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Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 19, No. 3
September, 1941

Page 297


Nathan Gibson

Nathan Adams Gibson, son of James Knox and Rosa (Somervell) Gibson, was born at Stanton, Tennessee October 18, 1867 and died on August 7, 1940; interment in Greenhill Cemetery, Muskogee, Oklahoma.

His paternal great-great grandfather was Robert Gibson, born in 1710 at Artigarven, Parish of Leek, County Tyrone, Province of Ulster, Ireland, and died at same place in 1807.

Robert Gibson's first wife was a Miss Porter, a near kinswoman of General Richard Montgomery, who fell in the storming of Quebec. He had 16 sons and 7 daughters. Thirteen of the sons came to the United States during and prior to the Revolution. Of these, eight lost their lives in the military service on the side of the Colonies of South Carolina and Georgia. His son, Joseph Gibson, great-grandfather of Nathan Adams Gibson, came to the United States in 1797 and returned to Ireland in 1799 and died in Strabane, County of Tyrone, Ireland in the 1820's. Joseph Gibson married Miss Jane Winslow of the Parish of Donaghedee, County of Tyrone, Ireland. Ten children came to that marriage, of whom was Robert, born in Strabane, County of Tyrone, Ireland on March 20, 1797, and grandfather of Nathan Adams Gibson. He was apprenticed in 1813 to Adams, Scholas & Company (shipping merchants) in Londonderry. On January 1, 1817 he left Ireland, and sailing from Liverpool, arrived in New York City 63 days later, whence he came to Nashville, Tennessee and entered the counting house of Crockett & Adams.

In 1823 he married Jane Adams, who had come to America from Strabane, Ireland, and who at that time was a resident of Nashville, Tennessee. To this marriage came six children. His wife died in 1836 and thereafter he married her sister, Rosanna, and to this marriage came two children, the youngest of whom was James Knox Gibson, the father of Nathan Adams Gibson. Rosanna died January 7, 1856, and Robert Gibson on May 10, 1864.

The maternal grandfather and grandmother of Nathan Adams Gibson were Joseph B. Somervell and Mary Eliza Somervell, and maternal great grandfather, James Somervell, the Somervell family having come originally from Scotland.

James Knox Gibson enlisted in the Confederate States army on January 1, 1864 at Canton, Mississippi in Company F, 1st Battalion Confederate Infantry, Forney's Regiment, Adams Brigade, Lowring's Division, Polk's Corps, and was detailed to serve with Major Thomas B. Adams and later attached to staff of General John Adams. His captain was Tony Barthell and lieutenants were Henry Ferguson and Prewitt.

The brothers and sisters of Nathan Adams Gibson were as follows: Joseph Somervell Gibson, deceased; James Knox Gibson, Kansas City, Missouri; Thomas L. Gibson, a member of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma; Mrs. Rosa White; and Mrs. Mary Nash.

He was married at Memphis, Tennessee on April 18, 1895 to Miss Florence W. Davidson, who died July 14, 1921; interment at Green Hill Cemetery, Muskogee, Oklahoma. To this union came the following children: Theresa, now Mrs. Thomas E. Graham of Oklahoma City; Rosa, now Mrs. Villard Martin of Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Virginia, now Mrs. Ellis A. Stokdyk of Berkeley, California; Eleanor, deceased, Katherine, and Frances (all surviving except Eleanor), and two sons, Nathan A., Jr., of Muskogee, Oklahoma, and a son who died in infancy.

On February 7, 1923 he was married to Miss Grace Martin Elmore of Topeka, Kansas, who survives him.

Page 298

He attended the Webb School, then at Culleoka, and later removed to Bellbuckle, Tennessee, and matriculated at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, receiving degrees of Bachelor of Arts in 1888 and Bachelor of Laws in 1890, and having been admitted to the Bar at Nashville, located at Memphis, where he engaged in the practice of law until September, 1893, when he removed to Muskogee, Indian Territory, there entering into a law partnership with S. O. Hines. In 1895, appointed Master in Chancery and this association dissolved, he continued as such Master until 1900 when he resumed the practice of law with W.F. Seaver, which association later was dissolved. In January, 1905, he entered into partnership with Honorable George S. Ramsey, which was continued until the latter part of 1908, and on being dissolved, he entered into partnership with Hal C. Thurman, which continued until September, 1914, when Thurman became Judge of the Superior Court of Muskogee County. He then entered into partnership in the general practice of law with Joseph L. Hull, and his brother, Thomas L. Gibson. This association continued until 1925 when the firm was consolidated with that of West, Sherman & Davidson of Tulsa, the consolidated firm being styled West, Gibson, Sherman, Davidson and Hull. Gibson and Hull removed to Tulsa and Thomas L. Gibson remained in Muskogee, for several years the firm maintaining offices in both Tulsa and Muskogee. In 1932, Hull became an attorney for the National Bank of Tulsa and the firm was changed, Nathan Adams Gibson forming a partnership in law with J. Harvey Maxey and Wilbur J. Holleman. After the death of Maxey, in August, 1936, Gibson and Holleman continued in the practice of law until his death.

For years he was President of the Muskogee County Bar Association and in 1923 of the Oklahoma State Bar Association.1 In 1920 he became a member of the American Bar Association and so continued until his death.2 He became a member of the Indian Territory Bar Association at its first annual meeting on October 2, 1900 after its preliminary organization on February 22, 1900 and continued as a member of said Bar Association until it was merged with the Oklahoma Territory Bar Association at Shawnee in December, 1905 and continued as a member of said consolidated Territory Association until the erection of the state of Oklahoma, and then continued as a member of its successor, the State Bar Association.

He was a member of the Methodist Church, Democratic Party, Phi Delta Theta fraternity, Elks, Tulsa Club, Southern Hills Country Club, and other social organizations, often presiding at their meetings as well as other gatherings as a masterly and most genial toastmaster.

A fine citizen, able lawyer, devoted to a happy family, has passed from this earthly surrounding.3

R. L. Williams.

Durant, Oklahoma


W. Joe Ballard, youngest child of William Alfred Ballard and his wife, Louise M. Ballard, born on a farm near Liberty, Mo., March 30, 1878, was reared in that community, and received his education in the local schools and a private business school. On September 25, 1901 he and Mary C.

W. Joe Ballard

Page 299

Porter were married, and to that union came two sons, Hardin in 1903 and Joe Porter in 1907.

In January of 1908, with his family, he established a home on a farm two miles west of Sugden, in Jefferson County, Oklahoma, which had been ranch headquarters for Cal and Ikard Suggs. In the meantime his wife aided as a rural school teacher in the nearby Deer Grove School. Later they removed to Waurika where he followed various employments until 1916.

Oklahoma was a dry state, and Texas on the south, wet. Illicit liquors being hauled through said county from Texas to the oil fields in adjacent Carter County, good citizens seeking election of county law enforcement officers importuned him to enter the race for sheriff, and with a borrowed horse and his meager funds he canvassed the county on horseback. The result of the campaign was his election as Sheriff, committed to prevention of community crime. He was re-elected three times, serving Jefferson County as Sheriff for eight years, his fourth term ending January 6, 1925. He was a fearless and an efficient officer, not only in suppressing the liquor traffic and apprehending car thieves and murderers, but also in quelling I. W. W. disorders.

On July 1, 1925 he was appointed investigator in the State Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, serving until January, 1927. During this period he resided in Norman in order that his sons might attend the State University.

From March of 1927 he operated a filling station on Highway 77 at Norman until 1933, when he was named by Carl Giles, Administrator, as investigator for the F. E. R. A. He later served in a similar capacity under John Eddleman and General W. S. Key.

In June of 1936, having severed that connection, he became an active supporter of the Honorable Josh Lee for the United States Senate, and was later urged by Senator Lee for appointment as United States Marshal for the Western District of Oklahoma to fill a vacancy. Thereupon he received an ad interim appointment to said vacancy on July 1, 1937 by the United States District Judge for said district, and served until he was appointed thereto by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate and qualified on October 1, 1937, and served in such capacity until the date of his death on November 26, 1940. He, whether as Marshal or Sheriff, efficiently and impartially enforced all laws in his quiet and courteous but firm manner at all times toward every person.

It was a pleasant diversion on his part to raise and train fine horses, and attend the Kentucky Derby.

He went to Mexico City on a Good Will trip with a football team, where on November 26, 1940 amidst tropical beauties and such environment he passed away, and was interred at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He is survived by his wife and two sons, all of whom reside in Oklahoma City.

The family having requested that no flowers be sent for his funeral, in lieu thereof his friends subscribed to a memorial fund with which the Ballard Lodge, equipped with steel lockers, was constructed at the Salvation Army building, 315 South Broadway, Oklahoma City, which furnishes sleeping facilities for forty homeless men.

A fine and useful citizen has passed away.

Earl Pruet.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


Dr. John A. Hatchett was born in Farmington, Mo., March 4, 1853, died at El Reno, Oklahoma, August 16, 1940, of arteriosclerosis and pneumonia, at the age of 87 years.

Page 300

His father, Leroy Downing Hatchett, a pioneer minister of the Christian Church, organized churches in Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri, and served many of the churches as pastor. He was a Chaplain in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

His mother was an Adams, a descendant of John Quincy Adams.

Dr. Hatchett married Mary Elizabeth Turner in 1884. He attended the Missouri Medical School, now Washington University at St. Louis, Missouri, graduating therefrom in 1884, with the degree of Doctor of Medicine. He practiced medicine in Missouri for several years, and moved to El Reno, Oklahoma, in 1891, where having established a sanitarium, he founded the first accredited Nurse's Training School in Oklahoma Territory.

In 1922 he moved to Oklahoma City, where he opened an office and specialized in obstetrics and gynecology. He soon joined the faculty of the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, later being honored as a Professor Emeritus. He was a member of the House of Delegates of the American Medical Association in 1905 and 1906, and Vice President of the House of Delegates in 1908. He was past president of the Oklahoma County Medical Society. Shortly after moving to Oklahoma City, he was elected honorary member of the Oklahoma City Academy of Medicine, and continued in such capacity until his death. In resolutions adopted, were expressed their high esteem.

The Oklahoma County Medical Association, stated by resolution that "In recognition of Dr. Hatchett's valuable contributions to the character and stability of the medical profession, we acknowledge the high spirit and courageous industry of his pioneering days in Oklahoma; his example as the ideal family doctor; his services in the building of one of the first hospitals of the state; his ability as a teacher, lecturing with Impressive authority, grace, and clarity. We revere his memory because of his high ethical standards, his stimulating presence, and his fine philosophy of life."

In 1933, Dr. Hatchett was given honorary membership in the Oklahoma Memorial Association in recognition and appreciation of the great and good public service which he had rendered in past years to humanity.

Dr. Hatchett lived in El Reno about thirty years, and became the family doctor of most of the people in that community. As such, he endeared himself to the people of El Reno, and his name became a household word to them. He was with them in their joys and in their sorrows, and they still speak of him in loving words and in terms of the greatest respect.

Dr. Hatchett took a great interest in the public schools in El Reno, and served the longest term of any member on the Board of Education, from 1892 to 1912, a period of twenty years. Verily, he was a grand old man, noble in character, revered and respected. His spirit has gone to its glorious recompense.

The following members of his immediate family survive,—his widow, Mrs. J. A. Hatchett; his daughters, Mrs. Olivette Duffy, and Mrs. C. E. Clymer; his son, Ray Hatchett.

Funeral services were held in El Reno, by Rev. M. B. Pringle, pastor of the Christian Church, and interment was made in the El Reno cemetery.

Etta D. Dale.

El Reno, Oklahoma

Dr. John Hatchett


Elzey W. Moore, born July 10, 1872 at Smithville, Monroe County, Mississippi, and died at Comanche, Oklahoma on August 2, 1940, where he is interred, was son of William Alfred Moore, born September 25, 1849 in Monroe County, Mississippi, and his wife, Martha Jane Moore, nee Lan,

Page 301

Elzey Moore

born August 19, 1843 in Monroe County, Mississippi, his said father and mother being married at Smithville, Mississippi, on October 22, 1868.

Elzey W. Moore came to Cameron, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory, with his father and mother on January 2, 1894, and at Monroe nearby in the Choctaw Nation he farmed and taught school until he settled at Heavener in the Choctaw Nation in 1898.

He was married to Malinda Jestun Killen at Monroe, Choctaw Nation on February 12, 1899, who died May 2, 1903. From said union she left surviving two children, to-wit: Floyd Swayne Moore, born November 13, 1899, and died September 8, 1918, and Maud Allene Moore, born August 30, 1901, and died November 22, 1902.

Elzey W. Moore at the organization of the municipal government of Heavener in 1902, was elected Mayor and re-elected, serving two terms. In 1903 he entered the drug business at Heavener in partnership with the late Dr. John Fowler. In 1906, having sold his interest in the drug business, he moved to Comanche, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory, on May 10, 1906.

On November 16, 1904 he was married to Maud M. Hall at Cauthron, Arkansas, who survives him. To this union came six children, to-wit: Elzey Clayburn Moore, born December 14, 1905 and died April 14, 1907; Lillian Moore Welcher, born July 22, 1907; Joe D. Moore, born March 15, 1909; Guy Haskell Moore, born June 11, 1910 and died May 22, 1932; Champ Porter Moore, born December 12, 1912; and Robert Woodrow Moore, born September 23, 1914.

He was elected Mayor of Comanche in 1907, acting ex officio as Town Justice, and re-elected, serving two terms, and later was elected and served as a member of the City Council and also as Justice of the Peace.1

In 1913 he was Livestock Inspector under the State Board of Agriculture. When the court house for Stephens County was constructed, being elected for two consecutive terms, he was Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners. Under appointment of the Governor, he served in 1915 on a special School Land Assessment Committee, and for a period of time was gasoline inspector under the State Corporation Commission. In all his public service he was efficient and faithful.

A fine citizen, taking a leading part in the upbuilding of the city and community and promoting the public welfare—loyal and devoted to both wives and children, a faithful friend, a member of the Methodist Church, and actively affiliated with the Democratic Party, has passed from these earthly surroundings.

R. L. Williams.

Durant, Oklahoma

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