The annual meeting of the Oklahoma Historical Society convened May 12, 1941 at Lawton, Oklahoma at 2 o'clock P.M. in the auditorium of the Cameron State College, with Judge Robert L. Williams, President, presiding.
The meeting opened with several musical selections by the Cameron College band. The invocation was given by Dean Brown of the College.
Mr. Charles D. Campbell, President of the Lawton Chamber of Commerce, introduced Judge Robert L. Williams, President of the Oklahoma Historical Society, and he as the presiding officer introduced the Hon. John Thomas, Sr., of Lawton, who gave the address of welcome. Response to the address of welcome was given by Judge Thomas A. Edwards, of Cordell. An address, "Past, Present and Future of Fort Sill," was given by Capt. John C. Hayden, of Fort Sill. Dr. E. E. Dale, head of the History Department of the University of Oklahoma, Norman, delivered an address, "The Opening of the Kiowa-Comanche Reservation."
Preceding the evening session the members of the Society were the guests of the Lawton Chamber of Commerce at dinner in the Century Club rooms.
At 8 o'clock P. M., in the High School Auditorium, the meeting was opened with a musical program by the Lawton High School orchestra. Mr. Charles D. Campbell called the meeting to order and introduced Judge Robert L. Williams, President of the Oklahoma Historical Society, who presided and introduced Dr. Grant Foreman, of Muskogee (substituting for Gov. Leon C. Phillips who was unable to be present) and gave an Informal address on a trip he and Mrs. Foreman made to the country which is now known as Iraq, and told of some of the interesting places they saw which are now in the war zone.
Tuesday morning, May 13, a visit was made to the Fort Sill Indian School where a program was given in the Indian School auditorium by the school band and several colorful Indian dances by some of the pupils. A song "Pale Moon" was sung by an Indian girl, accompanied by another pupil in the Indian sign language. Each number on the program was introduced by Albert Attocknie, Chairman of the Business Council.
At the conclusion of the program, Yellowfish, the last survivor of the battle of Adobe Walls between the Indians and Whites, talked to the audience in his native tongue which was interpreted by Albert Attocknie.
At 9 o'clock A. M. a visit was made to the old Geronimo House and Fort Sill Museum.
At 10 o'clock A. M., in the Old Stone Church (Catholic Chapel), Fort Sill, the business session was called to order by the President, Judge Robert L. Williams, with the following Board members and several members of the Society present: Judge Thomas A. Edwards, Cordell; Dr. Grant Foreman, Muskogee; Dr. Emma Estill-Harbour, Edmond; Col. A. N. Leecraft, Durant; J. B. Milam, Chelsea; Mrs. Jessie E. Moore, Oklahoma City, and James W. Moffitt, Secretary
The President stated that since our last annual meeting on May 9 and 10, 1940, death had taken from the membership of the Board of Directors some of its most useful members. Honorable William P. Thompson had passed away on October 28, 1940 and Mrs. Roberta C. Lawson, who at the last annual meeting opened same by leading in unison the other members present in the Lord's Prayer, had on December 31, 1940 taken her place on the spiritual world, and Honorable Samuel W. Hayes had on March 15,
1941 taken his station in another world's tribunal, and that after years of membership in the Society and on the Board of Directors, aiding in the upbuilding of the Society, they will no longer attend meetings with us except in spirit. (Such announcement having been made by the President, the members and audience stood at attention in silence and reverence to their memory.)
Dr. Grant Foreman moved that Mr. Jasper Sipes, Judge Thomas H. Doyle, and Gen. Chas. F. Barrett, members of the Board, being absent on account of illness expressions of regret and sympathy be expressed and conveyed to said members with the hope of their speedy recovery. Motion was seconded and unanimously carried.
On motion and second a resolution was passed thanking the citizens of Lawton and various organizations, including the Chamber of Commerce and other civic orders, Cameron College, the High School, Fort Sill Indian School and the pupils for their entertainments, the Post Commandant of Fort Sill, General G. R. Allin; Colonel William Spence, Executive Officer; Colonel L. A. Kurtz; Captain John C. Hayden; and Lt. Carl Hagman, and others at Fort Sill for their courtesies and their hospitable entertainment of the members of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The motion having been seconded, same was unanimously carried.
The following names were presented for membership in the Oklahoma Historical Society:
Life: Erle P. Halliburton, Duncan, and Robert S. Kerr, Oklahoma City.
Annual: Joe Aberson, Cordell; Mrs. Bert L. Adams, Oklahoma City; Glen Birckett, Cordell; Mrs. Lena S. Blakeney, Hugo; William L. Blessing, Shawnee; Hattie Cary Bradford, Oklahoma City; C. A. Breitung, Ada; Mrs. Gerald Brown, Enid; Mrs. W.C. Burnham, Oklahoma City; Mrs. Ruth M. Chanaud, Oklahoma City; Mrs. Clarence C. Childers, Oklahoma City; Mrs. John P. Cook, Oklahoma City; Mrs. Anna M. Cullings, Tulsa; Ella Cummings, Oklahoma City; Mrs. Ella Adell Davis, Oklahoma City; Kathleen DeGroot, Muskogee; Charles E. Dierker, Oklahoma City; C. H. Drew, Muskogee; Mrs. R. W. Ellis, Antlers; Mary L. Ewing, Fort Worth, Texas; G. A. Fleming, Cordell; R. E. Folsom, Mounds; Mrs. J. T. Foote, Durant; Mrs. Leta B. Gilkey, Norman; Prof. Elton J. Green, Tahlequah; Charles W. Grimes, Tulsa; Z. J. Harrison, Poteau; Mrs. A. F. Hatfield, Cushing; H. W. Hicks, Vinita; Prof. Louise S. Hornbeck, Ada; H. H. Huff, Anita, Iowa; Mrs. Nelle B. Ingram, Ada; Mrs. Golda H. Ivester, Sayre; Beulah Jeanette Johnson, Oklahoma City; Judge Hugh C. Jones, Hominy; Frank Kliewer, Cordell; Herman Klump, Bessie; Mrs. Kathleen Lindsey, Pauls Valley; Mrs. K. E. McAfee, Oklahoma City; Mrs. Ollie J. McKeever, Oklahoma City; Mrs. Edwin R. McNeill, Pawnee; Mrs. J. R. McKnight, Oklahoma City; Homer Melton, Vinita; Prof. Maurice H. Merrill, Norman; Mrs. L. T. Miller, Ponca City; Harold L. Mueller, Oklahoma City; Karl H. Mueller, Fort Worth, Texas; Golda M. Patrick. Inola; W. J. Porter, Tonkawa; Ottelia Quindt, Oklahoma City; Dr. Ralph H. Records, Norman; Mrs. Norman E. Reynolds, Oklahoma City; Robert B. Rice, Oklahoma City; Mildred Riling, Durant; Mrs. Sue B. Rucker, Oklahoma City; Melcena Sampson, Oklahoma City; Zoe Sauerman, Lawton; Ben F. Saye, Duncan; Mrs. Bertha B. Schiefelbusch, Muskogee; Franklin J. Schuhmacher, Muskogee; William Self, Tulsa; Virgil P. Siler, Oklahoma City; Mrs. Carl W. Skogsberg, Oklahoma City; Mrs. Mamie Small, Lawton; Dr. Lovina M. Smith, Oklahoma City; Margaret Sprankle, Oklahoma City; Mrs. Martha A. Stephenson, Oklahoma City; Mrs. Frank F. Stevens, Oklahoma City; Mrs. S. E. Swinney, Durant; Harold Tacker, Norman; Mrs. Florence Hadley Tucker, Pawhuska; Walter Clark Tucker, Pawhuska; Lonnie Vanderveer, Cordell; Mrs. R. M. Vliet, Oklahoma City; Perry E. Waid, Waurika; Mrs. Grace Johnson Ward, Oklahoma City; Claude Weaver, Oklahoma City; Mrs. Claude Weaver, Oklahoma City; Fred L. Whittington, Yukon; Dr. Charles C. Williamson, New York City; R.H. Wills, Tulsa; Mrs. John H. Wright, Oklahoma City; Prof. C. C. Wyatt Weatherford; Robert F. Wyly, Norman, and Thurman White, Norman.
Motion was made that they be elected and accepted for membership in the class indicated on the list. Motion was seconded and carried.
Dr. Grant Foreman presented a copy of "Glimpses of the Past: Notes of Auguste Chouteau on Boundaries of Various Indian Nations," edited by Grant Foreman in the Missouri Historical Society, VII (October-December, 1940).
Mrs. Robert J. Ray presented to the historical society a volume entitled 'Neath August Sun (by the Lawton Business and Professional Women's Club).
Mr. C. D. Campbell presented to the Society a copy of Survey of Conditions of the Indians in the United States (Washington, 1931).
Dr. Emma Estill-Harbour moved that these gifts be accepted and each of the donors thanked therefor. Motion was seconded and unanimously carried.
Judge Thomas A. Edwards moved that the President's report be published as a part of the minutes of the meeting. The motion was seconded and carried.
Dr. Grant Foreman moved that a special vote of thanks be extended to Mr. C. D. Campbell, President of the Lawton Chamber of Commerce, for his leadership in the entertainment of the members of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Motion was seconded and unanimously carried.
The President, Judge Williams, presented and introduced Dr. Grant Foreman, who delivered an address on the "Historical Background of the Kiowa-Comanche Reservation."
Motion was made that the addresses of Dr. Foreman and Dr. Dale be published in future issues of the Chronicles of Oklahoma. Motion was seconded and carried.
The report of the President is as follows:
The Works Administration project No. 65-1-65-337, with the Oklahoma Historical Society as sponsor, engaged in cataloguing and indexing newspapers and other materials such as manuscripts, old letters, diaries, wills, etc., and in the preparation of a biographical index and in assembling records, expired. Under authority of resolution adopted by the Board of Directors at its regular meeting on October 24, 1940 application on the part of the historical society as sponsor was duly made by the President and Secretary for the continuance of such work under project 50283 in indexing news matters in Oklahoma newspapers and as to certain microfilms from the Arkansas Gazette (Little Rock, Arkansas)—Weekly—1821-1868, December 29 — November 17 (40 numbers missing) — exposures, 9542; and Arkansas Gazette (Little Rock, Arkansas) — Daily — 1865-1875 (66 numbers missing) exposures 14192; Arkansas Intelligencer (Van Buren, Ark), 1846-47, February 15—June 26 (288 pp.), 1857-1858, March 13—October 1 (128 pp.), exposures, 356; Northern Standard (Clarksville, Texas) 1842—October 15 (1 issue), 1848-1849, March 4—September 29, exposures, 232; and as to microfilms as to early papers in the Choctaw Nation; Doaksville Choctaw Intelligencer (published at Doaksville), 1850-1852 (missing 6 numbers), exposures 274; Choctaw Telegraph (Doaksville), 1849, May 3—December 20 (missing 2 numbers), exposures 100, total exposures, 24696, and documents and papers relating to Oklahoma Indians, that is, to Indians belonging to the various tribes located in what is now the bounds of Oklahoma, and other papers within its archives, and to complete the indexing of the last 20 volumes of the Indian and Pioneer project, which was approved in the Washington office, but with certain restrictions having thereafter been imposed which would seriously handicap the society in operating thereunder. Application has been made to the Oklahoma State WPA Administrator for the modification of same, which has been submitted to and is being considered by the Washington office.
Reasonable progress, with the cooperation of the Secretary, and the staff of employees, was made in the work of the Society, though handicapped on account of the decrease in available appropriations and funds for its use. During all that period we have endeavored to cooperate in the inaugurated economy program that the state budget may be balanced.
Reasonable efforts made to increase its membership have met with fair success.
Bulletin No. 3 of the Oklahoma Historical Society through its distribution has aided in bringing to the attention of the public the facilities and work of the historical society. Through its staff organization, questionnaires are being sent to the members so as to assemble in the archives of the library genealogical data. The Society is exercising every reasonable endeavor to collect and preserve books, maps, papers, manuscripts, and other materials, which illustrate the history of the state. The staff and all statutory employees are endeavoring to give factual information to the departments of state and counties and municipalities as well as to federal agencies, and where practicable the general public.
The custodian of the Newspaper department reports that "researchers express appreciation of the great value of our index" and the help which is rendered in securing material for dissertations, books, legal publications, etc., and that a number of workers from Washington and our state capital, Army Engineers' office at Tulsa, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, A. & M. College, and other schools in the state and many out of the state researchers have used our newspaper and index cards.
Oklahoma has recently received the National Safety Council's Award for the fourth consecutive year for outstanding accomplishments in the field of traffic safety during 1940.
At our last annual meeting (Vol. 18, June, 1940, p. 199) it was stated:
"The honor which came to Oklahoma as the first state in the Union to win the National Safety Council's Annual Award for the third time is succession on April 10, 1940, was due in large measure to the work done in the newspapers in our files by a group of employees from the Highway Commission, who, during the latter part of 1935, carefully checked the newspaper files in the Oklahoma Historical Society library of the preceding five years for reports of automobile accidents, and filled out cards showing causes of accidents, whether embankments, brush, weeds, unmarked blind roads, also type of car, driver's age, physical handicaps, etc. These cards having been so used, Oklahoma won the highest honors in the United States in the reduction of accidents during 1937, 1938 and 1939."
Same has been repeated in 1940 and 1941.
As to the Indian archives department, during the year from April 26, 1940 to April 29, 1941, 213 volumes embracing matters relating to the several tribes located within Oklahoma have been cross-indexed with 308 classifications, making a grand total of 923 classifications and 599 bound volumes cross-indexed. The greater part of the pencil slips covering the cross-index have been typed on 4x6 cards which have been alphabetically filed in card cases.
Documents written in the Creek language, numbering 787, have been translated into the English language during the year (April 26, 1940 to April 29, 1941) by a Creek Indian student supplied for that purpose under the WPA project, which had been sponsored by the Society. During said year inventory has been made of archives of the following Indian agencies, all of which are in the custody of the Society under rules and regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior by Act of Congress, March 27, 1934, 49 Stats. 501, 25 USCA, Section 199a, Title "Indians", p. 16, to-wit:
Cheyenne & Arapaho Indian Agency
and with the Indian archives owned by the Society make a total of 2,329,061 pages of manuscripts and 3175 bound volumes. The accumulations will cause such collection at Oklahoma City to constitute one of the greatest collections of such archives in the United States.
Dr. B. B. Chapman of Fairmont State Teachers' College, Fairmont, West Virginia, presented to the Society, in December, 1940 twenty-one pages of photostat copies of documents relative to the Cherokee or Jerome Commission. Also, the F. B. Severs' collection, an intermarried member of the Creek tribe, consisting of 256 bound volumes and several hundred manuscripts, the most of which collection has to do with his trading establishments in the Creek Nation located at Okmulgee and Muskogee, and the telephone company owned, installed and operated by himself and the late A. Z. English, his son-in-law, have become a part of our archives.
From time to time Dr. Grant Foreman in making research selected historical material for the historical society from various sources, and same was copied mostly in the form of typewritten copies, and placed in its archives, and in most instances has been bound and is now in its vaults and available for inspection and examination under rules and regulations of the society by interested persons, to-wit:
a. A volume of 402 typewritten pages of manuscripts in the office of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in Washington relating to the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole, Delaware, Osage and Quapaw Indians, covering the period from 1831 to 1860, and identified as Volume 1, entitled "Miscellaneous files from Office of Indian Affairs."
b. A smaller volume of 315 typed pages identified as Volume 2 of "Miscellaneous files from Office of Indian Affairs", containing copies of manuscripts relating to the Creek, Chickasaw and Cherokee Indians.
c. Copies of early manuscripts comprising about 600 typewritten pages, a considerable part of which was acquired by Dr. Foreman from a party in Van Buren, Arkansas, the originals being from the wreckage of an old warehouse, including bills of lading for goods shipped up the Arkansas River from New Orleans and other points to merchants in the Indian Territory from 1858 to 1862, disclosing the names of many persons identified with the history of that period, the volume including copies of miscellaneous documents secured from offices in Washington, D. C. covering the period from 1845 to 1865.
d. A volume of 470 typed pages, copies of manuscripts in the office of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs at Washington, D. C. relating to the Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw and other Indians, covering the period from 1830 to 1839.
e. A volume of 291 typed pages of manuscripts in the Office of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs relating to the Cherokee Indians from 1830 to 1840.
f. A volume of 381 typed pages of manuscripts in the office of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs relating to the Creek and Seminole Indians and covering the period from 1831 to 1840.
g. A volume of 342 pages of manuscripts in the office of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs relating to the Osage and Seminole Indians, the Western Superintendency, and relating to the general subject of schools among the Indians of Oklahoma, covering the period from 1829 to 1842.
h. A volume of 200 pages of original manuscripts in the office of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs relating to the Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw Indians and covering the period from 1839 to 1859.
i. A volume of 178 typewritten pages of manuscripts in the office of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs relating to treaties and litigation resulting from the claims of loyal citizens of the Indian Territory, entitled for "losses sustained during the Civil War," these papers bearing date from about 1865 to 1867.
j. A volume of 197 typewritten pages of original manuscripts in the office of the Adjutant General in Washington, D. C. in the files known as the "Old Records Division" and "Headquarters of the Army," covering the period from 1839 to 1849.
k. A photastatic copy extending to 245 pages of the "Fort Gibson Letter Book 1834-1836", the original of which is in the office of the Adjutant General at Washington.
l. A volume of 57 typewritten pages bearing the title "Extracts from `The Diary of the Moravian Missions among the Cherokee Indians, 1833, 1834, 1835, 1836, 1837, 1838"', and being copies of the archives in the Moravian Church at Winston-Salem, N.C., these being translated from the German and typed in the English language.
m. A compiled list of the records as contained in the War Department at Washington, D.C., of Indians and other persons who served in the Confederate Army from Indian Territory during the Civil War, contained in two volumes in the vault of the Oklahoma Historical Society, covering 700 pages and including more than 13,000 names.
n. A volume of 347 typed pages of manuscripts and newspaper articles contained in the State Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, Alabama, relating to the Creek Indians and covering the period from 1831 to 1915.
o. A volume of typed pages copied from the "George Gaines papers" now on deposit in the Department of Archives and History at Jackson, Mississippi.
p. A volume of 250 typed pages, being copies of original letters relating to the missionary activities of Rev. W.S. Robertson and Rev. S.A. Worcester, father and grandfather of Miss Alice Robertson, covering the period from 1838 to 1917, being letters made available by the late Mrs. N.B. Moore.
q. A volume of 250 pages, being additional copies of letters from the family of Miss Alice Robertson, and a body of material relating to John Ross, Chief of the Cherokee Nation, covering the period from 1836 to 1933.
r. A volume of 255 typed pages, copies of the journals of the International Indian Council held at Okmulgee in the Creek Nation in June, 1872, May, 1873, May, 1875, and September, 1875.
s. Two volumes comprising 1145 typed pages, being copies of letters written by and to the Rev. Cyrus Byington, missionary among the Choctaw Indians from 1820 to 1866.
t. A volume of 182 typewritten pages prepared by the late W. B. Alberty, Cherokee, of Westville, Oklahoma, entitled, "Cherokee Indians, Life and Customs."
u. Inventory of records of the Five Civilized Tribes, transferred from the office of the Superintendent at Muskogee to the Oklahoma Historical Society. As to the Seminoles and Chickasaws the catalog contains 384 typewritten pages, and as to the Creeks, 701 typewritten pages, and as to the Cherokees, 264 typewritten pages, and as to the Choctaws, 448 typewritten pages.
v. A file of the Indian Advocate, published by the Baptists at Louisville, Kentucky, from 1847 to 1855, containing a vast amount of descriptive correspondence from the Indian Territory, found by Dr. Foreman in the
library of Congress. A photostat copy was secured by him for our archives where it forms a valuable addition to our historical material relating to the Indians of the Five Civilized Tribes.
w. A typed copy of an autobiography of Mary Ann Lilley, wife of John Lilley, missionary to the Creeks and Seminoles, in the vault of our historical society.
x. Interviews secured by Dr. Foreman and Mrs. Foreman from early pioneers in the Five Civilized Tribes regarding their recollections of facts and acts detailed to them by persons long since passed away, among whom were the following, to-wit: Mrs. Edith Walker, granddaughter of Rev. Samuel A. Worcester, Mrs. Frank Swift, Mrs. Sue Rogers, R. P. Vann, Clarence B. Turner, Mrs. N. B. Moore, sister of Miss Alice Robertson, W.H. Balentine of Tahlequah, Mrs. Carrie Breedlove of Muldrow, Oklahoma, and Capt. John West.
y. A picture secured by Dr. Foreman from Thomas Blair during his lifetime of the Sequoyah Home which had been secured by Thomas Blair's father from Sequoyah's widow, together with Blair's verified statement as to the facts identifying the house as Sequoyah's Home.
z. Notes of material found by Dr. Foreman in the Washington County (Arkansas) court house, relating to the Cherokee Indians and other settlers in the country adjacent to the state of Arkansas, and other miscellaneous notes and copies of diaries and other manuscripts are in the vault of the society.
This material was assembled by Dr. Foreman in his work in securing material and making research for the many books of which he is the author and without any compensation for his work in securing these copies other than any actual reimbursement from the historical society for copying. It was unselfishly rendered for its preservation and rendering it available to students and researchers.
This data is set out in detail in this annual report to be published in The Chronicles, whose readers will find a guide in locating same.
All of the members of the staff and statutory employees of the historical society have duly made their reports and same are on file in the archives of the Historical Society available for examination, and are cooperating in bringing about efficient results.
The annual meeting was adjourned.
A visit was made to the new chapel at Fort Sill, and luncheon was served in the Officers' recreation center, followed by a sight-seeing tour of Fort Sill and other historic places and sites.
Robert L. Williams,