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 15, No. 3
September, 1937

Page 359

J. Howard Langley


J. Howard Langley was born on a farm in McDonald County, Missouri. His parents were William G. Langley and Jane Langley, nee Gist. Their forbears came from Georgia, Virginia, and North Carolina.

He attended the common schools of McDonald County, the high school at Southwest City, Missouri, and Scarritt College of Neosho, Missouri. His legal education was acquired by home study, aided by Sprague's Correspondence Law School of Detroit, Michigan. After securing his academic education, he taught school, and in 1891 moved to Adair, Indian Territory, where he engaged in the mercantile business. The same year the writer began the practice of law at Vinita. Shortly afterward the writer and he formed an acquaintance which ripened into a friendship lasting till his death.

In 1897 he was licensed by the United States Court at Vinita, Indian Territory, to practice law, after passing an exceptionally fine examination in open court. He located at Pryor Creek, now shortened to Pryor, at which place he practiced law until his death, part of the time alone, for a while as a partner with Judge A. C. Brewster of Pryor, and in late years as the senior member of the firm of Langley and Langley, of which the junior member was Harve N. Langley, a cousin, who survives him. As a lawyer he was successful with a keen sense of justice and a discriminating mind, he convinced himself of the justice of his client's cause, and sought to win by merit instead of by prejudice or persuasion.

Mr. Langley was married in the year 1891, to Miss Susan O. Brock of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, the daughter of W. C. Brock, and Martha Brock, nee Tacket. His widow and their daughter Mozelle Hadley, wife of Warren Hadley of Pryor, and a son, James Howard Langley, Jr., survive him. He left a small grandson, James Howard Hadley, to whom he was most devoted. As a kind and provident husband and thoughtful father his memory will long be cherished.

As a citizen, he was devoted to all forms of public welfare. Always active in church work, he was one of the original members of the Christian Church at Pryor, and to its upbuilding contributed means, out of proportion to his material wealth, and devoted his time and talents to the cause of religion and morality, till the day of his death. For many years he was Superintendent of the Sunday School connected with the Church of which he was a member. Though taking keen interest in public affairs, he was a candidate for office but twice, and was successful each time. Elected as a delegate on the Democratic ticket from the 65th District to the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention, he served the people faithfully, and was an honored member of the Committees on Contests, Preamble and Bill of Rights, Municipal Corporation, Judiciary, and Judicial Department, Ordinances, Separation of Races in Public Conveyances, and was Chairman of the Committee of the whole house on numerous occasions.

The Convention over, Statehood a fact, he returned to his law practice. When the United States entered the World War, since he was too old for field service, he entered with whole heart into home service, and acted

Page 360

as a member of and legal adviser to the Council of Defense, during the period of the war, and earned from the War Department official recognition for distinguished service. He took a most important part in getting a court house for Mayes County built without a bond issue and at reasonable cost. While in the Constitutional Convention he named the County of his residence, "Mayes," in honor of a distinguished Cherokee family, which had furnished two principal Chiefs of the Cherokee Nation, one being his old time friend, Samuel H. Mayes, who preceded him in death.

When Tulsa wanted "purer and better water," it found a reservoir site in northeastern Mayes County, east of Grand River on Spavinaw. It required the acquisition of lands and his law firm was employed as counsel and attorney to conduct the necessary litigation. Langley, owing to his tact and personal friendship with the people generally, was soon able satisfactorily to adjust all legal differences, and there came into being Spavinaw Lake, furnishing its pure clear water to the people of Tulsa, and surrounding communities. Tulsa and the State may well be proud of Spavinaw Lake, and of his efforts towards procuring it.

In the campaign of 1930, Mr. Langley entered the race for nomination on the Democratic ticket for Justice of the Supreme Court of the State, from District No. 1. He won the race in the first and second primary, and was triumphantly elected in the general election.

In answer to a questionnaire submitted by the Honorable R. L. Williams, in his efforts at keeping track of the members of the Convention, some months before his death, his reply was "Elected to Supreme Court in 1930, took office January 12th, 1931, so completely wrecked myself in the campaign as to render myself wholly unfit for a creditable discharge of the duties of the office, and rather than half-fill the office, resigned February 2d, 1931. Thanks to our method of selecting the Judiciary." Could tribute more eloquent than this be paid to a life of devotion to public welfare?

The writer's wish is that the Langley conception of fidelity to trust, and the sacredness of public office may grow with the years, and become a political Shibboleth. His health gradually returned. In 1934, an agitation was started for the erection of three power dams on Grand River, one of which was located near Pensacola in Mayes County. When the Act creating an authority was passed by the Oklahoma Legislature, he was named a member of the Board by the Attorney General of the State. He qualified, was made Chairman, and went to work with all the ardor of youth, tempered by the discretion of age.

He put the importance and usefulness of the dam before the public in persuasive style, but did not live to see the fruition of his dreams. Had he lived to this day, his heart would have been made glad by a prospect, that may soon visualize into a reality. He fell asleep in death on Sunday night, October 27th, 1935, at his home in Pryor. On his bed, and by his hand was an open Bible, at Chapter 19 of the Book of Job. That chapter contains the following:

"For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:

And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God."

He lived and died with faith in God, and in man's destiny.

He was scheduled to address the Lions Club at Pryor, in its organiization meeting on the night following his death. He lies buried in the city cemetery at Pryor, on the grassy slope of a hill, overlooking the Grand River Valley to the east. His remains were followed to their last resting place by a large concourse of relatives, and friends, members of

Page 361

the bar, court officials, and surviving members of the Constitutional Convention, the eldest of the last group being the writer, and the next in point of age, being Ex-Governor Robert L. Williams, now a member of the United States Circuit of Appeals of the 10th Circuit. A year later the Lions Club of Pryor held memorial services in the court room at Pryor, at which his old time friend, Thos. J. Harrison, read a sketch of the life of the deceased, and the Attorney General of the State, Honorable Mac. Q. Williamson, made a fitting address, and paid tribute to his memory. At that meeting a monument of native red granite procured by the Lions Club from Spavinaw, was uncovered in the southeast corner of the court house square, with a bronze memorial tablet. There was a large attendance of people from Mayes and surrounding counties, showing the esteem in which he was held by the people he so altruistically served.

A Pioneer, life's work, has been well done,
On grassy slope, they laid him down to rest,
To wait the dawn, and call of rising sun,
With faith sublime, good will to all mankind,
For State and Church, and home, he did his best.
A Pioneer, with race now run,
In life held fast, to faith Divine,
Whose creed, through all, was "work well done,"
His name will live, unmarred by time.
Kind words, good deeds, a shield will ever be,
Best armor here, and for eternity.

W. H. Kornegay.

Vinita, Oklahoma

Page 362


John Young Bryce, son of James Young Bryce and Mary Jane Broome Bryce, was born at Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas, May 5, 1863. His father was a Methodist preacher who started his ministry in Georgia in the summer of 1856 and sreved in Georgia, Texas and Arkansas before coming to the Indian Territory in 1868 as a missionary preacher and teacher. John Young Bryce commenced his life in Oklahoma when his father moved into the Indian Territory in 1868. He was appointed preacher in charge of Ft. Gibson and Tahlequah after the Annual Conference which met at Boggy Depot Oct. 15, 1868 had adjourned leaving that charge to be supplied.

The first Annual Conference Bryce attended was held at Ft. Gibson, Oct. 26, 1870. Bishop John C. Keener was the president. Dr. Andrew Hunter, who had been licensed to preach at an Indian Methodist Quarterly Conference held between the Arkansas and Verdegris Rivers near the old Creek agency and had become one of the leading preachers in Arkansas and Jerome C. Berryman, who was the first Superintendent of Missions for the Methodist Church in the Indian Territory, were visitors of the Conference. These men together with T. B. Ruble, Young Ewing, T. K. B. McSpadden, J. C. Robinson, D. B. Cumming, W. A. Duncan, James McHenry and Samuel Checote made a profound impression on him although he was a lad of tender years.

His education was started at old New Hope Academy where his father was Superintendent. He received such instruction as could be given in the Indian Territory at the time and finished his college work at Southwestern University at Georgetown, Texas.

The Reverend Mr. Bryce was married first to Miss Nettie C. French, who came from Iowa and was a governess in his father's home. She was the mother of his children: Giddings, Allison, Sam, John, Sue and Faye. She was his faithful companion and inspiring helper through the trying years of their early life and the greater part of his active ministry. She died in August 1927. His second marriage was to Miss Margaret Leek, a teacher in the public school system of Oklahoma City. She was a great joy and blessing to him during the last years of his life. She survives him.

John Y. Bryce followed in the footsteps of his father in the ministry, but had a chequered career as a preacher. He was three times admitted on trial into the Annual Conference. The first time into the Indian Mission Conference which met at White Bead Hill, Oct. 10-15, 1888. He passed regularly through the Conference courses of study being admitted into full connection and ordained deacon in 1890 and ordained elder in 1892. His service record for the first period was: Thackerville, 1888; Wynnewood, 1889; Lehigh, 1890; Conference colporteur, 1891; Checotah, 1892; Presiding Elder of Okmulgee District 1893-1894.

At the Conference of 1895 he was separated from the ministry and membership of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. However, he soon rejoined the Methodist church and was relicensed to preach. He served the church as a supply as Tishomingo in 1899; and Coalgate in 1900-1901.

In 1902 he was again admitted on trial into the Annual Conference, served one year and was discontinued at his own request. He had a large family. He was appointed to Nowata, a long distance from Coalgate. He deemed it best not to try to make such a move. He remained at Coalgate and edited and published a newspaper.

Rev. John Y. Bryce

Page 363

It was here that I first knew him and became interested in him, his life and history and previous service to the church. I asked him to take up again the work of a preacher.

In 1911 he was licensed to preach to a Quarterly Conference over which I presided. In 1913 his credentials were restored by the Annual Conference. That year he served Barnett Memorial Church as a supply.

In 1914 he was for the third time admitted on trial into the Annual Conference, the same Conference of which he had previously been a member though the name had been changed to East Oklahoma Conference. The charges he served during this tensure were: Hartshorne, 1914; Colbert and Calera, 1915; Wapanucka, 1916-1918; Kingston and Woodville, 1919-1920; Tishomingo, 1921-1922; Hartshorne, 1923-1924; Secretary of the Oklahoma Historical Society, 1926-1930; Norman Circuit, 1931. He was granted a superannuate relation at the Conference of 1932.

John Young Bryce was a man of parts, strong in mind and body, bold and unyielding in his convictions, loyal in his partisanship and to his friends; and faithful to his home and loved ones. He was independent. His independence was of a peculiar type. He was not nonchalant though he at times appeared so. Nevertheless he felt deeply, had a warm heart and profound concern as to both the general and special issues of life. He was bold, but in no sense a braggadocio. His boldness was for issues and principles, never for self interest. His heart and home were ever opened to his friends, but he hesitated to go to the home even of his best friend for fear he might cause some inconvenience. This independence caused him personal loss when a slightly different attitude would have netted personal gain and prevented personal suffering and injury. His preaching was marked by intelligence, sound reasoning and a warm evangelical spirit.

He was always active and aggressive. During the time he was separated from the ministry of the church, he owned, published and edited a weekly periodical. It was devoted to general news and interests, but was a special exponent of the faith of the demcratic party. He was a loyal Democrat all of his life. He served his party in local organizations, was sometime chaplain of the State Penitentiary and was Secretary of the Oklahoma Historical Society from 1925 until 1930. During the time he served the Historical Society he did a large amount of work. He edited the Chronicles of Oklahoma, made a survey of the historical spots of Oklahoma, recovered material for the general history of the State and added much to his collection of data for the History of Methodism in Oklahoma.

The East Oklahoma Conference at its session in 1926 requested him to prepare a History of Methodism in Oklahoma for publication. He did a prodigious amount of work on that task by carefully selecting and filing much material. Volume I of the History went to press a few days before he died. An official corrected copy is being presented to the Conference.

After his superannuation he did not quit work. His body showed great resistance. His eye never dimmed. He did all of the exacting work of research without the aid of glasses. He served as Chaplain at the Sub-Penitentiary, assisted in the State's Relief Program, was connected with a real estate office in Oklahoma City and preached regularly for a community church in the suburbs of Oklahoma City.

His custom was to begin every journey at sunrise. One day on the eve of our departure in a buggy drawn by horses on an all day trip to a Quarterly Conference, I said to him, "What time in the morning shall we start?" "Oh, about sunrise," came the familiar answer.

It was March 16, 1937, just at sunrise, that he stepped into a chariot, winged by angels, bound for Heaven. He lived a long, useful life and made a valuable contribution to both church and state.

—Sidney H. Babcock.

McAlester, Oklahoma

Page 364


Franklin Hancock Reed was born in Geneva, Illinois, January 20, 1880, and died in San Francisco, California, October 8, 1931. His paternal grandfather, Edward W. Reed, was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, March 29, 1825, his father and mother having immigrated to Ohio in the early Eighties, from Maryland. He married Caroline C. Pontius about 1852, and after their marriage they moved to Adams County, Indiana, where they reared a large family. Here William Munds Reed, the father of Frank Reed, was born on December 9, 1855. His wife, Caroline, died at this place January 6, 1865, and he died there March 18, 1900.

Frank Reed's mother was Hannah Temperence Tedrick. She was born at Sharon, Ohio, January 25, 1855. Her great grandfather, Jacob Tedrick, was born in Germany in 1758 and came to America about the time of the close of the Revolutionary War and settled in Gurnsey County, Ohio, and died there in 1842. His son, Jacob Tedrick, was born in Gurnsey County, Ohio, February 15, 1787. Stephen R. Tedrick, son of Jacob Tedrick, Jr., Frank Reed's maternal grandfather, was born in Ohio, March 2, 1822. He married Lucinda Rachael Smith, and on January 25, 1855, Frank Reed's mother, Hannah Temperence Tedrick, was born. The Tedrick family was an old and prominent family in Ohio for three generations.

Frank Reed's father and mother moved from Indiana to Adams County, Illinois, in the fall of 1889. All of their children were born in Indiana, except the last one. In Morris, Illinois, his father owned and published a newspaper, "The Morris Daily Sentinel" in which office his son, Frank, worked, setting type and sometimes acting as reporter for the paper. William M. Reed was a Democrat in politics and his newspaper was democratic in its policies, though always liberal and progressive.

He and his wife moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1909, where they resided until their death. He died January 15, 1923, and his wife, Hannah, died March 9, 1926. The names of his children, in the order in which they were born, are as follows:

Charles V. Reed, now of Chicago, Illinois; Franklin H. Reed; Milo T. Reed of Wewoka; Ray W. Reed, now deceased; Anna Louise Reed, now Miller, of Michigan City, Indiana.

Frank Reed was educated in the Public Schools of Morris, Illinois. He studied law in the law office of E. L. Clover until 1905.

In 1905 he was married to Isabella Steep, of Morris, Illinois, and shortly thereafter moved to Wewoka, Indian Territory, where he continued the practice of the law with his brother Ray until 1917. During the time he was in Wewoka he enjoyed a very successful and lucrative law practice, and among his clients were many of the Seminole Indians and Freedmen. He was very closely associated with the Indians, who looked upon him as their friend and trusted advisor. Many of his Indian clients were unable to pay cash fees and Mr. Reed took land for the fees, the land at the time being of very little value, but later, due to oil development, contributed largely to his fortune, at one time estimated to be several million dollars. After he had established himself as a lawyer, he began to purchase and accumulate other lands, and at the time of his death he owned more than 14,000 acres of farm lands and oil properties in Seminole and other Oklahoma counties, the major portion of which are located in Seminole County. On much of the Seminole County land was developed large production, which is producing oil at this time.

He moved from Wewoka to Tulsa in 1917 and retired from the law practice to give his entire time and attention to taking care of his extensive oil holdings. He became connected with the Gilliland Oil Com-

Franklin Reed

Page 365

pany, of Tulsa. He lived in Tulsa from 1917 until 1925, when he moved to Neosho, Missouri, where he made his home until his death.

Mr. Reed's hobby during his lifetime was wading pools and play ground equipment for children. He built and contributed about forty concrete wading pools for children in the states of Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri. Wading pools were built in the following cities in Oklahoma: Ada, Ardmore (2), Blackwell, Claremore, Durant, Eufaula, Grandfield, Hugo, Lawton, McAlester, Muskogee, Oklahoma City (4), Okmulgee, Sapulpa, Shawnee and Tulsa (11). In his will he provided for a hundred thousand dollar trust fund with which to build other wading pools and provide playground equipment.

In creating the Trust Fund for the construction of wading pools, he provided for a Board of Trustees to be composed of seven men to have charge of the distribution of the funds resulting from the investment. Three of the Trustees were to be named by the Exchange Trust Company of Tulsa, one by the Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma, one each by the District Court and County Court of Tulsa County, and one by the Federal Judge for the Northern District of Oklahoma. The funds used to build the swimming pools above mentioned, were contributed jointly by Frank Reed and his wife, as was also the Trust Fund. In no case was any financial interest retained in the pools by them, and no requirements concerning the naming of the pools were made, though in many instances the cities did name the park—"Reed Park."

Frank Reed and his wife had only one child, Edward F. Reed, now of Beverly Hills, California, but in 1917, while living in Tulsa, they adopted two little girls, Margaret and Mary Elizabeth Reed, who live with their adopted mother in Beverly Hills, California.

While in San Francisco, California, in route to Los Angeles, Frank Reed was stricken with cerebral hemorrhage from which he died.

He was a member of the Methodist Church from early manhood and always took an active part in the affairs of the church, and while in Wewoka was teacher of the Men's Bible Class. He was also a member of the Masonic Lodge and belonged to the Consistory at McAlester. He took an active part in the civic organizations in the community in which he lived. He was President of the Kiwanis Club in Tulsa and was a member of the Board of Directors of that organization during all the time he lived in Tulsa.

Frank Reed was of pioneer stock. His forebears were pioneers, always seeking the new and undeveloped country. This urge of the pioneer spirit brought him to the Indian Territory to make his fortune. He was a philanthropist and a benefactor and never forgot those who aided or encouraged him. As proof of the esteem which the Seminole Indians held for him, in August, 1932, the members of the Spring Baptist Church near Sasakwa, Oklahoma, held a special memorial service as a tribute to Mr. Reed, thus being the only one of its kind held by the Seminole in many years. He contributed freely to the Indian churches and other Indian charities. After Mr. Reed had made his fortune he prepared a list of some seventy Indians who had helped him when he was just getting started in business and provided that there should be paid to them monthly a substantial payment, sufficient for their livelihood. When he came to Wewoka he was a poor man and when, with the help of the Indians and good fortune, he prospered, he was willing to help those who had helped him. He had a genial and sunny disposition; was always courteous to his business associates, honorable and fair, square in all his business dealings. Oklahoma was honored in having Frank H. Reed as a citizen of the State.

—Chas. R. Freeman.

(Mr. Freeman, a resident of Checotah and a member of the bar, died since he wrote the foregoing.)

Page 366


On Friday, May 21, 1937, Christine Folsom Bates passed away at Durant after a brief illness of only two days. She was born on October 10, 1849 near Folsom Grove, about four miles northwest of Durant, and thus was almost eighty-eight years old. Practically all her long life was spent at various points within the confines of Bryan county.

Mrs. Bates was the daughter of Israel Folsom, a notable member of a very notable Choctaw family. Her father had risen to prominence along with his brother David Folsom, before the Choctaws removed from Mississippi to Oklahoma. In the old country he married Lovisa Nail, a member of another leading Choctaw family. They became the parents of thirteen children, the majority of whom lived to maturity and reared families, thus extending the Folsom clan until it became possibly the most numerous in the entire Choctaw nation. Israel Folsom, at first a minister of the Old School Presbyterian Church, later connected himself with the Cumberland Presbyterians because he was a believer in slavery and he himself was a large slave holder. He was also a pioneer promoter of education among his people, and particularly an advocate of the education of women. He saw to it that all his own daughters received the best schooling that his means and opportunities afforded. The advent of the Civil War interfered with the higher education of Mrs. Bates, though she was a woman of cultural interests and rather wide information.

At one time before the War, Israel Folsom lived on the Texas Road not far from Fort Washita. Mrs. Bates had a vivid recollection of the days when Fort Washita was in its prime. She has told the writer many times of going over to the Fort on Saturdays to see and hear Captain Braxton Bragg's artillery detachment hold its drill and practice. A few years later the Folsoms established themselves at a plantation called Elm Hill, southeast of Caddo. Here Christine Folsom spent the remainder of her girlhood. Here she lived during the dark days of the Civil War. At this home she remembered seeing some of the outstanding men of the period, who came there as friends of her distinguished father. She has told the writer of General Albert Pike, whom she remembered for his great leonine head and the white hair that hung down over his shoulders. Here she saw General Douglas H. Cooper, the last Confederate commander of the Department of Indian Territory. He came resplendent in his Uniform and gold lace, driven by a Negro coachman dressed in rich livery and wearing a silk hat. Mrs. Bates saw this same General Cooper, after the War, sink to abject poverty and die in squalor out near old Fort Washita. The Indians believed—and Mrs. Bates among them—that this dire change of fortune was visited by Providence on General Cooper because of his alleged peculations in handling the funds of the Choctaws and Chickasaws as Indian Agent prior to the War between the States.

At Elm Hill in 1875 Christine Folsom was united in marriage by the missionary preacher, W. J. B. Lloyd, to Madison Bouton, a young white man from New York State who had come west to seek his fortune. A few years before, up on the Plains, he was shot through the body by an arrow in a fight with wild Indians. With the building of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas railroad he came to Caddo, which thereafter became his home. The marriage of white men to Indian girls aroused the antagonism of many of the Choctaw patriots of that day. Some think this was at the bottom of the tragedy that occurred in 1885, when Willie Jones, son of Chief Wilson N. Jones, met Madison Bouton on a Caddo street and shot him to death, apparently without provocation. Some years later, the widow married W. H. Bates who died in 1899. Both husbands sleep in the ceme-

Page 367

tery at Caddo, where the remains of Mrs. Bates were laid in May of this year.

Shortly after the death of her second husband, Mrs. Bates removed to Durant, which became her home until her death. She was a firm believer in the future of Durant, and until the time of her passing was the owner of considerable real estate in different sections of the city. She was a charter member of the East Side Presbyterian Church, and retained her membership in that church and supported it until her death, though in later years she lived in another section of the city and was a regular worshipper and supporter of the First Presbyterian Church of Durant. Mrs. Bates had a wide interest in charitable activities, and was always liberal and helpful whenever human need was brought to her attention.

Mrs. Bates was the last surviving child of Israel Folsom. She left three children, all by her first husband: Will Bouton of Skiatook; Mrs. Annie Yarbrough of Durant; and Mrs. Nellie Ingram of Ada. There also survive her several grandchildren, besides a host of nephews and nieces and other relatives. The passing of this pioneer woman breaks one of the few remaining links that bind the present of this section of Oklahoma to its historic past.

—W. B. Morrison

Southeastern State Teachers College.

Page 368


A worthwhile character and pioneer builder of the Indian Territory days was Cyrus A. Norman, who was born at Knoxville, Tennessee on December 28, 1829. His father, James Harvey Norman, a native of Virginia, when a young man, removed to Knoxville where he married Nancy Wiley, a native Tennesseean, and in about the year 1850 removed with his family to Cleveland, Bradley County, Tennessee, some thirty miles east of Chattanooga.

Cyrus A. Norman and Martha Jayne Clingan, a part Cherokee Indian were married on February 17, 1862. She was born in Cleveland, Tennessee on July 13, 1836 and passed away at Wagoner, Oklahoma on January 3, 1914. She was a wonderful woman and a wise and loving mother, an Eastern Star member and a loyal communicant of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church for many years. She was a great believer in the Golden Rule and thus a good and loving neighbor, beloved by all who knew her.

In the fall of 1872, the Norman family removed to the Indian Territory and settled in what is now Wagoner County, State of Oklahoma, where they engaged in farming and stock raising on a large ranch, situated six miles east of Wagoner.

Cyrus A. Norman was a member of the Masonic order and of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church for many years and practiced his professions. He was esteemed as a loving and faithful neighbor, and was the father of five children—four sons and one daughter, as follows:

James A. of Muskogee; Mrs. Mary J. McBride of Harlingen, Texas; Albert C. and Cyrus W. of Wagoner, and William B.—the youngest, who passed away while attending school at the Cherokee National Male Seminary at Tahlequah on April 4, 1885.

Cyrus A. Norman was a progressive citizen, a typical representative of the "Square Deal" of all things; for the democratic idea of economics and social security; for the greatest good to everyone. He was a man of the highest character and integrity, thereby helping to make the Nation and world a better place than when he came.

He passed away at Wagoner, Oklahoma, on March 13, 1891 and rests in the Riverside Cemetery, six miles east of Wagoner, beside his wife and son.

—J. A. Norman

Muskogee, Oklahoma

Page 369

Christopher Ervin


Christopher Columbus Ervin was born Dec. 25, 1848, Doaksville, I. T., the son of Calvin D. Ervin and Sallie Gibson Ervin. Her Indian name was "Abafukubbee." Calvin D. Ervin was teaching school in Gainesville, Alabama, when he met the Indian girl who became his bride. She was the great granddaughter of Hopia Iskitinia or Captain Little Leader. He was a great Indian warrior with the Choctaw tribe in Mississippi. The old buffalo horn spoon which he carried in the War of 1812 is in the Oklahoma Historical Building at Oklahoma City. He gave it to her as a keepsake when she moved from her home in Mississippi to the Indian Territory.

The Choctaw people were separated in clans, and Sallie Ervin was from the Hyah-Pa-Tusk-Kalo clan.

Calvin D. Ervin and his wife came over the "Trail of Tears" in 1832 to the Indian Territory. They settled in Doaksville, near the present town of Fort Towson. They lived there the remainder of their lives and reared a large family of ten girls and three boys.

Christopher Columbus Ervin was affiliated with the Republican party all his life. He served in many honorable positions in his country. When the Civil War came on, he was too young for service but he enlisted in the Confederate army and served until the close of the war. He was in Gordan's Regiment, Cabelle's Brigade.

He was United States Marshal for the Indian Territory in the early seventies, which place he filled with credit to his party and the people. He served under the honorable Judge Isaac Parker.

He served in the House of Representatives from 1890 to 1898. He was in the legislature when the Rock Island Railroad was surveyed. He helped to get the right-of-way.

He served as a scout for surveying the Frisco Railroad and also had the contract to furnish beef to the contractors for their men while building the railroad.

He bought a considerable number of court warrants in the Choctaw Nation at a discount and paid for them in cash. He carried thousands of dollars from one town to another in a small handbag. His mode of conveyance was by horse and buggy. He never thought of being robbed.

Christopher Columbus Ervin was married to Miss Lizzie Everidge, Sept. 27, 1885, at Goodwater, Oklahoma. His widow who survives him lives at the old home in Ardmore.

The following children survive him: Mrs. Viola Tillman, Hugo, Okla.; Mrs. Myrtle Page, Soper, Okla.; Mrs. Hattie Green, Tulsa, Okla.; Mrs. Pauline Hewitt, Dallas, Texas; Joe, Woodford, Okla.; W. P. Emmitt, M. H. and A. A., all of Ardmore, T. L. and Roy of Albuquerque, N. Mex. One Sister, Mrs. Margaret Oakes, Soper, Okla. She is the only one of thirteen children living.

He was a true friend and a useful citizen. His home was a hospitable one. And seldom were they without company or loved ones around them.

His death marks the passing of another pioneer.

On Dec. 22, 1932, he was laid to rest in Providence Cemetery.

—Mrs. Thomas O. Kirby

Jericho, Texas

Return to top

Electronic Publishing Center | OSU Home | Search this Site