W. A. LEDBETTER
H. L. STUART
On January 25th, 1934, Walter A. Ledbetter, one of the most zealous and active members of the Oklahoma Historical Society passed to his final reward. His death occurred at his home in Oklahoma City where he had lived for more than 20 years.
Mr. Ledbetter was deeply interested in Oklahoma history and was a life member of the Society. He served as a member of the Board of Directors and also as Vice-President for several years. He was also a member of the Special Committee appointed by the Board of Directors to design, supervise and construct the beautiful building which is now the home of the Society. The work of the Society was very near and close to him. He was zealous and enthusiastic and very seldom missed a meeting of the Board of Directors. His death occurred at about 11:15 P. M. and it was fitting that he should pass away near the close of the day on which the annual meeting of the Board of Directors of the Society occurred.
Mr. Ledbetter was born on March 9th, 1863, on his father's home farm in Fayette County, Texas. He was the son of T. A. and Alemida (Robison) Ledbetter who were both of pioneer families of the Lone Star State.
His maternal grandfather, Joel Robison, was active in his day and was a member of the celebrated Constitutional Convention of Texas of 1876. No Constitution of Texas has been enacted since that of 1876, although of course there have been a number of amendments passed thereto. Although there have been and still are those who assail the 1876 Constitution, yet it has been and still is regarded as a great document by the large majority of the people of Texas. In the Constitutional Convention of 1876, Mr. Robison, though not a lawyer, took a most prominent part and his labors were the subject of great commendation. Mr. Ledbetter often referred feelingly to Mr. Robison.
Some few years ago there was some talk of another Constitutional Convention being called. This caused the Press to publish articles concerning the personnel of the members of the 1876 Convention and Mr. Robison's labors in that Convention were the subject of most favorable comment.
The subject of this article was the oldest of ten children. He received his early education in the schools in his native county and completed his education at the State Normal School in Hunstville, Walker County, Texas. Numbers of the most prominent and successful men of Texas have received their education at this Huntsville School, and the careful training and instruction there received by Mr. Ledbetter was the groundwork of his successful career as a lawyer both in Texas and in Oklahoma. After graduating at the Huntsville Normal, Mr. Ledbetter was elected and served one term as Post Master of the Texas State Senate.
He then moved to Gainesville, Texas, and read law in the office of Davis and Garnett and on March 9th, 1884, received his license to practice law and began his career of half a century at the Bar. The Gainesville Bar, in the late Eighties, was composed of strong and vigorous lawyers and among them Joseph W. Bailey who had such a brilliant career as a Congressman and as United States Senator. Mr. Bailey and Mr. Ledbetter were warm personal friends and their friendship lasted until the death of Senator Bailey several years ago.
In the summer of 1888, Mr. Ledbetter and the writer were among
the delegates from Cooke County to the Democratic State Convention for Texas held at Dallas. At that time there was considerable hard feeling between the prohibition and the anti-prohibition wings of the Democratic party. In July, 1887, the statewide prohibition election resulted in a heavy majority for the antis. There were a number of vigorous antis who contended that a "heart of oak" plank demanding of Democrats opposition to prohibition, should be placed in the platform. Mr. Ledbetter and the writer were among those who maintained that the test of a man's democracy should not be his devotion or opposition to prohibition.
The conciliators won and in his speech of acceptance of the nomination for his second term Governor Lawrence Sullivan Ross, who was a gallant Confederate soldier, stated that all past differences between Democrats should be forgotten.
Mr. Ledbetter continued actively in the practice of law at Gainesville until the spring of 1889. In the early part of that year Congress created the court for the Indian Territory at Muskogee, and in April, 1889, the first session of the court was held by Judge James M. Shackelford, who had been a distinguished General in the Union Army, and was prominent in the politics in Indiana. Mr. Ledbetter was present at the opening session of the court.
Muskogee was the only court town in the old Indian Territory from April, 1889, until the passage of the Organic Act approved May 2nd, 1890. By the provisions of the Organic Act, the court that had been created for the Indian Territory in the early part of 1889 was also to hold terms at McAlester and at Ardmore.
Mr. Ledbetter made numerous trips to Washington and exerted his energies, at the request of the prominent citizens of Ardmore, for the naming of Ardmore as a court town.
Mr. Ledbetter resided at Gainesville, Texas, until the spring of 1890, when he removed with his family to Ardmore, but during the year 1889 and the early part of 1890 prior to his removal to Ardmore, the greater part of his time was spent and the major portion of his practice was in the Indian Territory. After his removal to Ardmore and as long as he resided there, Mr. Ledbetter was actively interested in the civic and business upbuilding of that city. He was also vigorous and industrious in the practice of the law.
In the early part of his residence in Ardmore, there was an important suit between W. R. Watkins and Richard McLish over the possessory rights to the Townsite of Ardmore. Mr. Ledbetter was one of the attorneys representing Watkins. There was a vigorous legal battle in the United States Court. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Watkins, but Judge Shackelford granted a new trial. Messrs. McLish and Watkins and their attorneys effected a compromise settlement and ended the controversy.
During his residence at Ardmore and prior to Statehood, Mr. Ledbetter often went to Washington in behalf of the people of the Indian Territory. He practiced law in all parts of the Indian Territory and at times in Oklahoma Territory.
One of the long drawn legal controversies in which he was engaged involved the oil mill at Tishomingo in which controversy he and the writer were on opposite sides. The oil mill was afterwards moved to Wapanucka.
In the election held on November 6th, 1906, for delegates to the Constitutional Convention, Mr. Ledbetter was elected by a large majority a delegate from Ardmore to said Convention. The Judiciary Committee of the Convention was composed of Mr. Ledbetter as Chairman, and W. C. Hughes, W. H. Kornegay, John T. King, Davis S. Rose, C. H. Pittman, Robert L. Williams, Henry S. Johnston, Flowers Nelson, J. Howard Langley, C. L. Moore, Henry E. Asp and W. C. Leidtke. As Chairman of
this important Committee, Mr. Ledbetter studied and discussed every important question of Constitutional law passed upon by the Convention.
The Enabling Act provided that the Convention, as soon as its organization was finished, should adopt the Constitution of the United States for and on behalf of the people of the State of Oklahoma. There was a debate on a resolution offered in order to comply with this requirement, and during the debate there was a statement made, "The Constitution of the United States is the highest and paramount law of the State of Oklahoma." Mr. Ledbetter argued that this clause should be stricken out because while the Constitution of the United States was the supreme law of the land in all matters pertaining to federal power and jurisdiction, yet as to state matters and matters affecting state sovereignty, the Constitution and laws of the state are supreme. He further argued that the spheres of the state and federal governments are separate and distinct and each within its sphere is supreme.
Mr. Ledbetter introduced the measure before the Convention, which was adopted with some amendments as to the judicial system of the state, now constituting Article Seven of the Constitution of Oklahoma.
Mr. Ledbetter also introduced the resolution that empowered the Corporation Commission to exempt any railroad from the provisions for passenger fares of two cents per mile upon satisfactory proof being made to the Commission that such railroad could not earn just compensation for services rendered the public, if not permitted to charge more than two cents per mile.
Mr. Ledbetter also defended injunction suits instituted to prevent the submission of the Constitution to the voters of the state. He gave the defense of these suits deep study and careful and persistent attention. The injunctions were dissolved and the election was held. His services in this matter were most valuable. If the object of these suits had been accomplished, Statehood, under the provisions of the Enabling Act, would not have been obtained.
Mr. Ledbetter, with two other members of the Convention, S. W. Hayes and C. L. Moore, was sent to Washington to take up with President Roosevelt objections and criticisms filed with him in opposition to his issuing the necessary proclamation declaring Oklahoma admitted into the Union. After a full conference with the President and with the Attorney General, objections to the Constitution were met, a number of amendments were made by the Convention after it had been reassembled, and President Theodore Roosevelt issued his proclamation admitting the state on November 16th, 1907.
It was provided in the Enabling Act that the State Capital should not be removed from Guthrie before 1913. Mr. Ledbetter vigorously contended that Congress could not make this provision binding on the new State, and that immediately on admission into the Union, Oklahoma became the equal in constitutional right and power with all the other states in the Union. Therefore, Oklahoma had the right to locate its Capital wherever it pleased, and the Congressional Act prohibiting the removal of the Capital from Guthrie before 1913 was unconstitutional.
There was a large amount of litigation caused by the passage of the law removing the Capital to Oklahoma City and caused by the efforts of Guthrie to have the Capital returned there after its removal. In this litigation, Mr. Ledbetter fought for Oklahoma City and the State of Oklahoma. The courts sustained the sovereign right of the state to locate its Capital Independent of the Act of Congress.
On January 16th, 1934, Mr. Ledbetter appeared in an important and hotly contested case before the Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma. He argued vigorously and at length the legal propositions involved. The mental and physical strain were too much for his strength, especially as he was suffering with a severe cold at the time. He went to his home from the Capitol and took to his bed. He was not able to
rally. He died in the harness and as the result of an overstrain caused by his enthusiasm in upholding the interests of his clients. He nearly completed the half century of his practice.
In 1909, Mr. Ledbetter moved his residence from Ardmore to Oklahoma City. He continued his residence at Oklahoma City until the time of his death.
In August, 1887, Mr. Ledbetter married Miss Letitia Paranteau at Mount Pulaski, Illinois. The married life of Mr. and Mrs. Ledbetter was ideally happy. His widow and six children, Mrs. Wynn Pulley of Oklahoma City, Louis A. Ledbetter of Wewoka, Eugene P. Ledbetter of Oklahoma City, Robert H. Ledbetter of Oklahoma City, Mrs. Ben. F. Thompson of Oklahoma City and Mrs. Grace Cutler of Oklahoma City survive him. His sons are all lawyers following in the footsteps of their father.
In November, 1909, Mr. Ledbetter formed a partnership with R. R. Bell and the writer and later his son, Eugene P. Ledbetter, was admitted into the firm, the firm being Ledbetter, Stuart, Bell & Ledbetter at the time of his death.
Funeral services were held at Oklahoma City in the morning on Saturday, January 27th, 1934, and services were held at Ardmore in the afternoon of that day, the interment in accordance with the request of Mr. Ledbetter being made at Ardmore, his home for so many years. Charles Evans, a close personal friend for years delivered beautiful eulogies at both services.
Mr. Ledbetter was a Pythian Knight, an Elk, and for years was a member of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. While not a Church member, he assisted in the support of Churches and was a close friend of a number of Ministers.
He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, and was never happier than when his children and grandchildren gathered under his roof and around him. He was genial in disposition and scattered sunshine as he went through life.
He was one of the examiners for admission to Bar at various times in the old Indian Territory and was also a member of the Bar Commission of Oklahoma after Statehood. In his office in Oklahoma City he was often visited by lawyers from various parts of the state who came to remind him that he was one of those who admitted them to the practice of the profession in Oklahoma. His acquaintanceship with lawyers in Oklahoma was large and there were few who did not know him. He had few, if any, enemies and many friends.
In the loss of W. A. Ledbetter, Oklahoma was deprived of one of her most active and useful citizens. His usefulness was displayed not only in one but in a number of the departments of civic activity.
TIMOTHY JOHN LEAHY
Born May 6, 1868, at Osage Mission, (Now St. Paul) Kansas; died at Pawhuska, Oklahoma, March 3, 1934, buried in the Pawhuska Mausoleum at Pawhuska, Oklahoma. He was a son of Edward Leahy, a merchant, born in Tipperary, Ireland, in 1837, and his wife Margaret (Lee) Leahy, born in Limerick, Ireland, in 1840. Timothy John Leahy as a boy attended the common schools in Kansas, entering the Kansas State Normal College, at Fort Scott, where he graduated, June 1, 1889, with degree of Bachelor of Arts. For awhile he engaged in teaching school. In 1892 being admitted to the bar, he engaged in the practice of the law in Neosho County, Kansas, later locating at Pawhuska, Oklahoma, where he maintained his home during the rest of his life continuing the practice of the law at Pawhuska and Tulsa, Oklahoma. From 1900 to 1927 he was engaged in livestock and farming as well as in the general practice of the law. In early life he aligned himself with the Democratic Party of which he remained a supporter and active and honored member until his death.
In 1906 he was elected as a delegate from District 56, comprising Osage County, to the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention, serving on the following committees: Federal Relations, Privileges and Elections, Railroads and Public Service Corporations, Ordinances, Coal, Oil and Gas, Liquor Traffic, and Steering Committee. In 1926 at the instance of the Osage Tribe he was appointed special assistant United States Attorney General to assist in the prosecution of the Osage Indian murder cases. His employment was by the Osage tribe of Indians under an act of Congress authorizing the same. He led the prosecution with great ability and success. He served as special counsel of the Osage Tribe of Indians in certain cases pertaining to income tax, in which he was successful in recovering for them four million dollars on the ground that restricted Indians were not subject to federal Income tax. He was one of the leading lawyers of the State, a member of the Bar Association of Osage County, State Bar of Oklahoma, and American Bar Association; a member of the Knights of Pythias, having served as Grand Chancellor for Oklahoma in 1899, and Supreme Representative from Oklahoma in 1901. He was a member of the local Blue Lodge of Masons at Pawhuska and Scottish Rite Consistory at Guthrie.
On September 26, 1895, he was married to Miss Bertha L. Rogers, of Pawhuska, - Oklahoma, to which marriage came the following children: Thomas Rogers, deceased, Mrs. H. H. Mundy, Mrs. Mabel A. Lackey and Edward Arthur Leahy, all of Pawhuska, Oklahoma.
JUDGE RALPH EMERSON CAMPBELL
By JOHN BARTLETT MESERVE
Time affords the perspective which allocates to each individual his or her proper relation to the community. The lapse of years serves to impart a dignity to the hopes and dreams of the past and one becomes increasingly conscious of the early eventful years of Oklahoma history and of the sterling characters who displayed a sympathetic understanding of the problems with which the new State was confronted. An abiding interest will ever center about the first United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Oklahoma for whose memory laymen and bar will ever sustain an affectionate regard.
Judge Ralph Emerson Campbell was born in Butler County, Pennsylvania at the farm home of his parents, Washington and Ann Eliza (Graham) Campbell, on May 9, 1867. In 1869, his parents removed from Pennsylvania to Atchison County, Kansas where the father resumed the agricultural pursuits which he had followed in the East. Judge Campbell was educated in the public schools of Kansas and later continued his education at Campbell University at Holton, Kansas. He next entered the Northern University of Indiana at Valparaiso from which he graduated with the class of 1892. He entered the University of Kansas at Lawrence as a law student and won his LL. B. degree in 1894 and was admitted to the bar in the same year. The young lawyer began the practice of law in 1894 at McAlester in the Indian Territory continuing there for about a year after which he established himself at Little Rock, Arkansas where he was connected with railway interests for two years. His next removal was to Oklahoma City where he practiced law for four years after which he reestablished himself at McAlester. The rapidly developing powers of Judge Campbell won for him success and great prominence.
With the advent of Statehood, two Federal Judicial Districts were created by Congress for the new State. It was highly appropriate that the Eastern District should comprise what had hitherto been the old Indian Territory, while the Western District should embrace the Oklahoma Territory. There was a variance of civic conditions in the two territories which very properly influenced Congress in creating the boundary lines of the two districts. An interim of territorial regime with its qualities of self government although somewhat abridged, had operated to create a more settled status in the Oklahoma Territory portion of the new State. The limited experience in governmental affairs enjoyed by the citizenship on the "West side" was calculated to fit them more capably for the transition to full Statehood. The old Indian Territory portion of the new State had been most unique in its political regimen. No form of local government had obtained to more fully qualify its people for the responsibilities of Statehood. It was the abode of the Five Tribes, among the members of which the lands had been partitioned under laws of Congress, many of the provisions of which were vague, uncertain and controversial. Every foot of land on the "East side" contained a potential lawsuit. With no previous political experience, the older citizenship of the Indian Territory became invested with the full benefits and consequent responsibilities of Statehood. Five hundred thousand embryo denizens, hitherto in "cold storage" passed at once from this political refrigeration on and into the torrid, hectic political life of the new State, bringing a web of legal entanglements into the Judicial life of the new commonwealth, the corollary of which has never been approached in American life.
There was general exaltation throughout the territories at eleven o'clock on November 16, 1907 when the President signed the bill which enabled full Statehood for Oklahoma. It is of more than passing moment that upon the same day and hour, quiet, unassuming Ralph E. Campbell bearing a commission signed by President Theodore Roosevelt, the "Rough Rider" President, ascended the Federal Bench of the Eastern District with headquarters at Muskogee. This honored position he was destined to occupy for eleven years and was terminated only by his resignation.
The initial years of service of the judiciary of the new State were fraught with much difficulty, presenting questions which required exhaustive study and careful analysis and manifold were the intricate controversies which gathered about the new Federal Judge for the Eastern District. These controversies arising out of the rights of the Indian allottee and the alienation of his lands, challenged the powers of Congress and thus presented a "Federal question" which necessarily threw such litigation into the Federal Court. The regular force of the United States Attorney's office in its efforts to uphold the government's policy toward the Indian, was augmented by the attorneys for the several tribes and by a highly organized corps of attorneys dispatched from Washington who initiated the celebrated "Thirty Thousand Land Suits". These matters challenged the careful attention of the new Judge and in divers instances presented questions which were then really questions of first impression but which are now academic. No jurist probably ever faced such a maelstrom of litigation as did Judge Campbell during those inceptive years. Added to the manifold Indian questions came exhaustive litigation occasioned by the rapid extension of oil production by the large non-resident corporations and these matters found final lodgment in his Court. This posture of affairs serves to emphasize the historic background in which he moved.
Judge Ralph E. Campbell endowed the bench of this State with a career of the highest probity, ability and impartiality. For eleven years, he performed the heavy burdens of office, with the utmost fidelity and in such a manner as to win the highest approbation. This is the highest tribute to his capacity as a lawyer, his unfaltering courage, his ever present human sympathy, his devotion to justice. In August 1918, he terminated his record of able service as a jurist by his resignation and immediately removed to Tulsa and accepted a position as general counsel for The Cosden Company, one of the largest oil refining companies in the country. This responsible position he held at the time of his tragic death.
Judge Campbell was a most consistent member of the Methodist Church, and to this church he yielded a full measure of duty. He was a devout Christian; there was a pause at the board as he bowed his head and at evening the day's labor was closed by an inspiration from the Holy Writ. The Judge was keenly interested in all civic problems of his community and State. Pressing as were his professional engagements and judicial duties through the quarter of a century of his active life in the State he ever found time in some manner to give both time and service to the public weal. In June 1909, he was united in marriage with Miss Cara Duth of Peoria, Illinois, who survives her distinguished husband and lives at Stronghurst, Illinois. The beauty of his home life was pronounced and although he prized his personal friendships, his interests centered at his own fireside.
It is no modest contribution that Judge Campbell made to the early judicial history of the State of Oklahoma. His name is written indelibly upon its pages and the hurrying hoofs of time will serve to augment the permanence fn our State history, the capable, untarnished service of the initial Judge of the Eastern District.
On Sabbath morning of January 9, 1921, Judge Campbell found it necessary to make a brief call at his office to dispatch some telegrams but telephoned his wife that he would meet her at the church. Failing to keep the tryst at the church and later not appearing at the dinner hour at his home, Mrs. Campbell called a friend who went to the office and made the discovery that through the accidental discharge of a revolver which the Judge had purchased but the day before, his death had resulted. A general gloom settled over the State as thousands gathered to pay their final homage. Loving hands consigned his tired body to its rest in the Rose Hill Cemetery at Tulsa.
He passed on to explore the shadows.
JAMES HUGHART NIXON COBB
Born December 14, 1858, in Highland County, Virginia, near McDowell; died at his home 211 South Water Street, Sapulpa, Oklahoma, July 31, 1928; and son of John Anderson Cobb and Elizabeth Ann (Pullin) Cobb. Every line of the family from which he is descended were in Virginia before the Revolutionary War, his paternal ancestor Joseph Cobb settling in Isle of Wight County in 1613, coming on the ship Treasurer. His maternal ancestor, Loftus Pullin, settling in Augusta County, Virginia, in 1743 and marrying Ann Jane Usher in 1750, was one of the first land owners in that part of Augusta County that was incorporated into Highland County, securing patent to land as early as August 17, 1745. The name of his wife, Ann Jane Usher, uncovers a romance. One Edward Usher eloped with a daughter of an English nobleman named Perry, coming to America. Their four children were girls, one dying in infancy. Their father died while they were yet small, the widow with her three children returning to England. A reconciliation with her father being denied she returned to the Augusta Colony at Fort Dickerson, Virginia. James Knox (father of the founder of Knoxville, Tennessee) became guardian of Ann Jane Usher. With a portion of her inheritance he purchased for her a negro girl, Daphne, the first slave in Highland County, Virginia. This slave was set free by the will of Mrs. Pullin (Ann Jane Usher) in 1805. Margaret Usher, one of her daughters, married William Stewart, another Highland County pioneer; her other daughter, Martha, married a son of Capt. Adam Dickerson. Later Lord Perry relented, providing for his daughter by will, but the search Instituted failed to discover her and no knowledge of the provision in the will came to her descendants for many years. Judge J. H. N. Cobb, minister and lawyer, was active in politics and public affairs in Sapulpa and Creek County.
On September 22, 1880, he enlisted at Cincinnati, Ohio, to serve for five years in the United States Army, being honorably discharged at Columbus Barracks, Ohio, September 21, 1885. Whilst engaged in such service he taught in the army post schools and later in the public schools in Salem, Virginia; also in West Virginia and in Aurora, Nebraska.
On November 6, 1888, he was married to Miss Rebecca Ellen Hooke, of McDowell, Virginia, the ceremony being performed at Monterey, Virginia. In 1889 he and his young wife moved to Nebraska to make their home, where for a time he engaged in teaching school.
He joined the Methodist Episcopal Church at Aurora, Nebraska, and in the fall of 1889 was licensed as a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church at Lincoln, Nebraska to preach the Gospel. He served as pastor at Thayer, Bennett, Haverlock, Friend, Peru and Humboldt, Nebraska, then coming to Tulsa in 1903, where he was pastor of the First Methodist Episcopal Church for one year. In 1904 he was assigned to Sapuipa as pastor of the First Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1905 he was appointed Presiding Elder of said District.
In 1906 as a Republican he was elected as a delegate from the 67tth District to the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention. Later he was placed in charge of the Anti-Saloon League in Oklahoma, and then appointed as Field Agent in the United States Indian Service for Creek and Tulsa Counties. He was secretary of the Chamber of Commerce at Sapulpa, and member of the Board of County Commissioners for Creek County for two terms, and engaged in the practice of the law. He was County Food Administrator and member of local exemption board during the World War, also justice of the peace and City Judge at Sapulpa.
Surviving deceased are his widow, Mrs. Rebecca Cobb; a daughter,
Miss Marie Cobb; a foster son, Charles Cobb, of the home address; a son, James Merrill Cobb, of Holdenville; a daughter, Miss Virginia Cobb, of Tulsa; and two sisters, Mrs. Susan Lance, of Kingsport, Tennessee and Mrs. Mollie Chestnut, of Mountain Grove, Virginia.
A near relative of his, John Anderson Cobb, was a confederate soldier (Co. G., 18th Va. Regiment. C. S. A. Cavalry.) Other relatives fought on side of the Colony of Virginia in the War of the Revolution.
LAFAYETTE JONES AKERS
Born in Denton County, Texas, January 29, 1860; died at Lubbock, Texas, March 25, 1928, where he is buried; and son of George Akers and Mary Jane Elizabeth (Henning) Akers; his grandfather also named George Akers, at an early date came from Ireland to Virginia. The family migrated from Virginia to Kentucky and then to Gibson County, Tennessee, settling near Reelfoot Lake.
The brothers and sisters of Lafayette Jones Akers were as follows: Elizabeth Caroline Akers, born in Tennessee, married William S. Hardin in Grayson County, Texas, both dead; Mary Tennessee Akers, born in Tennessee, married Harry P. Estes in Texas, both of whom died at Lawton, Oklahoma; Lewis Haywood Akers born in Texas, married Elva Bibb Harris in Texas, both dead; William Jordan Akers, born in Tennessee, married Elida Dillard in Grayson County, Texas, the former dying at Lawton, Oklahoma, his wife surviving now lives in San Antonio, Texas; James Holmes Akers, born in Tennessee, married Leora Steed in Grayson County, Texas, the latter dying in Ardmore, Oklahoma, he now resides in Lawton, Oklahoma, where he is engaged in business; George Benjamin Akers, born in Tennessee, married Alice Reed in Grayson County, Texas, dying at Woodford, Oklahoma, where his wife surviving resides; Albert Washington Akers, born in Grayson County, Texas, where he married Mollie Bailey, dying in Granite, Oklahoma, where he surviving resides; John Dempsey Akers, born in Grayson County, Texas, where he married Jackie Boaz dying in Plainview, Texas, she surviving resides in Woodford, Oklahoma; Henry Thomas Akers, born in Grayson County, Texas, where he married Lizzie Woods, dying in Plainview, Texas, where she surviving resides; and Joseph Randolph Akers, born in Grayson County, Texas, married Josie Wallace at Woodford, Indian Territory, now Oklahoma, dying there, she surviving resides at Woodford, Oklahoma.
LAFAYETTE JONES AKERS ws educated in the common schools of Grayson County, Texas, in early life he engaging in farming and stock raising and in later years in the mercantile business at Woodford, Oklahoma, where he was postmaster and a school director; in 1906 as a democrat elected as a delegate from District No. 102 to the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention.
He was a member of Glenn Lodge A. F. & A. M., and a charter member of the Baptist Church of Woodford, serving as clerk for twenty-one years. In 1915 he removed from Woodford, Oklahoma, to New Mexico, thence to Plainview, Texas, thence to Breckenridge, Texas, and then to Lubbock in 1922, where he died. After his marriage to Emma Kizirah Jolley, in Cook County, Texas, near Callisburg, September 20, 1883, he in April, 1888 moved to Pickens County (now Carter County, Oklahoma) Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory.
The surviving widow now resides at 1622 Tenth Street, Lubbock, Texas. The following children also survive: William Randolph Akers, who married Swanie Hill, resides in Tyler, Texas; Oscar Walter Lafayette Akers, who married Lela Malone, resides at Graham, Texas; Virginia May Akers, who married Marvin Fann, now dead, she survives and lives in Lubbock, Texas; Alva Thomas Edison Akers, who married Cecile Oakman, resides in Lubbock, Texas; Henning. McPherson Akers, who married Ora Wiley, resides in Cameron, Texas; Claude Estes Akers, who married Dollie Wiley, resides in Cameron, Texas; Fitzhugh Lee Akers, who married Mary Anne Evetts, resides in Albany, Texas; and Charles Wesley Akers, who married Arah Terry, resides in Delhi, Louisiana. All seven sons were registered in some branch of service during the World
War; William Randolph in the powder plant at Jackson, Tennessee; Alva Thomas Edison in the ship yards at San Francisco, California; Henning McPherson and Claude Estes saw service over seas in France; the other three in training camps in the home land, anxious, ready and willing to do their part for their country when the armistice was signed.