Chronicles of Oklahoma

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Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 20, No. 1
March, 1942

Page 100


Louis Davis was born in Washington County, Georgia, on April 26, 1859, and died June 13, 1912, with interment at Toccoa, Georgia.

He was educated in the local schools at Toccoa and at the military school at Dahlonega, Georgia, and at Georgetown University, Washington, D. C., matriculating at said University from Toccoa, Georgia on December 11, 1875. After studying law and being admitted to the Bar, he practiced law for several years at Toccoa, Georgia. He served in the Georgia Senate from the 31st Senatorial District, 1886-87 and again in 1892-93, and was a delegate from the 9th Georgia Congressional District to the National Democratic Convention at Chicago in 1892.

At the opening of the land office in Perry in what is now Noble County, Oklahoma, then in the Cherokee Outlet, he was appointed chief clerk in said office, and on February 16, 1894 having been appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate qualified as Register of said office, the term to expire on February 15, 1898. After the election and inauguration of President McKinley, he tendered his resignation which was accepted December 6, 1897 to take effect on appointment and qualification of a successor, who entered on duty February 21, 1898.

He then engaged in the practice of law at Perry and so continued until the opening of the Comanche and Kiowa Reservation, when he removed to Lawton and engaged in the practice of law, being admitted to practice in the courts of Comanche County, Oklahoma Territory, at Lawton on February 27, 1902.

At the organization of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma, after the erection of the state on November 16, 1907, he was appointed by the Supreme Court of the state as one of the Commissioners of the State Bar, and on December 3, 1907 qualified as such by taking the oath before the Chief Justice, and continued to faithfully discharge the duties of that office until on account of failing health he resigned in the latter part of 1911.

The Lawton (Oklahoma) Daily News and Star of June 16, 1912 stated that Louis Davis, an old time resident of that city, on Thursday last (13th) had died at Atlanta, Georgia, interment at Toccoa, "a man of exemplary habits, a southern gentleman of the old school, courteous, kind and a man of highest integrity and ability. Lawton mourns his loss greatly."

His sisters were as follows: Mary E. Davis, who married T. F. Lawson; Sarah Virginia Davis, born May 21, 1857, married on June 27, 1870 to Merriwether Lewis at Mount Zion, Hancock County, Georgia; Clara Teresa Davis, who married F. M. Blackmer; Julia Davis, born April 12, 1861, the night Fort Sumter was fired on, who married Ira Monach; and Emma A. Davis.

He had no brothers and was never married. All of his sisters are dead long ago, and the Bible record of marriages and deaths is not available, only inscriptions on tombs. His mother was named Mary Amanda and the inscription on her tomb at Toccoa, Georgia recites that she was born July 1, 1825 and died July 8, 1908. Her husband and his father died in Washington County, Georgia where he is buried. The old marriage records were destroyed when the court house of said county at Sandersville was destroyed by fire. He had been crippled for years from rheumatism and was not able to serve in the army of the Confederate States of America, and died about the time of its close, and the family later removed to Toccoa.

Louis Davis is remembered by old timers for his fine qualities as a good man and citizen.

—R. L. Williams

Durant, Oklahoma

Louis Davis

Page 101


Robert Prentice White, son of Alexander White —(who was born December 2, 1848 in Alabama, and died at Rome, Georgia in 1910, and his wife, Rhoda Anne Prentice White, who was born April 30, 1850 in Alabama, and died at Rome, Georgia in 1918)—was born September 3, 1876 in Floyd County near Rome, Georgia, and died at Poteau, Oklahoma on Wednesday, January 1, 1936, where he was interred.

His paternal grandfather and grandmother were respectively Robert W. White, born in Alabama and received his degree in medicine from the Academy of Medicine at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1844 and practiced medicine for about 40 years at Waco, Texas, and Fannie Spyker, born in Alabama. His maternal grandfather and grandmother were respectively William L. Prentice and his wife, Nancy Rushing.

Robert Prentice White had three sisters, to-wit, Mayme White, who died at the age of 19 years, and Nancy White, who married C. C. Barton of Memphis, Tennessee, and Frances Spyker White, who married Morris C. Lumpkin of Columbia, South Carolina, and a brother, Alexander White, Route 1, Lindale, Georgia.

He attended the local schools and entered a preparatory school at Rockmart, Georgia, which he attended for three years, and in September, 1894 matriculated from Vans Valley, Floyd County, Georgia, at the University of Georgia at Athens, and attended the sessions of 1894-95, 1895-96, 1896-97, and graduated on June 16, 1897 with a degree of Bachelor of Arts, and studied law and was admitted to the Bar, when he came to the Indian Territory in 1898 and located at Wilburton. In 1899 he removed to Howe when the coke ovens were being constructed and the surrounding coal mines developed, and there continued in the practice of law until the Fall of 1904 when he removed to Poteau and resided until his death.

In January, 1914, he was appointed County Attorney to fill a vacancy, and elected in the general election in November for a full term and served as such until its expiration in January, 1917. During the World War in 1917 and 1918 he was chairman of the draft or exemption board for Leflore County, Oklahoma, and was active not only in all patriotic matters but also in all matters pertaining to the upbuilding of the city and community. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, of which he was president for the year 1924-25, vice-president of the Leflore County National Bank, and an organizer and director of the Central National Bank of Poteau, a member of the Masonic Lodge and of the Methodist Church, and active in Democratic party matters.

He had a Masonic apron that was originally worn and belonged to Jonathan Spyker, who had joined the Masonic Order about 1800, and who was the father-in-law of the said Robert W. White, and then it was passed on to the said Alexander White and then to the son, Robert Prentice White, and then to his surviving son, the apron bearing the signature of each of them. He was admitted to practice law before the United States Court for the Central District of the Indian Territory, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Indian Territory at McAlester, and the United States Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, and the Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma, and was an honored member of the Bar.

On March 29, 1903 at Howe, Indian Territory, he was married to Mrs. Dama Jones Bryant, who was born at Nashville, Tennessee, the daughter of S. E. Jones and his wife, who had died when she was an infant. Prior to her marriage to him she had taught school and was an educated and cultured woman. She died on May 6, 1934, and was interred at Poteau.

Page 102

Robert Prentice White was survived by two children, Alexander Elbridge White, an attorney at Poteau, and Mrs. Dama Prentice White Gatewood, the wife of J. D. Truitt, Sulphur, Oklahoma, and three granddaughters, Dama Ann Gatewood, Dorothy Marion White, and Nancy Emiline White, and a grandson, Robert W. White.

As a good citizen, ethical and able lawyer, devoted husband and father, and loyal friend, and party adherent, he will be remembered.

—R. L. Williams

Durant, Oklahoma


Rutherford Brett, born March 21, 1867 at Mount Juliet, Tennessee, was the son of Alexander Brett and his wife, Sophira (Rutland) Brett.

He was educated in the local schools and at Carson College, 1886-1888, and at Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tennessee, 1888-1890. His father and mother died when he was about 14 years of age and his education was obtained practically through his efforts. He located at Cordell, Washita County, Oklahoma, in 1902 where he practiced law until 1915 when he was appointed by the Governor of the state in March, 1915, as a member of the Supreme Court Commission. He was elected County Attorney of Washita County at the election held on September 17, 1907 as to the adoption of the Constitution of the state for the term that expired in January, 1911, and re-elected at the general election in 1910 for the term expiring in January, 1913. He was appointed as a member of the Criminal Court of Appeals on May 31, 1916, and in April, 1917, appointed as a member of the Supreme Court of the state. At the expiration of the term of that appointment on the Supreme Court he removed to Ardmore, Oklahoma, where he was engaged in the practice of law until his death on January 29, 1941.

He was married in Tennessee to Gertrude Whittaker, who, with the following children, survive him: Rutherford H., Ardmore; John A., Oklahoma City; Rebecca Ward, Pasadena, California; Edward C., Shawnee; Olivia, Tulsa; Betty, Winchester, Kentucky; Mary Dale, Ardmore; Lt. Thomas Marshall, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The following children predeceased him: Howard Wayne, Benjamin Whittaker, and Robert Williams Brett, there having been eleven children born to this union.

He was an able and eloquent lawyer and engaged in trial of many important cases. He was a Baptist, twice Vice-President of the State Baptist Convention, Mason, Knight of Pythias, M. W. A., W. O. W., and a Democrat. As a devoted husband and father and ethical and able lawyer, patriotic and good citizen, and a loyal friend, he will be remembered.1

—R. L. Williams

Durant, Oklahoma

Rutherford Brett


Conway Oldham Barton, Jr., son of Conway Oldham Barton, Sr., from North Carolina, and his wife, Martha Cox, from South Carolina, was born June 7, 1856 on his father's plantation in Milam County, Texas, near Calvert, which consisted of three leagues of land with 157 slaves, He had three brothers: Lemuel, John Harold, and Frank, all of whom served in the Confederate States army.

Page 103

Said Conway Oldham Barton was educated in a private school at Port Sullivan, Texas Military Academy at Austin, and University of Virginia, 1876-77, taking a course in law, and began to practice at Cameron, Milam County, Texas, and married Mary Blanche Crow, who died in 1882, and had two daughters by her, Manda Galen, who married Felix E. Smith, and Ann Caroline, who died in 1924.

His second wife was Carrie Moshen of Buda, Illinois, whom he married at Las Animas, Colorado, on January 4, 1887. Six children came to this marriage: Raymond O., born at Granada, Colorado, August 22, 1889; Percy O., born Pauls Valley, Indian Territory, February 11, 1897, and the other four children died in infancy. Raymond O. graduated from West Point, and is now stationed with the rank of Colonel at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Conway Oldham Barton moved from Granada, Colorado, to Wellington, Collingsworth County, Texas, where he was elected and served a term as county judge in said county in 1892. In 1895 he came to Pauls Valley, Indian Territory, where he practiced law until the establishment of the United States Court at Ada in 1902, when he removed to Ada and continued the practice of law until his death. In 1910 he was appointed county judge of Pontotoc County to fill out an unexpired term. In the general election that year he was elected to said office and served that full term. He was mayor of Ada in 1906-08.

As a devoted husband and father, he was appreciated and so remembered.

—R. L. Williams

Durant, Oklahoma

Conway Oldham Barton


Charles Harold Thomason, born September 30, 1870 at Paris, Tennessee, and died May 30, 1941 in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, where he was interred, was the son of Jasper Newton Thomason, who was born in Henry County, Tennessee, March 15, 1832, and died at Paris, Tennessee, September 20, 1905, and his wife, Sara F. McCampbell Thomason, who was born February 20, 1837, and died January 25, 1883.

On both his paternal and maternal sides he was descended from Revolutionary ancestry. On the paternal side the family emigrated from Wales and settled in Virginia in 1790, and later removed to North Carolina. Richard Thomason and his wife, Elizabeth, came from Davidson County, North Carolina, to Henry County, Tennessee in 1821, where their son, Richard, the father of James Newton Thomason, was born.

James Newton Thomason and his wife, Sara F. McCampbell, had five sons and two daughters: Andrew, James, Charles Harold, John, and Jasper—all lawyers. Andrew practiced law in Dallas, Texas, James in Paris, Tennessee, John at Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee, where he was State Comptroller, Jasper in Memphis, where he was Collector of Internal Revenue for Western Tennessee, and Charles Harold in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma. The daughters were Sara, who married H. L. Bruce, of Paris, Tennessee, and Susie, born April 25, 1880, and died April 22, 1899.

Andrew McCampbell, the father of Sara F. McCampbell, was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia, March 22, 1797, and migrated to Tennessee. He was cashier of the State Bank at Knoxville in 1822 and 1823. He removed to Paris, Tennessee, in 1824, where he became Chancellor of the Western Division of Tennessee for eight years, and died January 4, 1884. On the maternal side he was descended from Andrew Hampton.1

Page 104

His son, Jonathan, had two sons, Jonathan, Jr., and Noah, the latter born March 8, 1779 and died January 3, 1864 in Paris, Tennessee. Said Noah Hampton married Anna (her full name not being available), who was born in North Carolina, where they were married, December 25, 1779, and died December 15, 1859, at Paris, Tennessee, where she is interred. Their daughter, Sara L. Hampton, was born in North Carolina, October 16, 1807 and died at Paris, Tennessee, April 16, 1850. She married Andrew McCampbell, who was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia, March 22, 1797, and died January 4, 1884 at Paris, Tennessee.

Charles Harold Thomason entered the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in September, 1885, and matriculated in the Department of Liberal Arts and received his education in law in Cumberland University at Lebanon, Tennessee. He located at Pauls Valley, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory on March 17, 1895, where he engaged in the practice of law and other duties until a short time before his death.

On November 4, 1901 he married Anabel Fleming, the daughter of J. T. Fleming, an early day attorney in the Southern District of the Indian Territory. To Charles Harold Thomason and his wife, Anabel Fleming Thomason, were born four children, three sons, Harold, Donald, Charles, and a daughter, Sara. Charles died in infancy. The others still survive.

Judge Charles Harold Thomason taught the first Bible class in the Presbyterian Church at Pauls Valley. He was City Attorney of Pauls Valley from 1907 to 1909 and United States Commissioner at Pauls Valley and Ardmore from 1919 to 1929, and Referee in Bankruptcy for the Southern Division of the Eastern District of Oklahoma until 1933. From 1933 until the time of his death he was Conciliation Commissioner in Bankruptcy for Garvin County. He was a Mason, a member of the State Bar Association, and the Garvin County Bar Association, and a member of the Presbyterian Church, and actively identified with the Democratic party.

In his passing the city, county and state lost a fine citizen, who had ever been zealous to promote the public welfare.

—R. L. Williams

Durant, Oklahoma

Charles Harold Thomason

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