Secretary J. Y. Bryce, of the Oklahoma Historical Society, has been called upon to mourn the death of his wife, which occurred at Durant, Sunday morning August 14th, 1927.
Nettie French was born at Leon, Iowa, February 10, 1863. Her youth was spent in Kansas City, Missouri, where she graduated from the high-school. Her parents subsequently moved to Texas and, in 1883, they settled at Canadian, Indian Territory. She engaged in teaching at Kiowa. In what is now Pittsburg County, where she met her husband, then a young man just entering the ministry of the Methodist Church. They were married at Canadian, November 15, 1885. The following year, with her husband, she entered Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas, where they labored together as fellow students for two and a half years. Returning to the Indian Territory, her husband resumed active work in the Indian Mission Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Throughout nearly forty years of active service in that ministry she was at once the light of the home, the inspiration of her husband’s efforts and his ever ready fellow laborer and, at the same time, a community leader in all that made for the advancement and upbuilding of the spiritual, intellectual and civic life of the vicinity. Endowed with a gracious personality, a keen mind and a heart filled with charity, she won her way through life by the compelling power of love rather than by stern precept and words of rebuke. Called upon to undergo great suffering during the last days of her life, she faced it calmly and courageously like the splendid pioneer wife and mother that she was.
To Mr. and Mrs. Bryce there were born six sons and two daughters, of whom three sons and the two daughters survive. Her remains were laid to rest in the Highland Cemetery, at Durant. Secretary Bryce has the profound sympathy of his fellow workers on the Society’s staff of employees and also of its Board of Directors, in the bereavement which he and his family have been called upon to undergo.
J. B. T.
R. H. Ellison was born November 25th, 1884, at Lagrange, Indiana, passed away January 10th. 1927 at Okmulgee, Oklahoma, aged 42 years 1 month and fifteen days. He was the son of Rollin and Elizabeth Herbert Ellison. He graduated from the High School of Lagrange. Later graduated from Kalamazoo College, Michigan. Took his law degree from University of Michigan. Ralph H. Ellison was thorough in whatever he did. He possessed one of the most logical minds I have ever known.
Immediately after graduation Mr. Ellison came to Okmulgee and began the practice of law. Soon after his location at Okmulgee he formed a partnership with W. M. Matthews, now of Kansas City. Fourteen years ago he and A. D. Cochran formed a partnership. The firm of Cochran and Ellison soon became known as one of the foremost law firms in Eastern Oklahoma. Their practice was almost exclusively for corporations.
Mr. Ellison was twice married. He was first married to Miss Genevieve Moore in 1909. One child was born to this union, Ralph H. Ellison Jr. Mrs. Ellison died January 9th. 1911. He was married the second time to Miss Grace Butler, eldest daughter of Dr. and Mrs. M. L. Butler of East Oklahoma Conference M. E. Church, South. This union took place June 25th, 1913. One daughter blessed this union, Helen Elizabeth Ellison. The widow, two children, his father, one brother and one sister, and the immediate members of the family who are left, mourn the departure of one of the most noble souls the writer has ever known.
Mr. Ellison united with the Presbyterian Church at Lagrange, Indiana, when only a youth. On his mother’s side he descended from New England Puritan stock. Into his nature from childhood there had been instilled the high ideals of life that manifested themselves in his mature years. After his second marriage, his wife having been raised in a Methodist parsonage, he decided to unite with the M. E. Church, South. He was a warm supporter of the Church, always loyal to its interests. Mr. Ellison was a member of Okmulgee Lodge No. 199 A. F. and A. M. Okmulgee Chapter No. 39 R. A. M., Gethsemane Commandery No. 25, the Elks Lodge, Lion Club and Country Club. He was depended upon by these several organizations as a wise counselor and strong supporter of their principles.
He was the personification of honor. In his home life he was a devoted husband and an indulgent father. He has left to his family a heritage more enduring than gold. The heritage of a good name. The wise man said: "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold." Ralph Ellison chose the good part. Why a man so well equipped for life, one so well qualified to fill a large place in the home life, in social circles and Church activities, as a citizen of the commonwealth and member of a noble profession, should be called away by death so early is one of the impossible mysteries of the present, when hundreds are left who contribute nothing to the welfare of the world. Through long months of suffering and waiting, having been told by his physician he could not recover, there was never a word of repining or complaint, demonstrating the fact that really noble and heroic souls meet the issues of life and death without whimpering.
His body sleeps in the cemetery at Okmulgee but it is only the mortal remains. He lives here in the hearts and lives of loved ones and friends and out there in the Unseen Country he lives and works and plans for those who are left behind with broken hearts waiting for the reunion that must come.
William Wirt Witten, born at Raleigh Court House, Virginia, March 29, 1860, son of Robert W. and Sarah F(Riggs) Witten. In 1866 his father’s family removed to Missouri and in 1867 located in Grundy County. He studied law at Guyandotte, West Virginia, was admitted to the bar in 1880, and located at Trenton, Missouri, where he practiced law and edited the Trenton Times. He was twice elected recorder of deeds for Grundy County.
In 1889 Judge Witten joined in the run into Oklahoma, locating at Oklahoma City, where he became the first police judge after the passage of the act creating a territorial government for Oklahoma Territory. In 1893 his name, among others, was considered by the President
for appointment as governor of the territory at the time Governor Renfro was finally appointed. Later he was appointed clerk of the district court for the district embracing Oklahoma County, serving in that capacity until the opening of the Cherokee Strip, in September, 1893. Later he succeeded Sam Small as editor of the Oklahoman. Afterwards he returned to Missouri and for a time edited the State’s Duty, at St. Louis. In January, 1900, he established his residence at Okmulgee, in the Creek Nation, and continued in the practice of law at that place from that time until his death, September 5, 1326, and was buried at Okmulgee. In 1885 he was married to Miss Nannie L. Harber, of Trenton, Missouri, who survives him.
Dr. Harry Collin Rogers, son of Dr. W. E. and Elizabeth Dodie Battle Rogers, born at Memphis, Tennessee, March 10, 1868. Received degree Doctor of Medicine from the Hospital Medical College of Memphis, Tennessee, which was founded by his father and afterwards converted into the medical department of the University of Tennessee. After graduating. he continued his medical education in New York hospitals and in London, Vienna and Rome. Married Miss Hellen Davis Clayton, daughter of Gen. Henry D. Clayton, of Alabama, on May 30, 1890. Located first in the practice of his profession in Memphis, Tennessee, but in August, 1894, removed to Muskogee, Oklahoma, where he continued In the practice of his medicine until his death on April 11, 1927, an eminent and benevolent physician, and honored and beloved by all who knew him.
Andrew M. Stewart, born in Brazos County, Texas, June 17, 1872 Son of W. M. and Caroline Julia Stewart. Married to Miss Clara King of Throckmorton, Texas, September 5, 1898, to whom were born the following children: Andrew Mansur, Ali Rosa, Clifford Fowler, (deceased), William Marcus. Marguerite, Thomas M. and Elijah King Stewart. Admitted to the bar at Baird, Texas, removed to Oklahoma where he engaged in the practice of law at Mangum, Hollis and Oklahoma City, being engaged in the practice of law at Mangum at the time of his death on May 18, 1927. Member of the Supreme Court Commission for the State of Oklahoma, for years from 1916 to 1918, inclusive. A lawyer of great natural ability and distinction. An active member of the Democratic Party serving as member of County and State Committees.
WHEREAS, Benjamin Augustus Enloe Jr., a former United States Marshal for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, has recently passed away, and,
WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that mention of his life as a worthy officer of this court be made at this time,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that in the death of Benjamin A. Enloe, Jr., Oklahoma has lost one of its prominent citizens who played an important part in the upbuilding of the state in the early days of its existence.
Mr. Enloe was born at Lebanon, Tennessee, February 22, 1872, and was the son of one of the most prominent citizens of that state, his father
having represented his district in the Congress of the United States for a number of years and also serving the state of Tennessee in several important public offices. After his marriage to Miss Gladys Kirkpatrick of Paris, Texas, Enloe came to Oklahoma (then Indian Territory) and established his home at McAlester, where he and his father-in-law, the late H. H. Kirkpatrick, had large property interests. He soon identified with the public affairs of the city and state of his adoption and on April 26th, 1912, was appointed Mayor of McAlester and served in that capacity until August 11th, 1913 when he resigned, having been appointed United States Marshal for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, by President Woodrow Wilson. He served as United States Marshal for two terms and until June, 1921, when he was succeeded by the present incumbent. During his administration as Marshal, the great World War took place and Mr. Enloe played an important and useful part in connection therewith, participating in the various soldier aid drives and serving as a member of the council of defense. While serving as Marshal he made his home at Muskogee, his headquarters, and at the expiration of his term of office he returned to McAlester, where his property interests were important, and at once resumed his place in the civic affairs of the city, at the same time having a deep concern in the public affairs of the state. After the destruction by fire of the principal hotel in McAlester in the fall of 1924, he saw and realized the necessity of another hotel to take the place of the one destroyed and at a great expense and sacrifice he built the "Enloe", which stands to-day as a monument to his enterprise and civic pride in his city. It was during the building of the "Enloe"’ that his health failed and although he made an extended visit to his native state of Tennessee in an effort to regain his health, it was never completely restored and on Friday, April 15, 1927, he passed to the Great Beyond, leaving a wife, Gladys Kirkpartick Enloe, two sons, Kirk and Payton, and one daughter, Adelaide, to mourn his death.
His prominence in political life of the city and state, his genial and courteous disposition and his devotion and loyalty to his many friends stamped him as one of Oklahoma’s worthiest citizens.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of said Court, at my office in Muskogee, in said District, this 21 day of May, 1927.
W. V. McClure
IN THE MATTER OF THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE APPOINTED BY THIS COURT TO PREPARE A STATEMENT AS TO THE LIVES AND ACTIVITIES OF CERTAIN MEMBERS OF THE BAR AND FORMER ATTACHES OF THIS COURT NOW DECEASED.
TO THE HONORABLE ROBERT L. WILLIAMS, JUDGE OF SAID COURT:
Your committee appointed in the above matter begs to report as follows:
James Jackson McAlester was one of the most widely known men and one of the most prominent in business and political affairs within the Indian Territory and State of Oklahoma. In his early life he was captain in the Confederate Army and was Brigadier-General of the Choctaw Division at the time of his death. Politically, he was a member of the Democratic party and was honored with many important offices by his party.
For four years, from 1893 to 1897 he served by appointment by the President of the United States as United States Marshal for the United States Court having jurisdiction over matters within the Choctaw Tribe and its territory. On the entry of this country into statehood he was elected and served a term as member of the Corporation Commission, his term beginning April 22, 1907, and thereafter he was elected Lieutenant-Governor of this state, his term of service beginning January 9, 1911.
James Jackson McAlester made his wide influence felt for good in the upbuilding of the business and political affairs of his Indian Tribe and in the upbuilding of the State of Oklahoma. He was active, energetic, a man of keen mind and great vision. He possessed a sterling character, was honest and fearless in the performance of his duty and his name stands out brightly as one of the great men of his age.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN HACKETT. United States Marshal for the Central District of the Indian Territory from 1901 to 1904, was born October 28, 1844, at what was then known as James Fork, now as Hackett City, Sebastian County, Arkansas, and died at the city of McAlester, Oklahoma on the 2nd day of December, 1920. He was the son of Jeremiah and Sarah Ann Tichnell-Hackett, who came as emigrants from the state of Ohio, and settled in the James Fork country in 1841.
Benjamin F. Hackett, in March, 1863, made his way through the, confederate lines and went north, enlisting at the age of 18 in Company B, Second Kansas Cavalry, in which he served through the war and was mustered out when peace was made without receiving a scratch. After the war was over, he attended school in Ohio for a year, meeting there his future wife, Helen Bradbury, of Middleport, Ohio. They were married in Covington, Kentucky, February 9, 1872.
On, his, return from his year in Ohio, he served for four years as treasurer of Sebastian County, and four years as assessor. At one time he was a deputy sheriff. He was also engaged in the mercantile business and in stock raising. He founded Hackett City and was its, first Mayor.
In 1874 he was authorized by General Buford Armistead to organize a company of militia, and upon its organization he was made its captain. He was afterwards commissioned Major and organized and mustered into service six other companies.
In 1897, he came to the Indian territory, locating at Antlers. Shortly after he came to Antlers, he was commissioned by the late Judge William H. H. Clayton as United States Commissioner. He served in that capacity at Antlers until he was appointed United States Marshal for the Central District of the Indian Territory in 1901. Major Hackett was one of God’s noblemen, pure, clean, upright, a conscientious Christian gentleman. He was a man of very high ideals. Yet he loved men, no matter how temptation, appetite and environment had left their stains upon them. He was the soul of honor and integrity and was a representative of that generation of old school gentlemen that is fast passing away, and which will come again no more.
HENRY L. HAYNES, a member of the bar of this Court, was born in Dover, State of Missouri, March 28, 1845. In his youth he adopted the practice of law as his profession. He was graduated from Miami University, at Oxford, Ohio, in the year 1866. In 1867 he began the practice of law in Lexington, Missouri. On March 11th, 1874 he was married to Miss Fanny Long of Lexington, Missouri. Of this marriage six children were born.
In the year 1889, on the establishment of the first Federal Court in this Indian country, Mr. Haynes came to Muskogee, Indian Territory, and soon afterwards moved to McAlester, where he formed a partnership and where he continued in the practice of law until the time of his death on November 6, 1924.
Henry L. Haynes made for himself an enviable reputation at the bar. He was noted for his thoroughness in the preparation of his cases and his unwearied persistence in the assertion of the right as he saw it. As a citizen of the community he made many friends. An earnest and sincere Christian, he was always at the front in the battle for the principles in which he believed.
CAPTAIN ARCHIBALD SMITH McKENNON was a native of Tennessee. While yet a mere lad, his parents moved to near Carrolton, Arkansas. At 19 years of age he enlisted in the Confederate Army and was First Lieutenant of the 16th Arkansas, Confederate Infantry, later becoming Captain of that Company. His regiment served in Arkansas until after the battle of Pea Ridge, when it was ordered east of the Mississippi River, taking part in the battles along the river until after the battle of Corinth, when losses were so great that it was reorganized.
His regiment fought in the seige of Fort Hudson below Vicksburg, and when the fort fell on July 9, 1863, Captain MeKennon was taken prisoner of war and was confined at Johnson Island until near the close of the war, but was exchanged in time to re-enlist.
In 1864 he was elected sheriff of Carroll County, Arkansas and distinguished himself in the capture of a number of desperate outlaws. After his term as Sheriff expired, he moved to Clarksville and engaged in the mercantile business, but was unsuccessful, and took up the study and practice of law. In this profession he was immediately successful and became one of the most prominent practitioners in Western Arkansas; represented Johnson County, Arkansas, in the Legislature in 1877; was elected Prosecuting Attorney of the Fifth Judicial District of Arkansas in 1878, serving with high distinction two terms of two years each. He also served as one of the Trustees of Hendricks College.
He became more widely and nationally known in 1893 when by President Cleveland he was appointed one of the members of the Dawes Commission to treat with the Five Civilized Tribes of Indians in Indian Territory, now Oklahoma, on which he served until after the death of President McKinley. On this Commission, as in all of his acts, he distinguished himself for ability, impartiality and eminent statesmanship. It was during his service that he and his estimable family, became residents of McAlester, Oklahoma, where he resided until his death on September 20, 1920.
Captain McKennon took a prominent part in church affairs and in later life took special interest in favor of the prohibition movement and in favor of the 18th amendment to the Constitution of the United States, to which movement he devoted unstintingly his time and great talents.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
W. V. McClure,
Edward Daniel Macready, son of Thomas and Eliza Macreadsy born in Roslyn, New York state, March 24, 1849, died at Durant, Oklahoma, May 11. 1927, and was buried in Highland Cemetery. His father having emigrated from England in the early part of the century, located at Roslyn, engaging in farming, and later removed to Hastings County, Province of Ontario. His father’s forebears were related to William Charles
Macready, the actor, and General Macready of the English Army. His mother was Eliza Adams, a member of the New England family of that name. During his boyhood his father’s family removed to Belleville, Ontario, where he was brought up and educated in the public schools and at Albert College, distinguishing himself as a brilliant student especially in mathematics. He was also proficient as an athlete in football, baseball, jumping and pole vaulting. Leaving college before he was sixteen years old and returning to New York State, he enlisted in Company H, Eleventh Regiment, United States Infantry, serving on the Union side throughout the Civil War. After its close he returned to Belleville, Ontario, engaging in teaching, but after a year he returned to the United States and made a horseback tour of the Western states. There he was employed by a railroad company constructing a branch into Arizona, where he experienced the frontier life of those days in railroading and gold mining camps, and also engaged in his vocation as a school teacher in such frontier districts. In the early eighties removing from the West and locating in Grayson County, Texas, he taught school for eight years, where he, in said county, was married to Miss Mattie Goode. As a result of said marriage seven children were born, to-wit: Roy, Eula, Dee, Edward, Linda, Goode and Paul. Roy died in infancy and Linda in girlhood. In the early, nineties settling at Noble, in Cleveland County, he taught school there for several years and later at Purcell. About 1903 he located in what is now Bryan County, Oklahoma, teaching at Silo, Mead, Kiersey, Kingston and other points in what is now the southeast part of the state, until about three years prior to his death, when he retired on account of advanced age. A successful teacher possessing both a fine scholarship and magnetic personality, and an understanding of child psychology, he was not inclined toward corporal punishment as a method of discipline, resorting to it only when other means had failed. To his broad sympathy his pupils responded and loved him, many of them keeping in touch with him long after they had gone out in the world and become successful men and women. Appreciating proficiency in English literature, there being but few libraries either public or private in that early day in the new country, he endeavored to remedy such conditions. At the close of each school year he distributed many books as premiums to his pupils for good conduct and proficiency as students. At Noble, in addition to his school teaching he edited and published the Noble Picayune and at Kingston in the Choctaw Nation the Helen Herald, the town of Kingston then being known as Helen. He displayed marked merit as a poet, but his poems hitherto have only been published in newspapers. His "Idyl of Spring" is comparable to William Cullen Bryant’s "To a Waterfowl." In his lovely "Dream Valley’ he illustrates the weird, brooding spell of the Sonora Desert. Educator, poet, orator, and fine citizen, politically he sided with and followed those in New York State who were adherents of Martin Van Buren, Silas Wright, Samuel J. Tilden and those composing the Albany Regency.
Yancey Lewis was born at Gonzales, Gonzales County, Texas, August 24, 1861, and died at the age of fifty-four years in Dallas, Texas, May 10, 1915. He was the fourth of nine children born to Judge Everett Lewis and Alice Josephine Lewis. His mother was a Missourian by birth, of Scotch. Irish and English descent. Everett Lewis, his father, was a Mississippian by birth, of Irish, Welch, Holland and Dutch descent, the Lewis name be-
ing handed down, from a Welchman who fought in Marion’s Army during the American Revolution. This branch of the family migrated from Virginia down through North Carolina to Mississippi and from there to Texas. Dverett Lewis was a lawyer by profession and was elected for number of years District Judge of the Gonzales District. Yancey Lewis was married to Miss Lulie Sanford of Lexington, Kentucky. One child, a son, was born of this marriage. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife and son, who at this time reside in Dallas, Texas, and by one sister and his brother, Thomas H. Lewis, who is at this time County Attorney of Matagorda County, Texas.
Yancey Lewis grew to manhood in Gonzales, Texas. He attended the grade schools in that city and in the year 1878 entered Emory-Henry College, Washington County, Virginia, from which institution he later graduated. Lewis entered the law department of the University of Texas at Austin, Texas, in the fall of 1883, and graduated from the institution with the law degree in the year 1885. For a short time after his graduation from the University of Texas he was associated in the practice of law with his father at Gonzales, Texas. In the year 1887 he moved to Gainesville, Texas, and for a short time thereafter was associated with L. H. Mathis in the practice of law under the firm name of Lewis and Mathis. Upon the dissolution of this firm Yancey Lewis became associated in the practice of law with Joseph Weldon Bailey and Charles B. Stuart under the firm name of Bailey, Stuart and Lewis, composing one of the strongest firms in North Texas. At a later date Joseph W. Bailey was elected to Congress from the Fifth Congressional District of Texas. Charles B. Stuart, in 1893, was appointed United States Judge for the Central District of the Indian Territory and Yancey Lewis moved from Gainesville, Texas, to Ardmore, Indian Territory, and formed a partnership with Judge C. L. Herbert. During the year 1895, Charles B. Stuart resigned as Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of the Indian Territory and President Cleveland appointed Yancey Lewis to fill out his unexpired term. Judge Lewis assumed the duties of this office December 30, 1895, and presided as judge of that court until June 1, 1897, at which time he was succeeded by Judge William H. H. Clayton. As Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of the Indian Territory, Judge Lewis became ex officio Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals for the Indian Territory this court being composed of the United States District Judges for the various districts of the Indian Territory. For a time after his retirement from the Federal Bench Judge Lewis was associated in the practice of law with Judge C. B. Stuart and James H. Gordon of South McAlester, Indian Territory, under the firm name of Stuart, Lewis and Gordon. In September, 1900, Judge Lewis returned to his native state to become professor in the law school at the University of Texas. In September, 1902, he was elected Dean of the Law Faculty of that institution and held that position until 1904 when he resigned to re-enter the practice of law.
After casting about for a time for a suitable location he decided to locate in Dallas, Texas, and form a partnership with Judge Nelson Phillips. Judge Phillips was later appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas. March 10, 1916, in Dallas, Texas. Judge Lewis succumbed to disease from which he had been suffering for several years.
Judge Yancey Lewis was a man of distinctive personality and of prepossessing appearance, over six feet in height, erect of carriage, dignified of manner, with classical features which reflected the brilliance of
his mind, and easily commanded attention in any gathering of men. Yancey Lewis was a man of versatile attainments, thorough in many branches of learning. He possessed refinement and polish without arrogance and austerity; in his presence the humblest and most unlettered person was made to feel at ease. As an ornate orator he had few equals and possibly no superiors; his oratory was of the studied, finished style, his diction pure, elegant and chaste. His delivery was superb. His manner was easy and graceful, and his magnificent voice poured out in deep musical notes that thrilled and held his audience as under hypnotic spell.
As a public speaker, Judge Lewis was much in demand. One among many of the notable public addresses made by him was delivered at Austin, Texas, March 2, 1903, the subject of that address being "The True Spirit for Independence Day". This oration is a classic.
As a private citizen, as a lawyer, and as a judge, Yancey Lewis was a model man in every sense that term implies. He was a forceful and eloquent advocate, and a successful trial lawyer. As a judge he knew the law and had the courage to declare it. He was a just judge. His private life was pure and immaculate. His public service was of the highest order. What more need be said of any man.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
W. V. McClure
Fielding Lewis was born at Marmion, King George County, Virginia, April 9, 1867, and was the only son of Fielding Lewis and Imogene Green Lewis and came to South McAlester, Indian Territory, (now McAlester, Pittsburg County, Oklahoma) about the year 1891 where he died on November 9, 1908. He was a direct descendant of illustrious families of Revolutionary days, being the great-great grandson of Fielding Lewis who married Betty Washington, the only sister of General George Washington, the first president of the United States; his mother being the grand daughter of the third governor of Maryland, a grandson of General Uriah Forrest of revolutionary fame.
"Mormion", where the subject of this article was born, was built in 1670 by Colonel William Henry Fitzhugh, who later sold it to Major George Lewis, son of Fielding Lewis and Betty Washington Lewis, and is now the property of Mrs. Carter Grymes, sister of Fielding Lewis, having been in the possession of the Lewis family from the date of its purchase from Colonel Fitzhugh to the present.
The boyhood days of Fielding Lewis were spent at Marmion where
he was taught by private instructors, one of whom was Miss Virgie Patterson, who afterwards married Col. J. D. Bradford and came to South McAlester, Colonel Bradford being General Manager of the Choctaw Coal &c Railway Company, now a part of the Rock Island System. A about the age of fifteen years Fielding was sent to St. John’s Military School at Alexandria, Virginia, and after four years at that school he entered Georgetown University Law School in the Agricultural Department at Washington, D. C. He graduated from the law school at the age of 22 years and afterwards took a post-graduate course in the same institution. Upon being admitted to the Bar he located in Richmond Virginia, and engaged in the practice of law, remaining there only a short time. Colonel and Mrs. Bradford who were then living in the India Territory, about the year 1891, persuaded Lewis to cast his lot with them in a new and coming country of the West. Arriving at South McAlester he was at first employed in one of the departments of the railroad of which Colonel Bradford was manager. He had been in the employ of the rail road company only a short time when he was appointed Deputy United States Clerk for the second division of the United States Court in the Indian Territory, serving under Joe W. Phillips, United States Clerk of said court. When the Act of Congress of March 1st. 1895, (28 Stat. 693) was passed and approved and the Indian Territory divided into three judicial districts with a judge over each district, an appellate court was provided for and Lewis was appointed the first Clerk of the India Territory Court of Appeals. He served as such clerk until a change in the national administration brought with it a change in the personnel of the court and consequently a new clerk. Leaving the office of clerk h entered the practice of law, forming a partnership with William J. Horton, at present an honored member of the McAlester bar. Lewis having in the year 1896 married Lidy Elliot daughter of Col. and Mrs. Georg Elliot, U. S. A., was compelled on account of the health of his wife to leave McAlester and was away for almost a year and the partnership with Horton was dissolved. After his wife’s death in 1901, Lewis returned to McAlester and again entered the practice of law, forming partnership with J. G. Harley which was dissolved upon Lewis, election as Mayor of McAlester, in which office he served during the years 1902 and 1903. After serving as Mayor he again engaged in the practice of his profession and was so engaged at the coming of statehood in 1907 Lewis was made Assistant Attorney General of Oklahoma under General West, the first Attorney General of the State. After serving as Assistant Attorney General for about a year or less he resigned and returned to McAlester and became a member of the law firm of Stuart and Gordon composed of Judge C. B. Stuart, now of Oklahoma City, and Judge James H. Gordon of McAlester, Oklahoma. It was shortly after becoming a member of the firm of Stuart, Gordon & Lewis that he became ill and died as a result of ptomaine poisoning contracted from eating unwholesome food while on a business trip to the Southeastern part of the state.
Fielding Lewis was a man of rare ability and attainments. With profound knowledge of the principles of law, studious and painstaking coupled with a genial disposition, he was a wise counsellor and convincing orator. Springing from an illustrious ancestry he was sure of his standing and at all times appeared the man that he was. Whether in the court room engaged in heated conflict, or in the street mingling with his fellow man, or in the drawing room amongst his intimate friend and associates, at no time did he ever make a display of superiority, or lose that courtly bearing which so marks the true gentleman. The early
history of Eastern Oklahoma is replete with the names of many men of unusual ability and lofty character, men Who played an important part in shaping and upbuilding the splendid citizenship we now enjoy in this new state, and amongst those names must be inscribed the name of Fielding Lewis, a worthy son of illustrious sires.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
W . V. McClure
Thomas F. Memminger was born August 22, 1859, near Wheeling, West Virginia, died at Atoka, Oklahoma, March 30, 1927, and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Wheeling, West Virginia.
He was the second of ten children born to William and Caroline Metzger Memminger. His father was born in Germany, in 1827, and after a short residence in Switzerland, came to America, settling in Baltimore, then in Wheeling, West Virginia, where he still resides. His mother was also born in Germany, coming to this country with her parents in her childhood.
Thomas F. Memminger received his education in the local public schools and at Frasher’s Business College, in Wheeling. On reaching his majority, he went to Clinton, Iowa, where he engaged in business for a couple of years, removing in 1884 to Madison County, Nebraska, becoming cashier of the bank at Tilden. In 1887, he was elected County Treasurer of Madison County, and in 1889 re-elected. In 1895, he became private secretary to the late Wm. V. Allen, U. S. Senator from Nebraska. He returned to Nebraska in 1896 and became vice-president of the Madison State Bank, at Madison, later becoming president of said bank and also of the First National Bank of Elgin and of the Citizen’s National Bank of Norfolk. While residing at Madison, he was president of the Madison Publishing Company, and one of the organizers of the Madison County Diving Park Association. He also became vice-president of the Elkhorn Life and Accident Insurance Company, of Norfolk, Nebraska, and so continued until his death.
He represented Madison County for two terms in the State Legislature and received mention as a likely candidate for Governor of Nebraska. He was also a member of the Nebraska State Democratic Committee and chairman of the Madison County Committee.
He removed to the Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory, in 1906, residing one year at Durant, but in 1905 located at Atoka which was his home until his death.
At the organization of the state of Oklahoma, in 1907, he was elected state senator and served in that capacity two terms (1907-1914)
and was again elected state senator in 1922 and served a full term (1923-1926) He was chairman of the first Democratic Central Committee of Atoka County, and in 1916 a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, St. Louis.
On the organization of the Atoka State Bank, in 1906, he became Its president and continued in that capacity until his death. He was one of the organizers of the Atoka Building and Loan Association, being its president from the beginning until his death, and one of the organizers and owners of the Atoka Press, which controlled the Indian Citizen Democrat, newspaper.
Notwithstanding his banking connections, his chief interest always was in farming. He was president of the Atoka County Federal Farm Loan Association and also president of the Atoka County Free Fair Association.
During the World War he was active in the Liberty Loan drives and Red Cross work, being head of the Atoka County Red Cross membership drive and a member of the National War Work Committee for the Southern Military Department, clerk of the Atoka city schools for a number of years and one of the organizers and members of the Atoka Lions club; held membership in the Masonic Lodge, the Elks, the W. O. W., Izaak Walton League and other organizations, was a member of the Presbyterian church and treasurer of the aboard of trustees.
He was married at Norfolk, Nebraska, on October 28, 1890, to Miss Margaret Burrows, who survives him, together with a son, Charles Burrows Memminger, and a daughter, Martha Riley Memminger, and one granddaughter, Martha Jean Memminger. His was a life of service.
Thomas Venable, born in Marshall County, Tennessee, May 13, 1843, died in Bryan County, Oklahoma, February 16, 1924.
He was a gallant soldier during the Civil War in Company A, 11th Tennessee Cavalry, under Gen. N. B. Forrest. After its close he settled in North Texas. In 1887 he removed to Panola County, Chickasaw Nation, afterward embraced within Bryan County, where he resided until his death. He was an early pioneer of prominence and local leadership.