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Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 18, No. 1
March, 1940

Page 92


On Sunday morning, November 19, 1939, death came to Judge Wade Hampton Kornegay as a result of a heart attack at his home in Vinita. He was born in Duplin County, North Carolina on April 17, 1865. For forty-eight years prior to his death, Vinita had been his home where he was continuously engaged in the practice of law except for the period when he was serving as a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1907 which framed the present Constitution of the State of Oklahoma and while he served by appointment of the then Governor William H. Murray as a member of the Supreme Court of the State of. Oklahoma in 1931 and 1932.

Judge Kornegay's ancestry on his father's side is traced to Holland and on his mother's side to Wales. They settled in America in a very early day; the father's in North Carolina and the mother's on the James River in Virginia. When the Civil War came, Judge Kornegay's father enlisted as a private soldier in the Confederate Service and was wounded in battle. He was in the retreat from Richmond which ended at Appomattox. Judge Kornegay was born while his father was absent serving in the army. He wrote of his father as follows: "He named me for General Wade Hampton of South Carolina who he had seen ministering to his soldiers who had been used to carry powder. All the medical supplies were gone and nothing was left save some flour which the General was personally sprinkling on the burns of his men. Father said on seeing this, he determined if the expected child was a boy, his given name would be Wade Hampton. I was the boy, the youngest of seven. Father always taught me that the war ended at Appomattox." Further referring to himself, he wrote.—

"I attended the local academy and seminary and entered the Wake Forest College, North Carolina, in my fifteenth year and graduated from the institution in 1884 with the degree of A. M. and being the class valedictorian. I taught school for four years and acquired the means required to bear my expenses for a summer law course under Professor John B. Minor at the University of Virginia in 1889, followed by the regular two year course at Vanderbilt University, taking the full course in one year."

Judge Kornegay was a man of great literary attainments and was particularly versed in the classics. His career as a college student was brilliant. I quote from a recent letter from Honorable John F. Schenck of Lawndale, Cleveland County, North Carolina, who was a fellow student at Wake Forest College with Judge Kornegay.

"The most striking and interesting thing which I remember about Kornegay was his entering into a contest for a Greek medal, which was awarded every year at Wake Forest College. At that time A. T. Robertson, who became a noted Greek scholar, was a member of the class studying Greek, and he stood so high in his class that it was taken for granted that he would be the winner of the Greek medal that year. I do not think any one was doubtful as to that matter. However, when the final and special Greek examination came, Kornegay was the winner. It was a mystery to most students how he managed to win the medal over Robertson, but afterwards I learned that Kornegay was in the habit of waking at 4:00 o'clock in the morning and usually put in his early morning hours at work, preparing for the contest."

Judge Kornegay

Page 93

Judge Kornegay was married in the early 1890's to Nannie Louise Stafford of the Indian Territory, who survives. From that union were the following children: Jeanette, Clarence, Wade Hampton, Jr., and Louise, all of whom are living. The home life of the Kornegays was a happy one. Judge Kornegay was an honorable citizen, a believer in the Christian religion and a supporter of the Presbyterian Church. His career as a practicing lawyer was long, honorable and successful.

His remains, after an impressive and appropriate ceremony were laid to rest on November 21, 1939 in the presence of a large concourse of friends from all walks of life, in the Fairview Cemetery at Vinita, Oklahoma.


Muskogee, Oklahoma


Walter Ferguson, son of Thompson B., and Elva Shartel Ferguson, was born March 28, 1886, at Wauneta, Kansas, and died Marsh 8, 1936. He was married to Lucia Loomis, November 7, 1908. Three children survive, Benton, Ruth Elva, and Tom B.

The only authentic picture of the people, conditions, or life in early day Oklahoma presented in Edna Ferber's malevolent novel, "Cimarron," sprang, not from the egoistic mind of the author, but from the understanding heart of the artist illustrator, V. C. Wyeth.

On frontis page and jacket we see a strong, reliant, clear eyed mother, guiding a team of sturdy farm horses over a rutty road. Perched upon the high spring seat of the wagon is the figure of a small boy, his eyes alert with eager interest. The mother's face is eloquent of faith in the future; of that fearless faith that ignores hardship and sacrifice; that asks only to work and to serve; a faith that makes a shrine of struggle, and reckons not the cost in weary, lonesome, hours, but counts that day well spent that sees security for her loved ones brought one step nearer.

The tense figure of the boy radiates excitement. One can hear his shrill, childish treble, as a coyote or jack rabbit bounds from its hiding place by the road side, or a cowboy, picturesque in chapps and spurs, bursts suddenly from a dry creek bed, riding hard on the heels of a straying steer. Only the present, the novel, entrancing present, absorbs the boy. But the future, the long, hard, coming years, have use for the sturdy body and active mind of that boy. He will not fail that future, for he is a pioneer, and is to be the product of pioneering.

The original of that illustration hangs in the hall of the Ferguson home today. It belongs there. It is the artist's conception of Walter Ferguson's entrance into the land he was to love so intensely; which he was to serve so devoutly, and which he was to see developed into a state that became his absorbing pride.

Exactly as pictured by the artist, the Ferguson family entered Oklahoma in 1889. The mother and son in a wagon containing their household effects, and the father following in another, loaded with a few fonts of type, and the primitive press which was the first crude equipment of the Blaine County Republican, for long years the champion of law and order, and cultural progress in western Oklahoma.

The heart beats of any community are heard and felt best in a newspaper office. It is the common nerve center that receives and records the thought, impulses, and activities of that community. Walter's infant

Walter Ferguson

Page 94

wails were drowned by the thud of a Washington hand press, and the odor of printer's ink was always, afterward, a haunting lure. His restless, roving spirit drove him into many and varied fields, but always, in any situation, he was the trained observer, the student of values, feeling the pulse of the public unerringly, and subconsciously swayed by that sixth sense which marks the real newspaper man.

Watonga, Blaine County, was a county seat and court town, remote, raw, and unorganized. Peopled by men and women of every class and creed, strangers from near and far who had become neighbors in a day. Walter lived his buoyant, boyish years in this environment. His young and plastic mind received and absorbed a thousand impressions from the clash of viewpoint and opinion that were fused in the melting and moulding of the strong, sturdy, cosmopolitan settlers into a commonwealth truly American.

Here was born his kindly tolerance. With his natural instinct for truth, he separated prejudice from reasoned conviction, weighed warped sincerity, and instantly recognized a subtle wrong. He learned to measure men. He had an instinct for friendship, and saw something interesting in everyone he met. Grown men who bought papers from a barefoot boy, before Watonga had a railroad, never forgot him, and hundreds of his nation wide friendships antedated his early 'teens.

No boy could ever know a stranger, or more complete assortment of men than Walter was thrown among. Temple Houston, with his long, black hair, high heeled boots, and tongue touched with fire; Jesse Dunn, dignified, astute philosopher; Chris Madsen, veteran of four wars, fearless, relentless peace officer; priests and preachers, gamblers, politicians, and lean, lank ranchers. Position and place, then or afterward, meant nothing to him, but in every man he sensed something that sets the individual apart from his fellows.

While young Walter was busy sticking type, selling Wichita Eagles, and running errands for the court house crowd he found ample time for the pranks and pastimes of the small town boy. He knew every fishing hole and turkey roost for miles around Watonga. Halloween and the old-fashioned "Fourth" found him in the thick of things. In after years he often recounted with relish an anecdote which he said established his rating in deportment.

A farmer brought to town a huge diamond-backed rattler he had captured. Someone suggested that the reptile was extremely dangerous and should be killed. "No, no," a bystander objected, "turn it loose, it may bite that Ferguson boy."

In a heated campaign his dignified father was addressing a Republican rally. Walter planted himself on a cracker box in front of the platform and proceeded to lead the applause. His enthusiasm focused the attention of the audience and the orator was forgotten. The one-boy cheering section had to be removed.

There may have been regret, but there certainly was relief when the "Ferguson boy" left town to attend Wentworth Military Academy.

While Walter was at Wentworth, his father was appointed Territorial governor and moved to Guthrie.

At Guthrie, at the age of seventeen, young Ferguson laid the foundation of his career as columnist, newspaperman and politician. His first serious effort was a column in the Shawnee Herald, published by Adjt. Gen. Charles F. Barrett. "Over The Tea Cup" became a sensational news source. So much inside information appeared in the column that the Governor's advisors complained that the tea pot must be on the family

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table. Walter was barred from future party talkfests, but his reputation as a political writer was established.

The seething territorial political pot boiled hottest at Guthrie. The State Capital was the ruthless Republican mouthpiece, and Frank Greer its able, vitriolic editor. Under his tutelage Walter found a wide field for his talents. Possessing rare political sagacity he rapidly developed into the territory's leading free-lance writer.

Here, again, Walter widened his acquaintance among the men who were making Oklahoma history. They all became his friends. All doors were open to him. He lambasted and satirized his Democratic friends unmercifully, but the absence of malice and venom, and the rare spirit of wholesome good humor, so pervaded everything he wrote, that those at whom he aimed his sharpest shafts became his closest pals.

While working on the Capital, Walter decided to complete his education, and matriculated at the University of Oklahoma. His irrepressible spirit could not be confined within the usual routine of the college curriculum. He established a news bureau, and wrote feature articles and short stories for the metropolitan papers, helped organize the first fraternity, Kappa Alpha, and played his full part in campus life.

All who have read Walter Ferguson's serious writing, have had no doubt of his moral courage, but less is known of his physical stamina.

While at Norman he went with a group of friends to the wilds of Canada on a hunting trip. It happened that they pitched their camp in a region infested by the "Wolf Boys," an outlaw gang as quick on the trigger as any of the famed gun men who roamed the western plains in "border" days. One evening while the college boys were resting around the campfire, Bud Wolf and his pack rode in upon them. Bud threw his six gun and peppered the coffee pot. The boys took to the brush-all but one of them. Ten minutes later, hearing no more shooting, they came slinking back, and there stood Walter, kidding the life out of Bud, and the outlaw was laughing.

Walter spent three years at the University, and returned to Guthrie as city editor of the State Capital. Here came the opportunity for some of his most important work. The constitutional convention convened, and while reporting its proceedings he was in close touch with the inside workings of that body. His salty wit enlivened his stories, and the coffee grew cold on a thousand breakfast tables, as the head of the house read the panning dished out in easy flowing satire. His penetrating powers of perception enabled him to picture the leaders as faithfully as a photograph.

Walter Ferguson had much to do with the making of the reputations that were established in the convention, and his unpublicized influence is reflected in much of the state's organic law. The real leaders, the men of ability, respected and loved him and eagerly sought his council. The four-flusher feared him. He was death to "stuffed shirts," for the only thing Walter Ferguson ever hated was pretense.

No one could have a deeper sense of the importance and significance of the constitutional convention than he, but even that could not suppress the flood-tide of his humor. He it was who dubbed the president, Wm. H. Murray, "Cockleburr Bill," and organized the famous "Squirrel Rifle Brigade."

His humor often had a deflating effect, and many a man who became a leader, was stronger and more sincere because a flash of Ferguson wit gave him a good look at himself.

Page 96

Upon the convening of the first session of the legislature of the new state, Wm. H. Murray was elected speaker of the House of Representatives, and at once appointed Walter as Reading Clerk. Upon the floor of the House, he was in intimate touch with the proceedings of the important body, which made effective and gave life to the provisions of the constitution which had been ratified by a vote of the people.

There is no way to measure the weight of Walter Ferguson's influence during the sessions of those two fundamental lawmaking bodies; no way of knowing how many salutory provisions owe their existence to his interest and wise foresight, but certain it is, that he was both loved and feared by the members; that in caucus and council he was respected, and his influence was enhanced because it was universally understood that he "had no ax to grind."

After the adjournment of the legislature, Greer sent Walter all over the twin territories as a correspondent, and thus he saw at first hand, and often helped to supervise, their welding into the new state. He reported the amalgamation of the Oklahoma and Indian Territory Bar Associations, the medical associations, The Oklahoma and Indian Territory Press Associations, the merger of the educational associations, and in the final blending of a divided citizenship, long swayed by prejudice, and even deep-seated dislike, the friendly, tolerant spirit of Walter Ferguson was again of inestimable value. Men just naturally became friends in his genial presence. He kidded provincial prejudice out of them, just as he joshed the bravado out of Bud Wolf.

His work on the Capital was congenial, but Walter was independent, ambitious, and he wanted to be his own boss. He took a double plunge.

He bought the Cherokee Republican, and married Lucia Loomis, his college sweetheart.

For ten years this perfectly mated team worked side by side, enduring the hardships and sharing the joys that make the publishing of a country newspaper the most interesting and soul-testing experience on earth. Walter watched his wife (now a nationally known newspaper columnist), develop the talent that, to the day of his death, was the source of his greatest pride and joy. In the files he left was found a yellowed copy of her first story, and crumpled clippings of her first features.

The influence of the metropolitan press of the present day is in doubt, but the country newspaper is a power in the hands of honest, courageous publishers. The Fergusons made the Cherokee Republican more than a local news vendor. The editors had opinions and ideals, and fought for them.

Alfalfa county is solely an agricultural community. When a government agency limited the price of wheat, during the world war, the Republican commended the action. There was widespread indignation among the farmers, and hundreds cancelled their subscriptions, but the Fergusons, afire with patriotism, never wavered in their position, and so stressed their country's need that their readers were finally made to feel the thrill that comes from sacrifice for a righteous cause.

Walter continued his political writing. His column, "Bugscuffle Bugle" gave the paper a state-wide circulation. Office seekers he put on the pillory read it and shuddered; voters read it and laughed themselves out of a year's subscription.

He believed that a public officer should reflect the sentiments of his community. He lived squarely up to that principle. When the people of Alfalfa county elected him to the state legislature, he introduced and valiantly fought for the passage of a bone-dry liquor bill. The bill had teeth in it. The measure provided, not only for a fine, but for imprison-

Page 97

ment for the mere possession of intoxicating liquors. No one could possibly enjoy a social drink more than the convivial Walter, but his constituents were dry, and as their elected representative, he considered their collective will an imperative mandate. He believed that in no other way could a representative democracy be made to work. He believed that probity in politics is essential in a republic, and that the lack of it constituted his country's most dangerous weakness.

The Republican was the first advocate of the construction of large lakes at public expense. It emphasized the benefits to be derived as means of conservation, recreation, and the probable influence on climate and rainfall. On the great Salt Plains in Alfalfa county is now being constructed one of the largest earthen dams in the nation. Soon countless thousands will enjoy the fruits of long, weary hours of research and effort contributed by the young editor to the public weal. The Great Salt Plains lake will be a fitting memorial to his vision, and to his passion for unselfish service.

During his busy years at Cherokee Walter found time to serve as postmaster for six years, and to perform the exacting duties of Chairman of the county exemption board during the war.

Few men will remember Walter Ferguson as a worker. They will forget his thoughtful editorials and articles; they will only vaguely realize that his broad, comprehensive knowledge of history and politics, and his grasp of the multitudinous causes and conditions that gave his beloved Southwest its color and romance, could only come from intensive study and thought. They will remember him as the genial, high spirited, fun loving host, transforming groups of worried men into laughing, singing boys, breaking through the artificial shell of their reserve with a pointed jibe, a wild tale, or an absurd anecdote.

Hundreds of men, day dreaming at their firesides, will recall the days and nights at T-Bone ranch in Alfalfa county, Nationally known writers, dignified judges, merchant princes, cold, calculating bankers, lawyers and doctors, men in all walks of life, famed for great achievment, will remember when they were completely disarmed and relaxed at T-Bone. They will remember when Walter slapped them on the back, and they found themselves, glass in hand, telling stories, making impromptu speeches; singing high tenor in off-key quartets, and loving their fellow men. They will remember that many of their finest friendships date from a Ferguson party on the plains. A dignified statesman will remember a leather-faced rancher he met in that spacious, rustic, mint-scented retreat. Senators, congressmen and globe trotters will remember the oil men and old timers, and best of all, the big jovial host who had them milling and mingling with the joyous abandon of care-free school kids.

No wonder that men, everywhere, came to Walter Ferguson when a favor meant much to them. No wonder Walter always knew a fellow by his first name who could turn the trick. He believed that man is his brother's keeper. He used his friends to help his friends, and multiplied the joys of all.

The T-Bone ranch is still there on the Alfalfa county plains; men still gather under the broad beams of the high-hipped roof, but the laughter is more subdued, the mood is reminiscent, for they're thinking now of a broad, infectious smile, a cheery voice now still, and they long for a hand clasp they can almost feel.

In 1909 Walter Ferguson became vice-president of the First National Bank at Oklahoma City. It was a radical change, but Walter was successful in his new avocation. He served six years as a member of the Federal

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Reserve Board, and removed to Tulsa in 1927, becoming associated with the Exchange National Bank.

Big business made no change in Walter's personality. In his office in the somber bank, one heard the same hearty chuckle, and he filled the temple of the money changers with an atmosphere of warm, human friendship.

The field of history and biography was Walter's natural habitat. From early youth he collected and preserved items and objects which he knew would some day have great historical interest. When he located in Tulsa he selected a home with a large, unpartitioned attic floor. This room became a nationally known retreat and rendezvous. Upon shelves, and walls and ceiling he spread the mementoes that represent years of searching, hoarding, and understanding discrimination. It is a perfect panorama of the long years that saw the great Southwest struggle on under five flags to become the most democratic and cosmopolitan region on earth today.

Long shelves line the side walls of one end of the room. In the volumes that fill them is recorded about all that has been written about the region. Scores of them are out of print and priceless. Some are learned tomes crammed with tedious but essential data. Others are racy, readable stories of Spanish adventurers, French explorers, Indian warriors, border gunmen, and cattle kings. There are leather bound volumes containing the statutory laws of several Indian tribes—laws, that because of their simplicity, and fairness, put to shame the work of modern legislative bodies. The white man's Bible, printed in the tongues of so-called savage red men, lean against the bound record of solemn Indian treaties, all broken by white men. (Did Walter place them just that way to emphasize the exchange a primitive people made, of their simple religion for broken pledges?) Rare documents and manuscripts fill to bursting commodious files.

On the walls and ceiling hang hundreds of photographs showing the pictured faces of those who had part and place in the making of the Oklahoma we know. In one group on the west wall will be found the face of almost every editor and publisher who ground out the history of Oklahoma in the pioneer press. In another group are the statesmen, the judges, and lawyers, the men most active in public affairs. Photographs of noted Indian chiefs, of early day peace officers, and even of notorious outlaws, (most of them just stark, rigid, bullet scarred bodies), completes a pictorial biography of the most colorful state in all of the forty-eight. It is significant that almost every picture is autographed, "To My Friend, Walter."

There are scrap books containing incidents and anecdotes more revealing than many pages of prosaic written history.

At one end of the room stands the bar of the old Red Dog saloon at Guthrie. Even the original brass rail is there. Much of Oklahoma's history was made by men while leaning on this old rail. A roulette wheel and a poker table from another social center in early day Guthrie stands invitingly near by.

A rare map of the old ranches in "No Man's Land" and the branding irons of the cattle kings who owned them are placed in a conspicuous corner.

Mementoes of the outlaw days completely fill the back bar of an old saloon. Six-shooters carried by desperadoes who scorned to prey upon the helpless, but "shot it out in the open," hang beside the guns of intrepid peace officers who subdued them.

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This room reflects, as nothing else in the new state does, the color, the romance, the strain and struggle, the labor and the sacrifice, that went into the making of the unique commonwealh that is Oklahoma. It should be preserved in its entirety and placed where future generations can visualize the entrancing past.

Walter Ferguson was as much a part of Oklahoma as her broad, sweeping plains, and native hills. He was not only a part of its colorful history, but out of the very soul of him, dyed that color with some of its richest hues. He played his part in the pioneer's barehanded fight with nature in the raw. Where and while he worked and played, from infancy to manhood, all races, and all cultures, met, and mingled, and fused. He helped to make and mould a new and distinct social structure, and was, himself, its peculiar progeny.

Only in a primitive society do men outweigh possessions. Only there are men implacably measured as men. Courage, strength, and loyalty must be his, and generosity, and quick sympathy, are first essentials where roving want presses hard upon the heels of all. To Walter these qualities were innate, but were doubtless emphasized by his environment. Daily he saw sturdy men drain themselves of strength and substance for neighbor and friend, for community and state, and saw their lives grow full and rich from giving and doing. In the life of the hard-fisted frontiersman he found a premium placed on real manhood, and an utter disregard for station and things that was to become his code. And by that code he lived and died.


Tulsa, Oklahoma


In the veins of Governor Douglas H. Johnston was intermingled the best blood of the old South, and the best blood of the proud Chickasaw Tribe of Indians. His father, Colonel John Johnston, Sr., was closely related to Generals Joseph E. Johnston and Albert Sidney Johnston, of the Confederate Army.

After assisting in the emigration of the Chickasaw and Choctaw Indians from Mississippi to Indian Territory, and over the "Trail of Tears," Colonel Johnston returned and settled among the Indians and married Mary Cheadle, a Chickasaw Indian, and a member of the well known family of Kemps.

Toward the end of the Civil War, Colonel Johnston died and was buried at old Fort Washita near the present city of Durant, leaving a family of four boys of which Douglas H. Johnston was one. He was named for General Douglas H. Cooper who commanded the Chickasaw and Choctaw troops in the Civil War. Governor Johnston grew to manhood in the Chickasaw and Choctaw country and was educated in the Indian schools and academies.

In 1884, at the age of twenty-six years, he was made superintendent of old Bloomfield seminary, an institution for the education of Chickasaw Indian girls. This institution was, in later years, moved to the city of Ardmore, and it is now maintained by the United States Government as Carter Seminary. Governor Johnston held this position for thirteen years, or until 1897.

When first elected governor of the Chickasaw Nation, in 1898, the tribal reign was supreme over the old Chickasaw Nation, which comprised the southwestern one-fourth of Indian Territory.

Douglas Johnston

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Early in his first administration, both the Indians and the United States realized that the "Atoka Agreement" of 1898 was defective and must be superseded by a new agreement. Therefore, in 1902, the "Supplementary Agreement" was negotiated and ratified. Under this agreement the wrongs contained in the former agreement were righted; and the lands and moneys of the Chickasaws and Choctaws have been divided and distributed among the enrolled members.

It is deemed appropriate to set out some of the most notable achievements of Governor Johnston, on behalf of his Nation and people.

When the life of the Chickasaw tribal government was endangered by the non-payment of tribal taxes and the surrender of Chickasaw schools was demanded, he went direct to President Theodore Roosevelt, and executive orders for the collection of tribal taxes and the retention of the tribal schools, were made; and thus the life of the tribal government was saved and the control of tribal schools was retained to the end of the treaty period.

When some four thousand white adventurers from the surrounding states, by fraudulent representations and perjured testimony, forced themselves upon the tribal rolls, through judgments of the United States Courts, and took possession of tribal lands, Governor Johnston again appealed to President Theodore Roosevelt. The "Supplementary Agreement" of 1902 was made and a new court, for the retrial of the cases, was created. The cases were retried and the claimants were ousted from Indian lands.

When Oklahoma statehood came on, in 1907, the new state, sorely in need of taxes, sought to tax Indian lands, in violation of treaty guarantees. The memorable "Choate Case" was filed and carried through the intermediate courts to the Supreme Court of the United States. In 1912 the great Court rendered its opinion, holding that treaty guarantees, relating to taxation, were binding on Oklahoma; and thus again were the rights of the Indians made secure. When the period of tax exemption expired in 1926 and 1927, many original Indian allottees were still alive and in possession of their lands. Restricted Indians of half blood and more were still unable to pay taxes, and taxation still meant confiscation. The President and Congress were again appealed to. The result was the passage of the Act of 1928, making inalienable and non-taxable one hundred and sixty acre homesteads of restricted Indians; and thus these helpless people were made secure in the possession of their homes for another period of twenty-five years. When it appeared that the affairs of the tribes were drawing to a close, Governor Johnston asserted, to the President and before Congress and the Federal Departments, conceived that considerable moneys were due and payable to the tribes. The Act of 1924 was passed providing for the trial of all claims against the Government. These suits, involving many millions of dollars, have been prepared and filed and are now pending in the United States Court of Claims, and it is expected that they will be finally disposed of in the near future.

The wife of Governor Johnston, who was Betty Harper of distinguished Chickasaw Indian ancestry, was a teacher at Bloomfield Seminary, at the time of her marriage to Governor Johnston, and she, and the children and grandchildren, while they are left to mourn, are comforted by the deepest sympathy of mourning friends throughout the old Chickasaw Nation, the State of Oklahoma, and extending on to the National Capital.

Governor Johnston served as the Chief Executive of his Nation continuously, since his first election in 1898, to the present time, with the exception of two years from 1902 to 1904. He was still serving at the time of his death, with the consent of the President of the United States, being the last elected Chief Executive of his tribe under the Chickasaw Constitution, and it is gratifying that he was permitted to serve them

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to the end of his long and useful life. Thus, throughout all the years, from 1898 to the present time, Governor Johnston stood as the accredited representative of his Nation in all matters affecting the well-being of his people. By the exercise of a courage of the highest order, and an immovable firmness in the official conduct of all matters affecting the rights and interests of his Nation and people, he has won and held the respect and admiration of public officials, both in Oklahoma and at Washington.

Melven Cornish

McAlester, Oklahoma


Anna Matheson

Anna C. Trainor was born December 15, 1872, at Tahlequah, Indian Territory. She was a daughter of Thomas Trainor, an adopted white citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Her mother, Lucy C. Trainor, a native of that tribe, is remembered in Cherokee history as a courier who carried messages for Confederate officers during the Civil War. Anna Trainor was one-sixteenth Cherokee blood and from early childhood was noted for her beauty. She attended the Cherokee Female Seminary at Tahlequah during the terms commencing September 6, 1886; February 14, 1887; August 26, 1889 and ending December 13, 1889, although there is no record that she was graduated from that institution. She was also a pupil of Harrell Institute in Muskogee and taught school before her marriage to Albert Stidham, a member of a prominent family of the Creek Nation. By this marriage she had a son, Clifford Stidham now of Kansas City, Missouri.

After the death of her husband Mrs. Stidham was married to Dr. Leo E. Bennett on Tuesday, April 16, 1895, at the residence of Mr. Buck Rogers in Muskogee. J. A. Winston, clerk of the United States Court, performed the ceremony in the presence of the immediate family and a few intimate friends. Dr. Bennett was the founder of the Muskogee Phoenix, Indian agent for the Five Civilized Tribes, and later United States marshal for the Indian Territory. By this marriage two daughters were born, Anna Lee (now Mrs. Del Sanders of Kansas City, Missouri), and Martha McKinley (Mrs. J. C. Brooks of Jefferson, Texas). The family also included the three children of Dr. Bennett by his first marriage, Gertrude, Lonie, and Leo E. Bennett, Jr. In addition Mrs. Bennett reared her beautiful sister Nevermore Trainor, one of her brothers and the son of a cousin; in late years by the care of several grandchildren she proved herself a veritable "mother in Israel."

During the married life of Dr. and Mrs. Bennett they made several trips to Washington when they were entertained in the White House by President and Mrs. McKinley who greatly admired Mrs. Bennett because of her beauty, amiable disposition and charm of manner.

Dr. Bennett died at Mineral Wells, Texas, May 28, 1917, and several years later Mrs. Bennett was married to Warren R. Butz of Muskogee who died in 1930; five years afterward Mrs. Butz became the wife of Mark Matheson who died the following year.

Because of her celebrated beauty and the fact that she was 1a native of the Indian Territory Mrs. Bennett was selected to represent the eastern portion of the new state of Oklahoma at the pageant in Guthrie, November 16, 1907, where a symbolical marriage ceremony was performed by the Rev. W. H. Dodson of the First Baptist Church of Guthrie, between the two territories represented by Mrs. Bennett as the bride and Mr. C. G. Jones of Oklahoma City as groom. Twenty-five years later at the celebration of the silver jubilee of the state before the State Historical Society Building in Oklahoma City the same bride, then Mrs. Warren R. Butz, and the late Gen. R. A. Sneed represented the bridal pair.

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As on the first occasion Mr. W. A. Durant read the words giving the bride away while the identical marriage ceremony was performed by the Rev. James McConnell of Vinita, Oklahoma.

Mrs. Matheson died Saturday, August 19, 1939, at Muskogee and her funeral was held in the First Presbyterian Church in that city. The service was read by Verald Davis, Christian Science reader and interment was made in Greenhill Cemetery, Muskogee.

A devoted wife and home-maker, Mrs. Matheson also possessed great executive ability. The orphan children she cared for and her war work testify to her humanitarian interests. In addition to her beauty she had unusual charm and she was never heard to make critical or unkind remarks of other people. She met life with a smile in spite of troubles that would have overcome most persons.

Carolyn Thomas Foreman.



Charles Thomas and Benjamin Stone, father and son.

(1) Charles Thomas Ingram was descended from ancestors of Colonial Virginia, directly traceable to an early period in the Eighteenth Century to Pugh Price, who married Jerusha Penick (second wife). The eldest son of said marriage, Charles Price, born in 1757 and died in 1790, married Betsy Haskin. Charles Price served in the Revolutionary War, as Captain, in Thomas Watkins Troop, Virginia Dragoons.1

(2) John Price, son of Charles Price and Betsy Price, nee Haskin, born in Virginia in 1768, and died in 1823, married, first wife, Miss Ranson in 1789 in Virginia and married as second wife, Nancy Harrison Wilson in 1819 in Cumberland County, Virginia; children of first marriage, Marie G., William, and John; children of second marriage, Charles, Alben, and Richard Wilson.

(3) Said Marie G. Price, (sometimes called Mariah), daughter of said John Price and his said first wife, Miss Ranson, was born December 12, 1807, died May 28, 1849, Chariton County, Missouri, having married John C. Ingram May 1, 1824 in Prince Edward County, Virginia; seven children born to this union, to-wit, Charles Thomas, Dabney, Dick, John, Mary, Anna, and Louise.

(4) Charles Thomas Ingram, son of John C. Ingram and Maria G. Ingram, nee Price, was born in Prince Edward County, Virginia, November 16, 1838 (died in Durant, Oklahoma, January 25, 1908, and buried at Bonham, Texas), moved with parents to Chariton County, Missouri. In 1859 he located at Bonham, Texas. After beginning of war between the states returned to Missouri in 1861 and enlisted on December 31, 1861 at Springfield, Missouri, as a private in Company F, 3rd Regiment Missouri Infantry, Confederate States Army. The muster roll of that organization in War Department at Washington, D. C., shows his age 24 years, born in Virginia, and residence then at Brunswick, Chariton County, Missouri, and roll last on file for July and August, 1864, shows him present with his command. No record is found of him in the War Department subsequent to August 31, 1864, but Collection of Confederate records there on file is incomplete. He actively served at all periods until close of hostilities.

The Ingrams

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After enlistment he continuously served in said regiment under Major General Sterling Price, Co. F, 3rd Mo. Infantry, C. S. A., Cockrell's Brigade, as a Whitworth sharpshooter (the Whitworth rifle used by him now being in the possession of Mrs. Ed L. Speairs, his daughter, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma). When General Price's command was surrendering, Charles Thomas Ingram on his horse with his rifle made his way farther south to join Major General Kirby Smith's command, but on reaching same, finding that they too were surrendering, he then on his horse with his rifle made his way to Bonham, Texas, resuming the life of a civilian, and where he continued to reside until the spring of 1897. On December 20, 1870 he married Maria Olivia Stone in Fannin County a few miles south of Bonham. To this union came four children, one of whom was Benjamin Stone, born November 7, 1871, died November 19, 1939, in St. Anthony's Hospital, Oklahoma City, and buried in the cemetery at Bonham, Texas, by the side of his father and mother.

The father, who had been engaged in the mercantile business at Bonham, Texas, for a number of years, in the early spring of 1897 moved to Durant, then in the Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory, engaging in the mercantile business, leaving his son Benjamin Stone at Bonham to wind up the business, and then to come to Durant in the fall, which he did.

On June 29, 1898, his son, Benjamin Stone, married Nellie Bouton. The father, with the assistance of the son, continued in the mercantile business at Durant until his retirement from business in 1905. Then the son, Benjamin Stone, became connected with the Durant Cotton Oil Company and its gin department and continued in that connection the rest of his life except when he held the office of Deputy County Treasurer. Benjamin Stone Ingram had two sisters and one brother, all of whom are living, to-wit, Mrs. Joe Carraway, San Antonio, Texas, Mrs. Ed L. Speairs, Oklahoma City, and Charles Ingram, Los Lumas, New Mexico.

To the union of Benjamin Stone Ingram and his wife, Nellie Bouton, came three children, all of whom survive him, to-wit, Whitsett Ingram, Oklahoma City, Mrs. R. T. Farnsworth, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Bouton C. T. Ingram, Dallas, Texas.

On the Stone side the family lineage is traced as follows:

(1) To Clack Stone, who married Elizabeth Motley, to which union a son, Samuel Stone, came.

(2) Samuel Stone (father-in-law of said Charles Thomas Ingram) born in Pennsylvania, 1809, moved to Tennessee in his early youth where he remained until 1852 and then came to Lawrence County, Missouri, and in 1861 to Fannin County, Texas, and died at Bonham, Texas, September 30, 1886; married Martha A. Turner in 1836, when she was 18 years old, who was born in Wilson County, Tennessee in 1818, and died at Bonham, Texas in 1901. Her father was James Turner, who came from Tennessee to Arkansas in an early day. Her mother was Kessie Hunter, an only daughter with six brothers, Alfred, Charles, Samuel, Clark, Rufus and Oak.

(3) To the union of Samuel and Martha Stone, nee Turner, six children came, to-wit, Ben Stone, killed in the Confederate service by a Federal neighbor, January 24, 1864; Mary Olivia, born in Lawrence County, Tennessee, March 4, 1839, died in Bonham, Texas, May 8, 1897; Delia, died in Bonham, Texas, November 21, 1921; Obediah Rufus, died in Bonham, Texas, November 8, 1889; Betty Kessie (Mrs. Hade Whitsett) born November 8, 1848, died in Bonham, Texas, November 25, 1931; Charles Alfred, died in Bonham, Texas, December 13, 1891.

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(4) (a) Maria Olivia Stone, born in Lawrence County, Tennessee, March 4, 1839, married to Charles Thomas Ingram in Fannin County, Texas, December 20, 1870, and died in Bonham, Texas, May 8, 1897.*

Charles Thomas Ingram was a fine citizen, gentleman of the old South, a patriot, a gallant soldier, and faithful to every trust.

The son, Benjamin Stone Ingram, was a chip off the old block.

R.L. Williams

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