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Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 17, No. 2
June, 1939

Page 253


John Bell Turner

John Bell Turner was born at Springfield, Tennessee, August 13, 1860, and died at Adams, Tennessee, on July 20, 1936.

He was the son of Joshua Turner, who was born in Kentucky and died in Oklahoma City in 1914, and Martha Bell Turner, who was born near Adams, Tennessee, and died at Springfield, Tennessee, in 1863.

When about five years of age, after the death of his mother, his father having moved to Chicago, he attended the public schools of that city until about 12 years old. Then his father removed to Meadville, Missouri. When 17 years of age, he returned from Missouri to Adams, Tennessee, where he attended the Robertson county school at Adams for a year and then entered the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, completing his studies in the academic department through the junior year. Then he went to Linneus, Linn County, Missouri, where he studied law under Rowsey Stephens, Esq., and was admitted to the bar in 1883, and then returned to Tennessee, settling at Erin, Houston County, engaging in the practice of the law.

In 1884, at Adams, Tennessee, he was married to Flora Bell, the daughter of Dr. J. T. Bell.

In November, 1889, from Tennessee he removed to Fort Smith, Arkansas, there engaging in the practice of the law for more than five years. In 1895 he removed to Vinita, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory, there engaging in the practice of the law until he was elected as a member of the Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma at the erection of the state of Oklahoma. At the organization of that court, its members drew lots as to their respective terms, which resulted as follows: John Bell Turner, five and a fractional years; Jesse James Dunn and Matthew John Kane, each three and a fractional year terms; Robert Lee Williams and Samuel Walter Hayes, each a one and a fractional year term. He served as Chief Justice during the years 1911 and 1912.

Being re-elected for a full six-year term as a member of the Supreme Court, at the expiration of that term in January, 1919, having been a diligent. and faithful member of the court, he retired therefrom and engaged in the practice of the law for a year or more at Tulsa, Oklahoma, then removing to his country home at a beautiful spot on the banks of the Grand River near Chouteau in Mayes County, Oklahoma, where he resided until February 29, 1927, when he returned to Adams, Tennessee, to spend the evening of his life. Prior to that time he had purchased the interest of the other heirs in a large tract of land at Cedar Hill, Tennessee, which was nearby, and which his wife's great-grandfather, John Bell, had owned, it having been in the Bell family since 1774, the said John Bell having migrated at that time from Buncombe County, North Carolina and settled on that place.

This John Bell was related to the family of the former United States Senator, John Bell, who was a candidate for President in 1860 on the Constitutional Union Ticket, and Speaker of the United States House of Representatives in 1834.

Upon said tract of land the Bell family cemetery is located, in which John Bell Turner, who was named for his grandfather, John Bell, and whose great-grandfather was also named John Bell, was buried. He

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also had an only brother. George Pierce Turner (but no sisters) who died at Oklahoma City in 1934.

In November, 1901, a convention assembled at Muskogee, Indian Territory, at which the Congress of the United States was memorialized to pass an enabling act providing that the Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory should hold a joint constitutional convention to formulate a state constitution for approval and submission to Congress for the admission of a new state into the Union to be composed of the country occupied by the people of Oklahoma and Indian Territories1 John Bell Turner being its Secretary, and the late Robert B. Forest of El Reno, Oklahoma, its chairman.

He was associated in the practice of the law at Erin, Tennessee, with Col. Henry Buquo, and at Fort Smith, Arkansas, with the late J. F. Frederick, and at Vinita, Indian Territory, in 1895 with J. B. Burkhalter, and also with William P. Thompson.

Born just before the beginning of the Civil War, he was educated during the days of reconstruction and followed the extension of the frontier into the west, contributing his best endeavors for its advancement and upbuilding. Never a candidate for any office, other than Justice of the Supreme Court, he participated in all endeavors for community and public betterment.

R. L. Williams.

Durant, Oklahoma.


Charles Boliver Barker was born February 27, 1884 at Niobe, in Chautauqua County, New York. He was the son of David M. Barker (the son of Pelham Barker and Permelia Tillotson) and Rosetta Ann Trusler (the daughter of John Trusler and Harriett Ray, who were married in England and came to the United States where their children were born).

He was graduated from the High School at Lakewood, New York and received his A. B. Degree from Ewing College in Illinois, his Medical Degree from Loyola Medical College, Chicago, Illinois and interned in the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary at Chicago, Illinois in 1912. He did post-graduate work in all the medical centers in the United States and in 1927 had work in Vienna, Austria and in Cairo, Egypt in 1932.

Dr. Barker came to Guthrie, Oklahoma in 1913, where he began his practice in eye, ear, nose and throat work. In 1914 he was married to Dr. Pauline Quillin, who was also practicing in Guthrie, and who continued to practice with him in his specialty.

Dr. Barker was a pioneer in Oklahoma in the use of moving pictures in demonstration of eye, ear, nose and throat work. He showed his moving pictures, by invitation, to senior medical students of the Oklahoma University Medical School. He was the author of many scientific lectures, illustrated by moving pictures, which he delivered in Oklahoma and in many other States.

Dr. Barker made arrangements to bring Dr. Richard Waldafel of Vienna, Austria, to give a course in Oklahoma, in 1928. This was then taken over by the Extension Department of Oklahoma University, when Dr. Barker was instrumental in bringing Dr. Pillot, an eye man, Dr. Ruttin, an ear man, and Dr. Haslinger, a throat man, from Vienna, Austria to Oklahoma University to give courses.

Charles Barker

Page 255

Because of his unusual ability in eye, ear, nose and throat practice, Dr. Barker's reputation was known throughout Oklahoma and in surrounding States.

He was a member of the Cimarron Valley Wesley Hospital Staff in Guthrie, Oklahoma, the Logan County Medical Society, Oklahoma State Medical Society, American Medical Association, American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, the Kansas City Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Society and was made a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons in 1930. He was a Past Grand of the I. O. O. F. Lodge of Guthrie, Oklahoma and a 32nd degree Mason.

Dr. Barker passed away February 12, 1939 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, aged 54 years, 11 months and 12 days, a result of streptococcis septicemia.


Rev. Williams

Edward Rutledge Williams was born on October 5, 1857, in Schuyler County, Illinois, and died on December 24, 1932, at Wichita, Kansas, and buried at Buffalo, Oklahoma.

He was the son of Henry Williams and his wife, Hannah Taylor Williams. The first Williams ancestor of his in this country came in 1828 from Wales.

He was educated at the University of Illinois, and at the age of 19 years received a first grade life teacher's certificate. He migrated to Kansas in 1884, and in 1885 taught school at Greensburg, Comanche County, Kansas. In 1886 he began a long itinerancy in the ministry, being a missionary in that early day in Kansas. In 1893 he made the run into the Cherokee Strip, securing a homestead near Blackwell, where he lived until his children had reached manhood and womanhood.

On July 9, 1876, he was married to Ella M. Winn, a daughter of Dr. Winn and his wife. She was born at St. Paul, Minnesota on December 28, 1859, and died at the family home near Buffalo, Oklahoma, on March 2, 1923, where she is buried.

He was a member of the Convention from District No. 3, which framed the Constitution for the state of Oklahoma, serving on the following committees: Public Institutions, Legislative Department, Primary Elections, Public Debt and Public Works (Chairman). He presented the following petitions to the convention:  (1)  Religious Liberty, (2)  Liquor Traffic, and (3)  Lobbying.

In 1918-19 he was agent for Western Oklahoma Orphanage for white children at Helena, his wife being matron thereof during that period.

His wife's father, Dr. Winn, from Mason County, Illinois, was a member of the state senate for 20 years.

The following children survived him and his said wife: Harry B., and Bayard Earl, and Charles E., all of Wichita, Kansas; James Mark, of Redlands, California; Paul Henry, of Louisiana; and Mrs. Clara Darbro, of Woodward, Oklahoma.

From his homestead in Kay County near Blackwell, he removed to Woodward, Oklahoma, and later took up his residence in what is now Harper County, being elected from District No. 3 to the Constitutional Convention, where he took an effective and active interest in the creation of Harper County principally out of Woodward County, as it existed under the Territory of Oklahoma, and the location of its county seat at

Page 256

Buffalo, near which place he lived until the death of his wife, after which he was again active in the itinerancy in ministerial duties.

After a long and useful life, he laid down earthly cares.

—R. L. Williams.

Durant, Oklahoma


William Thomas Dalton was born near Girard, in Macoupin County, Illinois, on November 7, 1857, and died at Broken Arrow, Oklahoma on September 15, 1933, where he was buried in Park Grove Cemetery.

He was the son of Jesse Dalton and his wife, Christiana Dalton, nee Williams.

With his parents he migrated to Clay County, Nebraska in 1872, receiving his education in the public schools of said county. After becoming of age, he engaged in farming near Edgar, Nebraska, until 1892, when he came to Oklahoma Territory, locating at Stillwater, where he engaged in the mercantile business. In 1903, with others, he organized the Coweta State Bank of Coweta. Having located at Broken Arrow where he had been a resident at the time of his death for over 30 years, except two years spent in New Mexico, for 15 years he operated the Gin, Coal & Mill Company. He gave freely of his time, efforts and resources in the interest of the community.

On January 10, 1884, he was married to Miss Minnie Belle Rohrer of Scottsville, Illinois. To this union seven children came: Clarence G., Oklahoma City; Mrs. Lela Bailey, Salina, Kansas; Carl W. and Ralph R., of Broken Arrow; Charles J., of Los Angeles, California; Mrs. Bertha Ladd, who died in May, 1929; and James J., who died in October, 1890.

The conduct of his life was based upon the principles embodied in the Golden Rule.

In addition to the foregoing children, he is survived by his widow and a brother, Charles Dalton, both of Broken Arrow.

As a Democrat, he was nominated and elected from District 69, as a member of the convention to frame a Constitution for the state of Oklahoma, and served on the following committees:  (1)  Suffrage, (2)  Private Corporations, (3)  General Provisions, (4)  Public Printing, and presented to the convention a petition relating to religious liberty. The following propositions were introduced by him: No. 112, Relating to Rights of State, No. 113, to rights of farmers, No. 173, relating to Pardons, No. 174, relating to Requisitions, No. 210, relating to Local or Special Laws, No. 248, relating to shipping dead bodies, and No. 277, relating to freedom of Speech.

He was affiliated with the Odd Fellows organization.

—R. L. Williams

Durant, Oklahoma

William Dalton


Casper Wister Herod was born on August 5, 1865, in Smith County, Tennessee, the son of Benjamin Franklin Herod and his wife, Judith

Page 257

Casper Herod

(Haynie) Herod, who were married in said county in 1842. The father died on September 7, 1883, and the mother in 1896. Casper Wister Herod was born in the same county as his father who was born in 1819. His mother, a daughter of John and Mary L. (Beasley) Haynie was born in 1820. His paternal grandparents were Dr. Peter Herod and his wife, Rebecca E. (Key) Herod, both natives of North Carolina, and pioneer settlers in Smith County, Tennessee.

He had the following brothers and sisters:  (1)  Clarkey Rebecca, born in 1847 and died in July, 1926, her husband being W. H. Halle; (2)  George Washington, a retired physician residing at Pleasant Shade, Tennessee; (3)  Morton P., born in 1854, died in March 1926, who was a planter at Dixon Springs, Tennessee; (4)  John Franklin, born in 1854, died in June 1924, while engaged in the hotel business at Hartsville, Tennessee; (5)  William E., born in 1856 and died in 1882; (6)  Mary Louise, born in 1859, and died in infancy; (7)  Casper Wister, the youngest child.

He was educated in the State Institute at Hartsville, Truesdale County, Tennessee, graduating in 1880. After remaining for a time on his father's plantation, he embarked in business.

In September, 1893, he came to Woodward, Oklahoma Territory, seeking opportunities afforded in a new country, arriving on September 12, four days before the opening of the Cherokee Strip on September 16. He was later appointed Chief Clerk of the United States Land Office at Woodward, filling said position for four years. Having been admitted to the bar to practice law, in 1897, he opened a law office at Woodward. He was an ethical and successful lawyer.

He was elected and filled the office of County Judge for two terms. In 1914, he was the democratic nominee for Congress. On account of the district being overwhelmingly Republican he failed by a small margin, of election. Twice he was the democratic nominee for State Senator. He was a delegate to every democratic state convention from the erection of the state until his death. In 1916 he was a delegate to the democratic national convention at St. Louis.

He took a leading part in the development and growth of Woodward and in no small degree contributed thereto, participating in every worthy civic advance. He gave his best efforts toward the extension of the Wichita Falls and Northwest railroad from Elk City north to Woodward, and held the position as local attorney of said road at the time of his death. He filled the offices of city attorney, alderman, mayor, and County Judge with fidelity, efficiency, and honor. During the World War he was chairman of the local draft board, rendering, without compensation, such patriotic service.

Judge Herod served not only as a director, but also as President of the Woodward Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of Masonic Lodge No. 113 at Hartsville, Tennessee, retaining his membership there on account of his father having been a charter member thereof.

On May 16, 1903, he married Miss Nettie Allison, daughter of Edward R. and Elizabeth Allison, of Mutual, Oklahoma, who was born April 11, 1884, in Stafford County, Kansas, and died August 4, 1906. To this union there was one child, Hollis Hayden Herod, born March 22, 1904, who now resides at El Reno.

On October 2, 1909, he was married to Pearl M. Maischel, daughter of William and Mary C. Maischel, of Harper County, Kansas. Three children came to this union, to-wit: Galen Woodrow, born October 7, 1914, of Woodward; Mary Edith, born July 8, 1917; who lives in Oklahoma City; and Florence Louise, born July 7, 1919, a student at Oklahoma A. & M. College, Stillwater.

All enterprises of the community of Woodward were, in a measure, benefited by his sympathetic interest in directing advice. His service to the public at large was of great value.

Page 258

Judge Herod had built up a good law practice and established a wide and enviable reputation. He was ever an efficient, eloquent and affective leader. As a member of the democratic party he was always in the front, his political influence being greatly felt. He and the late David P. Marum were active and effective in bringing about the location of the station in that county for the promotion of an agricultural center.

When the funeral services were conducted from the First Presbyterian Church, all business houses closed from 1:30 p. m. until 3:00 o'clock while same were in progress, to pay tribute to the man who had so much to do with the building and progress of the city.

—R. L. Williams.

Durant, Oklahoma


John Mitten Carr, son of Daniel Mintelo Carr and his wife, Nancy Carr, nee Dobbins, was born December 31, 1867, in Sumner County, near Gallatin, Tennessee. His uncle, Richard Beard. was one of the founders of the law department of Cumberland University at Lebanon, Tennessee, and associated with it in various capacities until the time of his death.

He was educated in the rural schools of Sumner County, near Gallatin, Tennessee. In an early day he and a brother, James Carr, removed to Kansas, settling at Augusta. At the opening of the Cherokee Strip he made the run and secured a farm near Blackwell. He lived on his claim until 1902 when he removed to Frederick, Oklahoma Territory, engaging in the hardware and implement business.

In 1916 he moved to Enid, Oklahoma, where he engaged in the automobile business.

He was elected and served as mayor of Enid for two terms (1926-1930). He had also been mayor at Frederick, Oklahoma.

He was a member of the Convention which framed the Constitution of Oklahoma, from District No. 54, and served on the following committees: Executive Department, Public Service Corporations, Homestead and Exemptions, Public Debt and Public Works, Counties and County Boundaries.

He was twice a delegate to National Democratic Conventions and attended every state convention during his residence in the state of Oklahoma.

He was a member of the Presbyterian Church and all the Masonic bodies of Enid, and a member of India Shrine and Consistory at Guthrie.

He and Miss Mina Moore of Blackwell were married in 1895, who survives him.

He died suddenly at Oklahoma City on Tuesday, September 28, 1937.1

A progressive and successful businessman, active for the public welfare, passed away.

John Carr

Page 259


Alice Murray

Mrs. Alice Hearrell Murray, wife of former Governor William H. Murray, was born near Tishomingo, the old capital of the Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory, January 9, 1875, and died in St. Anthony's Hospital, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, August 28, 1938. Her body lay in state in the State Capitol from noon until 5:00 o'clock P. M., August 29, 1938,—the first woman in Oklahoma to receive this honor, and the first wife of a Governor of Oklahoma to pass away. She was buried in the cemetery at Tishomingo, August 30, 1938.

Mrs. Murray was of Indian descent, and as the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Hearrell, as niece of the Honorable Douglas H. Johnston, Governor of the Chickasaws, and the Honorable Tandy Walker, Chief of the Choctaws, she was closely affiliated with the affairs of these two powerful Indian Nations. A graduate of Bloomfield Seminary, a Chickasaw college for young ladies, she became associated with the educational department of the Chickasaw Nation.

Alice Hearrell was married to William H. Murray, a special attorney to the Governor of the Chickasaws, at Tishomingo, July 19, 1899, and as a loyal and devoted wife and mother she sustained her noted husband in all of his varied career, and with the wisdom of her spiritual enlightenment has had a noble share in shaping the destiny of Oklahoma.

Splendid memorials, which are on file in the archives of the Oklahoma Historical Society, have been written of this beautiful and gracious woman, but she has also left an enduring memorial in the hearts of the citizens of this State which will be handed down through the generations as long as Oklahoma has a history, for her beneficent influence has enriched and thereby left a permanent impress on the civilization of Oklahoma, and is a distinct contribution to its spiritual, intellectual, and socal life.


You walked the path of dest-
Crowned with gentleness and
For all mankind.

Your understanding heart and
A willing sacrifice to all their
Your essence was the stuff of
Our pioneers were made,
And virtue flowed from your pure
To all who touched you as you
Passed this way.
Your spirit has been poised for
For many years,
Your visions always swept the far
And lived in constant touch with
Who gave you innate sense of

Page 260

In all things.
A secret knowledge of His
The sunsets and the starlit
The bloom of flowers and fall-
     ing leaves,
The winter snows and rainswept
Were witcheries to which you were

Your soul so blended with it
Until at times you beat your
     folded wings
In vain attempt against the
Of mortal ken;
And then again you walked
In sweet serenity,
Secure in knowledge that some
The Call would come.

The Call has come,
The bars are down,
Your wings are now unfolded;
With swiftest flight they bore
     you far,
To those bright realms
Of which you dreamed,
And there the One
Who guides your spirit's flight
               Receives—your liberated soul.

Jesse E. Moore.1


Harry Lee Stuart was born at Mansfield, Louisiana, on September 20, 1865. He was the son of Rev. Charles Bingley Stuart and his wife Elizabeth Lee, nee Davis.1

His grandfather, John Stuart, and grandmother, Lucy Stuart, nee Horne, on the paternal side, were both of Scotch descent and came from England to King William County, Virginia. His grandfather and grandmother on the maternal side were William Edwards Davis and Mary Hoomes Davis. His paternal grandparents had four sons, who, in order of their birth, were Charles Bingley, James, John William, and Ralph.

Judge Harry Lee Stuart's father (Charles Bingley Stuart, Sr.) was born and lived for many years in Virginia. In 1845 he graduated from Randolph-Macon College while it was located at Boydton, Virginia. Thereafter for

Harry Stuart

Page 261

several years he taught chemistry in that college. Later he became president of a girls' school at Ashland, Virginia, and still later he was admitted to the bar and engaged in the practice of the law.

About the time he removed to Louisiana he became a local preacher with deacons orders in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. About 1859, Charles Bingley Stuart, Sr., and his brother, John William Stuart, devoted to each other and for a while in partnership, removed to Mansfield, Louisiana, where Charles Bingley Stuart became the second president of the Mansfield Female College.

Harry Lee Stuart finished his education with a Master's degree from Randolph-Macon College after it was removed to Ashland, Virginia. His mother, Elizabeth Lee Davis Stuart, died when he was quite young and was buried at Mansfield, Louisana. His early life on account of this occasioned gloom was pervaded by sadness, but never in a long, difficult, but cultured and distinguished career did he depart from the traditions and best teaching of his day, a true gentleman of the old southern school.

His father died in 1890 and is buried at Marshall, Texas.

When he first came from Louisiana to Texas, he edited the Hesperian, a newspaper published at Gainesville, at the same time reading law. After being admitted to the bar he formed a partnership with Judge R. R. Bell, which continued and lasted through the last 46 years of his life. In 1910, this firm removed to Oklahoma City, the style of the firm then being Ledbetter, Stuart and Bell.

When Judge Stuart died, Judge Bell told the newspaper reporters that in that long and intimate relationship he could not remember of ever having heard his partner utter an oath, and that his language was always as chaste as that of a child.

Whilst he went through life burdened with the sorrows of others, he was ever careful to keep his own imprisoned within himself. As such a man he was outstanding as a counselor and will be remembered by those who sought his advice as one who had a generous and human kindness and a sympathizing spirit, worthy to be canonized with the saints.

He was a careful student of the Bible and a devout Christian. At the bar he was a good and honorable fighter, working long and arduously for his client. Regardless of the amount involved in a case he might accept, it rested with him as a celebrated one. The law in Oklahoma and Texas is better for his influence in having lived and practiced in said jurisdictions.

In his home he was a man of devotion, a kind husband, generous to a fault and a father indulgent of his son.

Many were the hours he spent with the classics in his own library, and often at night because he loved his fireside, his thoughts resolved themselves there to the benefit of others. He rose early and worked late, never conscious of the vast physical effort expended. Honor, loyalty, justice and devotion were pearls of great price to him. For their furtherance and fulfillment he lived and eventually died, even as he wished, on the way to try another case—a tribute to his early life and a noble prelude for a better one yet to come. What the future has lost, humanity has gained. The ideal will survive, he having lived for it and passed on, leaving it to swell deep in the hearts of those many who knew him and loved him.

He died March 16, 1939, survived by his widow and Harry Lee Stuart, Jr.2

R. R. Bell.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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