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Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 4, No. 2
June, 1926
THE PASSING OF SOME OF OUR PIONEERS.

Page 207

It is our purpose to note briefly, under the above caption, the passing of Oklahoma’s pioneers in our Historical magazine. There is no better way to perpetuate their memory than that of recording their names with some of their heroic deeds in Chronicles of Oklahoma.

The management will appreciate very much if you will furnish this office with a short sketch of any of your friends who have been outstanding characters in the development of this great country of ours.

Under this head, of the present number, appears the name of Mrs. E. A. Thompson, who came to Fort Gibson soon after it was established in the year 1824, where she resided for more than ninety-five years.

The writer of these lines was well acquainted with the Thompson family, having lived there in the late sixties, and next door neighbor to the Thompsons.

J. Y. B.


OLDEST ’89ER DIES ON ANNIVERSARY OF RUN

Levi Bixler appointed first Treasurer of Oklahoma County; he lived 98 years.

Funeral services for Mr. Bixler were held Friday afternoon at 2 o’clock in Street and Draper chapel and burial at the Mischak community, eleven miles southeast of Oklahoma City. Rev. R. C. Howard, pastor of the Kelham Avenue Baptist church, preached the sermon.

Bixler is survived by two sons, Mort L. Bixler, Mobile, Ala., and Phil S. Bixler, Hydro; and a daughter Mrs. Fred Comstock, Grandfield. Mort Bixley, eldest son, lost in a race to reach his father before he died.

FIRST COUNTY TREASURER

Coming here in 1889, Bixler and his family took a claim in the Mischak community, where he lived until his wife died ten years ago at 83 years old. He was the first treasurer of Oklahoma County and was commissioned in 1891 by George W. Steele, first territorial governor of Oklahoma.

Page 208

Bixler attended the celebration of ’89ers here last year and expressed a regret that illness would prevent his coming for the present celebration. He was in good health up to a week ago and even in his last illness was firm in his belief that he would round out the century mark.

He was born in Lancaster, Ohio, Feb. 23, 1828, and emigrated to Indiana and Iowa before coming to Oklahoma. He cast his first vote for John C. Freemont as president of the United States.

While Bixler was here last year he told of county affairs while he was treasurer, comparing them with today. No office rent was paid by the county, while he held the position. His deputy was Jim Wheeler, a clerk in a bank, and Wheeler’s desk was the office. All Bixler had to do was to come in from his farm every week or two to see how thing were getting along. Personal taxes were not collected then.

"Instead of thousands of dollars the treasurer’s office at the courthouse now handles," Bixler said, "I turned over $30 to my successor in 1892, all the money in the county treasury." —Daily Oklahoman, April 23, 1926.

EARLY PIONEER OF FORT GIBSON DIES AT HOME

One of the first and oldest pioneers of Indian Territory, Mrs. E. A. Thompson, 99 years old, died at the home of her grandson, Howard Mounts, near Fort Gibson, May 6, 1926.

Mrs. Thompson was born in Tennessee in August, 1826, and came to Indian Territory with her parents, Amos and Elizabeth Thornton, at the age of 3, with one of the first bands of Cherokees to emigrate to this section of the country.

SAW MANY LEADERS

They settled at Fort Gibson, then the center of military and commercial activity in these parts, and Mrs. Thompson has lived there ever since—for more than ninety-five year.

She was a youngster of 6 when Washington Irving came to Fort Gibson to begin his famous "Tour on the Prairies."

She was of school age when Zachery Taylor and Jefferson Davis were stationed there, and must have admired their trim uniforms, while wondering at the eccentricities of that queer person, Sam Houston.

Page 209

WILDERNESS DEVELOPED

She saw Fort Gibson grow from a military outpost in the wilderness to the trading center of the southwest. She was already a wife and mother in the days of the post’s greatest importance, for at the age of 19 she married Richard Thompson, and bore him three daughters, before he died, many years ago.

As the southwest developed, Fort Gibson became the point from which supplies were sent overland as far as New Mexico, and many a time Mrs. Thompson watched the steamers from New Orleans unload the cargoes which were then reloaded and sent by caravans of ox teams to supply the settlers of a vast wilderness empire.

Funeral services were conducted at 10 o’clock, Friday and she was buried in the Fort Gibson cemetery.

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