Editor and journalist Ora V. Eddleman, the eighth of nine children of David J. and Mary Daugherty Eddleman, was born September 17, 1880, near Denton, Texas. In 1894 the Eddlemans moved to Muskogee, Indian Territory, where Ora attended Henry Kendall College, which later became the University of Tulsa. In 1897 the Eddlemans bought the Muskogee Morning Times, the first daily paper in Muskogee. While attending school, Ora Eddleman found time to work in the newspaper office. Her experience on the paper led to her success as editor of the monthly magazine, Twin Territories: The Indian Magazine, begun in December 1898. She wrote fiction under the pseudonym of Mignon Schreiber, meaning Little Writer, an appropriate name for the petite, one-hundred-pound woman. Proud of her Cherokee ancestry, she wrote articles to help dispel myths about their culture and to preserve the lore and legends of the Cherokees. She solicited pieces from other American Indian authors, including noted Creek poet Alexander Posey and Cherokee Joshua Ross. On April 6, 1904, Ora Eddleman and Charles Reed, a Kansas City journalist and Associated Press correspondent, married in Muskogee. They had two sons, Roy and David.
When Eddleman married in 1904, she quit working as editor and writer for the Twin Territories magazine, and the last issue was published in May 1904. However, she did not leave journalism. From September 1905 to November 1906 she was editor of the "Indian Department" in Sturm's Statehood Magazine. Similar to the intent of the Twin Territories magazine, the column promoted Indian culture and literature.
In Muskogee Ora Eddleman Reed is remembered for her important contribution in recording American Indian history at the turn of the twentieth century. Recent scholarship has also recognized her significant contribution to American Indian literature and journalism. In 1900 she was one of the youngest members and the only female member of the Indian Territory Press Association. She served as its treasurer in 1903. Reed was a member of the Muskogee First Christian Church, the General Forrest Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Indian Territory Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Oklahoma Historical Society. Ora Reed died on June 19, 1968, in a Tulsa nursing home after a long illness. She was buried in the Greenhill Cemetery in Muskogee.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Carolyn Thomas Foreman, Oklahoma Imprints, 1835-1907: A History of Printing in Oklahoma Before Statehood (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1936). Karen L. Kilcup, ed., Native American Women's Writing, c. 1800-1924: An Anthology (Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishers, 2000). Daniel F. Littlefield, Jr., and James W. Parins, Native American Writing in the Southeast: An Anthology, 1875-1935 (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1995). Daryl Morrison, "Twin Territories: The Indian Magazine and Its Editor, Ora Eddleman Reed," The Chronicles of Oklahoma 60 (Summer 1982). O. P. Sturm, "The Oklahoma Literati," Sturm's Oklahoma Magazine (January-February 1911).
Linda D. Wilson
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