Chronicles of Oklahoma

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Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 2, No. 1
March, 1924

Page 88


At the annual meeting held on the 5th of February, Mrs. Frank Korn, of El Reno, gave notice of the proposition to amend the constitution of the Society changing the date of the annual meeting from the first Tuesday in February to the 16th day of November or to some other date contiguous or convenient thereto.

Judge Robert L. Williams gave notice of another amendment, alternative to the foregoing, for the proposition to change the date of the annual meeting from the first Tuesday in February to the 22d day of April or to some other date contiguous or convenient thereto.

Paul Nesbitt gave notice of a proposition to amend the constitution to limit the office of president to one term of two years.


The death in Washington, D. C. of Major James H. McLaughlin, the veteran inspector of Indian schools, on July 28, came as a shock to his many friends in the Indian Service.

Mr. McLaughlin entered the Indian Service July 1, 1871. He was an Indian agent at Standing Rock, N. Dakota, at the time of the Custer massacre and obtained from Indians who participated an authentic history of the battle. While at Devils Lake he abolished the Indian sun dance on that reservation and later suppressed the ghost dance movement at Standing Rock. At this time he also prevented an uprising of the Sioux under Sitting Bull.

He was taken ill soon after returning from a visit among the Santee Sioux, where he had been detailed to secure a roll in connection with a judgment in the courts. He was eighty-one years of age at the time of his passing.

Major McLaughlin was credited with having more Indian friends than any other white man. He was the author of the book, "My Friend, the Indian."—The Indian Leader.

Page 89


The Masonic lodge at Anadarko is preparing to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of its institution and organization. It is said to be the oldest organization of its class in the western half of the state. Several of the charter members are still living.

The recent death of justice Matthew J. Kane, of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, and of Patrick S. Nagle, of Kingfisher, removes two figures both of whom had long been prominent in the public affairs of the state. Biographic sketches of each will appear in subsequent issues of Chronicles of Oklahoma.

In co-operation with the Iowa Federation of Women’s Clubs, through its history and landmarks committee, the State Historical Society of Iowa is conducting an essay contest in local community history among the high schools of that state. The State Historical Society is offering cash prizes, totaling the sum of $1,000, for the best essays on certain assigned themes written by high school pupils of the state. The contest is being conducted under the direction of the Federation of Women’s Clubs. The essays are to be divided into three groups. The first of these offers three themes, namely, "The Story of My Grandmother," "The Story of My Grandfather" and "The Story of the Old Settler." Regardless of the subject chosen, the story must be a true one and related to Iowa in some way. The first, second and third prizes in this group are respectively $150, $100 and $50. The theme for the essays in the contest for the prizes in the second group is "A Story in the History of My Community" and it must be a true story suggested by the reading of Herbert Quick’s "Vandemark’s Folly" or "The Hawkeye." The prize-winning essays in this group will receive the same rewards as those of the first group. The subject for the essays in the third group is "What Iowa Means to Me" and the prizes offered are the same as those in the other two groups. An additional prize of $100 is offered for the best of the three first prize essays if, in the judgment of the committee in charge, any one of the three is worthy of such an award. Such a worthy undertaking deserves to be emulated in other states.

Page 90

In the death of Joshua Ross, which occurred at Muskogee, on February 12, there passed away one of the last living links that served to bind the old Cherokee Nation of the immigrant period to the present, in which the Cherokee Nation has been merged into the commonwealth of Oklahoma. Joshua Ross was born in the old Cherokee Nation, at Will’s Valley, which is in northeastern Alabama, in May, 1833, and was therefore nearly six years old when the main body of the Cherokee people arrived in the Indian Territory. His father was Andrew Ross, youngest brother of Principal Chief Ross, and his mother was a daughter of the noted Major George Lowrey, who was one of the heroes of the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, in which a regiment of Cherokee volunteers participated as an integral part of Jackson’s army. He was educated in the tribal schools of the Cherokee Nation, graduating from the Cherokee Male Seminary, near Tahlequah, with the first class, in 1854. After teaching school for several years, he matriculated in Emory and Henry College, in Virginia, graduating from that institution with second honors, in 1860. Returning to the Cherokee Nation, he re-entered school work, but the outbreak of the Civil War put an end to his career as an educator for the time being. It was during the War that he met, wooed and won the beautiful and talented Miss Muskogee Yargee, whose people were numbered among the refugees from the Creek Nation who found a temporary asylum at Fort Gibson. After the close of the War, he was associated for a time with his uncle, Lewis Ross, in the management of the latter’s extensive business interests on the site of the present town of Salina, and, after the death of his uncle, in 1869, he helped to settle the estate. Early in 1871, he located on the broad prairie, eight miles southwest of Fort Gibson, on the site of the present city of Muskogee, where he opened a general store which was the beginning of that city. In 1874, he helped to organize the Indian International Fair Association, of which he was the first secretary. He built a comfortable home, reared an interesting family, was well read in law and was recognized as a writer of no mean ability. He was keenly interested in the history of his people and of the state and, in his eighty-five years’ residence in Oklahoma, he had personally seen a sweep of events and changes such as few have been privileged to witness.

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