Dr. J. W. McClendon was born June 6, 1867, in the State of Louisiana. While he was quite young his family moved to Bonham, Texas, where he spent his early boyhood and where he received his early elementary education. Both of his parents died and most of his boyhood days were spent with a cousin. As a young man he was full of energy and ambition and worked during the summer months to finance his education. He was a graduate of the Louisville Kentucky School of Medicine and took a Post-Graduate course at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. On April 26, 1892 he was granted at Bonham, Texas a certificate entitling him to practice medicine and surgery. This certificate was granted by the Medical Examiners Board of the Sixth Judicial District of the State of Texas. In 1894 he moved to Atoka in Indian Territory. On October 2, 1905 he was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Harkins. His wife survives him and is a prominent and much beloved musician of McAlester, Oklahoma.
The writer has been unable to secure Dr. McClendon's Masonic record, yet, it is known that he was a member of a Blue Lodge of Bonham, Texas and that his father held Masonic Honors. He was in every sense a self-made man and always was willing to try things out and conquer the things of life, which he usually did. Those who knew him best speak of him as one who always got the most out of life and had a zest for living. His versatility is evidenced by the many enterprises in which he was successful.
Dr. McClendon's father was a farmer. Other members of his family were physicians and he seems to have inherited a natural aptitude in this profession. At Atoka Dr. McClendon was a prominent and Influential community leader while practicing medicine. In July, 1895, he was granted a medical certificate authorizing him to practice medicine and surgery in the Choctaw Nation. On February 4, 1897, Chief Green McCurtain of the Choctaw Nation appointed Dr. McClendon a member of the Medical Board of the Choctaw Nation. He was also interested extensively in the cattle business, then thriving throughout that section.
On June 10, 1912, Dr. McClendon presided over a meeting of civic clubs and state officials held at Atoka. At this meeting, preliminary plans were made for the construction of a highway from Kansas to Texas along the Katy railroad. He was also made president of the Southeastern Oklahoma Good Roads Association at that time. Among the prominent men attending this meeting were Perry Freeman, McAlester; A. N. Leecraft, Colbert; Hon. Sidney Suggs, Oklahoma City; and A. S. Burrows of Denison, Texas.
It is very difficult to find out many things about our subject which the reader would like to know, because. Dr. McClendon was not inclined to talk about himself. The following is a quotation from a letter which his favorite nephew and nearest living relative wrote: "He didn't and wouldn't talk about himself. I have asked him about his people and himself, but he would rather talk about you or me. He loved children and was very calm and easy to get along with. I noticed he always liked to attend to minute details. Dr. McClendon was a lover of good horses and bird dogs and enjoyed hunting above all other sports."
Among papers which Dr. McClendon left is a Game License issued by the State of Wyoming permitting him to hunt Elk, Deer, Antelope, and Mountain Sheep within the State of Wyoming. Also, there is a photograph of Dr. McClendon and a Mr. H. Hutchinson taken at Atoka November 1909, showing that at least one of his hunting expeditions was successful. In the photograph Dr. McClendon is seated in an automobile of that period. On the back of it is tied a full grown Buck.
At Atoka and later at McAlester where he lived, Dr. McClendon took great pride in civic work and was a man of strong personality and good business ability. Upon his removal to McAlester in November 1914, he became interested in the real estate and oil business, but about six years ago resumed the practice of his profession at Earlsboro.
For a number of years Dr. McClendon had been a life member of the Oklahoma State Historical Society. He and his wife have made some splendid contributions to the Museum.
By appointment of William H. Murray, Dr. McClendon was placed at the head of Western Oklahoma Hospital of Supply. This big institution with approximately thirteen hundred patients and a three thousand acre farm responded immediately to his care and direction. He took charge of the institution in April 1934, and the employees of that place declare that he brought cheerfulness and happiness to all who were connected with the institution.
When news of Dr. McClendon's death reached Oklahoma City, the State Flag on the State Capitol Building was placed at half mast in tribute to his life of helpfulness. His death was sudden and unexpected. He had driven from Supply to his home at 400 East Creek Street, McAlester, to celebrate his wedding anniversary and during the night suffered an attack of heart trouble and passed away at 4:15 o'clock the following morning, October 3, 1934. He was a member of the Methodist Church at McAlester and was active in the society of his profession. Those who knew him best speak of him as a man of high intellect and professional attainment. He showed at all times deep human sympathy and wide tolerance for the frailties of humanity.
FRANK STAPLER HOWARD
Born near what is now Wauhillau, in Adair County, Oklahoma, on January 30, 1873; son of Frank Howard, who was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on November 26, 1840, and who, removing to the Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory, in 1868, founded the Town of Baron, now in Adair County, Oklahoma. In 1870 Frank Howard was united in marriage with Sallie Starr, daughter of Joseph (Noon) McMann Starr and Delilah Starr, a Cherokee family, prominent among the Cherokees both east and west. To that union three children came, to-wit: Ollie, who is the wife of Bry Dillon and who now resides at Hot Springs, Arkansas, Percy P., and Frank Stapler Howard, the former now residing at Baron, Oklahoma. On April 15, 1877, occurred the death of Delilah Starr. In 1880 Frank Howard took a second wife in the person of Miss Josephine Landrum, daughter of Dave Landrum. One child was the issue of this second marriage, Josephine, now Mrs. Andrew Rogers of Fort Gibson, Oklahoma.
Frank Stapler Howard attended the tribal schools of the Cherokee Nation and the high school at Joplin, Missouri. After reaching his majority he engaged in farming and agricultural pursuits near Miami, on a farm he owned at the time of his death. After about fifteen years he removed to Baron where he engaged in the general mercantile business. He also organized the Guaranty Bank at Watts, Oklahoma, and the Peoples Bank at Westville, Oklahoma. Afterwards the bank at Watts was removed to Westville and consolidated with the Peoples Bank of which he was president at the time of his death. For four years, from 1911 to 1915, he was chairman of the Board of County Commissioners for Adair County. In 1923 he was again elected a member of this board serving the term from 1923 to 1924.
In 1895 he was married to Miss Callie Allen, a daughter of F. F. and Sarah Allen, who resided near Miami, Oklahoma, and who died in 1899, leaving surviving as a result of said union two children: Catherine, now Mrs. John Crass of Tulsa, and Manila Dewey, now Mrs. D. L. Rickenbrode of Port Arthur, Texas. In May 1901 Mr. Howard and Miss Ella B. Clyne, daughter of John and Jennie Clyne of Baron, were married, and to this second marriage came four children; Sallie, now Mrs. Loring Ross, Ella Mae, now Mrs. E. G. Carroll, Eddie Starr Howard, all of Baron, and Grover Franklin Howard of Westville, Oklahoma.
On reaching his majority he gave his political allegiance to the Democratic party in the activities of which he bore a prominent part. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and fraternally a member of the Elks and Masons. During the World War he was chairman of War Savings Stamp campaign in Adair County, Superintendent of the Fourth Red Cross drive, also the Liberty Loan drives, and was a member of the War Exemption Board of said county. When the Muskogee Production Credit Corporation was organized, in the early part of 1934, Mr. Howard became its first president and continued to act in that capacity until his death. With the development of the fruit, vegetable and garden industries in his county he engaged in the canning business and at the height of the season employed as many as 150 people at Baron. He was also one of the most extensive landowners in said county.
Mr. Howard was killed on the afternoon of July 17, 1935, by a bolt of lightning, and was buried in the family cemetery near his home at Saxon on July 19, 1935. He was a man of unbounded energy, never idle, but finding pleasure in work and industry, ever evincing a desire to be of assistance to his neighbor and friend, aiding them reasonably in every work. During the depression many of his neighbors were not only fed but their children also were protected from the cold by shoes and clothing provided by him; whilst being a capable and sound business man, yet he showed a spirit of benevolence and philanthropy. He was a leader in laying the foundation of the road system in Adair County. A man of good judgment with a fair vision into the future, with an optimistic spirit yet he was firm and courageous in his conviction. Adair County has lost its leading citizen who was never too busy to aid in any movement for its benefit and development.
—R. L. WILLIAMS.
JOHN RANDOLPH FRAZIER
In the passing of John Randolph Frazier at Oklahoma City, on July 24, 1935, the directors of the Oklahoma Historical Society feel a personal bereavement, not only from the loss of a good citizen, but from the fact that Mrs. Frazier was a member of the board of directors of this Society from 1923 to 1929.
Marmaduke Frazier, the father of John Randolph Frazier, emigrated to Arkansas from Randolph County, North Carolina, in 1848. He was of Scotch descent, and traced his ancestry back many years. Although the family was impoverished by the warfare in Kentucky waged between the North and South, the subject of this sketch, by perserverance, hard work, and the aid of a resourceful father, obtained a fair education. He attended Buckner College near Huntington, Arkansas, and later finished his schooling at the University of that state. For a few years he taught school. In 1887, on the advice of his father then a prosperous farmer and landowner, he decided to enter the mercantile business in Mansfield, Arkansas, which at that time was a new town at the terminus of the newly constructed Midland Valley Railroad.
In 1892 Mr. Frazier was united in marriage with Maud J. Hamilton, daughter of a missionary Methodist evangelist. To them four children were born, the eldest of whom was Ernestine, now deceased; Mrs. Homer E. Pace of Wilburton, Oklahoma; James R. Frazier of Wewoka, Oklahoma, and J. Floyd Frazier of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
In 1902, Mr. Frazier moved his family and mercantile business to Wilburton, Indian Territory. Here he continued to live until 1928, when ill health forced him to retire from active business. He afterward lived in McAlester, and for the last two years of his life resided in Oklahoma City. At the time of his death he still owned considerable property in Wilburton and Latimer County. During his last years he cherished the memory and love of his old friends in Wilburton and Mansfield as his most prized possession.
Mr. Frazier took personal pride in the reputation he had established for integrity and he is remembered as a man who never avoided an obligation, either in the spirit or in the letter of an agreement; and one who tried by precept and example to make the world a better place in which to live, and to teach others that industry, thrift and conservative living point the way to real happiness.