The History of Oklahoma Biographies Vol. II
by Luther B. Hill
Prominent among the leading promoters of Vinita's prosperity is George Kapp, secretary and business manager of the Union Grain Company, a corporation doing business at different stations in Oklahoma, and incorporated under the laws of this state. W. J. Strange is president, and E. L. Orr vice-president of the company. This company was chartered in July, 1907, and has elevators in various places, including Miami, Chelsea, White Oak, Catale, Foyil, Verdigris and Vinita, at each point being an important factor in the grain business.
A native of Ohio, Mr. Kapp was born, June 20, 1871, in Cleveland, a son of Charles Kapp, and he is of German-French ancestry. A native of Germany, Charles Kapp was born in Maelhausen, in 1839, and was there bred and educated, attending universities of both medicine and literature. As a young man he served the required time in the German army, and was afterwards employed for awhile as a teacher in Germany. Being well equipped for a professional career, he immigrated in early manhood to America, locating in Cleveland, Ohio, and for twenty-eight years after coming to this country was engaged in teaching, being employed in the schools of Ohio, Michigan, Missouri and Oklahoma. He is now living retired from active pursuits in Memphis, Tennessee. Professor Kapp married, in Cleveland, Ohio, Lucy Schurer, a native of France, and of their union five children have been born, namely: George, the special subject of this brief sketch; Mrs. Minnie Lowers, of Joplin, Missouri; a daughter residing in Dewey, Oklahoma; Mrs. Celia McKinsey, of Bartlesville, Oklahoma; and Mrs. Dora Pinkerton, of Springfield, Missouri.
Educated largely under the direction of his father, George Kapp passed his school days in Saint Clair, Michigan, in Aurora, Missouri, and in Vinita, where he attended the old college. At the age of seventeen, after a brief experience on a farm, where he became somewhat familiar with the productions of the soil, he began life in earnest as a grain buyer in Vinita, being employed by the Brinson-Judd Company. His adaptability for the work early made itself manifest, his success readily carving out the way for his present calling in life. In 1907 the opportunity arrived to form a company to operate a system of stations in Oklahoma, and Mr. Kapp, with Messrs. Strange and Orr, joined in the enterprise, and the Union Grain Company came into existence, with headquarters in Vinita. Mr. Kapp is a man of undoubted ability, and is a director of the Vinita Building and Loan Association, through which he has erected a modest home among beautiful surroundings on West Canadian avenue.
While a boy in Michigan, Mr. Kapp became much interested in bee culture while assisting a German expert in the work, and subsequently engaged in the industry himself, first in Missouri and afterwards in Oklahoma. After coming to Vinita Mr. Kapp introduced the Italian queen into a few stands that he secured in the near-by woods, and the one hundred stands that he now has in his apiary show interesting returns each season. He is naturally a bee man, the bees instinctively knowing him, and he handles them and works among them with neither mask nor glove.
On February 7, 1902, in Springfield, Missouri, Mr. Kapp married Mrs. Birdie (Springer) Harris, who was born in Louisville, Kentucky, whose father, for many years, was a resident of Council Grove, Kansas. Mrs. Kapp is a woman of talent and culture, and has taken an active part in the work of the Women's Civic League, an organization which has done much towards the beautifying of Vinita.
LUTHER W. TROUTT, M. D.
Numbers of the residents of Oklahoma are of southern birth, and to Tennessee is this state indebted for many of its progressive citizens. Among the medical fraternity is Dr. Luther W. Troutt, who was born in Hilham, Tennessee, February 24, 1859. His parents were W. F. M. and A. C. (Clapp) Troutt, also natives of Tennessee. The father was born October 24, 1833, in Knox County, and the mother in the same county in 1836. They are now living in Granger County, where Mr. Troutt is a farmer and a stockman. Besides the Doctor there are three others of the family living, namely: Frank W., of Ft. Worth, Texas; John B., residing at Lees Springs, Tennessee; and Florence E., who is at home with her parents in Lees Springs.
Dr. Troutt was educated in the high school of Granger County, Tennessee, in the Grant Literary College at Athens, and in the Tennessee Medical College at Knoxville. In 1900 he also took a post-graduate course at the New York Polyclinic. Dr. Trout came to Cleora from Knoxville, where he practiced over five years. Returning to Knoxville, he remained six months, being attached to the hospital there. July 1, 1907, he came to Afton, Ottawa County, with his family, and has here resided since.
On April 10, 1889, Dr. Troutt married in Powder Springs, Tennessee, Leona Mullins, and of their union one child is living: Luther Park, born November 21, 1895. Their daughter, Willie Ray, died in 1899, aged seven years, five months and thirteen days. Mrs. Troutt died February 21, 1909, after a happy married life of twenty years. Her father, John Mullins, who was born in 1843, is still living, being a farmer and stockman of Powder Springs. The mother, Martha Mullins, died July 10, 1897, in Tennessee. There were nine children in their family, six daughters and three sons, as follows: Emma, Leona (Mrs. Troutt), Maude V., Lillie M., Nolie, Dora, W. Loran, Spurgeon and Don.
Besides his professional work, Dr. Troutt is also interested in the Cherokee National Bank of Vinita, Oklahoma, of which he is vice-president and a director. He is a member of the Baptist faith and an enthusiastic worker in both church and Sunday-school. In political belief he adheres to the principles of the Republican party.
WILLIAM H. DOHERTY
HE is the president of the Citizens Bank of Grove and the owner of over one thousand acres of valuable and well improved land in the vicinity of that city. His parents, John and Caroline (Love) Doherty, were natives of Georgia and came to Oklahoma when children, both dying in the Cherokee Nation. They were married about the year of 1861, and their two children were William H. and Walter L., the latter engaged in a real estate business in Muskogee.
William H. Doherty was born in the Indian Territory, near the town of Westville, Oklahoma, in 1863, and he was educated in the Cherokee schools. He was left an orphan when very young, and had his own way to make in a new country. Coming to Grove in 1879, when it contained but few houses, he engaged in farming and stock raising, and continued in that occupation until in 1893 he embarked in mercantile pursuits, and in 1906 he engaged in banking. He spent two years, those of 1895-6, as a member of the National Council, and is one of the leaders among his people in church building and church work, being also a member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows fraternities. He is prominent as a business man, has been successful in all his undertakings, and he is the owner of a large portion of the land in the business part of the town.
In the year of 1884 Mr. Doherty wedded Mollie Hampton, who came here with her parents from North Carolina in 1875, when ten years of age. Her mother died in about 1889), and her father, Harvey Hampton, is now a member of her household. Mr. and Mrs. Doherty have five children, all of whom were educated in Missouri and Oklahoma colleges. They are Claude, William H., John H., Percy C. and Josie. Claude Doherty married Mertie Wood in 1907, and in 1904 Josie wedded George Tate.
JAMES MADISON BELL
HE has spent the most of his life in Oklahoma, having come to Flint District, three miles east of Stilwell, with his father when a small boy. He was born in Georgia in 1830. He has four brothers, namely: John A. Bell, one of the signers of the treaty of 1835, and who died fifty years ago; David, who was killed during the trouble of 1848; Samuel W., who died in 1849, on his way to California; and D. J., a soldier of the Civil war who died from the effects of prison life. There were also six daughters in the family, as follows: Elizabeth, who died about 1850; Nancy, who died in 1866; Sarah C., the wife of General Watie, died in 1883; Charlotte married Dr. Dupre and lives in Vinita; Martha J. died in 1858; and one died in infancy.
Mr. Bell attended the public schools, and spent four years at a seminary in Huron County, Ohio, going there with Dr. Palmer, a missionary. He returned to the territory and in 1847 went to Texas with his family, remaining five years, and then came back to Oklahoma, where he has since resided. He has been successfully engaged in farming for many years, and is an example to his people of industry and thrift. He has a good influence in the community, and is universally respected and esteemed, trying to induce his associates to adopt modern methods of carrying on their business.
Mr. Bell served four years in the Confederate army, starting out as captain in the First Cherokee Regiment. When Joseph Butler reorganized this company he became a private, and when a second regiment was formed he was recommended and appointed to the position of major in that regiment, afterward being promoted to lieutenant-colonel. At the third reorganization he was invited back into the First, and elected colonel there. He was elected senator from the Canadian District, and served a term of two years, in 1869-70. He and E. C. Bondinot were the first advocates of allotment in the Cherokee Nation, and Mr. Bell was one of the strongest opponents of the adoption of other tribes and remnants of tribes which stand cost him his position in the council.
Mr. Bell married, in 1852, Carolina Lynch, a Cherokee lady whose parents came to Indian Territory under the treaty of 1835; she was born about 1832 and died in 1866. Of their six children all died except Delia, who was born in 1856 and married T. J. Jordan, who came from Iowa in 1873. He was born in 1847 in Missouri and his mother came to Oklahoma in 1885 and died in 1896. Mr. Jordan is a farmer and has large holdings of land. Four children were born to them as follows: Carrie, born in January, 1879; Madison, in September, 1885; John, in January, 1887; and Watie, in April, 1889. Mr. Jordan's father died in 1849, in Davis County, Iowa. His brother, Peter, is a large land holder and stock raiser in Alfalfa County, Oklahoma.
D. A. WILSON
HE IS a prominent and prosperous citizen of Blue Jacket, is one of the leading merchants of his community, and ranks high among the able and successful business men of Craig County. A native of Missouri, he was born, July 27, 1849, in Clinton County, a son of Josiah Wilson. Born and bred in Ohio, Josiah Wilson subsequently lived a few years in Missouri. During the great excitement caused by the discovery of gold in California, he became enthused with the spirit everywhere prevailing, and in the spring of 1850 started for the gold fields. His labors were not always remunerative, and the climate proved uncongenial. His health failed, and three years after his arrival on the gold fields he died, his death occurring in 1853. He married Susanna Sturgis, who was born in Pennsylvania, a daughter of Samuel Sturgis, who moved with his family to Wells County, Missouri, in 1853, and there engaged in agricultural pursuits the remaining years of his life.
Left fatherless when but four years of age, D. A. Wilson was brought up and educated in his native state, and subsequently worked as a farm hand until after the breaking out of the Civil war, when he enlisted in the Union Army, and served for two years as a brave and gallant soldier lad. Returning home after being honorably discharged, he remained in Missouri until 1883, when he resolved to begin life for himself in a new country. Locating in the Cherokee nation, near Grove, he carried on general farming with excellent results for nine years. Moving to Blue Jacket in 1892, Mr. Wilson has since been active in the establishment of beneficial enterprises, and to his keen foresight and energy is due much of the community's industrial and commercial standing. He is one of the foremost merchants of the place, having a large and well-stocked store, and is now president of the Blue Jacket State Bank, of which he was one of the founders and the first vice-president. In his political affiliations he is a straightforward Republican, and is now filling the office of police judge.
Mr. Wilson has been twice married. His first wife, Elizabeth A. Wainscot, was a daughter of Jesse Wainscot, of Fulton, Callaway County, Missouri. At her death she left eight children, namely: Laura, wife of H. Sappington, of Checotah, Oklahoma; William J., who married Lizzie Davis; Susan, wife of L. K. Haggard; C. T., who married Grace Howell; James W., who married Oar Evans; John E., who married Fay Adamson; Jessie, who married R. C. Jenkins; and Lizzie, who is the wife of G. G. Holcomb. Mr. Wilson married for his second wife Martha E. Countryman who was born in 1837, near Maysville, Arkansas, a daughter of John M. Countryman, a Cherokee, who has spent the greater part of his life in Oklahoma. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson have five children, namely: Elgin D., Martha E., Harry E., D. A., Jr., and Wade C. All of these children have taken their allotments near Blue Jacket.
EDWIN F. KORNS
A wide-awake man, full of vim and push, Edwin F. Korns, of Newkirk, has filled various public offices of trust and responsibility with characteristic ability, and is now serving most acceptably as postmaster of this city. He is likewise proprietor of the Republican-News-Journal, the Republican organ of the city and a weekly publication widely known throughout northern Oklahoma. He is a product of Ohio, his birth having occurred, June 10, 1854, at New Philadelphia, Tuscarawas County, which was the birthplace likewise of his father, Henry Korns. His paternal grandfather, Charles Korns, was an early settler of that part of Ohio, migrating there from Pennsylvania, where he and two of his brothers lived for several years. The grandfather raised a large family of children, in which there were seven sons, namely: Dan, Robert, Frank, James, William, Henry and John. Henry Korns grew to man's estate in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, and died in manhood's prime, in 1861, in Indiana, soon after enlisting in response to President Lincoln's first call for troops during the Civil war. He married Harriet Watkins. who was of English descent, a daughter of Henry Watkins, and they had one child, Edwin F., of this sketch. She survived him, marrying for her second husband Henry Binkley, and of that union two children were born, namely: Mrs. William Doyle, of Houston, Texas; and Charles Binkley, of Hastings, Iowa.
After the death of his father Edwin F. Korns lived with his paternal grandmother and his uncles at New Philadelphia. Ohio, where he gleaned his first knowledge of books, attending the city schools. While a mere lad, before entering his "teens," he began to know what it really meant to support one's self, finding work in a print shop in that river town. This labor added much of value to his book learnings, and from year to year he felt its practical advantage. He subsequently worked for awhile on the Tuscarawas Advocate, in that place, and then secured a position in a book and job office in Indianapolis, Indiana. Leaving there Mr. Korns next went to Champaign, Illinois, where for two years he was connected with the Champaign Union. Migrating from there to Glenwood, Iowa, he was employed for two years on the Glenwood Opinion, after which he purchased the Malvern Leader, which he published two years, when he sold out and moved to Kansas.
Locating in Phillipsburg, Kansas, he bought the Phillipburg/Herald, and was its owner and moving spirit for fourteen years. During that period the appointment of newspaper men to postmasterships became somewhat general, and President Harrison made Mr. Korns postmaster at Phillipsburg, a position which he resigned on coming to Oklahoma. During his connection with the Herald Mr. Korns had become acquainted with the handling of the United States mail by his appointment to the railway mail service, his appointment having been secured by Senator Ingalls during President Arthur's administration. When President Cleveland succeeded President Arthur Mr. Korns concluded that Republicans would not prove popular with the new administration and gracefully resigned.
In November, 1893, a few months after the opening of the Cherokee strip, Mr. Korns located in Kay County, and for a year lived a rural life, being engaged in the, to him, novel occupation of farming. Having been so long schooled and steeped in journalistic work, the farm seemed too prosy a proposition, and, in 1894, he founded the Kay County News, with Jeremiah Johnson and Lincoln McKinlay. He consolidated the Kildare Journal and the Republican with the Newkirk News, and the consolidated three came out as the Republican-News Journal, it being a chartered company, with Mr. Korns as the principal stockholder. He was actively associated with its editorial department until his appointment, in 1904, as postmaster at Newkirk, succeeding Marshall Lambert, and still guides the policy of this paper. Mr. Korns has been active in municipal affairs, having been a member of both the city council and the local school board, and the mayor of the city. He was appointed oil inspector under Governor Jenkins, and served in that capacity two years under Governor Ferguson.
On October 19, 1882, in Osceola, Iowa, Mr. Korns married Ida M. Millard, who was born in that city May 3, 1860, a daughter of Rev. Alva H. and Achsa (Barstow) Millard, formerly residents of Ohio. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Korns. namely: Harry M. and Nellie M.
Harry M. Korns, a newspaper man, who has grown up in the Republican-News Journal office, was educated in the Newkirk High School, the old Presbyterian Academy, Lincoln College and at Park College in Parkville, Missouri. He has shown wonderful aptness for verse since an early age, and has written and published in Oklahoma papers many effusions that have attracted notice far beyond the confines of his state. One of the first to win recognition was written at the age of nineteen years, and an inquiry was received from the New York Evening Times regarding the Newkirk author. It was en titled "Those First Red Top Boots," and reads as follows:
Oft visions come of bygone days,
And childhood's pleasures come once more, I see a Christmas tree, and then,
The home folk gathered as of yore, And Lo the candle lights expose
Small red top boots with copper toes.
Since, down the rugged path of life,
Far better gifts my soul have thrilled,
Far better boots along the way
My wandering feet have oft times filled,
But none have gladdened me as those
Old red top boots with copper toes.
Recent political incidents fresh in the mind of the reading public called forth the following lines from his facile pen:
Because Ben Tillman couldn't see
What harm, if any, there could be
Should he his bank account inflate,
By dealing in some real estate;
And sought to satisfy the whim-
Because of this, they're after him.
Because Foraker didn't know
That things have changed since years ago,
That he who worketh with the trust
Is looked upon with sheer disgust,
And sort of got out on a limb-
Because of this, they're after him.
Because Boss Haskell's path in life
Has ever been bestrewn with strife,
Because of judgments that arose
To ever trouble his repose;
Of actions sly and records dim-
Because of this, Hearst's after him.
Other selections have shown good effort on the part of this young verse maker, and mark him as a youth of brilliant promise in literary fields. His "Battin Bill," his "Last Chance" and other products of his pen, widely varying in sentiment, indicate the universe as his field.
The second child of Mr. and Mrs. Korns, Nellie M. Korns, is the wife of Rev. Ray P. Montgomery, of Walters, Oklahoma, an Advent minister. Mr. Edwin F. Korns having taken his wife from a minister of the same religious faith has given his own daughter to the same creed.
JOSHUA L. ROBERSON
One of the "home runners" of Oklahoma, and a pioneer lawyer of Kay County, Joshua L. Roberson has established a fine legal business at Newkirk, and as an active participator in civic and political affairs has become one of the material builders of the county seat. A son of Alexander Roberson, he was born, July 3, 1855, in Jefferson County, Illinois, where he acquired his youthful education. His paternal grandfather Joshua Roberson, moved from Georgia, his native state, to Illinois in 1819, while it was yet under territorial control. He married Margaret Culwell in Tennessee, and among the children that they reared were Henry, Jasper, Ebert, John, Edward, Alexander, Salatha, Lucy, Delilah and Elizabeth.
Born in Jefferson County, Illinois, in 1831, Alexander Roberson resided there for a full half century. A soldier in an Illinois regiment during the Civil war, he served under General U. S. Grant, at the end of the war being mustered out at Bedloe's Island. A farmer by occupation, he moved, in 1880, to Wayne County, Iowa, where his death occurred in 1883. He married Melissa Lyle, was born in Hickman County, Kentucky, in 1830, and died on March 3, 1906, in Hayes County, Nebraska, leaving seven children, namely: Rev. James M., a minister in Longmont, Colorado; Joshua L., the subject of this sketch; Mary, wife of Samuel Bradford, of McDonough County, Illinois; Henry L., of Mountain View, Washington; Charles A., of Chanute, Kansas; Hiram, of Rochester, Washington; and Lovilla, wife of J. P. Sanders, of Glenville Nebraska.
A country youth brought up on a farm, Joshua L. Roberson was employed in tilling the soil and in teaching school in his native county until moving with the family to Wayne County, Iowa, in 1880. Reading law with W. F. Howell, of Corydon, Iowa, and at the Law Department of the State University of Iowa, he was there admitted to the bar in 1883, and the following year was admitted at Alma, Iowa, before Judge William Gaslin, while in 1892 he was admitted to the supreme court of that state. Mr. Roberson was first admitted to practice in Oklahoma in March, 1894, before Judge Bierer, later to the supreme court of the Territory, to the state supreme court at statehood, and on November 16, 1907, was admitted to the district and circuit courts of the United States. On September 16, 1893, when the Cherokee strip was thrown open to settlement, Mr. Roberson came with team, wagon and law library ready for use, camped Saturday night on the Caskaskia, at the "Soldier's camp," spent the second night at Red Rock in the Ote Reserve, and on Monday drove into Perry. Failing to suit himself, he returned to Kay County, and on September 24th located in Newkirk. He had covered the ground from Hunnewell, Kansas, to this place, and on his arrival had but five dollars, his wagon and team. Trading his wagon and harness for a tent and twenty-five dollars in cash, he moved into his cloth house and office, pitching it on the public square. He subsequently moved it to lot eleven, block thirty-three, where he had a temporary home the first winter. Legal business came along promptly, his first case being one in the defense of a squatter on a Newkirk town lot. Replacing his tent with a frame building, Mr. Roberson occupied his original lot until 1897, when he purchased lot eighteen, in the same block, and fitted up a four-room office on Seventh street, where, in 1902, his two-story business house was erected, and where his office has since been maintained. Much practice before the land office was brought to him, as well as other legal business found on the civil and criminal calendar, and in such quantities as to liberally reward him for his services. Taking the Democratic side in political issues Mr. Roberson was appointed city attorney, and came within eleven votes of being elected probate judge in a Republican stronghold. He favored statehood from the first, was active in its support, and attended all Democratic congressional conventions, save one, up to statehood, and all conventions to select delegates to national Democratic conventions.
Mr. Roberson came to Oklahoma from Orleans, Nebraska, where he located in 1884, when he left Corydon, Iowa, a young, inexperienced lawyer. He opened his first law office in Orleans and while there became interested in politics, as citizens of a new country invariably do, and while there was chairman of the first Democratic Delegate Convention held in Harlan County, and had also the honored distinction of serving as the first mayor of Orleans.
At Orleans, Nebraska, July 15, 1885, Mr. Roberson married Edith M. Feninger, a daughter of Frank and Augusta (Keym) Feninger, both natives of Germany. Two children have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Roberson, namely: Frank A., born October 4, 1886, was graduated from the Newkirk High School, spent four years at the University of Oklahoma, and is now with the United States Geological Survey of Indian Reservations in Montana; and Augusta, born March 9, 1889, was graduated from the Newkirk High School with the class of 1909. Fraternally Mr. Roberson is a Master Mason, and belongs to all branches of Odd Fellowship, including the Grand Lodge, of which he has recently been elected Grand Master.
Of Ponca, is one of the well known Osage County farmers, a member of the firm of Braden Brothers, and he has been engaged in this occupation in Oklahoma since the famous run which followed the opening of the Cherokee Strip. He had been in the country to the south some four years previous to this time, for he was aboard the fourth train which pulled into Guthrie at the first opening of 1889. His first business efforts in the state were with Howell Brothers, who had established a lumber yard in Guthrie, and for whom he subsequently sold lumber a" a traveling salesman over Oklahoma and Texas, and he spent the years of 1892 and 1893 in Idaho in the lumber business at Bonners Ferry, at the head waters of the Kootney river, but leaving that country he returned to Oklahoma to participate in the opening of the Strip.
Starting at the signal from the Kansas line just west of Arkansas City, he ran his horse toward his coveted goal, but the country was all settled when he reached his destination and there was no place for him, so he at once began farming Indian leases and has continued it as a member of the firm of Braden Brothers during the past fifteen years. But during the past two years he has been a resident of Osage County, Oklahoma, where he is accessible to good schools for the education of his growing family.
Mr. Braden was located in Osborn, Kansas, prior to coming to Oklahoma, whither his parents had pioneered from Washington County, Iowa, and in the latter county the son Harry was born February 8, 1865. His parents were born in County Cork, Ireland, the father being William F. Braden and the mother before her marriage Sarah J. Taylor, and both died in Osborn County, Kansas. The children of their union were: Oral, of San Philippe, California; Lucy, of Boise, Idaho; Bessie, wife of E. L. Whitney, warden of the Idaho penitentiary; Frank, who is unmarried and lives in Ponca; Harry, the subject of this review; Mary, who married Frank Armstrong, of Berkeley, California; and George and Robert, of Osborn, Kansas.
The county schools educated Harry Braden, and he worked on the farm until twenty years old, when he went to Stockton to learn the lumber business with Howell Brothers, named above, and from there was sent by this firm into the new country to establish and carry on their interests in Guthrie. The firm of Braden Brothers comprise Frank and Harry Braden, and their ranch is located eight miles east of Ponca in the Osage country. They have a lease on hundreds of acres of land, and they are distinctively corn raisers, their place acquiring the dignity of a ranch because of its size and because of their identification with the raising and handling of mules. The brothers are also widely known as worthy citizens and participate actively in county politics as Republicans, Harry Braden being a county committeeman and Frank is one of the commissioners of Osage County and has the distinction of being the only Republican elected to office in either of the four adjoining counties of Kay, Grant, Noble and Osage.
In 1898, in Osage County, Kansas, Harry Braden married Carrie Phillips, a daughter of George W. Phillips, one of the pioneers of that county. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Braden are: Lela, James and George. Mr. Braden is a Knight of Pythias, and his family hold allegiance to the Congregational church.
CHARLES J. NUNN
Justice of the peace of Checotah township, and one of its leading citizens, was born in Georgia, educated in private schools, and at the age of fourteen years, in Alabama, commenced life on his own account as a farm hand at seven dollars and fifty cents a month. He spent about three years in Alabama, and at the age of seventeen years moved to Mississippi, where he spent one year. He then located in Indian Territory, in the Choctaw Nation, where he again became a farm hand, continuing in this occupation until his twenty-third year, when he married and leased land. Mr. Nunn leased land in the Choctaw Nation at a cost of twenty dollars a year, and all he made besides was clear profit. In 1902 he removed to what is now McIntosh County and leased land until the advent of statehood, when he purchased an improved farm, though this land was unimproved at the time he began to lease it. Mr. Nunn has owned a farm since 1907, and now has one hundred and thirty-five acres under cultivation, owning one hundred and sixty-eight acres altogether. He has made all modern improvements, and the land that he purchased for ten dollars an acre would now be worth (1910) thirty-five dollars an acre.
At the time of Mr. Nunn's settling in the Choctaw Nation the country had many lawless characters, and many ruled by their six shooters. Few white people lived in the nation, except along the Arkansas border, and many of them were undesirable citizens. The full blood Indians were among the most peaceable citizens, and the lawless characters were among the whites or the mixed bloods. Mr. Nunn frequently attended church with his six-shooter buckled to him, as a means of personal protection, and also in order that he might be able to help protect the minister and the other church-goers. At the time he first came to the locality where he now lives Checotah was not yet a village and the place where it now stands was inhabited by a set of tough characters. However, as soon as the town began to grow things changed and the conditions have changed very materially since he has been a resident of the county. McIntosh County was then one immense pasture, with but few farms and those very small, while now the country about is dotted with good sized farms, most of them in a high state of cultivation.
At the time statehood was adopted Mr. Nunn was elected the first justice of the peace, and his position lasts four years. He is a member of Checotah Lodge No. 20, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and politically is an old-line Democrat. He and his family worship at the Missionary Baptist church. He is one of the representative, intelligent, public-spirited citizens of the state, and is well liked and esteemed. He is a man of high character and his honesty and probity are unquestioned.
Mr. Nunn's father, Gus Nunn, was a private in the Confederate army; he was wounded and never fully recovered from the effects, dying about 1868. He married Mova Anthony, and they had five children who grew to maturity, namely: James, deceased, whose family lives in Mississippi; Thomas, of Tennessee; Mack, of Texas; Charles J.; and Samuel, of Mississippi. After the death of Mr. Nunn his widow married T. H. Thrut, now deceased, and she now resides with her son in Texas.
In 1888 Charles J. Nunn married Mollie Alexander, of the Choctaw Nation, a daughter of D. P. and Catherine (Tyler) Alexander, both natives of Tennessee. Mr. Alexander and his wife were early settlers in the Choctaw Nation. They were parents of eight children, two of whom are deceased. The others are: Mollie (Mrs. Nunn), Robert, Adolphus, Oscar, Nellie (wife of Mose Sharp), and Fred. Mr. Nunn and his wife became the parents of the following six children; Lula, Ida J., Maud, Edward M., Minneola and H via J. Lula, now deceased, was the wife of Tames Grimes.
WALLACE B. CLARK
Attorney at law, of Ponca, came to Oklahoma in 1903 and opened a law office in this city, where he has since been conspicuously identified with his profession.
Mr. Clark was born in Chariton County, Missouri, March 26, 1875, a son of Randolph Clark, who was born in that county August 25, 1841. The founder of this family in Missouri was Benjamin Clark, the grandfather of Wallace B., who moved there from North Carolina, where his pre-Revolutionary ancestors settled and made their homes. Benjamin Clark went to Missouri some time in 1830, and is buried in the family graveyard near Keytesville. His wife, who before her marriage was Mary Baker, was a Kentucky woman. They were the parents of three sons and two daughters. Two of the sons, Robert, the eldest, and Randolph, the next in order of birth, were soldiers in the Union army during the Civil war, while the other son, Bowlin, espoused the Confederate cause and was in the Southern army. One daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Thomas, died in Chariton County, Missouri, and the other daughter married there and has passed her life in that state. Randolph Clark was a private in Company B, Forty-first Missouri Infantry, all through the war. He voted for Lincoln and every other Republican presidential candidate up to and including Taft, and to his children transmitted the spirit of patriotism. In Linn County, Missouri, he married Miss Carrie Dover, daughter of Abraham Dover, a native of Ireland; her mother was a Scotch woman. Mrs. Clark died in February, 1909. Their children are: Andrew J., of Centerville, Iowa; Nancy J., wife of John J. Rogers, of Chariton County, Missouri; William S., of Macon County, Missouri; John C, of Nebraska; Margaret, wife of A. G. Sterner, of Prairie Hill, Missouri; Mary, wife of S. L. Addis, of Marceline, Missouri; Christiana, wife of E. B. Proctor, of Loganda, Missouri; Wallace B., whose name introduces this sketch; Edward and David, twins, who reside in the home county.
Wallace B. Clark was educated in the district schools, in the Salisbury Academy and in the Keytesville Normal School. He began life as a teacher, and followed the profession in Chariton and Ray counties for seven years, shifting from that to the law. While engaged in teaching, he spent, his leisure time in the study of law. After his retirement from the school room he entered the office of Major Mullins, at Linneus, where he completed his legal studies, and, January 13, 1899, before Judge John P. Butler, at Salisbury, he was admitted to the bar. At Marceline, Missouri, he began his legal career, and for four years he practiced law in Linn County, also during that time taking an active part in county politics, working in the interest of the Republican party. From Marceline he came to Oklahoma and has since been identified with the practice of law in Ponca. Here, too, he has been active in politics. Indeed, his work as a campaigner began before he had reached his majority. In 1896 he was on the list of speakers combating free silver sentiment in Missouri, and suffered, with others, the humiliation of being "howled down" in the intensely Bryan portions of the state, yet he has twice since seen his native state go Republican. In the campaign in 1907 he advised against the stand of his party and advocated the adoption of the constitution and its modification by subsequent legislation. That year he was nominated for County Attorney of Kay County, and previously, while in Linn County, he received a like honor.
September 15, 1898, Mr. Clark married, in Marceline, Missouri, Miss Gertrude Adams, daughter of John W. Adams. They have one child, Frances W., born January 1, 1900.
NATHAN V. BRAY
For eighteen years Nathan V. Bray has resided within a mile of his present home at Council Hill, McIntosh County, which, applied to the standard of the new country in which he has flourished, makes him an "old settler." He had previously spent ten years in the Choctaw and Chickasaw country, being a Georgia emigrant, and for considerably more than a quarter of a century has therefore been an active figure in the agricultural and livestock industries of Indian Territory and Oklahoma. In 1892, when he moved from the former into what is now McIntosh County, near Council Hill, there was only one house between that point and Muskogee, a distance of sixteen miles, and only two residences occupied by white men within the fifteen miles between Council Hill and Checotah. The entire country, for leagues around, was simply a vast prairie covered with great herds of cattle and horses-the paradise, or free range, for the stockman.
Mr. Bray is a Georgian, born in Troup County and a son of W. C. and Isabella (Boddie) Bray, of English-Scotch ancestry. The paternal grandfather emigrated from England to the United States in 1830, soon afterward settled in Troup County and was one of the pioneer physicians to practice in that part of the state. He also conducted a large plantation, worked, of course, by slave labor. His wife (the paternal grandmother) was Julia Walton, a niece of George Walton, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and a representative of a family whose settlement in America antedated the Revolution.
W. C. Bray, the father, was reared on the Troup County plantation, and became a large employer of slave labor himself. Naturally espousing the cause of the south during the Civil war, he served as first lieutenant of Captain Anthony Gore's company and fought bravely in Lee's army of Virginia. He was captured at Roanoke island, and for three months was imprisoned in the hold of a vessel on a regular diet of pickled pork and bad crackers, after which he was glad enough to be exchanged and rejoin the Confederate ranks before the conclusion of the war, fighting his way up to the rank of colonel. He then returned to Troup County, and until his death in 1880 was engaged in a brave attempt to rebuild his shattered fortune. The elder Mr. Bray was twice married, and of the children borne by his first wife (Isabella Boddie), the following reached maturity: Richard V.; Julia W., who married W. J. Dunlap, of Georgia; Nathan V., of this sketch; Mary, who became the wife of Shepard Heard, of Georgia; W. W., a resident of McIntosh County; and Isabella. After the death of the first Mrs. Bray the widower wedded Mrs. Anna Brown (nee Gates), and they reared the following six children by this marriage: Charles, a resident of Georgia; Baxter, who resides in McIntosh County; Nettie A., married and also a resident of Georgia; and Robert, Claude and Clarence, all living in McIntosh County.
Nathan V. Bray received his education in public schools and under private instructors, first coming west in 1879 and three years later settling in the Choctaw country of the Indian Territory, whence he moved to the Chickasaw country, spending altogether some ten years in these sections of the present Oklahoma. His four years in the Choctaw nation were spent chiefly in lumbering, and the remainder of the period he was a resident of Davis, Chickasaw Nation, where he was engaged in ginning and merchandising. Upon locating in what is now McIntosh County in 1892, he established himself in his present business as a farmer and a livestock raiser. Although conditions have greatly changed since the free range was abolished, Mr. Bray has adapted himself to the new order of things with the adaptability of the good citizen, and is still prosperous and happy. He is a Democrat in politics, but has neither asked nor received any public reward for his party services.
In 1900 Mr. Bray was united in marriage with Miss Mabel Woosley, a resident of Illinois, daughter of Elijah and ------ (Crow) Woosley, natives respectively of Kentucky and Virginia. Mr. Woosley was one of the early settlers of this part of Oklahoma, migrating directly from Kansas and locating near the present site of Davis, where for three years he conducted the "Ouchitan," the first hotel of the locality, of which he was also the builder. He then engaged in the livery business at Purcell for some years, and died in 1909 at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Bray. Mrs. Woosley still resides in Purcell, the mother of Lockwood, of Purcell; Mabel, wife of Mr. Bray; Eliza, of Purcell; and Pearl, now the wife of Bart Nix, of Guthrie. The three children born to Mr. and Mrs. Nathan V. Bray are W. C., Julia W. and Pauline. The members of the family are of the Catholic faith, mostly attending the church at Muskogee.
J. W. COBB
The leading liveryman of Checotah and an active citizen of Checotah County, is of a Tennessee family whose estate was dissipated by the stress of the Civil war, but repaired through the manly and wisely directed efforts of father and son. He was born in McMinn County, that state, and is a son of W. C. and Elizabeth (Reynolds) Cobb, both representing pioneer families of the commonwealth. The Cobb family is of English origin, its American forefathers emigrating from the mother country prior to the Revolutionary war, in which not a few of them participated. Georgia became an ancestral state quite early in the history of the States, and branches spread all over the south. David Cobb, the grandfather of J. W., was one of the pioneers of eastern Tennessee, being one of the first ministers of the Gospel in that section of the state and a member of the old Cobb family of-Georgia which has supplied a governor and other prominent men to forward the public interests of that state. The Rev. Cobb of Tennessee was with the United States troops in the Mexican war, but otherwise devoted the mature years of his long life to the spreading of the Gospel among both the whites and the Indians of the south. He lived to the age of ninety years and reared a large family.
The father, W. C. Cobb, was a prosperous planter with a large force of slaves, and when the Civil war broke out joined a Confederate command which was incorporated into General Longstreet's famous division of the Army of Virginia. He served for two years as captain of this company, but during the later portion of the war was purveyor-at-large for the quartermaster's department, supplying it with both cattle and provisions, as well as cavalry horses. At the close of the war Mr. Cobb returned to his Tennessee home, but the disorganized condition of those sections of the south which had been ravaged by the contending armies induced him to turn his attention to the far southwest. In the year following the war he therefore established himself as a farmer and stock raiser in Fannin County, Texas, being thus engaged for ten years. For a number of years afterward he was engaged in business in Cooke County and in 1906 moved to Armstrong County, where he has since conducted profitable ventures in agriculture and stock-raising. At the age of eighty-eight years he is still enjoying good health and may look back on an honorable life, in which he has bravely fought, whether on the losing or the winning side. By his marriage to Miss Elizabeth Reynolds, W. C. Cobb became the father of eight children, of whom the following reached manhood: Monroe and Louis C., now both residents of Armstrong County, Texas; James, of Payne, Oklahoma; Albert, also of Armstrong County; and J. W., of this sketch. Mrs. Elizabeth Cobb died in 1865, and some years later Mr. Cobb married Miss Nannie Hoyle, of Tennessee, who bore him the following: Charles, who is a resident of southern Texas; Joseph, who lives in Wood County, Oklahoma, and Susan (deceased).
J. W. Cobb developed into manhood on his father's ranches in Fannin and Cooke counties, Texas, obtaining his education in the country schools of his residence neighborhoods. He remained in Cooke County, engaged in farming and stock-raising, until 1885, when he moved to Johnson County, Arkansas, and continued the same in that locality. When he became a resident of Oklahoma, in 1904, he settled in Texanna as a general merchant, but, although he was reasonably successful in his business for six years, in 1910 he purchased the leading livery establishment of Checotah, which he has since conducted with the most encouraging results. In politics Mr. Cobb has never deviated from the Democracy of his forefathers. He is also an active fraternalist, belonging to Checotah Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and Checotah Lodge No. 20, I. 0. 0. F.
In 1890 Mr. Cobb married Miss Phineay Holmes, of Johnson County, Arkansas, daughter of J. P. and Mary Holmes, her father being a farmer of that county. Mrs. Cobb is the eldest of five, her sisters being as follows: Jennie, now residing in Texanna, Oklahoma; Annie, widow of J. R. Doty, of Deming, Arkansas; Ida, now Mrs. Arthur Simmons, also of Texanna; and Love, who married J. M. Stanton, of that place. Mr. and Mrs. Holmes reside near Texanna. The seven children born to Mr. and Mrs. Cobb are as follows: Thomas, Loula M.; Minnie, now the wife of John Winkle, of Texanna, Oklahoma; Ilo, Myrtle, Samuel L. and John W. Cobb.
A member of the well known firm of Jones & Company, the largest retail butcher firm in Checotah, Oklahoma, is also one of the most extensive stock dealers in his part of the state. Mr. Jones was born in Washington County, Arkansas, in 1855, and is a son of Daniel and Margaret (Jones) Jones. The parents were among the early settlers of the state, and the father was a soldier in the Union army during the Civil war. He was killed while doing scout duty near Fayetteville, Arkansas. He and his wife reared seven children, viz: Eliza, deceased, wife of John O'Brien; N. S., of Checotah; Albert, deceased, whose family lives in Checotah; Robert; James, of Checotah; Nannie, deceased, wife of James Gilbert; and John, of Fayetteville, Arkansas.
The early days of Robert Jones were spent in his native state, where he lived until seventeen years of age. He attended school but a short time and is largely self-educated. In 1873 he went to Texas and located in Bell County when it was sparsely settled. After the first year he engaged as a cowboy, and spent several years in this occupation. When first arriving in Texas, however, he spent one year hunting buffalo in Jones, Haskell and Shackelford counties, then public domain. Shackelford County was then a border county, and the men who were with Mr. Jones had five Tonkawa Indians, who were in the service of the U. S. as scouts, to show them where lay the danger line between the whites, Comanche and Kiowa Indians. In 1877 Mr. Jones hunted buffalo with others in Taylor County, near Abilene and Colorado Springs, although at that time there Were no settlements in these places. At that time it was a frequent occurrence to see wagon trains containing buffalo hides and meat, and Mr. Jones brought back to Belton, the county seat of Bell County, a load of buffalo hams and venison, perhaps the last load sold in that county.
Mr. Jones spent several years in Bell County engaged in farming, stock raising and dealing in stock, which he shipped to distant markets. The southern and eastern portions of Bell County were almost in a virginal state, and so few were the settlers that all kinds of game abounded with the exception of buffalo, and continued for several years. Belton was only a small village; Salado, on Salado creek, was an older town, but not so large, and these two were the only trading points in the county. Schools were very few and the settlers had to bear the hardships and privations of pioneers. They generally had their corn ground at a water mill, and Colonel Jones had a mill some few miles east of Salado, on Salado creek, to which the farmers frequently hauled their grain from thirty-five to fifty miles. Mr. Jones was one of the earliest young men to migrate to Texas after the war, and had some very exciting and trying experiences in the days of early settlement in that state. He became very successful as a farmer and stockman, and in 1903 removed to Coryell County, where he engaged in ranching and stock dealing until 1906, when he became a resident of Checotah, Oklahoma, where he has since been actively engaged in farming and stock raising. He is also manager of the most extensive butcher business in the city. He is also the most extensive dealer in cattle and hogs in his community. He cultivates about six hundred acres of land and owns other real estate. He is the architect of his own fortune, and has acquired his wealth through earnest endeavor and unremitting energy.
On November 11, 1875, Mr. Jones married Barbary E. Moore, daughter of Christopher and Martha (Rampey) Moore. Mr. Moore and his wife had ten children, as follows: Thomas J.; Barbary; Mary, wife of Henry Goodnight; Texana, wife of Tom Goodnight; Mattie, wife of Will Pertict; Rev. Letcher; Eva, wife of Andrew Grissom; N. G.; Henry; and Munroe. Mr. Moore and his wife reside in Bell County, Texas. Mr. Jones and his wife became the parents of nine children, four of whom lived to maturity: Annie, wife of Mose Lewis, of Hood County, Texas; Edgar; Minnie, deceased, wife of Frank Smith; and Ethel, wife of H. F. Allen, of Checotah; Edgar married Daisy Hendrickson, a daughter of T. D. and Roda (Bigham) Henderson, now of Coryell County, Texas.
Politically Mr. Jones is a Democrat of the old type. He is a member of Checotah Lodge No. 20, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Mr. Jones is very well known and highly respected.
WILLIAM H. BUSH
A line of enterprise which has important bearing upon the material and civic progress of every community is that involved in the proper handling of real estate, and among the able representatives of this business in Coweta County is Mr. Bush, whose home and headquarters are in the thriving little city of Coweta. The books of his real-estate agency at all times show most desirable investments, and his annual transactions have attained large dimensions, implying a popular appreciation of his ability as an intermediary and of the fair and honorable business policies followed by him.
Mr. Bush was born in Morris County, New Jersey, in 1849, and is a son of Ralph and Ellen (VanWert) Bush, both representatives of staunch Holland Dutch ancestry and members of families founded in the historic old commonwealth of New Jersey in the early colonial days. Both the paternal and maternal grandfathers of the subject of this review were found enrolled as valiant soldiers in the Continental line during the war of the Revolution, and the names of both the Bush and Van Wert families have ever stood exponent of the utmost loyalty and patriotism, as one generation has followed another onto the stage of life's activities. Ralph Bush was one of the honored citizens of Morris County, New Jersey, at the time of his death, when eighty-eight years of age, and he and his wife reared a family of five children, of whom the eldest is he whose name initiates this sketch; Louis is a resident of Los Angeles, California; Sarah is the widow of John Ward and maintains her home in the city of Newark, New Jersey; George passed the closing years of his life in Huntington, Indiana; and Emma is the wife of Edward Renshaw, of Boonton, New Jersey.
William H. Bush was reared to maturity in his native state and received his early educational training in the common schools of the city of Newark. There also he learned the trade of a brick mason, and when eighteen years of age he went to Dennison, Iowa, where he continued in the work of his trade as a journeyman until 1872, when he engaged in contracting and building on his own responsibility and principally in the direct line of his trade. He was successful in his efforts as an independent contractor and continued in this line of business for thirty years.
In 1904 Mr. Bush moved to Oklahoma and took up his residence in Coweta, which was then a village of comparative insignificance. Here he immediately established himself in the real-estate business, and in connection with the same he has contributed materially to the upbuilding and civic advancement of this community. He is also the owner of a well improved ranch of five hundred and twenty acres, affording a fine range and excellent agricultural facilities, and he is one of the successful farmers and stock-growers of Wagoner County, as well as one of the representative business men of Coweta, where he has erected for his own occupancy one of the most attractive modern residences in the city. He is essentially progressive and public-spirited, and all measures tending to conserve the best interests of his home city, county and state receive his earnest support. In national affairs he gives a staunch allegiance to the Republican party, but in local matters, where no definite issues are involved, he is independent of strict partisan lines, casting his ballot in support of candidates who seem best fitted for the respective offices. Both he and his wife are held in unqualified esteem in the community in which they maintain their home and in which their interests center.
On the 2d of May, 1872, Mr. Bush was united in marriage to Miss Caroline E. Lowell, of Des Moines, Iowa. She is a daughter of John J. and Elizabeth (Beardsley) Lowell, who were early settlers of the Hawkeye state, whither they moved from Michigan. Both the Lowell and Beardsley families are of English ancestry, and the Lowell family was founded in New Hampshire long prior to the war of the Revolution. John J. Lowell died in 1905, at the age of eighty-seven years and nine months, and his wife is now (1909) in her eighty-sixth year. Of their children three attained to years of maturity, Harriet became the wife of David Henry and is now deceased; Caroline E. is the wife of the subject of this review; and Elmer E. is a resident of Hiawatha, Kansas.
Mr. and Mrs. Bush have three children, concerning whom the following brief data is entered: Ella is the wife of Charles Johnson, of Kalamazoo, Michigan; Emma is the wife of Thomas H. Richardson, of Michigan; and Ralph B. remains at the parental home, being associated with his father in his various business operations.
WILLIAM HENRY BRADLEY
HE IS of Stilwell, was born August 1, 1870, in Crawford County, Arkansas. At the age of twelve months he was taken by his parents to the Indian Territory, the family locating just fourteen miles from where he now lives, and at the age of five years he removed with his parents to Washington County, of the same state, where he attended public school. In 1889 he removed to Van Buren, Crawford County, and served an apprenticeship as a butcher, after which he spent some time in western Oklahoma and Texas, and engaged in stock raising. From 1901 until 1904 he was railroad construction foreman, and then located in Stilwell, where he engaged in the butcher business.
Mr. Bradley's father, Isaac H. Bradley, was born in Tarrant County, Texas, served four years in a Texas regiment in the Confederate army, and died in November, 1876, in Washington County, Arkansas, when William H. was only six years of age. His wife, Nancy J. Bradley, was born in 1841, in Tennessee, and moved at an early age to Shelby County, Illinois. Her first husband, Andy Wade, was made a prisoner of war by the Union army and confined in Chicago, where he died of privation in 1864. In 1868 Mrs. Bradley rode horseback from Mattoon, Illinois, to Fort Worth, Texas, and obtained room in her brother-in-law's wagon for her two children, who also made the trip. She died March 19, 1904, at Westville, Oklahoma, at the age of sixty-three years. By her first husband she had four children, and four also by her second husband; by her second marriage her children are: William H., and Ada, Amanda and Ruthie Bean, the last three deceased.
William H. Bradley is a young man of public spirit and enterprise, and is ready and willing to espouse the cause of right and progress in the community. In 1908 he was elected mayor of Stilwell, and served one year under the Federal regime. In 1908 Mr. Bradley was made president of the first board of trustees elected under statehood at Stilwell, and in 1909 was elected a police judge. He married Cora, daughter of W. W. Thomason, of Bentonville, Arkansas, January 17, 1905, the marriage taking place at Fayetteville, Arkansas. The union has been blessed with two sons, George Wade and W. H. Bradley, Jr.
Back to Page 28
Back to Biographies