Chronicles of Oklahoma

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Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 6, No. 3
September, 1928

Page 395


Finis E. Folsom (Bub) was born Nov. 10th, 1852, in Blue County, Indian Territory, in what is now Bryan County, Oklahoma. He was the youngest son of Lovica Nail Folsom and Rev. Isreal Folsom. The Folsom family has always been closely associated with the early and important history of Mississippi and Indian Territory. Their ancestors came from England and settled originally in the New England states. Two brothers came south as Indian traders and married in the Choctaw tribe.

Mr. Folsom received his education in the neighborhood schools of the Choctaws, and at the historic Choctaw school for boys, Spencer Academy, near Caddo. Several winters were spent in Washington when a young lad with his mother and father, when his father was a delegate there for his tribe, looking after important matters.

After the death of his father he continued to live with his mother at the old homestead for many years. He was a successful farmer, and stock raiser, having hundreds of acres in cultivation, and miles of pasture for the grazing of his cattle.

In 1878 he married Mollie Pitchlynn, daughter of Lycurgus Pitchlynn, a nephew of the noted Peter P. Pitchlynn. Their surviving children are Mrs. Lake Brewer, Mrs. Jewel Oakley, Mrs. Jim Thompson, Columbus and Hoyle. Mrs. Folsom died June 15, 1910. In 1918, Mr. Folsom married Miss Minnie Blair. One child was born to that union, Everett P.

Mr. Folsom was always interested in politics. He served as clerk of Blue County for a number of years. Was a Mason, and a member of the Presbyterian Church. His death occurred July 28th, 1928, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Lake Brewer in Caddo, at the age of 78 years.

A beloved pioneer of the old Indian Territory has gone to his reward. Like his ancestors he left an impress on his community that will be permanent, for he was of the sturdy, substantial type of the early day pioneer settler.

Mrs. C. A. Bates, of Durant, and Mrs. A. M. Colbert,

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of Oklahoma City, sisters of the deceased, are the only immediate surviving members of the family.

C. C. C.


H. W. SAWYER, veteran newspaper man and pioneer resident of the Cherokee Strip, died at the home of his son, Arthur Sawyer, in California, April 11, 1928. The body was brought to Enid for burial. The farm which Mr. Sawyer staked the day of the opening is now a residential section west of Phillips University campus. Five days after the opening, Mr. Sawyer and a number of friends published the first issue of the Enid Enterprise, the first daily paper in that locality.

At a later date Mr. Sawyer was publisher of the Oklahoma Illustrated News. He served many terms on the city school board, being an ardent booster for educational institutions. Mr. Sawyer was one of a small group of men who was responsible for the location in Enid of the Oklahoma Christian University, the name of which was changed to Phillips University.


H. O. TENER, 58 years old, long prominent in state affairs, died at his home in Oklahoma City, Monday morning, June 18, 1928.

Mr. Tener was elected delegate to the Constitutional convention, from Dewey county, where he settled on coming to the state.

Mr. Tener was elected delegate to the Constitutional convention, from state and framing the laws that govern the people of Oklahoma.

Shortly after the convention had accomplished its work, Mr. Tener moved to Pottawatomie county, settling in Shawnee; from that county he served three terms as legislator. Governor C. N. Haskell appointed him member of the State Board of Health, where he served with distinction.

Mr. Tener is survived by his wife, three sons and one daughter, whose names are as follows: daughter, Kathryn, Paul K., Raymond S., and John G., all of whom are worthy citizens of Oklahoma.


ARTHUR WALCOTT, former United States Commissioner and a pioneer of Ardmore, died early Sunday morning, July 15th, 1928.

Mr. Walcott had been in bad health for several months, having suffered a stroke of paralysis in May, from which he had not recovered. The funeral rites were conducted at 4 o’clock from the family residence by Rev. Joseph Caden, rector of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church.

Arthur Walcott was born March 14, 1869 at Pilot Point, Texas; which town was founded by his parents at an early day. Here Mr. Walcott received his education in the public schools and Franklin college.

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He came to Ardmore in an early day and studied law under Alex Eddleman. During the Cleveland administration he was appointed United States Commissioner, after which he devoted his time to the management of his farms in that locality, and a ranch in the Wichita mountains.

Mr. Walcott was son-in-law of Dr. D. M. Hailey, having married Miss Lutie, daughter of Dr. D. M. and Mrs. Hailey several years ago.

The Walcott family is prominently identified with the history and development of Ardmore and vicinity both socially and in a civic and business way. Mrs. Walcott is one of the pioneer clubwomen of the city and has been president of the Chickasaw chapter of the United Daughter of the Confederacy for twenty consecutive years.

Mr. Walcott’s mother died last May, leaving as the only immediate surviving member of the family a sister, Mrs. Tom Moore of Olustee, Oklahoma. He has one son, Dan Hailey Walcott of Enid, and the following daughters; Mrs. Duncan Wood, St. Louis, Mo.; Mrs. Mitchell Jones, Ardmore; Mrs. Robert J. Bell, McAlester, and Miss Lutie Tom Walcott, of Ardmore.


JUDGE CLARENCE HERDON HOWE, dean of the Choctaw County Bar Association, died at his home in Hugo Sunday morning, July 1st, 1928.

The Judge had been confined to his bed several weeks, his health having been on the decline for a number of years.

Judge Howe was born in Rome, Georgia, June 3, 1860, and moved to Sebaston County, Arkansas, while still a small boy. While in Arkansas he was deputy tax assessor, deputy county clerk, and county clerk, during this time he was studying law. He was admitted to the bar in Arkansas the year 1897.

The Judge was married to Miss Lula Scott McEachin, of Midland, Arkansas, the year 1884; his wife survives him.

Judge Howe moved to Hugo, Oklahoma, in 1903, and became attorney for the Frisco railroad, which was then under construction through Indian Territory.

He was a democrat of the old school and took an active part in political and civic affairs in Hugo, and the southeast part of the Territory. His most outstanding achievement, doubtless, was the part he took in leading the fight for statehood in Indian Territory in 1907, and winning the county seat designation for Hugo.

His body was buried in the Mount Olivet cemetery at Hugo, July 3, 1928.


WILLIAM EDGAR CROWDER, son of Christopher Crowder, and Rose Beams Crowder, born March 7, 1862, at Pea Ridge Arkansas, on 2nd day of battle of Pea Ridge. The house in which he was born having caught fire during the battle, the mother and infant were rescued by neighbors, his father being then engaged on the side of the Confederacy in said battle. Educated in the local common schools and at Cane Hill

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College in Arkansas; studied medicine at Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., graduating in 1888, and receiving the degree of Doctor of Medicine. Immediately after his graduation he located in the practice of medicine at Canadian, Indian Territory, where he enjoyed an extensive practice extending over a large section of the country, being local surgeon for the M. K. & T. Railroad Company. On the building of the Ft. Smith & Western railroad in 1902 he founded the town of Crowder at the intersection of said road with the M. K. & T. Railroad where he laid out such townsite, and where he resided continuously until his death on January 13th, 1928. He was not only a prominent physician, but an honored and useful citizen, serving in practically every important office touching the town’s affairs, and was an active and prominent member of the democratic party, exercising important voice in its councils. On the 16th day of January, 1906, he was married to Mrs. W. M. Roberts, of Linden, Tennessee, (whose maiden name was Nora Dickson), and their domestic circle at Crowder was one of complete happiness until interrupted by his death. Dr. Crowder had previously been married, and by that marriage one son was born, R. S. A. Crowder, who is now residing at Britts Landing, Tennessee. From his second marriage two children were born, J. D. Crowder and T. Dan Crowder, both of whom reside with their mother at the Crowder home in Crowder, Oklahoma.


WILLIE W. WILSON, son of John and Jane Wilson, born in the Choctaw Nation on April 11, 1857, in a two-room log cabin near old Wheelock Academy and one-half mile distant from old stone Presbyterian church founded by the Rev. Alfred Wright in 1846. His father, a half breed Choctaw Indian, was born in Jackson County, Mississippi, in 1827, and his mother, Jane Wilson, who was also a member of the same tribe of Indians, was born in Mississippi in 1837. They were married at old Doaksville, in the Choctaw Nation, in 1851. His father was County Judge of Towson County and held other offices under the Choctaw Government. Willie W. Wilson married Rosana Williams in 1878, who died within a short time, one child, Reuben, being born, but not surviving his father. In 1882 he married Nanny Carney, who died in 1905, leaving one child, Oscar Wilson, surviving him, and one grandchild by name of Clarence Wilson, survives him. In 1906, after the death of his second wife, he married Ollie Biard, from which union came William Ward Wilson and Ollie Jane Wilson, both of whom survive him, the former being a mechanical engineer student at Southern Methodist University at Dallas, Texas, and the latter having graduated from North Dallas High School in June, 1928. Col. Willie W. Wilson attended the primitive school near old Wheelock, taught immediately after the Civil War by Miss Jane Austin, who afterwards became the wife of Jackson McCurtain, Principal Chief or Governor of the Choctaw Nation. When only 14 years of age he attended Spencer Academy when it was located about 10 miles north of Ft. Towson, it then being a mission school supported by the Presbyterian Church. After finishing the course at that school he engaged in farming and the cattle business, which he continued for over forty years, at intervals being also engaged in banking and the mercantile business. In 1915 he was appointed by Governor Williams as

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a Colonel on his staff and qualified as such. He had five brothers, all of whom, including himself, were prominent in the political and business affairs of the Choctaw Nation, except one, to-wit, Charles, who died before reaching his majority, as follows, towit: John, Rafe, Ed, and Louis. He had two sisters, to-wit, Hatty and Nanny, but none of them survive him. However, many of their descendants are living within the bounds of Oklahoma. At twenty-one years of age he was elected to the Choctaw Council. and later was elected a Senator. He also served several terms as Auditor and Treasurer of the Choctaw Nation, and on many occasions his name was prominently mentioned for and he was urged to become a candidate as Principal Chief, but he was a modest man and deferred to the ambitions of others. He frequently served on commissions on the part of the Choctaw Nation in negotiating with the agencies of the Federal Government.

He died at Ft. Towson, Oklahoma, July 1, 1924, and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Paris, Texas. He is survived by his wife, Ollie Biard Wilson, who is temporarily domiciled in Dallas, Texas, for the purpose of educating her two children. He was a member of the Church of Christ and possessed the love and confidence of the Indians in the surrounding country, as well as that of the white population.


DR. J. J. WILLIAMS was born at Wheatland, Missouri, April 8, 1867. Departed this life at Clinton, Oklahoma, May 17th, 1928. His elementary schooling was obtained in the schools of Eldorado, Missouri. He received an A. B. degree at Southwest Baptist College, his work in pre-medics he had in Valparaiso University in Indiana, and was graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons University of Illinois, in 1893.

In 1892 he married Miss Tena T. Milliken, whose parents were also pioneer citizens of Weatherford. Dr. Williams had his first practice at Cross Timbers, Missouri, later moving to Bollivar, Missouri, from which place he and Mrs. Williams came to Custer county, Oklahoma, even before the town of Weatherford, was started. He homesteaded a claim south and west of Weatherford and at the same time practiced medicine. He served far and near, ministering unto those who were ill and encouraging those who were discouraged as they faced the responsibility of building up a new country. Dr. Williams was instrumental in getting Southwestern State Teachers’ College located at Weatherford; he was elected to the first two senates following statehood, serving from 1907 to 1911, and while in the senate he introduced the bill which provided for Science Hall. He has ever been a real friend for the school and many of the advantages enjoyed never could have been attained without his splendid efforts. In 1905 he was elected mayor of Weatherford and served for four years. He was a member of the State Board of Medical Examiners for eight years, serving as president of the board for four years and as secretary-treasurer fox four years. At the time of his death he was surgeon for the Rock Island and Pacific railroads.

Dr. Williams was a member of Western Star Lodge No. 138, A. F. & A. M., a Knights Templar, Mason, a member of the Consistory and the Shrine. Dr. Williams served as a sergeant for the S. A. T. C. during the

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world war. He was a charter member of Weatherford Post No. 91, American Legion, served as Post Commander during 1924 and service officer in the years 1925, 1926, 1927, and up to the time of his death in 1928. He was a charter member of the Weatherford Rotary Club and practiced the principles of Rotary in his life. Dr. Williams was also a member of the Men’s Bible Class of the Federated Church and possessed a very perfect attendance record.

In his unselfish service far and near Dr. Williams has built up many warm and lasting friendships throughout the entire state. As one of the early pioneers many have come to depend upon his council and advice, and in his loss to the community none other can be found to take his place. He leaves his wife, Mrs. Tena T. Williams, two sons, Rankin, who for several years has been director of athletics in the college here; Gordon, who is now serving an internship at Polyclinic Institute, New York City, having been graduated from the School of Medicine at the University of Oklahoma a year ago; and Miss J. J., the only daughter, who is in high school in Weatherford. Numerous other relatives and a host of friends in whose hearts through service, he has builded a monument more lasting than marble or brass—for the grateful memory of mankind will cherish his memory when all monumental structures shall have sunk beneath the dust.


To the President and House of Delegates of the Oklahoma State Medical Association:

We, your committee of resolutions, beg to submit the following:

Whereas, on May 1st, 1928, the Almighty in his wisdom, saw fit to remove from our midst Dr. J. J. Williams of Weatherford, Oklahoma, one of our outstanding citizens, statesmen and physicians, who has rendered such an unselfish service to this state, one of their pioneers in the medical profession, Dr. Williams did great work in our State Senate, where he was foremost in writing the medical practice acts which constitute our present statutes in constructive medical practice in Oklahoma. In Dr. Williams’ death organized medicine has lost one of its most loyal friends and a wise counsellor; so be it

Resolved, Therefore, that we extend to the bereaved family and to his community our sincere sympathy as we unite with them in sorrow at this great loss.

Respectfully submitted by your committee.






DR. J. F. MESSENBAUGH, for twenty-eight years a prominent practitioner of Oklahoma City, died June 19, 1928, after several months’ illness, the cause of his death being peritonitis.

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Dr. Messenbaugh was born 55 years ago, graduating from Washington University Medical School in 1898, after which he took his postgraduate work in Chicago, New York and New Orleans. Moving to Oklahoma City in 1900, he acquired a large clientele and always held the admiration and respect of his colleagues. He was married to Miss Laura Whisler in 1907, and is survived by his widow, who is prominent in school and club work, and two children, Edith, Fine Arts student at Oklahoma City University, and Joe, Medical student in the same school.

Dr. Messenbaugh, in addition to his professional work, always tools great interest in civic affairs and was one of the men who made Oklahoma City a more worth while place to live. He was elected to the Mayorality in 1904, by a large majority, and served in that office until 1907. He was president of the Washington University Alumni Association, and since his location in Oklahoma has been a member of the Oklahoma County, the State and the American Medical associations, besides holding membership in other special scientific bodies. His passing is sincerely mourned by a host of friends who realized his fitness. His city and state sustained a great loss in his untimely passing.

Who Gave His Best
Thou art gone, dear Friend,
But thy lamp still burns.
Across our path, death doth send
A shadow, but thy gracious memory
Shines without end.
Thy love-light is Eternal,
Thou hast slipped away so silently,
That, with the years of long and weary toil
We can but call to mind,
Thy loving, lingering message:
To those who trust their God,
For them, to die is but to live again.
Friend of the Friendless, Brother of Mankind,
Thine ever helpful hands do rest,
As with our heads uncrowned
We speak no sad farewell,
But say adieu to him—Who gave his best.

—By H. Coulter Todd.

To my friend Dr. J. F. Messenbaugh.


“DOC” MONRONRY, builder. This might be the simple adjective to describe the life of A. E. Monroney, Oklahoma pioneer and civic worker.

Almer E. Monroney was born 56 years ago in Soldier, Kan., the son of Sylvester Monroney, a Union veteran, of Indiana, and Elizabeth Buckless Monroney. Early in childhood he moved with his family to Carmi. Ill., where he received a grade school education. Completing grade school, he went to work to support his mother and two sisters as a miller’s apprentice. This work took him to Louisiana where he met Daisy Stillwell. who became his wile in 1895.

In 1891 he joined the hordes of young men who emigrated to the

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new Oklahoma and began work polishing stoves for $1 a day. In1895 with William Schweinle he established the “Doc & Bill” Furniture Co. ,at 8-10 W. Grand Ave. From a capital of $100, the business grew until at his death the concern had assets of $250,000. He was the “Doc,” and Schweinle, now deceased, was “Bill.” As the business grew, the pioneer name was retained because of the sentiment and good will borne by the firm title. At the time of his death, July 29th, 1928, Monroney was president and majority owner of the business.

Buried in Fairlawn cemetery, Monroney lies in a burial park that claimed his time for 15 years. For a time he was chairman of the cemetery board and encouraged the beautification of Fairlawn. New methods to guard the funds for perpetual care of the burial park were instituted during his service on the board.

He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, Oklahoma City, for many years, and gave loyal and faithful service to various offices of trust to which he was called. He was also a past director and much esteemed member of the Rotary Club.

Monuments to his civic zeal will stand against all time. It was Monroney who was campaign manager for the first big bond issue put over in Oklahoma City. The city reservoir, Lake Overholser, the mammoth dam and conduit system all resulted from the successful campaign waged by him.

The first non-partisan movement for improved city government was launched with Monroney at its head. He was chairman of “The Voters League,” from which grew the present non-partisan city groups.

The state fair claimed his time when as director for several years, he aided in drives to keep the fair open. Monroney’s name appears on the State Capitol cornerstone. As grand master of the Oklahoma Grand Lodge, he officiated at the laying of the cornerstone.

The magnificent Masonic temple stands also as a tribute to his tireless efforts to erect the structure. As chairman of the building board, Monroney served during the building and the subsequent refinancing of the temple. He served the Masonic bodies from Master of the Blue Lodge, commander of the Knights Templar, Potenate of the Shrine, Representative of the Building Board for Cyrus Chapter Number 7, Patron of the Eastern Star, to Grand Master of the Grand Lodge.

He also served the Chamber of Commerce, being a director at the time of death. For more than 15 years he was in constant work, most of this time as a director. For one term he served as its president. He also headed the City Retailers Association.

The Oklahoma Railway Co. claimed his service also when he was made one of the directors at the reorganization of the company. He served for four years as a director of the Fidelity National Bank. “Doc” Monroney, the builder, is his honor name.

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