Chronicles of Oklahoma

Skip Navigation

Electronic Publishing Center
Oklahoma Historical Society
Chronicles Homepage
Search all Volumes
Copyright 2001
Purchase an Issue

Table of Contents Index Volume List Search All Volumes Home

Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 6, No. 4
December, 1928

Page 532


EXTUS LEROY GAY, the subject of this sketch, was born in Ohio the year 1862, during the troublous days of the Civil War. His death occurred October 28, 1928, at his home in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

In 1891 Mr. Gay was married to Miss Alice Crawmer in Wichita, Kansas, moving shortly afterwards to El Reno, Oklahoma, where he established the El Reno Democrat. He first came to Oklahoma in 1889, locating in No Man’s Land, the Oklahoma Pan Handle, now Beaver County. He served during the first and second Territorial Legislature as chief clerk. During his residence in the state of Oklahoma he had control of several Democratic papers at different times, all of which were strong advocates of democracy.

Mr. Gay was a useful citizen of the state and community, always actively engaged in the interest of affairs looking to the betterment of conditions generally.

Mr. Gay is survived by his wife and one daughter, Miss Leah, two sons, Thurman of Wichita, Kansas; and Elgin, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Funeral services were conducted from the Johnson Chapel Sunday afternoon at three o’clock, Rev. Robert Lehew, former pastor of the local Methodist Church, assisted by Rev. W. A. Erwin.

J. Y. B.


JUDGE ARTHUR R. GARRET, dean of the Greer County bar and one of the foremost of Oklahoma attorneys, died at Sulphur at eight-thirty o’clock Sunday night, after a long illness.

Funeral services were conducted at the First Methodist Church, of which the deceased had long been a member, at ten o’clock Wednesday morning. The service being conducted by Rev. J. W. Sims of Beggs, Oklahoma, a former pastor of the local church, assisted by Rev. C. A. German pastor of the church. Interment was made in Riverside.

Arthur R. Garrett had been a regular practitioner in the courts here since 1888. His career was a long and varied one, filled with honor to himself and his family. Mainly through his own efforts he rose to a position of leadership at the bar and was respected in every courtroom in which he appeared, for his fairness, honorable conduct, deep learning in the law, and fidelity to the trusts reposed in him.

Born in Campbell County, Georgia, on May 27, 1859, he was the son of Lelum L. Garrett, of Irish ancestry, the family having originally come from Ireland to North Carolina, and a branch of it drifting into Georgia.

Arthur R. Garrett was reared on his father’s home farm in Campbell County, Georgia, to the age of 18, and in 1877 he went to Coryell County, Texas, where he worked on a farm for eight months. He went from there to Wise County, Texas, and farmed for about six months, and then returned to the family home in Georgia, where he spent a year. He then went back to Texas, settling in Smith County, and then moved to Pinto County, where he taught school for six years. In 1887 Mr. Garrett came to Greer County, then a part of Texas, and opened the first public school ever held in what is now the State of Oklahoma, conducting a small

Page 533

school in a dug-out with about twenty-five pupils. It was while thus engaged that he undertook the study of law, and in 1888 was admitted to the bar before Judge Frank Willis. In the same year he began practice in Mangum, and had carried on a general practice here ever since.

In 1912 Mr. Garrett was elected to the office of county attorney, and in 1914 was re-elected to another term of two years. He established a record for vigorous prosecution and represented the state in some of the most famous criminal trials in the history of the county, including the noted McDaniels murder case. After retiring from the county attorney’s office he was employed as special counsel in a number of important prosecutions. He was a member of the County and State Bar Associations, and was always active in affairs of the Democratic party, with which he was affiliated.

Mr. Garrett was a member of the Methodist Church and fraternally he was associated with the Elks and Masons. He held important offices in the local Masonic lodge for a number of years.

Mr. Garrett was married in Wise County, Texas, to Miss Kate Argo, a native of Campbell County, Georgia. She died on July 4, 1898, in Mangum, leaving six children. They are Hattie, who married S. L. Lanier and lives in Granite; Chester, a farmer in Missouri; Coke, living in Oswego, Kansas; Clytie, who married P. W. Lee and lives on a farm near Granite; Ross, who lives in Yakima, Washington; and Paul, who was one of the first Oklahomans killed in the World War and for whom Paul Garrett Post, American Legion, was named.

Mr. Garrett was married on December 7, 1899, to Miss Jessie H. Hart, of Mangum. Four children were born to this union. Miss Rada, who lives in Elk City; Miss Agnes teache in Mangus city schools; Foster is employed in the B. & M. store ; Margaret Ann attends school in the city.


LINTA BRUNER was about eighty-seven years of age. He was born and raised fifteen miles southeast of Okmulgee, near the town of Hitichita. He enlisted in the army the same day that I did, at the old Creek Agency, below Muskogee. That was where the regiment was mustered in. He remained a faithful soldier all through the war, and was always very punctual to obey all orders. In returning from his refugee trip to the Red River, he located on the Canadian River about six miles southeast of Lamar and there he was converted and baptized and became a member of the Baptist Church. He lived to be a very old man, consistently serving, you might say, his Second Captain, the Captain of his Salvation. Not a mean word, not even a single one, that he ever spoke has ever been told—wonderful record, to live such a consistent Christian. He was the leading deacon of the Middle Creek Church. The last words he spoke to his sons before he died, were: “I am going, but I am going slowly,” just like any man who had no obstacles before him, but just gradually leaving his people, and a few moments after that, he passed away, last April.

His memorial service was held later at Middle Creek Church near Lamar. A great many of the Seminoles and about two hundred Creeks attended the services.


Page 534


MRS. FRANCES CHANDELR, wife of T. A. Chandler, twice sent to the House of Representatives from the First Congressional District of Oklahoma and a pioneer resident of the state, died at the family home here late Thursday, October 11, 1928. Her death was the result of an illness of more than two years. She was 49 years old.

Although the Chandlers have always maintained a home here, they resided in Tulsa until nearly two years ago when, on account of Mrs. Chandler’s health, they returned to Vinita.

Although Mrs. Chandler’s health has been failing for the last two years, it was only a short time prior to her death that her illness was considered serious. Her death was the result of heart trouble, augmented by complications.

She was the daughter of the Rev. and Mrs. Thomas W. Wainwright of Fayetteville, Ark., and Muskogee. She was educated at the University of Arkansas and later, with her parents removed to Muskogee, where she was married. to Mr. Chandler in 1898.

Funeral services were held at 2 p. m. Saturday at the first Methodist Church here. Dr. M. L. Butler of Muskogee and the Rev. Will Moore Kendall of Vinita officiated, and burial was in FaFirview Cemetery. Many friends of the family from Tulsa attended the services.

Besides the husband, she is survived by one daughter, Norma, of Vinita; one son, Collis P., of San Angelo, Texas, and three sisters, Mrs. R. G. Holloway and Mrs. D. H. Middleton, both of Pasadena, Cal., and Mrs. T. Middleton of Burkburnett, Texas.


MRS. MARY BELL, the wife of the late Captain L. B. Bell of Vinita, died at her home near Stilwell, Okla., October 28th, 1928, at the age of 84.

Mrs. Bell and her husband resided in the old Delaware District Cherokee Nation, in Vinita, for more than forty years. All who knew her loved her, for her kindness toward her neighbors and friends.

Mrs. Bell had been a life long member of the Methodist Church.

Her husband, Hoolie Bell died some fourteen years ago, after having served his country, the Cherokee Nation, as Senator, President of the Senate, and many times delegate to Washington, Attorney General and various other positions extending over forty years. He was also a Confederate soldier and a member of General Stand Waite’s staff.

The remains of the deceased were conveyed to Vinita, Oct. 29th, and appropriate services were held for her at the Methodist Church, being conducted by Rev. Wilmore Kendall, the services being attended by a large concourse of relatives and friends. The remains were laid to rest beside her husband in the City Cemetery, one mile east of Vinita.


ANDREW B. CUNNINGHAM was born May 1, 1869, in Delaware District, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory, now known as Craig County, near Vinita, Oklahoma. As a small child he lived on the farm where

Page 535

he learned to do many useful things to “help” his father. When about six years old the family removed to Vinita that he might have the advantages of the Public School provided by the Cherokee Nation free of cost.

When he finished public school he journeyed to Tahlequah by wagon, the Capital of the Cherokee Nation where higher schools were maintained. Shortly before his graduation from the Cherokee National Male Seminary, the school was closed for lack of funds. Subsequently “young Andy” as he was called, not content to remain idle, sought and obtained an appointment as teacher in the public schools of the Nation. While thus engaged the National Seminary re-opened, but he continued his vocation and never completed his education. His class graduated without him. He was a member of the Episcopal Church.

Mr. Cunningham took an active interest in Cherokee National affairs from early manhood until the affairs of the Tribe were closed. He served his Nation and its people honestly and well. He was Executive Secretary of the Nation under Chief Thomas M. Buffington and William C. Rogers, and upon the death of Chief Rogers he was designated by the Secretary of the Interior as Chief of the Nation. He served as Peace Officer under Tribal rule and Federal authority; was Mayor of Tahlequah for several terms, Post Master, President of the Chamber of Commerce, and held other positions of trust, and never betrayed that trust.

He was twice married. His first wife being Sammie E. Gunter of Vinita, who died in March, 1913. The second wife was Viola Ritchey Harris, Registered Nurse, of Muskogee, who gave him the devoted care that only a professional can give, and soothed and comforted him during his last illness.

Death called him September 12th, 1928. He had no children by either marriage. Franke Ritchey, Mrs. Cunningham’s sister, lived with them since she was about three years of age, and was as near and dear to Mr. Cunningham as though she were his own child.

His mantle as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation fell upon the shoulders of Charles J. Hunt, his close friend from early childhood and throughout his public career.

Return to top

Electronic Publishing Center | OSU Home | Search this Site