Chronicles of Oklahoma

Skip Navigation

Electronic Publishing Center
Oklahoma Historical Society
Chronicles Homepage
Search all Volumes
Copyright 2001
Purchase an Issue

Table of Contents Index Volume List Search All Volumes Home

Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 10, No. 3
September, 1932

Page 442


Lewis W. Cobb, son of William A. Cobb, a fullblood Choctaw Indian, and Sophia Cobb, a mixed blood Choctaw Indian woman, both of whom came from the State of Mississippi in the early exodus of that Tribe into the Choctaw country of the Indian Territory, was born March 31, 1848, about five miles south of the present village of Rufe, McCurtain County, Oklahoma.

His parental grandfather, Sam Cobb, a fullblood Choctaw, also came from the State of Mississippi with Lewis W. Cobb's father and mother. The mother of Lewis W. Cobb was the daughter of Lewis Ward, a white man, who died in Mississippi, by a fullblood wife, and for whom Lewis W. Cobb was named. He was reared and worked on his father's farm.

Lewis W. Cobb married the daughter of William Impson who owned live stock, consisting of cattle, horses, sheep and hogs. Whilst acting as his father's herdsman he heard the call of the Lord to enter his service as a Methodist Minister. He was admitted on trial as an itinerant minister at the Indian Mission Conference held at Oak Lodge in Sept. 1885, having theretofore been ordained as a local Elder. He was a local preacher at least four years prior to that date, the information being that he became a local preacher about 1878. He continued in that highly appointed service for more than fifty (50) years, being over eighty (80) years of age at the time of his death on October 15th, 1929. His ministerial labors were mostly among the Indian people. He served as Presiding Elder and also as Pastor of many charges. He was possessed of some property when he entered the ministry, but decided to devote its use in his Lords service. He used all his means in such services, including the lands allotted to him as a member of the Choctaw Tribe. He became financially as well as physically exhausted, but was proud that his efforts and means were used in furtherance of the Gospel, having no regrets that he made such a sacrifice. He considered whatever financial losses he sustained in the service of the ministry as a gain for himself in a spiritual way. At times, in his old age, the material way seemed dark to him, and he sometimes wondered how he was to get along, but was comforted with the knowledge that he who led him into his service would never forsake him.

He spoke the English language with a handicap, his educational opportunities having been cut off by the Civil War.

He died firm in the faith, on October 15th, 1929, and is buried in the cemetery at Hugo, Oklahoma.

Lewis W. Cobb

Carl S. Glitsch


Son of Henry Glitsch and his wife Sacremento Belle Glitsch, nee Layton. Born June 28, 1875, at Forsythe, Missouri. Died at Barnes Hospital, St. Louis, October 5, 1929, and buried in Fairlawn Cemetery, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on October 8th, 1929. When four years of age his parents removed from Missouri settling in northwest Arkansas,

Page 443

where his father was elected and served as a circuit judge. He was educated in the local schools and at Clark's Academy, Berryville, Arkansas. At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, he enlisted in the army of the United States serving throughout that conflict. Having been admitted to the bar in Arkansas in 1896, after the close of the Spanish-American War he engaged in the practice of the law at Mena, Arkansas, where he was married to Miss Leona A. Pumphrey, who survives him residing at 208 West Fourteenth Street, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Other surviving relatives are his mother, residing in Houston, Texas, a brother Fritz Glitsch, of Dallas, Texas, and a half brother who resides with his mother. At the opening of the Caddo, Comanche and Kiowa country Oklahoma Territory in 1901, he settled at Anadarko, engaging in the practice of the law. It was whilst residing there that he became attorney for the Busch interests in that section which later caused his location at Oklahoma City. In 1923 he became vice president and general manager in charge of the ice property and other interests of the Busch interests in Oklahoma, and connected with the management of their other interests in Texas and Louisiana. He was prominent in civic and political affairs, serving for a short term beginning in 1923 as Chief of Police of Oklahoma City. He was an Elk serving as Exalted Ruler of Lodge 417 at Oklahoma City. He was an active Democrat. The funeral service was held in St. Luke's Methodist Church, Oklahoma City, attended by various civic organizations; the city police department in a body were present, as were also the entire organization of the New State Ice Company. In 1916 Governor Robert L. Williams caused to be tendered to him the appointment of warden of the Oklahoma Penitentiary at McAlester. Desiring to perform this public service he planned to accept this offer, but, on account, of his long service with the Busch interests, he presented the matter to them at their St. Louis office and, at their insistence, the tender of the appointment was declined. In 1920 after Governor Williams became United States Judge for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, he tendered him the appointment as Clerk of the United States Court for said district. This position he likewise desired to accept, but when the matter was submitted the Busch office in St. Louis they insisted that he remain in their service and the appointment was declined. He was a man of marked executive and administrative ability, as well as of fine judgment, a loyal friend, a faithful and devoted husband, a loving and devoted son and brother, and successful in business. He will long be remembered by his associates and friends.



Walter Reynolds Harris, born April 12, 1874, at Marion, Alabama, son of John T. Harris and his wife Theresa Amelia Harris. Removed with his parents to Gainesville, Texas, at the age of twelve years. Educated in the Gainesville public schools and at Austin College, Sherman, Texas, of which he was a graduate. He was also graduated in law from the University of Texas. Admitted to the Texas bar in 1897, in which year he settled at McAlester, Indian Territory, and was admitted to the bar at said place, where he engaged in the practice of the law until his death on March 22, 1930. Married to Maunette Potter, of Gainesville, Texas, daughter of Col. and Mrs. C. L. Potter, on January 3, 1899. Served as municipal judge of the City of McAlester in 1903 and 1904. Assistant U. S. District Attorney under T. B. Latham in 1906 and 1907. After retiring from said office he engaged in the practice of the law with T. B. Latham from 1908 until 1912 under the firm name of Latham & Harris. Upon the dissolution of said firm he formed a partnership with W. A. Lackey in the practice of the law, which continued until his death. He was a 32nd degree Mason. His wife and the following children survive him: Rowena Emery, Reynolds Harris, Theresa Turnbeaugh, Walter R. Harris, Jr., Genevieve Harris, and John Potter Harris. The state lost a citizen of sterling worth.

Page 444


Jackman Andrew Gill, born at Fort Smith, Arkansas, June 28, 1892; son of Gus A. Gill and his wife Mattie E. Gill, nee Elmore. In his early youth his parents removed to South McAlester, Indian Territory, where he was reared and attended the local schools. For several years after graduating from McAlester High School he was a reporter on the News-Capital, when he entered the law school at Oklahoma University. After being admitted to the practice of the law in 1914 he located at McAlester, forming a law partnership with the Hon. W. J. Horton under the firm name of Horton & Gill, which continued until his death. On April 18, 1821, he was appointed United States Commissioner at McAlester, Oklahoma, by the Hon. Robert L. Williams, Judge of the United States Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, which position he held until his death. On October 25, 1916, he was married to Miss Leta Wright, of Fort Smith, Arkansas, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. I. F. Wright. He is survived by his widow and two sons, Jackman Andrew Gill, named for his father, and a posthumous son who was born shortly after his death, and his father, two brothers, John Gill at McAlester, Oklahoma, and Richard Gill of San Antonio, Texas, and a sister Mrs. J. A. Willour, of McAlester, Oklahoma. He was a 32nd degree Mason (Indian Consistory [Scotish Rite] of McAlester); member of Grand Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church, South, McAlester, Oklahoma; a Democrat active in the party organization. He was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery at McAlester with Masonic rites. He was a member of the Pittsburg County and Oklahoma State Bar Associations. He enjoyed a marked career as a young man in the practice of the law enjoying the confidence of a wide circle of friends. His paternal ancestors were Scotch-Irish, settling in Virginia at an early day. His paternal great grandfather was William Gill, who engaged in tobacco raising and other agricultural pursuits at Maysville, Kentucky. His grandfather was William Wallace Gill, born at Maysville, Kentucky, who married Cordelia E. Fallen, of Augusta, Kentucky, and who located at Boonville, Missouri, engaging in the practice of the law and also proprietor and editor of a newspaper. Afterwards he located at Mattoon, Illinois, establishing the Mattoon Academy, and engaging in the practice of the law. His health having failed he moved to a place near Memphis, Tennessee, seeking outdoor life, where he engaged in farming. Then he removed to a point near Des Arc, Arkansas, where he engaged in farming. Later he removed to Atkins, Pope County, Arkansas, where he was proprietor and editor of a newspaper, and then removed to Dardanelle, Arkansas, where he died. His great grandmother was a Moss, a member of a pioneer Kentucky family. She was related to the Hardin family. His material great grandfather, William Fallen, was a dry goods merchant at Augusta, Kentucky. His maternal great grandmother Fallen on her mother's side was a Sumner. His material ancestors were English. His father in early life was licensed to practice law at Chillicothe, Missouri, having read law under an uncle Baldwin B. Gill; later he practiced law in Pope County, Arkansas, and also engaged in teaching and was proprietor and editor of a newspaper. In 1887 his father moved to Fort Smith, Arkansas, engaging in business, having retired from the practice of the law on account of throat trouble. In 1892 he removed to McAlester, Indian Territory, where he engaged in business pursuits, where he still resides.


Carl Monk born in Little Rock, Arkansas, on September 12, 1878, son of Alonzo Monk, D.D., of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and Mrs. Elizabeth Monk, nee Cark. His preparatory education was

Page 445

received at Webb Brothers School at Bellbuckle, Tennessee. He afterwards entered Vanderbilt University at Nashville, Tennessee, receiving his A.B. degree from that institution in 1903. He also continued his legal education at Vanderbilt University, receiving the degree of LLB. in 1903.

Soon after his graduation from Vanderbilt he went to California where he married Miss Lallie Colburn, daughter of Dr. John R. Colburn, a Los Angeles physician. He shortly afterwards became City Attorney of Long Beach California. He moved to McAlester, Oklahoma, in 1908, where he spent the rest of his life. Known for many years as a successful trial lawyer and an outstanding orator of the State, he was selected as Temporary Chairman and keynote speaker for the State Democratic Convention in 1920. He had previously served Pittsburg County as Assistant County attorney from 1910 to 1912 and later as County Attorney from 1916 to 1921, when he resigned entering private practice of law with Frank D. McSherry of McAlester, Oklahoma. He was elected State Senator of the 25th District in 1923, serving in that capacity until 1927. He was a 32° Mason, a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity and held membership in the Pittsburg County and Oklahoma State Bar Associations. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

Upon his retirement from politics he engaged in the general practice of law in McAlester until his death on March 29th, 1932, death resulting from injuries received in an automobile accident near Holdenville, Oklahoma, on March 24th, 1932. His wife, Lallie C. Monk, his daughter, Margaret Elizabeth Monk, and his three sons, John C. Monk, Carl Monk, Jr., and Alonzo Monk, survive him.


Starkey Brent Dawes born June 21st, 1864, in Carroll County, Tennessee, and died December 31st, 1930.

His parents were Starkey and Amanda Dawes nee Butler, his father being a teacher and a minister of the Christian Church. His grandfather emigrated from England, settling in North Carolina, and later moving to Tennessee, where his father Starkey Dawes married his mother.

Starkey Brent Dawes was educated in the public schools of Tennessee and Texas. His family first came from Tennessee to Ft. Worth, Texas, later removing to Gainesivlle, Texas, in which city, in 1888, he was married to Miss Margaret Maupin, daughter of Rev. Milton and Malinda Maupin. He read law at Gainesville Texas under his father and Judge Gardner.

He and his wife came to Muskogee in 1889, he being one of the first lawyers enrolled before the United States Court for the Indian Territory, and from then until a short time before his death he was actively engaged in the work of his profession. Upon his arrival in Muskogee, or within a few days thereafter, he became associated with Judge N. B. Maxey in the practice of the law, and afterwards for several years he was with Judge W. P. Thompson. At the time of his death he was associated with Luther Kyle, Esquire.

For forty one years Mr. Dawes was a factor in his profession in the Indian Territory and Eastern Oklahoma, and also active in church affairs, having assisted in organizing the First Christian Church of Muskogee, and for 15 years was the Superintendent of the Sunday School of that Church, and for several years until shortly before his death he taught a Bible Class at the Veterans Hospital in Muskogee.

His widow and an adopted daughter survive him. He was a devoted husband, a fond parent, and a Christian gentleman.

Page 446


Guy Fountain Nelson born in Nevada, Vernon County, Missouri, August 17th, 1872, died at Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma, June 2nd, 1930, son of Isaac Fountain S. Nelson, born August 19th, 1850 at Balltown, Missouri, who died at St. Louis, Missouri, January 1st, 1919, and of Alice Catherine (Pottorff) Nelson, born in Adrian County, Missouri, May 27th, 1852, who died at St. Louis, Missouri, June 23rd, 1930; grandson of Albert Fountain Nelson, born in Stokes County, N. C., September 14th, 1815, who died at Balltown, Missouri, January 29th, 1852, and of Susan P. (Stone) Nelson, who was born in Stokes County N. C., April 4th, 1818, and died at Nevada, Missouri, February 1st, 1903. John Pottorff, father of Alice Catherine (Pottorff) Nelson, who was the mother of Guy Fountain Nelson, emigrated to the United States of America from France.

Guy F. Nelson left surviving a widow Maybelle (Ayres) Nelson, to whom he was married October 5th, 1898; a daughter, Mrs. Loraine (Nelson) Wight; and a son Albert Ayres Nelson, and one brother Harry Pottorff Nelson. He was related to the Stone family of which William Joel Stone, a former Governor and U. S. Senator from Missouri was a member.

Judge Guy F. Nelson, as he was known, was educated in the public schools, with one year in Christian University, at Nevada, Missouri. He studied law in the office of H. H. Blanton of Nevada, Missouri, admitted to practice in 1894. His first public office was that of City Attorney of Nevada, Missouri, from 1900 to 1901, which position he resigned to become connected with the Legal Department of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Company, continuing in that capacity until 1909, when he resigned and moved with his family to Muskogee, Oklahoma, to enter the general practice of the law. In 1916 he was appointed Assistant Attorney General of Oklahoma by Prince Freeling, the then Attorney General, and served in that capacity from 1916 to 1918, at which time he resigned to accept a vacancy on the Superior Court of Muskogee County at Muskogee, Oklahoma, at the hand of Governor Robert L. Williams, serving in that capacity until that Court was abolished, and then was appointed District Judge of the Third Judicial District, to which position he was elected to succeed himself, and continued to serve in such capacity until October 1st, 1923, when he resigned to accept the attorneyship of the Oklahoma Producing and Refining Company.

He moved with his family from Muskogee to Tulsa, Oklahoma, March 1st, 1928 where he formed a partnership with H. O. Bland, Esq., under the firm name of Nelson & Bland, continuing in the general practice of the law up to the time of his death.

He had a pleasing personality, was a good lawyer, an excellent Judge, a good husband and a devoted and indulgent father.


Born in Dallas County, Iowa, December 31, 1866, died at Muskogee, Oklahoma, November 30, 1928. His father was William Mosier and his mother Louisa Thornberg Mosier. He left surviving his widow, Myrtie L. Mosier and three sons, Ralph, De Thurston, and Jack.

John H. Mosier graduated from Valparaiso (Indiana) University in the class of 1891, a short time thereafter being married to Miss Myrtie Landis and removing from Valparaiso to Boyd County, Nebraska, where he engaged in the practice of Law, being elected as the first prosecuting attorney of that county, which was at that time a part of the Blackfoot Indian Reservation. He built the first frame house in that locality.

In 1894 the family removed to Audubon, Iowa, where he engaged in the practice of law, and in 1901 he moved his family to Norman,

Page 447

Oklahoma, where he engaged in the practice of law and continued there until 1908 when he removed to Muskogee, where he resided until the time of his death. On coming to Muskogee, he formed the law firm of Mosier, Greenslade & Dudley.

Judge Mosier was an ardent believer in the preservation of wild life and an active and enthusiastic member and supporter of the Isaac Walton League. He was an intensive student, owning one of the most valuable libraries in Eastern Oklahoma. He was successful in his practice and attended the sessions of the Oklahoma State Bar Association and of the American Bar Association.


Myron White born in Brown County, Kansas, September 6, 1875, son of Jesse H. White and his wife Ella White nee White. His father was a son of Robert White and Margaret Nancy White nee Hill, who were of English lineage and of Revolutionary stock. Jesse H. White was a native of Ohio and for four years during the Civil War served as a Union soldier. After the war he married Ella White, who though of the same name was not related to him. She was born in Wisconsin, her father coming from Scotland and her mother from Ireland. Their two children were Jesse M. and Myron, the latter being only two years of age when his mother died.

After the death of his mother Myron White until the age of ten was reared in his grandmother's home in Ohio. From that age until he was a young man, he made his home on his father's farm in Pratt County, Kansas. His early education was received in Kansas Public Schools and Hiawatha Academy of Kansas. In 1896 he entered Washburn College at Topeka, Kansas, being one of the many students of old Washburn who enlisted in 1898 for service in the Spanish-American war being a member of the College Company of the famous Twenty-Second Kansas Regiment. He was on duty for ten months, and during that entire time was regimental color bearer. After leaving the army he entered the law department of the University of Kansas, receiving LL.B, degree on June 12, 1902. Five days after his graduation, on June 17th, Mr. White came to Muskogee, and opened a law office.

He took an active part in the affairs of the community being a member of the Board of Education that located Central High School. He was also a member of the Commission that wrote the city charter. He was a member of the Muskogee Bar Association.

He was a Republican and active in politics. In Masonry he took the Knights Templar degrees and belonged to the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.

In December, 1902, he married Miss Sadie E. Swank of Topeka, Kansas, who survives him, with the following children: Myron Eugene, Margaret Ella, Paul Russell, and Robert Dwight White.

In September, 1922, Mr. White's health failing he retired from the active practice of the law. He died April 27, 1929.


Born May 20, 1866, in Murray County, Georgia. Son of Joseph W. Dodd, who was born in 1847 in Habersham County, Georgia, and Louisa Dodd, nee White. The Dodds were of Scotch-Irish descent and the Whites of English ancestry. To this union eight children were born, to-wit: Wm. F., Mary, Mattie, Nannie, J. H., Anna, Lucy and Emma.

Joseph W. Dodd as a boy enlisted and served in the Confederate Army. After the war he, with his father Joseph W. Dodd removed to Habersham County, Georgia, where his father died. In 1864 Joseph W.

Page 448

Dodd married Louisa White. About 1891 he removed to Fannin County, Texas.

William F. Dodd was educated in the country schools and a Seminary of Murray County, Georgia. In 1887 he located in Texas, spending two years on a ranch in the Rio Grande valley. Then he spent five years in the vicinity of Savoy, Fannin County, Texas, where he learned the trade of a jeweler. In 1894 he removed to Caddo, Indian Territory and for a number of years engaged in the jewelry business. In 1902 he combined the jewelry business with the drug business, which he continued until his death.

He was twice elected and served as Mayor of the City of Caddo and was a progressive, public spirited, town builder, and enforcer of the law. He served for a number of years as a member and president of the local school board and also as president of the local commercial club. In 1908 he was appointed by the Governor as a member of the State Board of Pharmacy, on which he served until 1916, and of which he was president for a number of years. He was also one of the organizers of the Jefferson Highway Association and a member of its board. He was an active member of the Democratic Party.

In March 1892 he was married to Miss Irene Davis of Savoy, Texas, whose people came from Missouri in an early day, settling in North Texas. He died on February 16th, 1924, and was buried in the Caddo Cemetery. He is survived by his wife and one son, Clarence L. Dodd, of Clinton, Oklahoma. He was affiliated with the Caddo Lodge No. 3, A. F. & A. M., India Temple, and also with the local Odd Fellows Lodge and the Baptist Church. His community lost an active and useful citizen.


Robert Lee Glover, born at Sulphur Springs, Hopkins County, Texas, October 20, 1870; died at Shamrock, Texas, April 14, 1932, where he was buried on April 15, 1932. His paternal ancestors: Thomas Stephen Glover (grandfather) and Missouri Ruth Glover, nee Lindley (grandmother), both born in Georgia. Maternal ancestors: Eli Lindley (grandfather) and Sallie Lindley, nee Crisp, (grandmother), both born in Texas. He was of Irish and English descent. He was married in 1898 to Ida Lovenia Beck, of Hopkins County, Texas, who survives as well as the following children by said marriage: Helen C. Blundell, Pomona, California; Mildred Boles, Pomona, California; Syble Ratcliffe, St. Louis, Missouri; Beatrice Glover, Kansas City, Missouri; Iris, Marius, Robert, and Denman Glover, all of Shamrock, Texas. Educated in the common schools of Hopkins County, Texas, and at the old Central College at Sulphur Springs, Texas. After his marriage in 1898 with his youthful bride he immediately settled near Rush Springs in the Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory, where he acquired a home which was the birthplace of the eight children which came to that union. In 1908 he was elected as a member of the lower house of the Oklahoma Legislature from Grady County, and re-elected in 1910, serving in the second and third Legislatures. He was a Democrat and a prominent party leader both in the county and state, at one time being a formidable candidate for the nomination for Congress. He was a member of the Christian Church and of the Independent Order of Odd-Fellows. From Grady County, Oklahoma, he removed to Shamrock County, Texas. He was given the sobriquet of "Battle Axe" having won that name in his uncompromising political fights. Having sprung from the masses his political and legislative activities were in their behalf. As a member of the legislature he was active in the location of the Oklahoma College for Women at Chickasha, Oklahoma. At one time he owned and edited a newspaper at Chickasha. His death is mourned by many friends in the state of his greatest activities.

Page 449


Son of Smith Lee and his wife Rosetta Lee, nee Skinner. Born at Stockwell, Indiana, on December 9, 1861. After attending local schools, he graduated from Stockwell College, later taking a law course at Cumberland University at Lebanon, Tennessee. He then located at Paris, Texas, where he engaged in the practice of the law from 1887 to 1902, when he was appointed Assistant United States Attorney for the Central District of Indian Territory, his residence being at Hugo, which position he held until the erection of the State of Oklahoma in 1907, after which he was appointed as Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, when he changed his residence from Hugo to Muskogee, where he continued to reside until the time of his death. In 1914 he resigned as Assistant United States Attorney, engaging in the private practice of the law with Hon. J. C. Denton under the firm name of Lee & Denton, which partnership continued until May 1921, when Mr. Lee was appointed by the President of the United States as United States District Attorney for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, which office he held by appointment and reappointment until his death on October 30, 1930. During his residence at Muskogee, having been elected a member of the Board of Education he was selected as its president. He was a member and deacon of the First Baptist Church of Muskogee and a trustee of the Muskogee Baptist Hospital. During the World War he served as a member and secretary of the District Appellate Draft Board. On January 23, 1900, he was united in marriage with Miss Emma Webster, of Paris, Texas. To this union there were born two children, Willett, who preceded him in death, and Mary Lavon Gregory, who with the widow survive him, both residing in Muskogee, Oklahoma. On January 4, 1932, memorial resolutions were presented by the Bar of the United States Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma at Muskogee, which were adopted and spread upon the records of said court, which in part stated:

"Frank Lee was pious in the sense that he loved his God and gloried in His service; that he honored and loved his parents and was dutiful to them; that he loved and cherished his wife and children; that he was clean thinking and clean living; that he was unselfish and friendly with all men. His life was unobtrusive and one of simplicity.
"Frank Lee's philanthropy was his love for mankind and his desire and readiness to do good to all men. At all times he was ready to serve and promote the welfare of organizations striving for the public good, and aided their efforts, in public, speaking in their behalf.
"His patriotism included his Country, his State and his City. To each of these he gave freely of his time and talents. In his Country's service for many years he was an efficient, honorable and an altogether satisfactory official."


William A. Cobb

William A. Cobb, a fullblood Choctaw Indian, born in the State of Mississippi, probably in 1809, came in the early exodus of the Choctaw people to their new home in the West. His father, Sam Cobb, a fullblood Choctaw Indian, also came from Mississippi in the early emigrant quotas of the Choctaws, and died in what is now McCurtain County prior to the Civil War. His son, William A. Cobb died in what is now Bryan County, Oklahoma, in the year 1874, near Armstrong Academy, at Solomon Jones' home, and is buried in the cemetery at Old Bennington Church. As a local preacher of the Methodist Church, he devoted his time to interpreting for the early missionaries when not working on his farm which had seventy acres of land in cultivation located in what is now McCurtain County, Oklahoma. He has left the statement that the first

Page 450

missionaries experienced severe handicaps, many receiving no pay for their services with little shelter for the conduct of their religious meetings and no means with which to build accommodations for such purposes except their own labor and that of a few Indians. That the missionaries were met with encouragement by the Choctaws who gave of their scant means for the spread of the Gospel, evinces an early interest on their part in spiritual matters and indicating a grasp by them of advantages of Christian Civilization.

Among the early stations or posts established by the missionaries, in the new Choctaw County for whom William A. Cobb interpreted, were Choctaw Academy Church, Oka Okshwanli (Clearwater) Church, Oka Choluk (Waterhole) Church, Kullituklo (Double Springs) Church, and Bethel Church, all located in what is now McCurtain County, Oklahoma.

All of these early mission posts have become permanent memorials to work performed by the Missionaries among the Indians and are in existence and use today, except Oka Okshwanli (Clear water), which has been abandoned.

William A. Cobb specially assigned to the Rev. Newman, Presiding Elder, as interpreter, died after the Civil War at a time when his services were needed by the Choctaws in reconstruction of their religious work. After the death of the Rev. Newman, he acted as interpreter for Rev. W. M. Keith, a strong, zealous and selfsacrificing missionary, who died at Antlers, Oklahoma. The hardships experienced by William A. Cobb and the early missionaries, before, during and after the close of the Civil War were great. They received no pay during the Civil War for their laborious services, after the close of which a representative of the Church board came into the Choctaw Nation, and appraised their work, with a view of compensating the missionaries and their interpreters. At a meeting of the missionaries and interpreters called by a representative of the Church, after an investigation of the work performed by them and the length of service of each, it was decided that the Rev. Newman was entitled to compensation slightly more than the rest. The amount proposed to be paid to William A. Cobb was $200.00 which he refused to take, saying that he had a farm that would provide a living for him, and that there were others in greater need.

In addition to the work of William A. Cobb as local preacher and interpreter, and farmer, he was elected by the Choctaw people to different official positions, among which was as a member of the Choctaw House of Representatives, District Chief, and member of Choctaw Senate. He continued in some official connection with the Choctaw Government, until his death. No official position or political honors restrained the religious activities of William A. Cobb, his labors in that respect being continuous until his death in 1874.

He was educated at the Old Choctaw Academy* in Scott County, Kentucky.


Hon J. F. Weaver, of Fort Smith, Arkansas, who was one of the first persons to be elected to honorary membership by the Oklahoma Historical Society, that distinction having been bestowed upon him in recognition of his interest in the local history of Western Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma. As a youth, his father came to Fort Smith over ninety years ago. During the later years of his life, the latter wrote much concerning the early history of Fort Smith and the surrounding region, including the Choctaw and Cherokee nations of the old Indian Territory, his historical and reminiscent papers being published in the Fort Smith Elevator. After his death, in 1907, in his ninetieth year, his

Page 451

place as the local historian was taken by his son, who was best known as "Frank" Weaver, and who became equally well known as an authority on all of the history and legendary lore of Fort Smith and its environs.

John Franklin Weaver was born in Fort Smith, September 11, 1849. He was the son of William J. Weaver, who was a native of Philadelphia and who was of Quaker stock, his ancestors having come to America with William Penn when the colony of Pennsylvania was first settled. His mother, whose maiden name was Katherine Minnie, was a native of Prussia, her parents having migrated to America and settled at Fort Smith in 1842-3. His father was engaged in mercantile pursuits in Fort Smith for many years. On account of failing health, the family moved to a farm in Henry County, Illinois, in the spring of 1860. The son had attended private schools in Fort Smith for several years(there being no public school system in Arkansas at that time) and, after the removal to Illinois, his education was comtinued in the rural public schools there. In 1865, he left home and entered a printing office of the Salem (Ohio) Journal, where he served a three-year apprenticeship and mastered a thorough knowledge of "the art preservative of arts." Returning to the family home in Illinois, he spent the ensuing three years at work on his father's farm.

In the spring of 1871, the Weaver family returned to Fort Smith, where Frank secured employment as a printer in the office of the New Era. Four years later, he became foreman of the mechanical department of the Western Independent, of which John F. and John C. Wheeler were publishers. The senior member of the firm had long been noted as a printer, editor and publisher; having founded the first newspaper (The Herald) ever published in Fort Smith, in 1847; his wife was a sister of the noted Cherokee leader, General Stand Watie. While at work on this paper, in addition to supervision of the mechanical work of this publication, young Weaver also took a hand in local and editorial writing. In 1880, both of the publishers died and he became one of the succeeding publishers. From that time on he was continuously identified with Fort Smith journalism until the close of his active life, his longest service being with the Fort Smith Elevator, of which, excepting one brief interval of less than a year, he was associate editor and editor from 1887 until 1910. The Elevator had an extensive circulation in Eastern Oklahoma, in the late '80s and early '90s. His last active work was on the staff of the Fort Smith Times-Record, as assistant editor. From first to last, his service with Fort Smith newspapers had covered a period of fifty-two years, ending in 1913.

His retirement from the active newspaper field did not mean "30" for him, however. For some years thereafter, he continued to contribute weekly historical sketches to the Times-Record. The subject matter of such articles covered the period from the establishment of the military post, in 1817, to the close of the war, in 1865. In time, he became more than merely an authority on local history for, after the passing of his respected father, he came to be regarded as something in the nature of a human landmark himself. Certainly, he was an outstanding figure in the history of the community. His personal appearance was striking—tall, with a crown of snow-white hair, always surmounted by a broad-brimmed hat, he typified the spirit as well as the ideal of the old time southern gentleman. Broadminded and chivalric, he was ever courteous in his treatment of men, while his uniform courtliness to and respect for womanhood was proverbial.

Mr. Weaver's father had seen the last migrating bands of the exiled Indian tribes from the Southern States, as they wended their weary way to their newly assigned lands in the Indian Territory, and he had been personally acquainted with many of their leaders, including the renowned Sequoyah, who had invented the Cherokee alphabet. Likewise, as a newspaper writer, J. Frank Weaver came to know many of the leaders of the Five Civilized Tribes during the last quarter of the 19th Century. In the summer of 1884, when Captain David L. Payne and his

Page 452

"Boomer" followers had been arrested for "intruding, on Indian lands," he was taken (with several of his lieutenants) to Fort Smith and imprisoned for a time. As a newspaper man, Frank Weaver found it necessary to call upon and interview the noted prisoner. Down to that time, he had regarded Payne as publicity-seeking soldier of fortune, but the Captain's talk of unoccupied lands and of the homeless families who were numbered among his followers, soon convinced the young press writer of his sincerity, and he was among the host who truly mourned the tragically sudden and untimely death of the dauntless leader of the "Boomer" movement, only a few months later.

Mr. Weaver was always active in politics. He represented Sebastian County in the Arkansas House of Representatives in 1889 and 1891. During the two legislative sessions next ensuing, he was a member of the State Senate and, through the sessions of 1899, 1901 1903, he again sat as member of the House of Representatives. Hon. Phil D. Brewer, of Oklahoma City, who is now a vice-president of the Oklahoma Historical Society, was once Mr. Weaver's colleague from Sebastian County, in the lower house.

Mr. Weaver never married. His home was always with his father and later with his brother, James E. Weaver. Two daughters of the latter have made their homes in Portland, Maine, since marriage and thither, some ten years since, when the infirmities of age began to creep upon him, he went to make his home with his nieces. Once, only, did he return to Fort Smith on a visit and the welcome which he then received was practically a community affair. The end of earthly life came to him on the first day of July, 1931. His remains were brought back to Fort Smith to be laid to rest amid the scenes which had been most dear to him.

The writer had accounted Mr. Weaver a personal friend for nearly twenty years and, besides being privileged to be his guest at rare intervals, had been in more or less frequent correspondence with him, down to within a month of the end of his life. This correspondence, which has been preserved, will some day find its way into the documentary collections of the Oklahoma Historical Society. There, students and research workers may sometimes find occasion to refer to his letters even, as in years to come, they will also glean from his writings in the files of the Fort Smith newspapers for new "slants" on certain phases of Oklahoma history. It is therefore fitting that the passing of such a man who, directly or indirectly, had helped to preserve much history of two states, should be marked by due mention in the quarterly magazine of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Certainly, it is a grateful duty that this writer performs in the preparation of this brief tribute to the memory of one who so faithfully served his own day and generation.



William E. Browne, born in the Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory, June 22, 1855. Son of George H. Brown and his wife, Susan Brown, nee Titsnal. While an infant his parents moved to Fort Smith, Arkansas, where he attended the public schools of said city. Later his parents removed to Paris, Texas, where he attended the schools of said city. Afterwards he matriculated in the State University at Austin, Texas, being graduated in the class of 1878, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He studied law in the offices of Dudley & Moore and later in the offices of Hale & Scott of Paris, Texas. In 1879 he was admitted to the bar and began the practice in the City of Fort Worth. After about three years he embarked in the cotton business, with which he was connected for four years, operating at Terrell, Texas, and New Orleans, Louisiana. He was receiver for public moneys under W. J. Swain, State Comptroller,

Page 453

holding said position for four years. He then resumed the practice of law in Fort Worth, being associated with J. D. Cunningham until 1894, when he was appointed chief deputy United States Marshal for the Eastern District of Texas, in which position he served until October 1, 1896. Resigning from said position he removed to South McAlester, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory, where he engaged in the practice of the law, being associated with the late J. C. Hodges, Esq., and the late Robert Hodges, under the firm name of Hodges, Browne & Hodges. After two years the partnership was dissolved and he engaged in the practice of the law with the late J. Frank Craig under the firm name of Browne & Craig. He was later associated with Frank Kellogg, Esq. in the practice of the law, after which he retired from the practice of the law and acquired the ownership of the McAlester News, until he transferred it to the "Capital", both papers being merged and published as the McAlester News Capital. He then engaged in the real estate business, having charge of the extensive H. H. Kirkpatrick interests at McAlester. He died at McAlester June 17th, 1932, and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery. In 1883 he was married to Miss Sue Cunliffe, a daughter of Dr. J. H. Cunliffe, of Coffeeville, Texas. One child blessed this union, Ella, now Mrs. Fred Struble. He was a member of the York and Scottish Rite branches of the Masonic order, a Shriner, and Elk and a member of the Episcopal Church. In political affiliations he was a Republican.

He is survived by his widow, one daughter, Mrs. Fred Struble, one sister, Mrs. R. W. Gordon of Fort Smith and four half-sisters, Mrs. Maude Upchurch, Mrs. Kate Hightower, both of Fort Smith, Mrs. Virginia Harper, of Crowder, Oklahoma, Mrs. Swisher, Hackett, Arkansas, and one half-brother, Fred Browne, of Fort Smith. His step-mother also survives, Mrs. Eleline Browne, of Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Mr. Browne was one of the last survivors of the Brooks-Baxter War in Arkansas over the governorship, the contest being between Joe Brooks and Elisha Baxter. Baxter was supported as a regular Republican and Brooks as what was called a "brindletail". Afterwards the regular Republican organization supported Brooks and the Independents and Democrats supported Baxter. Mr. Browne was an adherent of Baxter in the election and also continued to support him after the controversy arose as to the title to the office of governor. In that controversy the late A. H. Garland, afterward governor of Arkansas and United States Senator from that state and Attorney General in President Cleveland's cabinet, was in command of the troops supporting the Baxter administration. Baxter was finally seated and served out his term of office. A number of men were killed in the battle around the state house. A sad thing accompanying that controversy was the blowing up of a steamer on which were many boy students from the University at Fayetteville at a bend in the river, all losing their lives.

His death marked the passing of another pioneer.

Return to top

Electronic Publishing Center | OSU Home | Search this Site