widow died in Barton County, Kansas, in 1901. Of their four children who lived to maturity, all have lived active and useful lives. They are: William A., professor of pedagogy in the State Normal at Kearney. Nebraska; Esther A., professor of Latin in the State Normal at Peru, Nebraska; James N., who holds the chair of English in the normal at Tahlequah; and Samuel K., superintendent of city schools at Milbank. South Dakota.

After attending the public schools James N. Clark became a student in the Normal College at Lebanon, Ohio, known as the Holbrook School, from which he graduated in 1895. He has risen to his present position through many grades of promotion, beginning as a teacher in a country school; he was at one time principal of a high school, and also acted as superintendent of city schools. His last location in Ohio was in the schools of Rome, and in 1885 he left that state to locate in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he became ward principal. Later he took charge of the schools at Benkelman. Nebraska, and was identified with educational matters in that state for a number of years, when he removed to Kansas. where he accepted a position as professor of English in the Central Normal College at Great Bend. In 1902 he came to Oklahoma, and spent the first three years in Caddo County. In 1905 he was selected to fill the post of superintendent of the Cherokee National Male Seminary at Tahlequah, and completed four successful years there before assuming his duties at the New State Normal at Tahlequah.

Wherever engaged in school work Professor Clark hits been a prominent figure, and his career has been marked with force and vigor, both in his school work and his church relations. He has been a member of the Presbyterian church since his early years, and has rendered much valuable assistance in the successful conduct of revival meetings; in recent years he was ordained a minister in order that he might solemnize the marriage service. He has kept himself from the entanglements of political struggles; a notable fact with regard to the family of which he is a member is that each is employed under a political administration not in accord with the policy in which they were reared. Professor Clark is now a member of the Muskogee Presbytery; he is a member of the Masonic order, he and his son, Clarence K., both having taken thirty-two degrees. He has had a wide experience in county institute work, having engaged in this work in every stale where he has lived.

Professor Clark married, September 3, 1879, Margaret, daughter of John B. Tynes; she was born in Bridgeton, Barbadoes, West Indies, and is of English descent. She was born in 186l. The children of the union were: Arthur B., a druggist in Davenport, Oklahoma, and Clarence K., Arthur B. who married Ella A. Howard, who died in March, 1909, leaving two children, Howard K. and Edna May. Clarence K. is superintendent of the Cherokee Seminary at Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and is a thirty-second degree Mason. Both sons were educated in the schools of Stockton. Kansas, where the family resided for some time, and in the Central Normal College of Great Bend. Kansas.


Hon. JOSEPH A. GILL

In the annals of Oklahoma no finer representative of the legal fraternity can be found than Hon. Joseph A. Gill, of Vinita, formerly United States Judge of the Northern District of the Indian Territory. A man of commanding ability, bringing to the practice of his profession a well trained mind, the truth of facts and the principles of law seldom elude his keen perceptions, his legal knowledge and its application to every-day affairs winning him a large and remunerative clientele. A native of West Virginia, he was born. February 17, 1854, in Wheeling, where his father, John W. Gill, was a man of much prominence.
Joseph Gill, the founder of this branch of the Gill family, was one of several brother? that emigrated from England to the United States in colonial days, and it is said that he was brought up in Maryland, at the home of a sea captain. He reared a family, among his sons being John W. Gill, Sr., the father of Hon. Joseph A. Gill. Joseph Gill assisted in founding the Quaker settlement at Mount Pleasant, Ohio, and became a leading banker of that vicinity, and one of the large land owners of Jefferson County. He married Nancy Hanna, a native of Virginia, and they became the parents of three children, namely: John W.; William S., who died, in 1868, in Springfield, Illinois, unmarried; and James, who died in Topeka, Kansas, in 1893, leaving two daughters, Mrs. 0. P. Updegraff, of that city, and Mrs. Nancy Kirk, of Chicago.

John W. Gill was born in the year 1808 and during his earlier life was one of the leading citizens of Wheeling, West Virginia n banker and financier, and a prominent manufacturer of silk, iron and paper. While thus employed he won a prize for his silk goods, placed in competition with other similar fabrics exhibited at the International Fair held in London in 1851, and he was the first to manufacture the stars and stripes of silk. Moving with his family to Springfield, Illinois, in 1864, he purchased a tract of wild land, largely covered with timber and undergrowth, just west of the city, and in its clearing and improving was busily engaged until his death, in 1872, in Sangamon County, Illinois. John W. Gill's wife was formerly Rhoda Abigail Smith, who was born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1820, and died near Springfield, Illinois, September 8, 1908. She was a daughter of Judge David Campbell Smith, and a descendant in the fifth generation of Lieutenant Thomas Smith, the founder of that branch of the Smith family from which she came. Lieutenant Smith's son John, born in New Boston, New Hampshire, in 1727, served in the French and Indian wars of 1755-9, and was widely known as "Deacon" Smith. His son, John Smith, Jr., also called "Deacon Smith," was born June 9, 1759, and died in 1824. During the Revolutionary war he served as a soldier in Captain Isaac Farwell's Company, First New Hampshire Infantry, and although wounded at the battle of Bennington, continued in the army for seven years. Deacon John Smith. Jr. married Elizabeth Campbell, who was horn in Litchfield, New Hampshire, a descendant of David Campbell, who was a member of the colony of Scotch Presbyterians who came from the province of Ulster, Ireland, to America in 1719, locating in Rockingham County, New Hampshire. Among the children born of their union was David Campbell Smith, whose birth occurred, October 2, 1785, in Francetown, New Hampshire.

Being graduated from Dartmouth College in 1818, David Campbell Smith was 'admitted to the bar at Chester, New Hampshire, in 1814, and the following year followed the path of emigration westward to Ohio, being one of the first lawyers to locate in Columbus. Ho became prominent in local affairs, was elected to county offices and to the legislature as a Democrat. He was always opposed to slavery, and fought its extension into the new territory. He was twice married, his wives being sisters, and daughters of James F. and Hannah (Leitch) Mitchell, the first one being Rhoda S. Mitchell, and the second, Hannah B. Mitchell.

Of the union of John and Rhoda Abigail ('Smith) Gill, six children were born, namely: John W., of Springfield, Illinois; David P., also a resident of Springfield; Charles W., of Galveston, Texas; Mrs. Jennie V. Talbot, of Springfield, Illinois; Mrs. Mary G. Caldwell, of Wheeling, West Virginia; and Joseph A., the special subject of this personal review.

A lad of ten years when his parents settled near Springfield. Joseph A. Gill was brought up on a farm, becoming inured to the toils and privations incident to pioneer life while young. Completing the course of study in the district schools, he took an eclectic course of three years at the University of Illinois, and for a few years afterward taught school in Sangamon and Hancock counties. He subsequently read law under the direction of General John A. McClernand and Hon. Charles A. Keyes, two figures of prominence in Illinois life, and in January, 1880. was admitted to the bar by the Supreme Court sitting at Springfield. Beginning at once the practice of his profession, he was counsel in several cases of import during the earlier part of his career as a lawyer. Going to Oregon in 1883, Mr. Gill practiced at Portland and Astoria, finally locating in Pacific County, Washington, where, in addition to practicing his profession, he was editor of the Pacific Journal, and, under L. A. Loomis, was agent for the Shoal Water Bay, Transportation Company. Being induced to return eastward in 1886, Mr. Gill practiced law in Omaha, Nebraska, for a year, being / associated with L. H. Bradley. Migrating thence to Colby, Kansas, in 1887, he resided there thirteen years, editing The Thomas County Cat, a weekly paper which attained a wide circulation and much renown under the impetus of his facile pen.
Being appointed by President McKinley, in December, 1899, to succeed Judge Springer of Illinois as judge of the Northern District of the Indian Territory, Judge Gill left Colby to assume the duties of his office, and served in the position with great ability until the advent of statehood, in November, 1907, at the expiration of his first term in November, 1903, being reappointed by President Roosevelt. During his term of service Judge Gill presided over the Court of Appeals of the Indian Territory as chief justice, and. in connection with Justices W. H. H. Clayton, Hosea Townsend, John R. Thomas, C. J. Raymond and William R. Lawrence, wrote many able opinions.

The enabling act for the Indian Territory, providing for the formation of a slate government, in 1906, resulted in the appointment of Judge Gill, with Hon. Tams Bixby. commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes, and Judge W. H. II. Clayton. United States Judge, for the Central District of the Indian Territory, as a districting and canvassing board, with supervision and control over the selection of delegates to the Oklahoma constitutional convention. The first meeting of the hoard was held in the city of Muskogee, at which Mr. Bixby was elected chairman, and after several other preliminary gatherings the members went to Guthrie, on July 10th, and, with their confreres of Oklahoma, adopted a general system for the work throughout both territories. During the month of July the members of the Indian Territory board were busy in obtaining data as to the population, etc., upon which to base their districting. From July 24 to the 28th, inclusive, it held open sessions in the city of Muskogee, for the purpose of hearing any petitions of claims which might be advanced by any particular towns or localities. During these public hearings fifty-five delegates appeared before the board, representing as many different towns. All of these delegations were given careful attention, and the claims of about twelve other towns were presented by written petitions, no delegation appearing in their behalf before the board. These five open sessions were the only public hearings granted by the board, and from that time until they established the districts they were at work almost continually attempting to establish districts, so that claims of contending factions would receive fair consideration and would be divided equitably in accordance with population.

At a meeting held on August 14, 1906, the board completed its work of establishing the fifty-five districts for the Indian Territory provided for by the enabling act. This information was not made public until August 21st, when the governor of Oklahoma Territory, Frank Frantz, and the senior United States Judge of the Indian Territory, Hon. W. H. H. Clayton, issued their proclamation defining the constitutional delegate districts and calling the election for delegates to the Constitutional convention on Tuesday, November 6, 1906. The election was held on that day, and thereafter there were filed with the districting and canvassing board for the Indian Territory five contests, two of which were withdrawn and the others thrown out November 10, 1906, on the grounds that the board had no authority to go behind the returns. The certificates of election were accordingly issued by the board within a few days after the last mentioned date and the constitutional convention convened in the city of Guthrie, Oklahoma, on November .20, 1906.

Judge Gill married, in December, 1887. Nannie, daughter of Hon. M. Donahue, of Clinton, Illinois, and they have three children, namely: Edna L., Rose M. and Joseph A., Jr. In his home life the Judge is distinctively a man of domestic tastes, a congenial and entertaining host, fond of society, liking to hear and to tell a good story. He is benevolent and charitable without ostentation, and his aid is generously accorded to all meritorious appeals. He is a Scottish Rite Mason; a Baptist in religion; and in politics a Republican, but first of all a patriot, his views being broad enough to commend correct policies by whomsoever advocated.


JAMES A. LEFORCE

Having by good management and judicious investment acquired a goodly share of this world's goods, James A. LeForce settled in Vinita, where he is employing his time as a real estate dealer. He has resided in the country tributary to this city for a quarter of a century, and has achieved his financial success largely as a farmer and a stockman. A son of John B. LeForce, he was born, December 26, 1860, in Whitley County, Kentucky. His great-grandfather, the founder of the LeForce family on American soil, was a Frenchman, and on coming to the United States located in Tennessee. His son, Ranney LeForce, the next in line of descent, reared his family in Kentucky, but spent his last years in Westplains, Missouri.

John B. LeForce, born in Whitley County. Kentucky, in 1840, left that state at the beginning of the Civil war, journeying with his family in an ox cart to Indiana. Leaving his family at Mitchell, that state, secure from the existing political conditions, he enlisted in the Union army and served in Wilder's Brigade until the cessation of hostilities, escaping wounds and capture. While in the army he sent every dollar of his wages to his wife, and when he returned she had it all safely cared for, and it proved a nest egg for beginning life under the new conditions. Leaving Indiana in 1873, he spent ten years with his family in Westplains, Missouri, and then migrated with his wife and children to the Cherokee country, where he successfully engaged in the cattle business. He now owns several bodies of land in Craig County, and is a citizen of value, as a stanch Republican never shirking the responsibilities of political life.

John B. LeForce married Rachel A. Blankenship, who was born in Cumberland Gap, Kentucky, of Irish stock, being a daughter of Elijah Blankenship. The children born of their union are as follows: James A., the special subject of this brief sketch; Mary E., wife of Charles A. Banzett, of Edna, Kansas; John S., a successful stockman of Craig County; Sarah V., wife of Beecher Chamberlain, of Craig County; Clarence W., a farmer and cattleman of the same county; Clara May, wife of Russell Hunt; and Erastus E., engaged in the cattle business in Craig County.

Because of his youthful environments James A. LeForce received but limited educational advantages, and can well be termed a "self-made man" in every essential. During his active career he has practically demonstrated his ability to meet his fellows on equal terms and conditions and drive a deal in favor of his own interests. On attaining man's estate, Mr. LeForce engaged in farming and cattle dealing, becoming one of the most extensive growers and shippers of Craig County. When he had acquired a sufficient sum to assure his independence and the education of his children ho resigned the active management of his landed properties and moved with his family to Vinita, where, for the sake of something to take up his leisure time, he has since been profitably engaged in the real estate business. The farm land of Mr. LeForce lies largely six miles south of Centralia, a thousand acres in one body, and is within the oil territory of Oklahoma. After coming to Vinita he built his commodious residence at the corner of Delaware and South Brewer streets, and he is now one of the stockholders of the Farmers' Savings Bank of Vinita, and until 1909 was its vice-president.

In September, 1893, Mr. LeForce married Fannie M. Keys, a Cherokee Indian, who was born, in 1863, near Tahlequah, a daughter of Monroe Keys, the first missionary to come into the Cherokee nation and a kinsman of Sequoyah, the author of the Indian alphabet. Mrs. LeForce was educated at Northfield, being one of twenty-five Cherokee girls chosen by the Moody interests to be educated in his famous institution. After finishing school she taught for a while among her people, doing a part of her educational work in the Cherokee National Female Seminary. The union of Mr. and Mrs. LAFORCE has been blessed by the birth of five children, namely: Flossie M., James Lowry, Sarah Lottie, Rachel A. and Charles William. These children are one-sixteenth Cherokee. In Indian politics Mr. LeForce allied himself with the National party, and when Federal party lines were drawn became a Republican.


JOSEPH T. RAGAN

HE IS of Vinita, the third in line of descent to bear the name, is a man of enterprise and ability, and a leading representative of the real estate and immigration business of Craig County, his operations covering a large part of the state. He was born, October 14, 1874, in Williamson County, Tennessee, which was likewise the place of birth of his father, Joseph T. Ragan, second. His grandfather, Joseph T. Ragan. first, was born and reared in Mississippi. Moving from there to Tennessee he entered land fourteen miles from Nashville, and in course of time became a largo land owner and a slave holder. In the civil contest in 1861, however, he remained loyal to the Union. He married a Miss Bateman, who was of Virginian ancestry, and both died on the home farm in Tennessee.

Joseph T. Ragan, second, born in 1851, was reared to agricultural pursuits, and continued a tiller of the soil until his death in 1879. He married Mary Wolfe, who was born in Tennessee, a daughter of William Wolfe, a native of old Virginia. She remained on the Ragan homestead near Nashville until 1906, when she sold it and moved to Centralia, Washington. To her and her husband four children were born, as follows: Joseph T.', the special subject of this brief biographical notice; Anna, wife of Joseph Maurmann, of Rochester, Washington; Albert S., who married Kate Gresham, and is living in Dresden, Tennessee; and Lemuel N., of Los Angeles, California.

Completing his early studies in Aberdeen, South Dakota, where he resided seven years, Joseph T. Ragan, third, began his active career in that state as a teacher in the public schools. Subsequently abandoning his profession he came in 1902 to the Indian Territory, and was here variously employed as the family bread winner until the opening of the lands by the removal of restrictions. Establishing himself permanently in the real estate business, Mr. Ragan has since encouraged immigration through correspondence and through agencies in other states, chiefly in Indiana, Illinois. Iowa and northern Missouri. In many instances he has introduced entire settlements from a single locality, and is now regarded as a colonizer of the state. He is an active member of the Frisco Immigrant Bureau, and his efforts add much to the business of that company in Oklahoma.

In the management of his personal affairs Mr. Ragan has shown excellent judgment, and has acquired valuable property in Vinita, having city properties for rent, and likewise owning fanning lands in Craig County. He recently closed out his interests in the Cabin Valley Oil Company, of which he was a promoter and formerly the president, and is now treasurer of the Gate City Oil and Gas Company. Politically he is a sound Republican.

In Aberdeen, South Dakota, on June 5, 1898, Mr. Ragan married Elsie R. Rice, a daughter of R, 0. Rice, who moved to that place from Racine, Wisconsin. Mr. and Mrs. Ragan have one child. Joseph T. Ragan, fourth.



Back to Page 23

Page 25

Back to Biographies





Back to the Main Index Page for Oklahoma
©Genealogy Trails