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Biography of Bertha Louise Ahrens

Bertha Louise Ahrens (B. Feb. 26, 1857), missionary teacher among the Choctaw Freedmen of Indian Territory since 1885, and principal teacher at Oak Hill Academy, 1905-1911, is a native of Berlin, Prussia. Her parents, Otto and Augusta Ahrens, in 1865, when she was 8, and a brother Otto 5, came to America and located on a farm near Sigourney, Iowa, after one year at Bellville, Illinois; and four, at Harper, Iowa. The schools and Churches first attended used the German language. Her first studies in English were in the graded schools at Sigourney and here at seventeen, she became a member of the Presbyterian Church under the pastorate of Rev. S. G. Hair. He loaned her some missionary literature to read and it awakened a desire on her part to become a missionary. This desire was expressed to the Women’s Missionary society of the Church and she was encouraged to attend the Western Female Seminary, now college, at Oxford, Ohio. After a course of study at this institution she enjoyed a year’s training in the Bible school connected with Moody’s Chicago Avenue Church, Chicago. During the next year, after hearing in her home town an appeal in behalf of a Negro school in the south, she was led to offer her services to the Presbyterian Board of Missions for Freedmen. In December 1885, she received a commission with request to locate among the Choctaw Freedmen at Lukfata, in the southeast part of Indian Territory. The route at that early date was quite circuitous. Going south through Kansas City over the M. K. T. Ry., to Denison, Texas, she passed...

Biography of Hon. Orlando B. Ficklin

Hon. Orlando B. Ficklin, attorney at law, Charleston; he was born in Kentucky Dec. 16, 1808, being the son of William and Elizabeth Kenner (Williams) Ficklin, both of Virginia. His early education was obtained in country schools, in Kentucky and Missouri, except about one year, which he spent at Cumberland College, located at Princeton, Caldwell Co., Ky., under the auspices of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. His parents having removed to Potosi, Washington Co., Mo., he commenced the study of law with Henry Shurlds of that place, who was afterward elected to the Circuit Court bench, and at a later period removed to St. Louis and engaged in banking until his death; Mr. Ficklin spent the winter of 1829 and 1830 in the law office of Gen. Robert Farris, of St. Louis; in March, 1830, he was admitted to the bar at Bellville, St. Clair Co., Ill., having been examined by Edward Cowles, then an old and well-established lawyer of that place; from thence he went to McLeansboro, Hamilton Co., Ill., meeting there with Chief Justice William Wilson, who advised him to locate in Mount Carmel, Wabash Co., Ill.; Mr. Ficklin attended the courts of that circuit commencing at Carmi, and when the circuit closed, he located at Mt. Carmel. In 1832, he went to the Black Hawk war in Capt. Elias Jurdon’s Company, and at the organization of the regiments and brigades, was appointed Quartermaster, and was attached to the brigade of Gem Milton R. Alexander, then of Paris, Ill.; in 1833, he was elected Colonel of the militia of Wabash Co., under the old militia system, long since...

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