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 19, No. 1
March, 1941

Page 106


Joel Mason Sandlin, son of Samuel Winfred and Margaret M. (Crow) Sandlin, was born September 6, 1878, on a farm near Hartselle, Morgan County, Alabama. Having received a good education in the common and private schools, he taught school for four years and came to Lincoln County, Oklahoma Territory, in the early part of 1901, where he worked on a farm and taught school, and clerked in a store and bank. Having pursued the study of law he was admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma Territory at Guthrie on January 6, 1904, and immediately entered upon the practice of the law at Prague.

On September 18, 1906 he was nominated on the Democratic ticket for delegate to the Constitutional Convention from District 22, which embraced a part of Lincoln County, and elected at the election held on November 6, 1906 under provision of the Enabling Act of June 16, 1906, and after the organization of the convention which convened on November 20, 1906, he served on the following committees: (1) Judicial Apportionment (chairman); (2) Rules1 and Procedure; (3) Municipal Corporations; (4) Public Institutions; (5) Impeachment and removal from Office; (6) Special Committee as to Legislative Apportionment.2

After the erection of the state government on November 16, 1907, he then became private secretary to the late Governor Chas. N. Haskell, serving in that capacity until appointed in the spring of 1909 by Governor Haskell as Judge of the Superior Court of Logan County, and discharged the duties of said office with honor and credit until the expiration of the term in January, 1911. He then removed to Duncan, Oklahoma and there engaged in the practice of the law. In 1915 he was appointed by the then Governor as a member of the State Board of Education and continued in such capacity by reappointments until the spring of 1929. On November 27, 1902 he was married to Miss Loula Smith of Hartselle, Alabama, who survives him. To them came the following children: Grace, who died in infancy; Fay, surviving, the wife of Joe B. House, of Mannford, Oklahoma, and Joseph, who died on August 14, 1932, and Josephine, who resides with her mother at Duncan, Oklahoma.

Judge Sandlin died on April 7, 1940, and was buried at Duncan.

As a devoted and faithful husband and father and son, his memory will be treasured. Loyal to friends, clients and pupils, ethical and able as a lawyer, and faithful as a public servant, he was the embodiment of fine citizenship.

R. L. Williams.

Joel Sandlin


John Henry Wright—son of William Thomas Wright and his wife, Octavia Marcella (the former born July 24, 1840, and died March 13, 1928, and married December 23, 1862,1 the later born September 9, 1842, and died June 20, 1924, being daughter of Henry Hannabass, born February 20,

Page 107

John Wright

1811, and died March 6, 1891, and of Martha E. Lumpkin, born November 8, 1822, died March 19, 1863, married January 6, 1840)—was born in Franklin County, Virginia on September 12, 1866.

His paternal grandfather and grandmother, respectively Robert Pasley Wright, born in 1822 and died May 30, 1891 and Rhoda (Rhode) McGeorge, born in 1818, and died May 29, 1893, were married October 21, 1839.2

Paternal great-grandfather and great-grandmother were respectively Thomas Wright and Susannah Pasley, married March 10, 1820.3

Paternal great2-grandfather and great2-grandmother were John Wright and his wife, Elizabeth.4

Paternal great3-grandfather and great3-grandmother were Thomas Wright and his wife, Mary.5

When Bedford County was formed in 1753, Thomas Wright, Sr., was a resident thereof, having removed from Augusta County about 1748,6 and settled near what is now Stewartsville.7

Thomas Wright, Sr., had two sons, John and Joseph, each of whom had a son named Thomas, all of whom rendered service on the side of the Colonies. John and Joseph, too old for active service, distributed beef and subsistence to the patriots. The two grandsons, each named Thomas, were active for the colonies in military service.

The said Martha E.8 was the daughter of Robert W. Lumpkin by his first wife (son of Moore Lumpkin). Robert W. Lumpkin died in 1871. His second wife was Catherine Richardson. His first wife, Nancy Cunningham, died in 1854, having married him on November 8, 1820.9

Moore Lumpkin enlisted in the Colonial army in 1778 as a private in Capt. Selden's Company, being honorably discharged at the close of the war.10

John Henry Wright's father, William Thomas Wright, was a private in Company A, 37th Battalion Virginia Cavalry, Confederate States Army, enlisted January 31, 1863 at Salem. Muster roll for September and October, 1864 shows him present, paroled on June 5, 1865 at Franklin Court House, Virginia.

He attended local schools in Franklin and Bedford counties until reaching age of 17 years, then becoming a teacher. Later migrating to Texas, he engaged in teaching in Delta, Lamar and Hopkins counties, covering a period of about seven years. He attended Central College at Sulphur Springs, Texas and pursued the study of law in the offices of Hale & Hale, attorneys, Paris, Texas, at which place he was admitted to the bar in 1893.

Page 108

In March, 1894 he located at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Territory, joining ranks of pioneers to build a new state, where until his death he engaged in the practice of law, and was elected to office of City Attorney, and served three consecutive terms from April, 1897 to April, 1903, and in April, 1908 became a member of a Board of Freeholders to frame charter for said city, and at general election in 1910 elected as a member of the third legislature from Oklahoma County for a term beginning on the 15th day after the date of the general state election.11

He served in special session of legislature in November and December, 1910, at which capital of the state was by legislative act removed from Guthrie to Oklahoma City, and was re-elected to fourth and fifth legislatures, serving for a period comprising six years, last term expiring 15 days after date of general election in 1916.

An able and progressive member of the legislature, in a quiet but firm way he strove at all times to promote honest, efficient, economical, stable and just government.

A member of City Board of Education (1925-27), for years member and chairman of the Carnegie Library Board, Mason (32°), Shriner, Knight of Pythias (Past Chancellor), member of Oklahoma Club, Democrat, Methodist (member of St. Luke's church), he endeavored to meet every duty.

On June 20, 1907 he and Miss Willie Stone, formerly of Montgomery, Alabama, were married, home 1530 Classen Boulevard.

During the World War he was accepted by Red Cross for field agent, foreign service, but Armistice was signed before he could reach his post in France.

He died on March 10, 1940, buried in Memorial Park Cemetery, being survived by his widow and three brothers, R. J. Wright, Columbus, Ohio, J. C. Wright and Penn Wright, of Rapidan, Virginia, and a sister, Mrs. Florence Coppedge, Bedford, Virginia.

Honest both in public and private relations, he was regarded by associates in the legislature as "a man of excellent ability and noble character, with integrity above reproach."12

A devoted husband, exemplary citizen, successful in life's undertakings, a cultured son of the Old Dominion has passed away.

—R. L. Williams.

Durant, Oklahoma


William Duncan Ford, a son of Colonel Caswell P. Ford and Mary Duncan, his wife, was born at Jacksonville, Illinois on August 20, 1852. His father was a Union soldier in the Civil War having served as Colonel

William Ford

Page 109

of the 25th Illinois Infantry. He was educated in the public schools and attended the Chicago Academy in 1868 at which time Ted Lincoln was also a student there.

Mr. Ford served as a deputy clerk of the circuit court at Clinton, Illinois from 1877 to 1884 when he removed to Pittsburg, Crawford County, Kansas. He married Harriet L. Bush at Pittsburg and in November, 1888 was elected to the Kansas legislature from Crawford County. Thereafter he served as private secretary to Governor Stanley of Kansas. Mr. Ford was engaged in the real estate and insurance business in Kansas and also in Muskogee after his removal there in 1905. He was appointed to and served as chief of the lease division of the United States Indian Agency for two years and removed to Tulsa in 1924 where he again engaged in the real estate business and where he passed away on November 10, 1940.

The childhood environs of Mr. Ford were amid scenes in which the formative years of Abraham Lincoln were engaging features. His father was a personal friend of Lincoln and most vividly did Mr. Ford recount the occasion in the late fall of 1858 when the Springfield lawyer spent the evening at the home of Mr. Ford's parents in Clinton, Illinois. "He mussed up my hair and said 'How do you do, my son'" was often related by Mr. Ford in speaking of this visit by the Great Emancipator. In later years, inspired by his personal contact with Lincoln, he became a profound student of the life and character of Lincoln. Throughout the years he had assembled a Lincolnian collection which he so proudly displayed and which includes many legal documents which bear the signature of Lincoln. He made numerous high school lectures touching the absorbing activities of Lincoln and contributed many sketches covering those years, for eastern magazines. It had been his privilege during those interesting years to meet Andrew Johnson, Seward, Grant, Sherman, Meade and Custer, concerning whom he held an abiding recollection and of whom he talked in fascinating details. The observations and experiences of his childhood days became more concrete as the years ebbed.

Mr. Ford was a lovable character and highly esteemed by a vast array of friends and admirers in Eastern Oklahoma. His passing has closed another door on the yesterdays of American life.

—John Bartlett Meserve.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Return to top

Electronic Publishing Center | OSU Home | Search this Site